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Today's News

  • WICHE: Homemade shade devices offset summer heat

    We protect some of our plants from cold, so why not protect them a bit from heat?

    Sure, we can’t change the ambient air temperature on a 90-degree day, but we can keep our vegetables shaded on the hottest days of the summer with reasonable results.

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

  • 12-year-olds take district title

    Shelby County’s 12-year-old Cal Ripken League All-Star Tam capped off an improbable 3-0 run to the District Championship in Frankfort Saturday.

    “We shocked the world,” Coach Mike Dugle said. “The team really put it all together and played two of the best games they’ve played in the last four years. I’ve been around this group for four years, and they just came together and peaked at the right time.”

    Shelby County opened the tournament Wednesday with an 11-5 whipping of Henry County.

  • WICHE: Take soft wood cuttings to propagate plants

    The most common form of plant propagation is digging and dividing, which is best done in early spring before new growth or in the fall before plants go dormant.

    Digging and dividing is great for herbaceous plants, but those plants that are considered woody ornamentals do not divide as easily with a spade.

    In this case we can look to the technique of rooting out softwood cuttings from the mother plant. 

  • WICHE: Dogwoods best planted in spring

    The search for replacement trees is on. After drought, wind and ice, we are all looking for something different and reliable to fill the void left behind by extreme weather.

    We plant trees all year round with no ill effects, but some trees do prefer being planted in spring.

    Usually soft-rooted species respond well to spring planting. It’s just easier to establish roots during the warm, rainy season, I suppose.

  • 10-year-olds impress in loss to Lake Cumberland

    When your first game of the State Tournament is against the team your coach considers to be the best team in it, it doesn’t take a victory to make the coach proud.

    Shelby County’s 10-year-old all-star baseball squad took on Lake Cumberland on Wednesday night to open their tournament in Scott County, and though his team lost, 6-1, Shelby Coach Troy Kuhl said the final score is by no means an indication of how the game went.

  • WICHE: Here’s your course in Tomato 101

    My annual “Tomato 101” is for beginners and advanced gardeners alike.

    There are many assumptions about the tomato that sometimes get passed on by the most well-meaning aficionado.  I take my tomatoes seriously and have devised a nearly perfect plan over the years!

  • WICHE: So what should you fertilize in the spring?

    I have long been taught that fall fertilization is preferred over spring fertilization for many plants, but there are some exceptions.

    We had a tough 2008 growing season with late-summer drought and a windstorm that only added insult to injury.  Add ice and a generally windy winter, and some plants are in need of a little energy boost.

    Summer drought and early fall leaf drop (or the severe desiccation that many deciduous plants experience from the windstorm) means that stored energy may be low.

  • WICHE: Potatoes, asparagus, onions first in the vegetable garden

    It is time to start preparing for the vegetable growing season in earnest. Asparagus, potatoes, onions and leeks can be set out now.

  • WICHE: Do you have problems with bramble?

    So much for the raspberries this year. Not the best crop we’ve seen. In fact each year it seems to get a little messier then the last.

    We typically cut the “Royalty” raspberries all the way to the ground each year and forgo an early crop to manage disease, but it doesn’t seem to be working that well this time around.

    It has not been a total loss, but about half the canes are dried up and diseased.   

  • WICHE: Powdery mildew common in summer

    Powdery mildew is probably the most common garden fungus around.  It is not too terribly picky about where it spreads. It likes humid and dry 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 and placement and adopting good cultural practices.  Most powdery mildew problems won’t do too much harm, but some plants suffer decline if it is a repeat problem.