What’s that goo?

You may have noticed greenish/brown jelly like blobs appearing in your drive way or lawn. That is called Nostoc. It is a type of bacteria that gets its energy from photosynthesis like plants do. Following a period of rain, it may appear suddenly in lawns, pastures, paved surfaces, roofs or stones. Nostoc has many colorful names including witches’ butter, mare’s eggs and meadow ears, among others. In fact, one of the earliest names for it was star jelly, based on the belief that it was a remnant of shooting stars fallen to earth. Continue reading


Have you ever looked up in the tree canopy to look for flowers in summer months? Some trees flower in the summer. There are fewer trees that bloom in July and August. Summer beauty can be enhanced by adding a native summer-flowering tree. Take a look at the Kentucky’s Sourwood tree Oxydendrum arboreum. These are a delight to the landscape and flower in summer. Continue reading

Growing Grass in the Shade

Growing grass in the shade is problem for which there are no easy answers. Grass is a full-sun plant and when planted in shaded areas (defined as a site that receives less than 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight daily) it performs poorly. The filtering effect of trees significantly reduces the amount and quality of light grasses receive.  This has an adverse effect on photosynthesis, the process that produces energy needed for the grasses to grow. What we see from this effect are grasses that are thin, weak, and have a lower tolerance to disease, drought and wear stress. Continue reading

Autumn Vegetable Gardening

Did your plans for a summer vegetable garden not work out?  Did you lose track of time and never got around to planting a summer garden?  Did you go on vacation to come back to a weedy mess that you just didn’t have the energy to correct before it was too late?  If you answered yes to any of these questions it’s not too late to get homegrown vegetables from your own backyard this season!  Continue reading