• Buggy business

    Things got a little buggy Wednesday at the Nelson County Cooperative Extension Office as the 4-H Nature Club learned about dissection and collection.

    “With 4-H, you have projects you can get done and one of them you can enter into the fair is a bug collection,” said extension agent Danielle Hutchins, who led the program.

    The group started off talking about the different sections of an insect, and then learned the proper way to preserve and pin insects for a bug collection.

  • Mulch matters

    Mulch has become a landscape staple, almost to a fault when it is over applied, smothering roots and girdling trunks. When done properly it can help to suppress weeds, retain moisture and moderate temperature. These things can be achieved using a variety of materials but which type of mulch suits your needs best?

  • Familiarize yourself with rust that travels between host plants

    Last year, our serviceberry was afflicted with a whimsical-looking disease. The beautiful blue berries that appear in the summer looked like something from a Dr. Seuss book.

    In a good year, the cedar waxwings usually flock in and eat the berries as they ripen. Not so last year. The strange, white tubular protrusions that the berries were covered in not only looked funny, but they kept the birds away, too.

  • Kentucky Division of Conservation offers equipment loans

    The Kentucky Division of Conservation administers the Equipment Revolving Loan Program, which has been in effect since 1948. During this time, $62 million has been loaned to 2,320 individuals and conservation districts for the purpose of purchasing specialized equipment. Equipment eligible for loans through the program include dozers, backhoes, no-till drills, precision applicators for agriculture chemicals and other equipment suited for conservation work.

  • All you need to know about native and hybrid magnolias, big and small

    The magnolia family is diverse and April is the month that some of them begin to show their blooms in a most dramatic way.

    Among the native evergreen species are the southern magnolia (M. grandiflora) and the sweet bay magnolia (M. virginiana). The sweet bay magnolia has undoubtedly been over-used. I have seen them planted smack-dab against people’s homes on countless occasions. The southern magnolia, on the other hand, has a reputation for being marginally hardy here, so it may suffer from under planting. Selecting the right variety can solve the problem.

  • 2015 Master Conservationist announced

    The Nelson County Conservation District named Charles Hayden as their 2015 Master Conservationist. This award honors those farm owners who have applied and maintained 90 percent of all government and voluntary conservation practices on their farm.

    Charles and his wife, Stephanie own and operate 43 acres in the Bloomfield area. They, along with their three children, Ben, Caroline and Thomas, currently run a 14 cow/calf pair operation. They also cut hay on 30 adjoining acres.

  • A growing greenhouse

    On a small hill in Cox’s Creek sits a small greenhouse on a farm. Inside the greenhouse are several Styrofoam trays filled with soil, containers full of water and empty hanging plant baskets.

    This is Foxtail Farm-Greenhouse.

    Mark Cecil and his wife, Joanele Cecil, started the greenhouse in 2008. The two run it with their three children: Katie, 10, Clay, 14 and Sam, 16.

    “We’re kind of trying to keep the mom-and-pop feel,” Mark Cecil said.

  • Know your nomenclature

    With spring just around the corner, I thought it was time to brush up on some garden nomenclature. I have long been convinced in the value of understanding more about plants than the mere fact that they need sun, soil and water.

    The more we learn about what it is that plants need and how to determine if they are getting it, the more we will enjoy the act of gardening.

  • ‘Vanishing Act’

    Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest has a major focus on community education, and a new exhibit is expected to reflect that. 

    The Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat is a traveling exhibit that comes from The Morton Arboretum in Illinois.

  • Mid-March is the perfect potato planting time

    Spring break from teaching at U of L falls 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 is my primary concern. I will not start digging until the soil dries out and is considered workable.