• Poison Ivy seems especially devious this year

    I’ve noticed more poison ivy this year than I recall in previous years.

    Maybe I am more observant, or maybe the farm is just weedier! Either way, it makes people nervous.

    I am not particularly allergic to this devious vine, but Andy, my husband, will blister like being burned by fire whenever he comes into contact with it.

  • Shade plants from the blazing sun

    It’s been a hot and humid the last few weeks!

    I was hopeful that this summer was going to be idyllic. At least we got rain just in the nick of time. These 90-degree days, however, are putting us on track for some serious heat this summer. Some vegetables will surely respond to temperatures in the 90s. Some will be good and some will be sad. I know we can’t change the ambient air temperature on a 90-degree day, but we can provide some shade for our plants on the hottest days of the summer with reasonable results.

  • Add bold, tropical blooms to your landscape

    There is nothing like a tropical plant for bold, bright blooms in your summer outdoor living space. It is the perfect environment because most tropicals like the bright light and heat and humidity that summer brings. We baby them through the winter months, waiting for the threat of frost to pass, so we can bring them outdoors for a breath of fresh, warm air.

  • Hemp-growing project planted

    Under the threat of rain, students and colleagues of St. Catharine College were preparing plots on a farm Monday for a plant that hasn’t legally grown in Washington County since the World War II era.

    Hemp, a variant of the cannabis plant, can be used to make products including food, oil, wax, rope, paper, clothing and fuel. Hemp is often mistaken for marijuana — and is technically the same plant — but does not contain the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that provides the high of marijuana.

  • Digging and dividing daffodils

    If your daffodils didn’t bloom well this year, ask yourself these two questions: Did you allow the foliage to die back naturally last summer before you cut it off? Has it been eons since they were last divided?

  • Voting ends tonight for Tough Crew finalists

    Charles Miles, a whiskey warehouse carpenter, and his team have been named finalists in the national Cintas and Carhartt Tough Crew Contest.

    Voting for the contest is open to the public until 11:59 p.m. on Friday. The winner of the contest will receive $2,500 in credit to outfit his or her crew. To vote for Charles and his crew, visit www.cintas.com/toughcrew

  • Crepe myrtles and winter damage

    In 2010, I wrote “we should use more crepe myrtles in Kentuckiana, they are not just for warm, temperate climes; in fact, there are a great many that go unbothered by an average winter in our parts.”

    Well, famous last words, right? I guess the operative words are “average winter.”

    Crepe myrtles are one of the last of the summer blooming shrubs to break dormancy in the spring. In fact, many fear that their crepe myrtles are dead because they are so slow to leaf out. This year it just might be the case, however.

  • Have it made in the shade

     It is strange, but true. People often refer to shade as a problem.

    How many times have you heard of people desperately searching for that one magic thing they can do to get grass to grow underneath a pin oak? Why can’t we just accept the fact that it just isn’t possible and move on to better things?

  • Conservation District cost share program announced

    The Nelson County Conservation District is accepting requests for cost share funding under the Kentucky Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share Program.

    Among the 18 practices eligible under the State Cost Share Program are agricultural waste utilization, agricultural waste control facilities, stream crossings, heavy use area protection, winter feeding areas, pasture and hayland erosion control and rotational grazing system establishment.

    Initial funding for the program will be provided by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

  • Sweet potatoes need 150 frost-free days

    Once again we enjoyed sweet potatoes all winter long from a fantastic harvest last fall. I planted out about 25 organic slips purchased from Country Corner Greenhouse in Shepherdsville in late May and by early November we had four nursery crates full of one of nature’s perfect foods! Seven months and counting in storage with no spoilage is impressive. We are down to about a dozen sweet potatoes; just in time for a transition to other summer vegetable.