Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The beginning of DRY

It seems to be hitting us a little early this year. Lawn and gardens look a lot like they would in mid to late July not the first of May. We are currently in a abnormally dry period in central Kentucky however, our neighbors in southern Kentucky are already in the middle of a drought.

For me water conservation is of the utmost importance. When watering your lawn or garden take measures to conserve water when you can. For example in the garden use soaker hoses or drip irrigation to deliver the water at the root system where the plant needs it most. Even better cover the soaker hose or drip tape with a nice layer of mulch to help keep the water in the ground.

Generally we want to deliver about an inch of water per week (when Mother Nature is not) to the lawn and landscape materials. Do this in one good soaking and not several little dribbles. The plants will benefit to a greater degree to this type of watering. I like to use spot sprinklers to deliver the water to particular plants and I use a mason jar lid sitting level under the sprinkler. When that jar lid is full you have delivered about an inch of water.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Orange Rust on Blackberries

Last week I found the first outbreak of Orange Rust in Nelson County this year. Orange Rust is a big threat to the commercial Blackberry industry in Kentucky. Nelson county has about ten acres of Blackberries planted and that is expanding yearly.

The main problem associated with Orange Rust is the fact that once the plant becomes infected with the disease it can't be healed. Orange Rust moves systemically within the plant infecting the roots, crown, stem, and foliage. The plant will become less vigorous and decline with time. It is easily recognizable this time of year due to its large orange pustules that populate the underside of the leaves. For more information on how to control Orange Rust on Blackberries visit:

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Twenty New Master Gardeners have just recently hit the ground running. After successfully testing on Monday, May 7th they are full of knowledge and ready to help. Pictured to the left is this Master Gardener Class at their field trip to the Yew Dell Garden. They all fully participated in all the classes and learned extensively about the botany, pathology, entomology, landscaping, wildflowers and natives, woody ornamentals, annuals a perennials, soils and fertility, turf care, vegetable production, and fruit production. So as you can see they are well rounded and ready to answer questions.
To learn more about becoming a Master Gardener you can email me at

Friday, May 04, 2007

Vegetable Production and a trip to Yew Dell Gardens

It is time to catch up. Last week we installed, at two county locations, raised row black plastic for vegetable production. Chris Coulter and Adam Wheatley are participating in a program this year to experiment with the production of vegetables on black plastic. The idea is to conserve water, reduce weeds, increase yields, and increase plant vigor. This is by no means a new idea folks around the state and this county have been doing this for some years now with great success. I will supply you some pictures of the process in a future post.

Earlier this week the new class of Master Gardeners visited the gardens of world renown plantsman Theodore Klein. His garden is known as Yew Dell Garden and is located in Oldham County. It has only been functioning as an arboretum for the past few years but oh what a job they have done. It has really interesting architecture and wonderful old specimen plants. Dr. Paul Cappiello is the curator of the collection. Visit their site if you like: