Cranberries were first called craneberries by the pilgrims, since this plant has small pink blossoms which appear in spring and resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane. Early settlers used the cranberry as a natural preservative when mixed with meat. This dish was called pemmican and was a mixture of crushed cranberries, dried deer meat, and melted fat.Continue reading
Adding a citrus tree to your home may seem a bit daunting, but they are actually quite easy to care for. When purchasing your citrus it’s important to keep in mind that it may take some time before they bear fruit,. This all can depend on the age of the tree and when it was grafted. Lemons and limes can take 5 to 7 years, while grapefruit, mandarins, and oranges can take up to 9 plus years. Depending on what size you are looking for, and how much you are willing to pay, you can find some that will bloom within the first year. Speaking of size, they are often sold in a manageable 3 gallon pot as a dwarf bush type or you can buy them in an actual tree form. Continue reading
Did you know that the average American eat 68 quarts of popcorn a year! Not only is popcorn a delicious snack, but is also nutritious since it is considered a whole grain. Of course if you slather butter on it, the nutritional benefits may be negated. Continue reading
A nice landscape of a few trees and shrubs, some flowers and well-tended turf has value. Our landscapes help define our outdoor living space, provide shade and help screen unwanted views. A well-maintained landscape may add as much as 5 to 10 percent to the value of our property. But landscapes can provide another resource that we don’t often consider–food. What if it were possible to introduce edible plants to your landscape? Continue reading
It’s almost summer, and that is prime harvest season for blueberries and blackberries, both of which have the potential to grow very well in Kentucky. Blueberries, which are native to North America, are ready to harvest from early June through early August. Blackberries are ready to harvest from mid-June to early October. These delicious fruits offer health benefits, but best of all, they capture the essence of summer in their sweetness. Continue reading
Fruit and vegetable growers who sell through farmer’s markets, farm stands and community supported agriculture know that work associated with being a successful market grower does not end with the active growing season. The colder months are an ideal time to launch projects to improve efficiency, product quality and economic return for the season ahead. One viable project that can accomplish all three of these goals is the construction of a cold storage room. Continue reading
Hopefully, you had a chance to mulch your strawberry plantings before the early winter cold.
Mulch helps reduce the freezing and thawing of the soil that breaks off the small roots and in some cases can lift the plants partially out of the ground, translating into smaller berries and reduced yields. Continue reading
You can reduce the risk of some common problems next year by getting rid of leftover plant debris in vegetable, flower and fruit gardening areas this fall.
Several disease-causing fungi and bacteria spend the winter on plant debris, and can cause diseases the following growing season. Proper garden sanitation can combat such diseases as early blight, mildews, gray mold fungus and various root rot and wilt problems. Continue reading
During the winter months, home orchard owners need to protect their fruit trees from rabbits and voles. But hold off on any pruning until after the worst of the cold, winter weather has passed.
Rabbits and voles injure fruit trees by chewing the bark from the lower trunk and portions of the roots. This damage may kill or severely weaken the trees.
Winter is a good time to prepare fruiting crops for the season ahead. Many fruit diseases can be partially controlled by being vigilant with cleanup and fungicidal sprays at proper times. Remember that pruning should take place in late February on fruiting trees. Below is a list of fruit crops along with diseases of concern and some things to do to help you have a successful harvest. Continue reading