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Agriculture

  • WICHE: The unseen heroes of the garden

    Have you ever considered the nematode? I appreciate the beneficial insects that help keep the garden in balance, but there are good things at work that go unseen.

    I recently released who knows how many in and around my vegetable garden in hopes that they will finally take care of my most annoying vegetable pest: the flea beetle.

  • Ag report: May 18, 2012

    Alpaca show hits

    Louisville next week

    Alpacas from across the country will be featured in the show ring competition next week at the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association National Show at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

    The show, which features class competition in conformation and fleece quality in many categories for both Suri and Huacaya alpacas, is 8 a.m. daily May 26-28.

  • WICHE: Mow high to maintain lawn health

    Americans have all sorts of reputations, one being our love affair with the perfect lawn.

    The funny thing about it is that many of our lawn-care habits actually create additional problems that need some sort of intervention. It is a vicious lawn care cycle.

    Fertilize, mow, spray, fertilize, mow, spray…why not just mow high and enjoy the clover?

    No matter how many times agronomists warn us not to fertilize in the spring, products fly off the shelf in April and May. Fall is the time to fertilize, if you must.

  • Feds drop plan to restrict youth's work on farm

    The controversial proposed new federal rule that would have limited the ability of teens to work on their family farm is no more.

    The federal Department of Labor this week withdrew its plan to restrict the availability of young people to work on farms, even those owned by their own family.

  • WICHE: Break out the shade devices early

    Boy, from the frying pan into the fire these first few weeks of May! The vegetable garden will be responding – for better and for worse – to in the upper 80s so early in the season. One thing we can do to alleviate a little heat stress is to employ some shade devices for our spring crops and seedlings.

    The vegetable garden can start doing some funny things during a heat wave. When temperatures start to rise into the upper 80s and 90s, many vegetables drop flowers before pollination and fruit set and stop blooming all together.

  • WICHE: Peonies are long-lived in the garden

    A couple of weeks ago, in mid-April, one of the prettiest flowers in the garden started to bloom. This great, cut-leaf Japanese peony, Paeonia tenuifolia, opened its simple ruby-colored petals to reveal bright yellow stamen.

    The finely cut foliage, reminiscent of the most finely cut foliage of a Japanese maple, allows the plant to be interesting in the mixed border the rest of the growing season, too.

    There are four peony classifications based on bloom type:

  • Ag Report: May 4, 2012

    Poll identifies state’s 10

    most influential ag people

     

    Who are the most influential people in Kentucky agriculture today?

    Would the farmers in western Kentucky have the same people on their top ten list as an individual involved in the equine industry? Would a beekeeper list the same top ten as a cattle producer? Does an agribusiness owner's list look anything like that of a commodity leader?

  • Master Gardeners offer wares, advice

    You can get annuals and perennials to enhance your home gardens from the county’s own Shelby County Master Gardeners this weekend.

    The folks who bring the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market at the Shelby County Fairgrounds from April to October will host their Art and Garden Fair this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

    The event is free, but plants and other items will be for sale.

  • Ag Report: April 27, 2012

    Farmers’ Market opens Saturday

    at Shelby County Fairgrounds

    The Shelby County Farmers’ Market opens its 6-month run at the Shelby County Fairgrounds this Saturday.

    The market, which continues through Oct. 27, is 8 a.m. until noon every Saturday in the barn immediately off Midland Trail on the western side of the property.

    Vendors from Shelby and surrounding areas offer several varieties of season produce, plus eggs, jams, jellies, flowers, perennials, shrubs and trees.

  • WICHE: Pruning chores after the big spring bloom

    June 1 is the official cutoff that marks the difference between a spring bloomer and a summer bloomer. Does it matter that you know? Yes, if you want to prune properly, because pruning after June 1 could result in no blooms next year.

    This spring was a great one for spring bloomers: lilacs, viburnums, azaleas, rhododendrons and many others were all able to do their thing without a major frost or freeze here at the farm.