Gifted Gardener O C T O B E R / N O V E M B E R
WINTER IS A GOOD TIME TO GET INVOLVED
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Health Tips 2 Needle Cast Disease Hitting Blue Spruce Hard
Fall is by 6 far the best time of year to fertilize your lawn Chemical 8 Clocks Unmasks Trees’ Vibrant Fall Colors Sunn Hemp 10 As A Summer Cover Crop That’s An Idea
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Calendar of 11 Events
Forestry Team Studies Horticulture Team Studies Ham Club 4-H Camp Animal Clubs Family And Consumer Sciences Homemaker Clubs All star Dads Agriculture Beef Cattle Association Pork Producers Agriculture Development Board Pesticide Application Certification Master Cattlemen Master Grazer Horticulture Master Gardeners We, in Extension tend to be a bit Farmers Market compartmentalized when it Beekeepers Association comes to our program offerings. Blooming Bardstown Garden Tour So with this opportunity I would As you can see there are lots of like to also offer other opportunities to become involved. opportunities that come from our office. The following is a list The list above is not complete and we are always looking for the of programs that originate within our walls and many times ideas and interest that you have to build programs upon. If you from interest of our clientele. have questions about any of these 4-H Youth Development programs please call our office or Shooting Sports Education email me and I will gladly answer Cooking Schools any and all of your questions. Leadership Programs In Cooperative Extension we serve a lot of areas in the community and are very proud to do so. It is a really good part of the job to be involved with folks who are passionate about many of the wonderful aspects of our community. There are always new things to learn about and implement. As I write this I am also listening to our Specialist, Dr. Paul Vincelli, discuss the implications (good and bad) with the CRISPR technology. I appreciate this learning opportunity so that I may carry out a conversation with clientele if needed.
HEALTH "Every food choice has a healthier alternative"
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.
FALL IS THE BEST TIME FOR PLANTING
“With the exception of bare root trees, most plants do not need to be staked. Staking can damage trunks and can prevent the tree from reestablishing as rapidly.”
by Dr. Bill Fountain , Extension Specialist for Horticulture Arbor Day, the celebration of the value of trees in our lives is celebrated in spring. Many municipalities plant trees in public areas as part of their Arbor Day celebration. We also distribute seedlings in schools and to other citizens. With proper care, trees can be planted throughout the Commonwealth at almost any time of the year. However, in Kentucky the VERY BEST time to plant new trees and shrubs is the fall. Late October until about the first of the year is the best time to plant for several reasons. The droughtbreaking rains of fall have added moisture back to soils made hard and droughty by summer heat. The act of digging trees and shrubs for transplanting necessitates cutting roots. New roots must be regenerated if they are to become reestablished in the new location. With cooler temperatures and no foliage, the water demands for plants with limited or damaged root systems is significantly less. We think of woody plants as growing in spring and early summer and then going dormant in fall and winter. This is true, at least for the above-ground parts we see. Roots grow most vigorously when the soil is above 4
freezing and below 50 to 60°F. For us, this is most of the fall and winter. By planting in the fall we take advantage of roots being able to regenerate. This allows the plant to efficiently absorb sufficient water in the abundance of new roots when growth begins in spring. These newly transplanted plants can then maintain their water requirements throughout the hot, dry summer. Fall really is for planting but we need to make sure that the plant will thrive in its new home. Watching plants die that are not adapted to a site is frustrating and a waste of money. Take a look at Landscape Site Assessment (http://www2.ca.uky.edu/ agcomm/pubs/ID/ID244/ ID244.pdf) to help determine the cultural characteristics of your landscape. One of the most important and most neglected assessments is determining if the soil will drain properly. Doing a percolation test, perk test for short, is simple and easy and can even be a part of the planting process. Consult Soil Percolation: A Key to Survival of Landscape Plants (http:// www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/ pubs/ID/ID237/ID237.pdf) for more information. Plants that are not adapted to a site are
less winter hardy and more prone to disease and insect problems. Approximately 80-90% of the samples that come into the UK Plant Disease Diagnostic Labs can be traced back to improper site adaptability and / or improper installation. If you discover that your site is poorly drained, you can then go to the list of flood tolerant species. One of the secrets of a healthy landscape is species diversity. Neighborhoods planted mainly with ash trees or Bradford pears have experienced the disappointment of having to start over again. For help in selecting underutilized trees, look at After Your Ash Has Died, Making an Informed Decision on What to Replant (http://www2.ca.uky.edu/ agcomm/pubs/ID/ID241/ID241.pdf). Diversity adds interest throughout the four seasons. It also results in healthier, more attractive landscapes that require fewer pesticides. Installing a new tree or shrub in its new home can be exciting in a good way. It can also be exciting in a bad way. To keep “shocking” surprises from happening, always remember to call 811 a week before you dig. It’s the law! This free service will prevent you from accidently hitting buried utilities and perhaps being injured or being billed for the damage you caused. Guidelines for planting can be found in Planting Balled and Burlapped Trees and Shrubs in Your Landscape (http:// www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/ho/ ho91/ho91.pdf), Planting Container Grown Trees and Shrubs in Your Landscape (http://www2.ca.uky.edu/ agcomm/pubs/HO/HO114/HO114.pdf), and Planting Bareroot Trees and Shrubs in Your Landscape (http:// www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/HO/
HO113/HO113.pdf). Which is best? All can be great. It depends on the plant, the size, and the site. After your new trees and shrubs have been properly installed you should mulch it. Mulching is either one of the best things we do for a plant or one of the worst things we do to a plant. Mulch Myths (http://www2.ca.uky.edu/ agcomm/pubs/ho/ho106/ho106.pdf) will tell you how to mulch and what products to use. With the exception of bare root trees, most plants do not need to be staked. Staking can damage trunks and can prevent the tree from reestablishing as rapidly. Proper watering for the first year or two is much more important than adding fertilizer.
Pesticide Safety Remember that the label is the law. When applying pesticides always follow the directions precisely as they are written on the label. Never consider that when a little is good more is better. The chemical is designed to work and do its job when applied according to it’s directions. Usually that means that you apply to a glisten on the leaves and not to run off. When runoff occurs you are wasting chemical, wasting money and polluting the environment.
FALL IS BY FAR THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO FERTILIZE YOUR LAWN
“Without question, the best time to fertilize coolseason lawns (Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue) in Kentucky is during the autumn. These grasses all grow optimally during cooler weather and can best utilize nutrients at this time of year. ..”
BY GREGG MUNSHAW, EXTENSION SPECIALIST FOR TURF
When to Fertilize Without question, the best time to fertilize coolseason lawns (Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue) in Kentucky is during the autumn. These grasses all grow optimally during cooler weather and can best utilize nutrients at this time of year. The turf develops a better root system, becomes very dense, and has much better late fall and early spring color if nitrogen is applied in the fall. During mild winters, good color may be maintained all winter following a fall application of nitrogen. By eliminating or minimizing spring fertilization you: • Prevent the heavy flush of growth that occurs with spring fertilization. • Reduce frequency of mowing during spring. • Develop a better root system and promote better drought tolerance in summer. • Reduce disease. 6
• Develop a more heattolerant, weed-free turf. If the window to apply nitrogen in the fall is missed, an application during the following spring will improve greenup. Even if some fall nitrogen was applied, applying a half rate of nitrogen in late May or early June in years with heavy spring rainfall may help improve or maintain color. If color is not a major concern, it is best to not fertilize in the spring because crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass, bermudagrass, etc. respond to the nitrogen much more than do coolseason grasses. If you increase nitrogen fertilization of cool-season grasses in spring and summer, the need for irrigation, thatch control, and chemicals for weed control also increases. A lush summer lawn may not be worth these potential problems. Weed and feed products (fertilizers and herbicides in the same product) are usually not recommended as the optimum time to use a herbicide for controlling weeds, may not match up to the optimum time or
applying fertilizer. For instance, grassy weeds such as crabgrass and goosegrass are normally controlled with a preemergent application applied in April. If a weed and feed product is used to apply the herbicide, the fertilizer applied can lead to the problems mentioned above.
fertilizers. The main advantages to the specialty fertilizers are:
Late spring into summer is the best time to fertilize warm-season grasses such as bermudagrass and zoysiagrass, since they perform best during hot summer months.
• Low burn potential.
The number of times you should apply nitrogen depends upon the lawn quality you desire. Low and medium maintenance levels are best for general lawns that get little or no summer irrigation—this includes most Kentucky home lawns. High maintenance levels usually require some irrigation, high mowing frequency, and often more pest control. Timing of fertilizer applications for various maintenance levels are shown in Table 2.
Most farm fertilizers do not have these advantages, but farm fertilizers are usually three to five time less expensive.
Lawns can be fertilized with specialty turf fertilizers (normally available at local garden centers) or with many farm
• Normally good nutrient ratios for turf (turfgrasses often require a ratio of 4:1:2 N:P:K). • Uniform and small particle size.
• Calibration and application rate information for applying to small areas printed on the bag.
Farm fertilizers such as urea and 10-1010 must be used with caution. Because of their potential to burn foliage, you should not apply them during extremely hot weather or when moisture is on the grass leaves. However, if these fertilizers are applied during cooler times of the year, burn is seldom a concern. It is critical that correct rates of farm fertilizers are applied to avoid burning.
Table 2. Timing and amounts of nitrogen applications for various levels of maintenance of cool season lawns (fescue and bluegrass). Maintenance Level
September October November
Pounds of N/100ft2 Low
WOODY PLANTS “Following these sanitation practices both in autumn and throughout the growing season can reduce disease pressure in home and commercial landscapes.”
LANDSCAPE AND GARDEN CLEAN CRUCIAL FOR SPRING SUCCESS By Kimberly Leonberger, Extension Associate Autumn has arrived in Kentucky and, as leaves change color and fall from trees, it is time to focus on landscape sanitation. Good sanitation practices can help reduce disease-causing pathogens. These organisms can survive for months or years on dead plant material
Remove diseased plant tissues from infected plants Prune cankers (Figure 1) and galls from branches by making cuts well below visible symptoms (Figure 2). Clean tools between each cut with a sanitizer, such as rubbing alcohol or household bleach. Rake and remove fallen buds, flowers, twigs, leaves, and needles (Figure 3) Discard all above - and below-ground Figure 1: Cankers can provide an overwintering portions of heavily site for plant pathogens. (Photo: Nicole Ward infected perennial Gauthier, UK) and annual plants. Severely infected trees or in soil, causing infections and shrubs should be cut in subsequent years. down and stumps Elimination of diseaseremoved/destroyed. causing organisms reduces the need for chemical All discarded plant controls and can improve the material should be effectiveness of disease burned, buried, or management practices. removed with yard Following these sanitation waste. Do not compost practices both in autumn and diseased plant material. throughout the growing Exercise caution when season can reduce disease storing limbs and trunks pressure in home and as fire wood or using for commercial landscapes. mulch. 8
Soil from containers should be discarded and not reused. Remove weeds, including roots, which may serve as alternate hosts for pathogens. When treating infected plants with fungicides, remove infected tissues prior to application.
Figure 3: Fallen leaves, and other plant parts should be gathered and discarded. (Photo: Nicole Ward Gauthier, UK)
Additional Information Landscape Sanitation (PPFS-GEN-04)
Figure 2: When removing cankers, make cuts well below visible symptoms or at the base of branches. (Photo: Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)
Similar Practices for the Orchard and Garden: Sanitation = Better Spring
Remove diseased plant tissues from infected plants Prune cankers (Figure 1) by making cuts well below visible symptoms. Clean tools between each cut with a sanitizer, such as rubbing alcohol or household bleach. Rake and remove fallen buds, flowers, fruit, twigs, and leaves. Collect all fruit from trees, bushes, and vines. Discard diseased fruit since it can serve as a source of inoculum in subsequent growing seasons. Above and below ground portions of severely infected trees, bushes, and vines should be completely removed and destroyed. All discarded plant material should be burned, buried, or removed with yard waste. Do not compost diseased plant material. Remove weeds, including roots, which may serve as alternate hosts for pathogens. When treating infected plants with fungicides, remove infected tissues prior to application.
Additional Information Fruit, Orchard, Sanitation (PPFS-GEN-05) Plant Pathology Publications
OUR FRIENDS, THE COMPOST MAGGOT ENTOMOLOGY
BY LEE TOWNSEND
Several insects thrive in decaying organic matter, so compost bins usually provide all the resources that they need. Maggots are an important part of the nutrient recycling process. Black soldier fly maggots are among the most disturbing of the “decay dwellers,” a seething blanket of them on the heap is a startling sight. However, there is no cause for concern for the maggots or the adults.
“Soldier fly maggots are a normal part of the decay process and pose no threat.”
Figure 1. Black soldier fly larvae are a common sight in decaying organic matter,-including compost bins, earthworm beds, and animal waste (Photo: Lee Townsend, UK).
they develop, leaving behind a “tea” that can be used to fertilize plants. Another benefit is these insects make their breeding
Figure 2. Adult black soldier flies take a little moisture but do not feed and die in a few days. They are rarely seen, even around the larval breeding material (Photo: Lee Townsend, UK).
site too wet for house fly development. This important attribute has resulted in the species being used for filth fly management in animal manure. In some systems, the larvae are harvested and used for animal feed.
Kits containing rearing Soldier fly maggots are a containers and some starter normal part of the decay “grubs” are sold online, but process and pose no threat. this insect is widespread and egg-carrying females will find and lay eggs on compost relatively quickly. The developing flat-bodied maggots consume 8 to 10 times their body mass as
THAT’S AN IDEA
Calendar of Events
Broadleaf weed control should begin now to avoid big issues come spring.
Now is the time to go through the garden and orchard to remove diseased plants and fruits.
Soil to seed contact is the most important consideration for grass seed germination.
Mark perennials now that you intend to divide next spring, believe you me it takes the guess work out of finding them when dormant.
Fall is the time for leaf drop. Every year I see mounds and mounds of leaves stacked on the curb for pick up. This is an antiquated practice. Leaves contain nutrients and carbon that is much needed in the lawn and landscape. Mulching them by simply mowing them up will not only replenish the nutrient supply in the soil but also give the soil flora and fauna something to do this fall and winter. A little trick is to mow the leaves up when they are moist, it cuts down on the dust.
November 9th 1:00pm — Bloomfield Library program: Seasonal Decorating ideas using Landscape Greenery
October and November Forestry Webinars: https:// forestry.ca.uky.edu/ webinars_upcoming
January 8-9 2018 — Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable growers Conference in Lexington Ky.
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: email@example.com Website: http://nelson.ca.uky.edu/ @hortagentrob
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