This past Sunday afternoon was the perfect day for a walk in the woods with my family. As cold as it has been my expectations were not great that we would see a whole lot of spring color. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the color came in many forms, shapes. and hues.
Our first lesson was pointed out by my daughter when she noticed a mass of chartreuse green hanging from an otherwise barren tree. this turned out to be a honeysuckle vine holding on to the leaves it had from last fall. This was very eye-catching because of the stark difference between its display and everything else in its surroundings. The trees all wore fine coats of grays, blacks, and brown hues. The many textures of the bark provided an ever-changing show no matter the size or perspective of the person. Sometimes the perspective is better the lower you are to the ground as was evident from the many "What's this Daddy?" I received from my 5 year old throughout the walk. His unique perspective allowed him to quickly pick up the colors and flowers that weren't as readily visible to myself. We discovered stark whites in the large shelf mushrooms, Bloodroot flowers, and Twinleaf. Green hues were in great abundance with the many mosses, the emerging Bluebell foliage, and the unique unfolding of the Buckeye leaves.
My oldest son loves nature and all it has to offer but on this day his hunt was to discover the perfect place to read the next of a long line of books and to let nature happen around him. He must of pointed out twenty places where he could recline and read.
For two hours we walked and talked about the complexities and simplicities of an awakening spring forest. With our heads down, (not to look at a screen) trying to one up the other on the next colorful find and to keep from trampling Mother Natures carpet we enjoyed a day of beauty and togetherness. Get out to the woodlands and enjoy the beautiful show that Mother will be unveiling all season long in a slow and steady cadence, much like the "What's this Daddy?" that I heard on our walk.
Monday, April 07, 2014
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
|Winter Drying on Boxwood|
|Winter Drying on Magnolia|
|Winter Drying on Holly|
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
|Click here for your copy|
Get your family involved and garden together the kids may fuss now but I guarantee they will have the good memories forever. If the thought of a vegetable garden intimidates you join forces with someone with all the experience of gardening but just can't do garden work like they used to. You'll both benefit immensely from the experience and your food knowledge will greatly improve. The Home Vegetable Gardening In Kentucky you see pictured in this entry is a wonderful publication for all levels of gardening experience. You can click on the picture caption to see a pdf of the publication but if you would like a copy just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address and we will mail you one out, or you can simply stop by the Nelson County Extension office for your free copy.
Monday, February 10, 2014
|Think Spring, this weather can't last forever can it?|
The damage won't show up immediately but will come on gradually this spring as the plants begin to grow. Rather than me describe what might take place I am going to refer you to a really good Purdue University publication that even provides you with a list of plants that can tolerate high salt levels. See Salt Damage in Landscape Plants for more detailed information. Salt will do the greatest damage where it is being thrown as a spray by passing automobiles or when plants are in the direct runoff path as the melting "white plague" moves the salt into landscape beds etc.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Starting your own seeds at home can be a rewarding experience. You most definitely will save money on your plants but for me the most rewarding aspect is that you ensure what varieties you get. Many varieties are not always available at the garden center and sometimes are not labeled properly. Improper labeling only shows up 3 months later when your Big Boy tomatoes turn out to be yellow and pear shaped. Below are some tips on how to make the most out of starting your own seeds.
Starting Seeds at Home Take Home Points:
Starting Seeds at Home Take Home Points:
- Start with a good seed starting soil-less media which would include peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.
- Pay attention to the planting depth of your seeds and cover lightly if necessary.
- Maintain a constant heat and humidity level around the germinating plants. This will ensure quick and even germination.
- 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.
Friday, January 10, 2014
John Strang, University of Kentucky Extension Fruit Specialist provides a very thorough lesson on how to prune thorny and thornless blackberries. John provides some teminology and tips within his video that I have bulleted for you below.
- Primocane is a first year growth and does not fruit (unless it is a primocane fruiting variety)
- Floricane is the same shoot after overwintering. This shoot will flower and fruit in the second year
- Rednecked Cane Borer is an insect that bores into the can and cause an enlarged growth
- 4-6 canes per hill or 6 canes per foot of row
- Laterals pruned to 12 -16 inches
- Remove prunings from the orchard
- Floricanes should be removed in the Fall if possible