Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Vegetable gardening good for the belly, soul, and the wallet!

Click here for your copy
All of us are basically a generation removed from there being no question about where at least a portion of your food comes from.  When I was growing up in the late 70's and early 80's we were going to have a garden it just was a matter of how big and what was to be grown.  Now a days it seems we are wishy washy on whether we'll put out a couple of tomatoes.  Our garden each year was lead and planned by my Grandmother and my aunt.  It covered about a half acre and fed about three good sized families.  It was a given that we would all spend some time in the garden and grandma dictated when and what  needed to be done.  This community/family garden really shaped my future and set me on the path that led me to becoming a Horticulturist.  But it was the social aspect that really formed my values and honed my belief in the strengths of an extended family.  It was everything from the sowing of seed, cutting and gathering bean poles, finding the first ripe tomato, and the inevitable dirt clod fight among cousins that cultivated both the love of family and gardening.  Let it be known that my Uncle Herb just about always found the first tomato and always had a shaker of salt in his pocket for said event.

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 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

What will all this road salt do to our landscapes?

Think Spring, this weather can't last forever can it? 
With all the winter weather we have been enduring our plants are forced to endure even more.  With the frequent "1 inch blizzards" (as one person on facebook called them) comes the need for safety on the roads. To achieve safer roads we are forced to turn to sodium chloride or deicing salt to melt away the (what i am now referring to as the white plaque) snow.  However, with all its safety and melting abilities it also poses many problems for our landscapes and lawns.

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.