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Gifted Gardener J U N E



Spring lawn 2 care tips

Health Bites


Growing 6 Hydrangeas in Kentucky The Bearded Iris

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Controlling 8 Mosquitoes at home Nutsedge, ugh!!!


That’s An Idea


Calendar of 11 Events

This is always an exciting time for our Master Gardeners because of the event that they organize and host each spring. The Blooming Bardstown Garden Tour and Market Place is in its 13th year and continues to draw folks from all over. You will have the opportunity to visit some beautiful gardens and garner some wonderful ideas to take back home. The morning begins at the Nelson County Extension Office where you can enjoy the Master Gardener Plant Sale and nearly 20 other plant and garden item vendors. We will also have a silent auction taking place with nearly 100 items for you to bid on, many of which are handmade by our dedicated Master Gardeners. Your tickets and tour map will be available at

the extension office the morning of the event and the gardens open at 9:00 am. Tickets for the tour are $10 the day of and $8 in advance. The event is our fundraiser for the season and helps with our philanthropy work around town. We offer two $1000 scholarships to high school seniors each year and buy gardening related books for the library. This is an example of several works our group does for the community. We would love for you to come out and join us on June 11th for a wonderful day of gardening fun. Visit our Facebook page for all the details for the tour and to see pictures and information on the many silent auction items at: Blooming Bardstown Garden Tour

Blooming Bardstown Garden Tour and Marketplace June 11th 1


by Andy Rideout Springtime always brings with it a renewed interest in maintaining a healthy lawn. Spring is the time to prepare your lawn for the rest of the year. There are many good management practices that will help you

your mower on a concrete or other hard surface and measure from the blade to the surface to get the proper height. There is no need to be exact but within ¼” inch is great. Following recommendations for

"Clippings also add free fertilizer to the lawn, possibly as much as 25 percent of the lawn’s annual nutrient needs. " keep a healthy lawn throughout the season. Mowing at the proper height is a great start. The recommended mowing height for tall fescue is 2 to 3 inches, and for Kentucky bluegrass the height is 2 to 2.5 inches. Mowing at the best height for the grass encourages a deeper root system, discourages weeds, and helps reduce watering. Setting up your mower is a relatively easy task. Park


mowing height and frequency will make your lawn care duties easier and result in a more attractive yard. A good sharp blade throughout the mowing season is also very important. Surgeons use very sharp instruments so the cut will heal quickly. When your mower blade cuts the tip of the grass blade, the wounds are susceptible to infections

and insects. The sharper the blade, the quicker you grass will recover and minimize potential disease infections. A good fertility program for your lawn should be based upon a soil sample. Most of the time, you should not apply nitrogen in the spring. Nitrogen promotes top growth and will only increase your time on the mower. For most lawns, nitrogen should be applied in the fall to help develop the roots, increase density, and prepare the plant for the spring green up. While mowing the lawn, what should be done with the grass clippings? The answer is, leave the clippings on the lawn. Leaving grass clippings on the lawn saves time, money, and energy, since you don’t have to stop and empty the bagger or buy trash bags. Clippings also add free fertilizer to the lawn, possibly as much as 25 percent of the lawn’s annual nutrient needs. Remember, grass clippings are not accepted in the garbage. Grass clippings do not increase thatch. Clippings contain 75 to 85 percent water and decompose quickly. Thatch is a tight, intermingled organic layer of dead and living shoots, stems, and roots that develops between the green leaves and soil surface. A little thatch is good, since it helps moderate temperature extremes at the soil surface and provides a cushion effect on the surface. Weeds can be a big problem in home lawns. Good weed management starts with a healthy lawn so make sure you are mowing at the proper height and

fertilizing correctly before attacking your weeds. There are two types of weed control-pre-emergent control and postemergent control. Pre-emergent is the best way to control the most common home lawn weeds, such as crabgrass, dandelion, and many others. Most pre-emerge products come in combination with a fertilizer so make sure the nitrogen content is very low. Timing your pre-emerge application is important. You must make sure that you get it applied before the weeds you are trying to control start growing. As soil temperature increases this spring, your weeds will start to germinate. Instead of monitoring your soil temperature, there are “indicator” plants that will let you know when you need to apply your weed control. A good indicator plant for preemerge application is the forsythia. When

you see the bright yellow flowers starting to bloom, it is time to apply your preemerge. Make sure to follow all label directions when applying control products. Different grass varieties and soil types require unique management practices. The extension office has detailed information on home lawn maintenance and can take your soil samples to help you customize your lawn maintenance.


HEALTH “Adequate water in your diet can curb hunger, help with digestion and add no calories to your day”


The pictographs on these two pages come from a twitter account I follow called Daily Health Tips : Ask a Doctor. I find these pictures easy to understand and help me make better decisions in my food choices. Every food choice has a healthier alternative.





Primarily known as a source of summer color flowering June through August — long after most shrubs have finished. Hydrangeas’ interesting bark and flower heads can also provide winter texture when left untrimmed until spring. Four species are commonly used in Kentucky landscape plantings. Big Leaf Hydrangea is the most widely used

flowers. Most cultivars of this species bloom on the previous season’s wood. If temperatures drop too low, the flowers for the next season will be lost. New selections like “Endless Summer” bloom on current season’s growth, providing blooms even if flower buds are killed by late spring frosts. Smooth Hydrangea is popular for its large, white blooms from June to September every year on new growth.

“A soil pH range between 5.0 to 5.5 will generally produce the blue flowers, and a pH of 6 and above inspires pink flowers.”

hydrangea species. Its large flowers range from white to pink to blue. While white cultivars remain white, pink or blue cultivar color is determined by soil pH and availability of aluminum. A soil pH range between 5.0 to 5.5 will generally produce the blue flowers, and a pH of 6 and above inspires pink 6

Removing the flowers as they turn brown will encourage a second flush of flowers in August. Part shade is best in locations where the weather is generally hot and dry. This hydrangea grows three to five feet tall, making it a possible choice in smaller landscape spaces. There are several good cultivar selections, but the most popular is “Annabelle.”


The bearded irises are a common old-fashioned flower found in many gardens and landscapes throughout Kentucky. They are very easy to grow perennials that do best in full sun and well drained soils.

Sanitation is also key to keeping this disease under control. Foliage should be cleaned up in the fall to prevent laying of eggs by the adult iris borer moth for the next year. It is also important to note that the iris prefers to be grown in a bed without mulch covering it, so it would be very beneficial to use a preemergent weed control regularly.

There are several classifications of the bearded iris from miniature dwarf, standard dwarf, intermediate and tall. The tall varieties are the largest group having thousands belonging to it.

To help keep the iris rhizomes healthy it is important to remove declining blooms to keep seed from forming. If seed is allowed to form then the rhizome will have less production of stored food that can decrease the bloom production the following year.

While they are easy to grow, they still can have a few problems if not cared for properly. The iris borer larvae can invade the rhizome by tunneling through it allowing for bacteria to enter. This bacteria usually will result in bacterial soft rot, a very pungent smelling disease.

Irises should be fertilized yearly in the spring when the foliage starts to grow. A general rule of thumb is to fertilize with a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 at a rate of 1-2 pounds per 100 sq.ft. This spring fertilization is the only one needed to help have a healthy rhizome.

To prevent bacterial soft rot, it is important to use an insecticidal spray of Sevin or Malathion in the spring when the plants are about 3� tall and repeat spray weekly for 2 weeks.

Spring blooming irises can be divided in August/September if they are getting to thick in the area you have them. If you are an iris enthusiast check your area to see if there is a local iris society or a Master Gardener group that may have a member that is into raising irises to get some varieties you may not have – if they are willing to share their rhizomes. Also, many Master Gardener groups and local garden clubs sponsor spring and fall plant exchanges so you may want to check those out to see if there are any irises at these events to add to your garden collection.




“All mosquitoes

Controlling mosquitoes is challenging to say the least. You may even think you are fighting a neverending battle. With mosquito-borne diseases, like the Zika virus, becoming more prevalent, it’s even more important to know how to take control of these pests around your home environment. Learning to do a few simple things could help protect you

need standing


Recycle any unused containers that could collect water, especially old tires. Change water weekly in bird baths, wading pools, watering troughs and animal bowls. Fill in holes, depressions and puddles in your yard.

Check and clean out clogged gutters to ensure drainage.

through their larval stages


Drain and remove trash, bottles and any debris that holds water.

Make sure your culverts and ditches are draining properly.

water to

and that


from more than the itchiness of a mosquito bite.

All mosquitoes need standing water to develop necessarily through their larval stages mean a lake or and that doesn’t necessarily mean a lake or pond.” pond. It also includes bird baths, kiddie pools and even discarded soda pop cans. The key to controlling them around your home is to stop them from breeding in the first place. Some things you can do 8

Keep ornamental ponds stocked with fish. Fix leaky hoses and faucets. Drain water from flowerpots and garden containers. Turn over wheelbarrows, buckets and other items that collect water. Adjust tarps covering woodpiles, boats and grills to remove standing water.

Encourage natural enemies of mosquitoes, such as warblers, swallows, martins and other insect feeding birds. It’s a good idea to start these practices early in the season. Just because the mosquitoes aren’t biting yet, doesn’t mean that they’re not developing.

For more information about mosquito control, visit tdept/faculty/Brown/index_files/Page60 1.htm.

can be pruned when they turn brown or during the winter. One popular selection of this species is “Limelight” with large, light green flowers that mature to white.


Oak Leaf Hydrangea, native to the southeastern United States, is known for its large, oak leaf-shaped foliage, and is a popular landscape choice for areas with part shade. The white to purplish-pink flowers are four to twelve inches long with three- to four-inch wide panicles. The flowers are abundant and fragrant. In the fall, the foliage turns to shades of red, orange-brown, and purple, adding additional color to the landscape.

Panicle Hydrangea is one of the larger shrubs growing six to ten feet tall and six to ten feet wide depending on the cultivar. This plant will grow best in full sun. Enjoy the white to purplish-pink flowers from June to September. Blooms 9



This weed gets its name for the nut like structure that forms on the root system of the plant.


We are all dealing with this yellow grass-like weed that tends to show up in the lawn, flowerbeds and gardens all spring long. You are diligent at pulling it out but to no avail; it seems to return instantly. This weed gets its name for the nut-like structure that forms on the root system of the plant and is left behind to start a new plant each time you pull one up. This plant used to be associated with mainly wet locations but seems to have adapted to all situations now. Perhaps the only control at this point is the use of chemicals or smothering out with thick pasteboard. See below of the best chemical options for eradication. Remember to always read and follow label directions for proper application and timing.

Herbicide com- Trade names mon name

Yellow bentazon nutsedge halosulfuron imazaquin sulfentrazone

Basagran T/O Hi-Yield Basagran

Application timing

Apply when nutsedge is actively growing with adequate soil Hi-Yield Nutsedge Control Sedge- mois- ture. Yellow hammer nutsedge will be visible beginning in the Image spring/early summer. Bonide Sedge Ender Bonide Weed Beater Complete Dismiss Ortho Nutsedge Killer for Lawns 10


Calendar of Events

Early blight of tomato will be very bad this year so every precaution to prevent the issue should be taken. Mulching around the base and watering underneath the plant will go a long way for control. Post emergence applications for crabgrass should be made now to ensure a cleaner lawn all season. Active ingredient Quinclorac is the go to chemical in this application.

Spring blooming shrubs like lilac and forsythia can be pruned now to reduce the overall size. Remove the oldest and larges shoots at the ground level.

If your yard is looking lackluster come June an application of Nitrogen could be warranted.

Pet Peeves:

Blowing your grass clippings on the road is an absolute terrible practice. Not only are you wasting nutrients for your yard but you’re creating a nightmare for waste water management. Those clippings not only clog up drains, but also create an issue for cleaning the water. Furthermore, you are creating a liability issue for yourself by creating a traction loss issue for passing motorcycles and expelling projectiles into traffic.

Ongoing— Neighborly Nutrition: Remember when you have extra produce the Bread for Life (St. Vincent DePaul) Food Pantry. Will accept fresh produce most days of the week.

June 11th— Blooming Bardstown Garden Tour and Marketplace. 8:00 am until 4:00 pm. Tickets go on sale now

Season Long — Bardstown Farmers Market. The farmers will be providing you fresh produce season long on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 7:30 am until 12:30 pm

Robbie Smith County Extension Agent for Horticulture Phone: 502-348-9204 Fax: 502-348-9270 email: Website: @hortagentrob




University of Kentucky Nelson County 317 South Third Street Bardstown, KY 40004

Cooperative Extension Service


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