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Agriculture

  • Hold off on pruning raspberries, blackberries

    The bramble patch is usually cleaned up by now but the cold winter has set us back with a few of our garden chores.  But it turns out that this may be a good thing after all. The University of Kentucky has sent out a “blackberry alert” urging gardeners to hold off on pruning blackberry and raspberry until new shoots begin to emerge.  They are expecting more than usual die back due to our cold winter season.

  • No planting yet, but farmers aren’t worried

    Shelby’s farmers say that they typically plant near the end of April, so they’re not too concerned about the spring crop season yet, but if the weather stays rainy and cool it could be a different story.

    “It’s not a big concern right now, but if it stays wet and cool for another two weeks, it will be,” said Paul Hornback, who is planning to put in 2,400 acres of corn and soybeans and 100 acres of tobacco.

  • Thin vs. fat asparagus, which is better?

    I was catching up on some magazine reading the other day and on two occasions I read the phrase “choose thin spears” and I got so frustrated. 

    These spring articles were about asparagus, and I would like to go on the record that when it comes to homegrown asparagus – and even the wild growing in the fencerows – fat is good!  The fat spears have always been tender from the garden; so don’t let anyone fool you on the fresh from the garden variety. They are particularly well suited for the charcoal grill.

  • Cool season has slowed spring

    I want to say spring has sprung, but it hasn’t.

    I have 160 Freedom Ranger chicks coming in the mail next week and lambs hitting the ground – don’t worry, that’s shepherd talk for lambs being born. I want warm not just for the new 2-legged and 4-legged arrivals but also for my potatoes, onions and kale. I need warm before I can even think of putting a tomato, bean or cucumber out in the garden.

  • Some azaleas thrive in full sun

    Did you know that azaleas and rhododendrons are essentially the same thing?

    They are both members of the rhododendron genus; they have similar blooms and similar cultural requirements.  Some say the primary difference between the two is the number of pollen-bearing stamens – rhododendron have 10 or more per flower and azaleas have only five. 

  • As weather dries, it’s time to start potatoes

    Spring break from teaching at UofL falls conveniently during the week of St. Patrick’s Day, which is also my target date for planting onions and potatoes. I typically manage a mid-March planting, but the condition of the soil has held me up a bit this year. I will not start digging until the soil dries out and is considered workable.

  • We have been skunked again

    From time to time I see a skunk meandering around the farm during the day. It’s unusual, however. A few years back there was one that was sniffing about under some pines in the lower pasture, and it was evident from its movements and from its awareness (or lack thereof) of its surroundings that this creature knew it had the advantage.

    A skunk’s eyesight is poor, so sneaking up on him to get a photograph was possible, but it made me realize that startling a skunk is probably not a good idea.

  • WICHE: Seed starting indoors helps early season crops

    I have my orders placed for onion sets and seed potatoes along with some of my favorite summer crops that will be directly seeded in the garden once the temperatures really warm.…I can barely stand the wait! I have just seeded out several trays of early season vegetables that like a cool start to the season. Kale, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are just beginning to push through the light potting mix.

  • Shelby business is creating a buzz with its saw

    The Triple S Planning Commission is embroiled in a lawsuit with Bagdad Lumber Sawmill & Kiln about the company’s ability to operate as is at its location at 2932 Christiansburg Road in Bagdad.

    His mill is located on a parcel zoned Agriculture, which Triple S officials say isn’t appropriate for this business.

    But owner/operator Ron Harris claims in his suit that he had approval before opening the doors to his company. The courts will decide, and while they are, Harris is able to continue work while the courts decided the lawsuit.

  • WICHE: Orchard care starts now

    As summer fruit begins to ripen, or should I say rot, the calls start coming in. Home orchardists in Kentuckiana are at wits end as they watch their apples, peaches and pears do little more than fall from the tree in a spotted, bruised or petrified state.