• WICHE: Cacti make good winter houseplants

    Have you ever heard someone say, “All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti?” Have you ever wondered what the difference is?

    Well, in the most basic sense cacti are succulents that do not have leaves. However, the mere presence of spines (the prickly part of cacti) is not the sole indicator that a plant is a cactus. The various families are actually determined by flower form (just like the orchid).

  • Ag report: Oct. 18, 2013

    Farm to School art contest draws connections to food

    Kentucky students can learn about the benefits of local food while competing for prizes in the third annual Farm to School Art Contest, which commemorates Farm to School Week starting Monday.

    Contest entries must be mailed by Nov. 15 to Kentucky Farm to School Program coordinator Tina Garland, 107 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, 40601. Winners will be announced at a school food service directors conference in December in Bowling Green.

  • WICHE: Tackling chores now can improve plants' health later

    There are many gardening tasks that either must be done or are better done in the fall of the year: removing old plant debris, fertilizing trees, shrubs and lawns and protecting tender plants like hybrid tea roses and French hydrangeas.

    These chores are all important for good garden maintenance. Taking care of them now can vastly improve the quality of your garden later. And eliminate some of the disease problems that affect us the most.

  • Ag report: Oct. 11, 2013

    2 info sessions today about CAIP program

    If you are thinking about applying for a cost-share grant as part of Shelby’s County Agricultural Investment Program, you can find out more today in two informational sessions, at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. at the Shelby County Extension Office.

    The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board announced that it had awarded $282,000 to the Shelby County Agricultural Development Foundation Inc. to be distributed, which is down from an adjusted total of $500,000 in 2012.

  • WICHE: Garlic goes in, and sweet potatoes come out

    There are two categories of garlic to consider: Allium sativum, or softneck garlic and Allium ophioscordon, or hardneck garlic. The majority of garlic purchased in the grocery and grown in Kentuckiana gardens is the softneck variety.

  • Ag report: Oct. 4, 2013

    Shelby 4-H receives

    $1,100 from donations

    Shelby County has earned $1,128.34 from the recent distribution by the 4-H Foundation from proceeds gathered by voluntary donations to the state’s “ag tags” for vehicles renewed in March.

    The Agricultural Program Trust Fund collects the $10 donations and divides them equally among 4-H, FFA and Kentucky Proud farmers. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 4-H received $160,895.06, which it divided based on the among donated from each county.

  • $282K to be shared in Shelby's CAIP this year

    Shelby’s County Agricultural Investment Program again is open for applications for cost-share grants to reimburse agricultural development projects for producers.

    The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board announced that it had awarded $282,000 to the Shelby County Agricultural Development Foundation Inc. to be distributed, which is down from an adjusted total of $500,000 in 2012..

  • WICHE: Cool temperatures initiate winter blooms

    How about this weather? I am anticipating a very good orchid season coming up because our temperatures have been so mild, especially with night time temperatures dipping into the fifties already. These cool nights are a piece of the puzzle in order to get some plants to bloom indoors in the winter.

    When attempting to grow tropical plants, we are met with the challenge of mimicking their native habitats, which is difficult inside our homes. We can allow Mother Nature to take care of some of this, outside, for now.

  • Ag report: Sept. 27, 2013

    Courtneys are finalists for top young farm family

    Shane and Mary Courtney of Shelby County are among three finalists for Kentucky Farm Bureau’s annual “Outstanding Young Farm Family, which recognizes an individual or couple under age 35 who has exhibited the strongest farm management skills, most consistent financial growth and highest level of involvement in both Farm Bureau and their community.

  • WICHE: Fall perennials anchor color in the garden

    There are some perennials that I can’t live without because of their fabulous late-summer and fall performance. Plant them in your garden now because you will overlook them at garden centers come spring.

    My mixed-perennial beds look the best this time of the year (barring any unpleasant summer drought). The Black-Eyed Susan’s, Russian sage and various species of Aster, Salvia and Nepeta are prolific but they are only mediocre anchor plants compared to some of the other species that come on this time of the year.