Boyle County Horticulture 

Alexis Amorese

 

The role of Horticulture is to reach out to farmers and individuals across the county to bring research data, practical information, and practices to those in the world of plants. The hope is that this program area will be able to enrich the practices, lives, and businesses of those within the horticulture and agriculture fields. 

Boyle Co. Cooperative Extension Service
99 Corporate Drive
Danville, KY 40422
(859) 236-4484

F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K

BCES Website

Email Alexis

August 31, 2017

A Message From Alexis
I honestly don't understand how August can be over already? I mean wasn't yesterday June? How can September already be here? I guess the old saying "don't blink or you'll miss it" is true. I hope your summer has been a productive one, I know mine has been nonstop since April (hence the time confusion). So, I would be lying if I didn't admit to being a little bit excited for the slowdown that the fall season brings. Granted, that lull probably won't be here until November, but hey at this rate November is practically next week!

Quick Tips

  • Firefly, or Lightning Bugs as I call them, can be beneficial predators in your garden. At night, glowworms (firefly larva) come out of their underground homes to feed on slugs, snails, and caterpillars.
  • With all the recent rain, make sure you are checking around your home for any buckets, birdbaths, or puddles, to make sure they are not holding any water that could breed mosquitos. 
  • Don't bag those leaves this fall! Compost them! 

Upcoming Events: Classes are subject to cancel! Please call ahead even for free classes! 

  • RESCHEDULED Edible Flowers: 9/6/17 2pm BCEO
  • Garden to Table Herbs: 9/14/17 6pm BCEO $5
  • Farm City Festival: 9/30/17 10am-1pm The Showroom Danville KY
  • Garden to Table Figs: 10/12/17 6pm BCEO $5
  • NEW! Gothic Gardening: 10/31/17 3pm BCEO

If you've ever been interested in Black Flowers come check out this class for a list of variety names and take home some of your very own black flower plants! Space is limited!!!

Timely Information 

KSU's annual Small, Limited-Resource/Minority Farmers Conference will be on November 14-16,2017 in Frankfort, KY. Kentucky State University has been hosting this conference over the past 18 years. 

This year's theme is "Maintaining Visibility as a Farmer." In this ever changing environment where the population is increasing and food production has become challenging, it would be an advantage to educate ourselves about the new and current trends in agriculture and related issues. 

For registration and program preview, visit:  http://www.uky.edu/hort/sites/www.uky.edu.hort/files/documents/KSU_conference_2016.pdf

Native of the Week

Big Blue Stem Andropogon gerardii 

  • Description: A prairie bunch grass that has been dubbed the king of grasses. Growing 4-8ft high and 4-5ft. wide, this plant is food for the larvel stage of Leonard's Skipper. 
  • Cultivation: Plant in full sun. Once established, has excellent drought tolerance and is easy to maintain. Cut stems to the ground in late winter before new shoots appear.

     

Seasonal Recipe 
http://www2.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/plateitup/Cushaw/Cushaw-Pie-card-2up.pdf


August 24, 2017

A Message From Alexis

SAVE THE DATE
September 30, 2017
10am-1pm
The Showroom Danville, KY

Sponsored by: :Boyle County Farm Bureau

Quick Tips

  • To control powdery mildew on begonia, phlox, rose, or zinnia try not to wet the foliage. Use a fungicide spray such as Cleary's or immunox. 
  • Don’t fertilize turf until October, November, or December. Fertilizing now will only stress the turf even more. 
  • Make a mental note of the apple and pear trees that have had or have fire blight. Next spring those are the trees that will have the most cankers. By pruning those out you will greatly reduce the amount of inoculum available for the disease to spread. 

Upcoming Events: Classes are subject to cancel! Please call ahead even for free classes! 

  • Composting 101: 8/31/17 6pm BC Library
  • RESCHEDULED Edible Flowers: 9/6/17 2pm BCEO
  • Garden to Table Herbs: 9/14/17 6pm BCEO$5
  • Garden to Table Figs: 10/12/17 6pm BCEO $5
  • NEW! Gothic Gardening: 10/31/17 3pm BCEO

If you've ever been interested in Black Flowers come check out this class for variety names and take home some of your very own black flower plants! Space is limited!!!

Timely Information 

  • Ever been curious about mum production in KY?

Many Kentucky vegetable and greenhouse producers are beginning to include fall chrysanthemum production in their operations.  Mums are usually planted in June and sold in September when fall color is in demand.  In Kentucky, mum production can vary in size, and small growers can produce as few as 200 plants per season.  Size of production, in turn, can influence cultural practices and initial investment in important practices like surface drainage, pre-plant fungicide dips, and pre-emergent herbicides. https://kentuckypestnews.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/soil-borne-pathogens-serve-as-the-biggest-threat-to-mum-production-in-kentucky/

Native of the Week

Trumpet Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens 

  • Description: This easy to grow vine can get 10-15ft tall and blooms May to June, with late season bloom frequently observed. May be semi-evergreen in warmer winters. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • Cultivation: Plant in full sun. Prune as needed after flowering. Needs support. 

Seasonal Recipe 
http://www2.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/plateitup/Zippy-Corn-Chowder/Plate-it-up-recipe-card-Zippy-Corn-Chowder.pdf


August 3, 2017

A Message From Alexis
Welcome to August! My favorite month of the year (its my birthday month). I've been busy planning fall classes and working on the finishing the fall newsletter, which should be in your mailboxes by early next week. If you would like to be added to that newsletter list, click the "Email Alexis" button above and send me your name and address OR scroll to the bottom of this page, and hit the green button! I am also looking for some new members to be on my horticulture council. If this is something you might be interested in learning more about, please let me know! I am always on the hunt for people passionate about Boyle County's horticulture needs! 

 

Quick Tips

  • Seed Saving: if you're like me, you are already thinking about plans for next year. Here are some tips on saving some seeds from your garden for next year.
    • Beans: Let pods age on the vine until brown. Pole beans are more likely to yield a cross.
    • Peppers: collect seeds when plant begins to shrivel. 
    • Pumpkins: remove seeds 3 weeks after harvesting. Rinse off membranes and dry well. 
    • Tomatoes: harvest seeds by scooping out the "guts" and put into a jar with 1/2 a cup of water. Cover with a paper towel to allow ventilation and let sit for 2 day. Viable seeds will sink to the bottom. Allow to dry out and store.
  • Remember you should be saving only the best fruits and vegetables for seed. 

  Upcoming Events: please call our office to sign up!

  • Edible Flowers 8/9/17 5pm: BCEO
  • Garden to Table Tomatoes 8/19/17 10am: this class includes a hands on salsa canning workshop. Cost is $5.
  • Composting 101 8/31/17 6pm: Boyle Co. Library

 Timely Information

  • Mexican Bean Beetle: There have been several reports of Mexican bean beetle attacking green beans. This insect is a bit unusual in that it is in the lady beetle family, which we usually associate with insects that feed on other insects. However, this one feeds on bean leaves, so it is important to recognize this as a pest and not as a beneficial insect. Mexican bean beetle (MBB) will feed on both garden beans and soybeans. https://kentuckypestnews.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/mexican-bean-beetle-not-just-a-lady-beetle/

                         

Seasonal Recipe 

July 27, 2017

A Message From Alexis

While you were battling the heat, myself and the Mercer Co. Horticulture agent, were enjoying the cool weather of the North West! Last week was the International Master Gardener Conference in Portland Oregon, and we were lucky to be able to experience some of its vast horticulture industry. We visited nurseries and learned some new cultivars that can handle our disease pressure (see below), as well as visited some urban farms, an organic vegetable operations, the international rose test garden, and the Portland Japanese garden! Overall, I think we soaked up plenty of valuable knowledge. I've included some pictures for your perusal. Enjoy!

Quick Tips

July 20, 2017

 

  • Needle Cast disease on Blue Spruce 
  • If you are one of the unfortunate souls who has a blue spruce in their landscape, if it isn't dead yet, chances are it will be within the next year. Needle cast disease, caused by the fungus Rhizosphaera sp., results in purple to brown discoloration of scattered needles and eventual needle cast (needle drop). But there is good news! A nursery in Portland, who supplies several KY garden centers, recommends another spruce with great blue color as a replacement, Picea omorika 'Bruns'. This is a type of Siberian Spruce, that has been showing resistance to needle cast, while still giving that blue color we love in our landscapes.

Upcoming Events

  • Edible Flowers 8/10 5pm @BCEO: learn about some edible flowers you can grow, and what you do with them! 
  • Garden to Table Tomato Workshop 8/19 10am @BCEO: Want to learn how to grow better tomatoes? Ever wanted to make and can your own salsa? Than this is the workshop for you! You must call and reserve your spot! Cost is $5.

 

Timely Information 

  • Japanese Beetles Aren't Finished
  • Japanese beetle activity in some parts of Kentucky this year have resembled scenes from the 1980s when this insect rolled across the state (Figure 1). Although the peak of adult feeding has passed for 2017, the last of the adults will be around for another 2 weeks. As adult feeding subsides, the white grub stage will take over. They will feed on grass roots for the next 4 to 6 weeks. Combined efforts of the Japanese beetle and masked chafers may result in above normal turf injury between now and early September.

White grubs (the larval stages of Japanese beetles, masked chafers, May beetles, etc.) feed on the roots of grasses from mid-July through early September (Figure 2). Without a root system, plants cannot take up water and nutrients, so infested areas yellow and may die. Turfgrass in grub-infested areas can be rolled up like a loose carpet. Often the grubs can be seen in the root zone.

 Seasonal Recipe 
http://www2.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/plateitup/Summer-Corn-and-Couscous-Salad/Plate-it-up-recipe-card-Summer-Corn-and-Couscous-Salad.pdf 


July 13, 2017

A Message From Alexis

Remember I am out of the office this week for a conference, but will be back bright and early on Monday the 17th! 

 

Quick Tips

6 Tips For Adapting Faster Than Pests and Pathogens

    1. monitor your fields for pest infestations.
    2. diversity; spread the risk
    3. make sure all interventions make economic and environmental sense.
    4. reach out to specialists (extension agents) to learn how to monitor, assess and identify pests and pathogens early. 
    5. improve soil health.
    6. rotate to non susceptible crops.

    Upcoming Events

    • Farm City Breakfast: 7/18 7:30 am
    • Edible Flowers Class: 8/10 5pm FREE
      • Please call to register! Class is subject to cancel without enough people.
    • KY State Fair 8/21-8/27 

    Timely Information 

    Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) has caused more problems than usual this year, particularly in high tunnel tomato. This disease can affect tomato, pepper, potato, eggplant, lettuce, beans, and cucumber along with more than 170 other plant species. TSWV may occur in the field, greenhouse, or high tunnel.  Prevention, early identification, and management will help reduce plant and yield losses. For more information visit https://kentuckypestnews.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/vegetable-diseases-to-scout-for-tomato-spotted-wilt-virus/ 
             

    Seasonal Recipe 

    Tip: exchange the fat free sour cream for plain greek yogurt for extra protein! 


     July 7, 2017

    A Message From Alexis
    Hello friends! I hope everyone enjoyed last weeks little cool down. I know Michigan was quite chilly, but I was able to visit a butterfly house on Mackinac Island and it warmed me right up! Next week, I will again be out of the office, this time for a conference. I hope to bring back lots of good ideas and plans for the upcoming fiscal year. Happy July!
                                                    

    Quick Tips

    • If your late blooming perennials (Asters, Goldenrod, Butterfly bush, Mums, etc.) are alreadytallandthreateningto flop, prune them back to 1’ in height. This will result in a fuller, sturdier, plant that will bloom slightly later than normal. 
    • Garden ponds will need to be topped off regularly in the heat. Make sure to use a de-chlorinator every time to protect your fish. 
    • Water lilies will benefit from regular feeding. If you aren’t
      getting many blooms feeding may help. 

     

    Upcoming Events

    • Alexis out of the office July 10-14th, but will be available via email.
    • Farm City Breakfast July 18th 7:30am FREE but please let us know you are coming! 

     

    Timely Information 

    • I recently came across an article in the American Nurseryman about the tick-born Powassan virus. The Powassan Virus (POW) has been around for many years but there are reports of its mutation with devastating effects on human health. It is spread via the backlogged tick which can be found in KY. For more information please visit https://www.cdc.gov/powassan/ and make sure to use repellents and dress appropriately to be out in tick country!
    • How to remove a tick:

                                

     

     

    Seasonal Recipe 


    June 5, 2017

    A Message From Alexis

    Phew, after 3 long, and fun days of Plant Camp I am finally getting around to the blog! We had 16 kids this year at Plant Camp, and boy did we stay busy! We learned botany, all about soil structure and herbs such as lemon balm, and made leaf collections the kids can take to State Fair. We spent the day at the Central KY Wildlife Refuge learning about beneficial insects with Dr. Bessin, and visited Daynabrook Greenhouses in Mercer Co. where the kids were able to take home a strawberry and tomato plant! The kids also made their own snacks and lunch with Boyle and Mercer county's SNAP-Ed assistants, where they learned cooking skills and about healthy food options. Jessica and I are very grateful to 3 of our newest Master Gardeners, Janis, Mimi, and Tina, for all their help working with the kids! 

    Quick Tips

    June 5, 2017

     

    • Cooler than average temperatures are expected for the first half of June, while the long range outlooks call for higher than normal temperatures through August across the Commonwealth.
    • Thin fruits on fruit trees when they reach the size of a dime. Leave one fruit for every 6-8” of branch. 
    • Remove flower buds from culinary herbs to keep them growing and productive. 

     

    Timely Information 

    Spider mites are a common and difficult to control pest in nursery crops. Attacking both deciduous and evergreen plants, spider mites can cause stippled and distorted leaves. During the summer months, growers should be aware of a variety of spider mite species. https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef438 

     

    Tools I 'Dig'
    Nothing can replace a nice, sharp pair of hand pruners, I know I would be lost without mine. 

    When buying good quality pruners, look for those that can be taken apart for sharpening without special tools, and that you can purchase new blades for them instead of a buying whole new tool. Using a blunt blade can not only leave a plant with a ragged wound that is an open door to infection, possibly leading to plant dieback and but leave you feeling fatigued as well from the extra effort.

    My most frequently used pruning tool is the hand shear or “pruning shear”. The hand shear is used to cut stems up to about ½ inch across, about the diameter of a larger sized pencil. They’re also the tool to use for deadheading and cutting back the soft shoots on perennials, as well as snipping blooms for cut flower arrangements. The two most common types are the bypass pruner and the anvil pruner. The blade end of the by bypass pruner is constructed like a pair of scissors with two blades that slide past each other in a nice, tight fit without gaping between the blades. The blade end of the Anvil type is shaped so that one blade cuts down onto a flattened base. Because this action tends to crush the end of the stem that is cut, I reserve the anvil pruner for cleaning up already dead stems, not cutting into live plant tissue.

     

    Seasonal Recipe 
    http://www2.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/plateitup/Broccoli-Chowder/Broccoli-Chowder-card.pdf