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Agriculture

  • WICHE: Various causes of plant distortions

    I am starting to appreciate anomalies in nature in ways I had never considered.

    I suppose I am getting more acquainted with things not going as you plan. I can’t expect a season in the garden to unfold in seamless perfection if nothing else in life does.

    So I am embracing an attitude of wonder instead of one of dismay when things start to distort, twist, stunt, grow nipples, galls or any other odd appendage.

  • WICHE: Purslane turns out to be a tasty weed

    I have long understood that purslane could be used in salads or soups but have never made much of an effort to harvest and devise a kitchen plan until know.

    I had this fabulous stand of the weed in my kitchen garden after I pulled the old greens that bolted from the summer heat. It made perfect sense to let it grow and flourish because no lettuce seed would be germinating in this heat, and I knew that this garden was free from any herbicides.

  • WICHE: Bagworms are on the move, slowly

    I received a call the other day about what to do with a blue spruce covered in bagworms.

    The tree is apparently covered (and large), so hand-picking was not an option. The caller said the pest was rather large, too, so I had to recommend a systemic insecticide as the treatment.

    I prefer that we catch the bagworms earlier in the season so that we can take a biological approach but this is not always the case.

  • WICHE: Curing is key to storage for potatoes, garlic onions

    Potatoes, garlic and onions: These tree vegetables are staples worldwide partly because of their versatility and partly because of their ability to be stored.

    Late July and August is when our spring planted onions, garlic and potatoes reach maturity and are ready for harvest.

  • Growing focus on plant food

    For years home gardeners have known about Monty's Joy Juice: The small vials of plant food that have provided nourishment for their roses and house plants since 1997.

    But Monty's Plant & Soil Products is much, much more than help for the weekend gardener.

    For the past two years the company has been running a research farm on Mulberry Pike, leasing 75 acres from Paul Hornback, a faithful Monty's user.

    Now Monty's has added a distribution deal around the area with Southern States, giving its large-scale farm products yet another home.

  • WICHE: Crape myrtles are high-summer bloomers

    We should use more crape myrtles in Kentuckiana. They are not just for more warm, temperate climes. In fact, there are a great many that go unbothered by an average winter in our parts.

    There is often a lull in the garden at this time. Our early-summer blooms are fading, and our late-summer garden has yet to pop.

    But the crape myrtle can provide a colorful bridge between the two.

  • Famous old farm gets famous new owners

    Moving from England to set up shop in Shelby County’s historic Saddlebred industry makes perfect sense to the owners of Monnington Farm near Simpsonville.

    Weary from overseas travel to compete on the Kentucky circuit and feeling the need to be closer to the action, trainer Lionel Ferreira and his wife, Georgia Bulmer Ferreira, in early May opened their new public stable on the grounds of the original Crabtree Farms located off Colt Run Road, just west of Simpsonville.

  • 'Private' fair looking to make tweaks

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  • EARLIER: County fair has successful year

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  • WICHE: Dividing plants improves health, bloom

    We have all asked the question, “Why hasn’t my plant bloomed?”

    Sometimes the answer is as simple as not enough sunlight, not old enough, not cold enough or hot enough, etc. In fact it could be as simple as a little digging and dividing for some renewed blooming attitude.