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Features

  • Honeybee populations have been declining in recent years, with a 40 percent loss of bees in some states last year, compared to a rate that hovered around 5 percent in the 1970s, state beekeeper Tammy Horn Potter said.

  • Summer months are the harvest season for blueberries and blackberries, both of which have the potential to grow very well in Kentucky.

    Harvest time for blueberries, which are native to North America, is from early June through early August. Blackberry harvest is from mid-June to early October.

    These delicious fruits offer several health benefits, and they capture the essence of summer in their sweetness.

  • This year the hydrangea display is proving to be spectacular.  It’s the big-leafed, or French hydrangea that elicit the most attention because of the volume and size of the blooms.  

    Hydrangea macrophylla got its common moniker because they were predominately cultivated in France, starting in the early 20th century. Hydrangea macrophylla prefer cool, moist and shady conditions, and the temperate climate in France proved favorable to the native Japanese species that was brought to the West.    

  • Powdery mildew is probably the most common garden fungus around.  It is not too terribly picky about where it spreads, it likes humid and dry weather, thrives in the heat of the summer and is hard to control once it has started.  The trick here is to prevent it from happening by proper plant selection, spacing and treatment before it takes hold.

  • Spencer County Clerk Lynn Hesselbrock is encouraging young women of Kentucky to apply for a scholarship and an opportunity to meet elected women from across the country. The National Foundation for Women Legislators and the National Rifle Association are co-sponsoring the 19th Annual NFWL/NRA Bill of Rights Essay Scholarship Contest for college-bound female high school juniors and seniors.

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    Spencer County 4-H’ers had a great time at the 2016 Teen Conference at the University of Kentucky June 13-16.

  • We have all asked the question: “Why hasn’t my plant bloomed?” Sometimes the answer is as simple as not enough sunlight, not old enough, not cold enough or hot enough, etc.  In fact, it could be as simple as a little digging and dividing for some renewed blooming attitude.

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    Cattle owned by Anne Patton Schubert of Taylorsville won awards June 10 at the 2016 Kentucky Angus Association Preview Show in Louisville.

  • The intestinal tracts of all mammals have various types of bacteria as part of their natural intestinal microflora. There are many opportunities for young children to be exposed to these bacteria, such as pets, friends, etc. Our state’s most recent salmonella outbreak is a harsh reminder of this, as many of the victims are children.

  • We have spent over 10 years improving our vegetable garden by adding composted horse manure, composted sheep manure and composted chicken manure at the end of each season. The result is a seriously well-drained plot that has the capacity to retain moisture and slowly feed what we plant. I am so looking forward to the vegetable garden this year, because last year was such a disappointment.

  • Gov. Matt Bevin, along with Kentucky commissioner of agriculture Ryan Quarles, proclaimed May as Beef Month in Kentucky, citing beef’s nutritional benefits and its impact on Kentucky’s economy. They were joined by Kentucky Beef Council chairman Steve Dunning, Beef Council president David Lemaster, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association executive vice president Dave Maples, Kentucky Beef Council director of consumer affairs Kiah Twisselman, and the Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy executive director Warren Beeler.

  • VBS at First Baptist of Taylorsville

  • The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is in discussions with Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky to study the viability of hops production in the Commonwealth, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said.

  • Once again, we enjoyed sweet potatoes all winter long from a fantastic harvest last fall. I planted out about 25 organic slips in Shepherdsville in late May, and by early November we had four nursery crates full of one of nature’s perfect foods. Seven months and counting in storage with no spoilage is impressive. We are down to about a dozen sweet potatoes; just in time for a transition to other summer vegetables.

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    In a year or two, expect to find Marianne Gaddie teaching high school agriculture, or perhaps working as an extension agent.

    The 2013 Spencer County High School graduate is working this summer as an intern at the Spencer County Cooperative Extension Office. She started May 16, and she’ll be putting in 40- to 60-hour weeks all summer.

    This fall, Gaddie will be a senior at Morehead State University, where she’s an agriculture education major.

  • University of Kentucky entomologists recently developed a website that will have the most up-to-date information on the Zika virus and its spread, as mosquito populations around the state begin to build. The website is http://pest.ca.uky.edu/EXT/ZIKA/1kyzika.html.

  • I have no complaints about plant performance this spring. But, it seems, some gardeners are still stumped by their under-performing plants. Why plants fail to thrive is a hard question to answer, of course, because a great many things factor into poor performance, lack of bloom or die back.