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Agriculture

  • WICHE: Crabgrass history reveals multiple uses

    After the big rain we had I hit the weeds – most of which involved wrangling ever-expanding globs of crabgrass. 

    Yes, this is the time when crabgrass rears its ugly head and begins to creep through our fescue lawns, sneak into our cultivated beds and, when we’re not looking, reseeds itself to ensure the continuation of the species. Okay, maybe a little melodramatic but my hands still hurt from all that pulling!  

  • WICHE: Make sure to harvest vegetables daily

    One day missed in the vegetable garden can mean a big harvest, literally.  All of a sudden, or so it seems, your zucchini is the size of a torpedo and beans are bulging beneath the pod.

    Some vegetables need attention daily; others can be picked every couple of days.  Summer squash and zucchini definitely need to be checked each day because their growth rate is rather fast. 

  • Shelby senior 4-H team wins state livestock judging competition

    The Shelby County 4-H livestock judging team took first place in the High Senior Team overall honors for the second year in a row at the state 4-H Livestock Judging competition.

  • WICHE: It’s time to dig, divide irises, daylilies

    Why is it that the perfect time to dig and divide your iris bed is in July at the height of the season’s heat? 

    For bearded iris it’s because they go through a dormant period in the summer.  This hardy perennial is a beautiful spring bloomer that is virtually immune to diseases.  But to ensure health and vigor you should divide your bearded iris every three to five years.  If they receive adequate sunlight (at least 6 hours a day) but do not bloom well then it is definitely time to divide.

  • Harsh winter didn’t stop pests

    Dinners on the patio, gardening, swimming in the pool and taking a quiet walk are all wonderful ways to enjoy summertime in Shelbyville; they are also excellent ways to get mosquito bites.

    While you may think the mosquitoes are worse than ever, University of Kentucky extension entomologist Lee Townsend explained that at the beginning of each mosquito season people often tend to think that way.

    “They shock us every summer,” he said, explaining that the number of mosquitoes has not increased from previous years.

  • WICHE: Toads a good sign of a healthy environment

    Lately it seems that everywhere I step in the yard, vegetable garden and perennial beds there is a toad under foot.  They manage to jump out of harm’s way from a rapidly approaching foot or spade just in the nick of time. 

  • WICHE: Organic fertilizer recipe

    If you are a regular reader of my column you likely know that I much prefer an organic approach to farm and gardening and that I believe that building healthy soil produces healthy food.  As I continue to learn more about pest control and fertility the more I have come to understand why healthy plants and animals have an edge over their synthetically doped counterparts.

  • A Kentucky Proud yard

    The temperatures may be rising into the nineties this week but Joan Brown, known to many locals as the Road Kill Chef, isn’t slowing down in her garden.

    “Sometimes I have to tell myself, Joan slow down you can’t work like you used to,” she said with a smile.

    But those years of hard work are being recognized.

  • WICHE: Avoiding, fighting powdery mildew

    Powdery mildew is probably the most common garden fungus around.  It is not too terribly picky about where it spreads, it likes humid 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, pruning and treatment before it spreads.

    Several different fungi cause powdery mildew. I won’t bore you with their names because they all act the same way. 

  • Universities begin hemp research

    With hemp seeds just getting into the ground, farmers around the state, including in Shelby, still have a lot of questions about the possibility of growing industrial hemp.

    Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville), chair of the Agriculture Committee, said he’s had some feedback from farmers who say they aren’t quite sure what would be involved.

    “We will have some meetings about it later on,” he said.

    Shelby County Farmer Ray Tucker said he had done some research online about growing industrial hemp and he has some concerns.