Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Small Kitchen Garden Coldframe

    Thought I would share a little project with you that we are using here at the office for our 4-H cooking club.  It's a small inexpensive coldframe that we begin some kitchen garden type plants in for the class. Things like herbs, lettuce, onions, leeks and other food plants.  The kids can pick and use fresh product in their dishes and become acquainted with the process of growing food. 
     This was constructed using two recycled storm doors.  The doors are attached to a lumber frame custom made for the door sizes.  This happens to be an 80" x 53" box made from 2" x 10" lumber.  There are two identical boxes stacked on top of one another and the top can simply lift off in order to till the bed at the beginning of each season.  The on door is automatically ventilated using a automatic opener as seen in the small picture.  This project was completed for less than $100 dollars in materials. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Community garden and Bardstown Farmer's Market

Here are a couple of items of business that may interest some of you. 
  1. The Bardstown Farmers Market is now accepting applications for the 2010 campaign.  You can get the new rules and the application from my home page for the Farmers Market at this link
  2. The Nazareth Community gardens will be in operation again this year sign ups will begin on Monday March 29th.  Please call the Nelson County extension office for details and to sign up. The number is 348-9204 or you can email me at robsmith@uky.edu
Spring has sprung and I have the fever.  I spent the weekend spreading mulch and pruning trees in the yard.  This is the ideal time to spread mulch as it is before the mowing and planting rush and somewhat before the rush of plant growth.  Spread only a couple of inches thick and don't volcano mulch your trees.  Pruning should concentrate on removing dead material and anything crossing and make proper pruning cuts.  Get outside this weekend and get busy. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The only thing I can say is that it is finally starting to resemble spring. In this post I am going to outline several things that you may consider doing this spring before it is time to begin mowing.

Weed Control can be done now. A spray for broadleaved weeds can be done now. You should aim at using a product that has more than just 2-4D. The product should contain 2-4D and a couple of other items like mecoprop, dicamba, etc.

• A pre-emergence crab grass control (granular form) should be applied before April 15th for the Central KY area. Multiple applications may be needed for superior control and applications should be made prior to a light rain for activation.

Bermuda Grass control should be left alone until the first of June when (if this your desire) multiple applications of a glyphosate product will need to be sprayed well past where you think the Bermuda extends. Applications will need to be made every couple of weeks until the first of August. Reseeding can take place around the 15th of August.

Bulbs of all kinds are beginning to poke their heads from the soil. This is a good time to apply a little fertilize like a 10-10-10 or Bonemeal.

• To enjoy spring blooming plants before they bloom cut some stems of Forsythia, Flowering Almond, Flowering Quince, or any really early bloomer and bring them in to a vase of water and watch them explode with color.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Couple of updates for you:

Ground has been broke for the community garden and planning is being made to double the number of garden plots for this year.  The Master Gardeners are planning to also include a Demonstration garden this year as well.  For those who participated last year you will receive a letter as to the start date for anyone who is interested in a plot this year keep watching this blog and the paper for updates. 

On March 17th at 6:30 pm we will have a organizational meeting for the Bardstown Farmers Market.  Signups will take place that evening and information on WIC and Senior programs will be shared.  If you are coming please let me know.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

We had a super set of Classes last evening but if you weren’t able to attend I will attempt to provide you the take home message.

Starting Seeds at Home Take Home Points:

• Lighting is very important. Regular Bright light Fluorescent bulbs will provide a very desirable visible spectrum for plant growth. They are as good or better than the so called plant grow bulbs. Do not use incandescent, too much heat, and not enough usable light spectrum.

• Lighting should remain on throughout the germination phase and as long as they are grown inside. A 16 hour cycle of lighting will be best and the light should remain 2 to 3 inches above the plant canopy while grown indoors for optimum growth.

• Air circulation is very important after germination for two reasons; it helps to reduce disease problems and it also helps to strengthen the stems.

• A soil thermometer will help you gauge temperature levels in the seed starting area. Different plants prefer different temps but as a general rule between 70 and 80 degrees will suffice.

• Light fertilization should begin shortly after germination and as a general rule begin with a halved rate of fertilize based on the indoor plant feeding directions found on the back of your choice of soluble fertilize.

• Pay attention to the planting depth of your seeds and cover lightly if necessary.

Backyard Greenhouses 101: From Building to Growing.
• Greenhouse construction is not an exact science. Your means, desires, and potential use will all play into what you end up with. This link, Hobby Greenhouse Construction, will help weigh all the options.

• Ventilation is one of the most important factors to consider. On a sunny day in late winter early spring a closed greenhouse can heat up past 120 degrees in no time flat.

• Best greenhouse skin is two walled Acrylic (expensive), next is twin walled Lexan (less expensive) and final best is two layer 6 mil clear poly (1/10 cost of the first two, but will only last three to four years).

• Disease, insect, and water management are the primary issues with growing in a greenhouse environment.

Just let me know if you need any more information.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

We still have a few spaces left for the classes that will be held at the Extension office on March 3rd.  Starting seeds at home and Backyard Greenhouse 101: Building and Growing are being offered at 3:30 and 6:30 respectfully. Dr. Rebecca Schnelle will be offering both subject matters so if  you are interested please call the Nelson County Extension Office to sign up at 502.348.9204.