Incorporating Edible Plants into the Landscape

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

Early Start On Spring Gardening

You don’t need to wait for warm weather to start your vegetable garden. Did you know there are several types of vegetables you can start as early as March? Radishes, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, onions and many more vegetables are all quite frost tolerant, and you can seed or transplant them in the garden from mid-March to early April. Continue reading

Economical Cold Storage for Market Growers

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

Planning an Onion Crop

Although we’re in the midst of winter, it is never too soon to think about next growing season. This is particularly true if you want to grow onions.

Onions are a good crop for Kentucky farmers. Typically in late winter it takes eight to ten weeks to produce a reasonably sized transplant. If you want to plant in late March or the beginning of April, you should have seeded your transplants in late January. If you have not already seeded, it’s not too late for an onion crop this year. You can purchase transplants. Continue reading

Top Three New Year’s Resolutions for Gardeners

Many people enjoy making New Year’s Resolutions, so I would like to encourage you to make some gardening resolutions. Even those of you who do not typically grow anything can reap benefits from planting something, nurturing it, and watching it grow. It doesn’t have to be a large vegetable garden. A small container garden or raised bed garden will be just fine. Continue reading

Fall Gardening Cleanup Controls Spring Diseases

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

Planting Fall Vegetables in Kentucky

It’s not too late to continue to enjoy your garden and to add new plantings. You can grow a variety of produce in Kentucky gardens in the coming weeks and have several fresh items available well into the fall.

Cooler nights later in the year can increase the sugar content of many crops and thus increase their quality. Cooler nights also slow growth, so your crops can take longer to mature than in the summer. Keep this slower pace in mind when you check seeds for days to maturity. Continue reading

Tomato Support

Without doubt, tomatoes are home gardeners favorite vegetable to grow. After preparing your soil, selecting the best variety and planting, comes providing support.

There are many ways to grow tomatoes, but in a small garden, upright supports are often used to save space. This method provides other benefits as well as saving space. When
tomatoes are grown off the ground, they will not be damaged by ground rots and will be out of reach of some insects. They will be easier to harvest and easier to treat for insect or diseases and will produce fruits that are cleaner and larger. Continue reading

Intensive Gardening

When you measure your gardening experience in decades rather than years, you’ve adopted new techniques and eliminated some old ones. Over the seasons, one of the traditions I’ve changed is the long single rows of vegetables with wide spaces between rows. Due to easier maintenance and increased yield, I’ve changed to more intensive gardening. Intensive gardening reduces wasted space to a minimum; however, it isn’t just for people who lack land resources. An intensive vegetable garden concentrates work efforts to create an ideal plant environment, giving higher yields with less labor. This idea isn’t new as “Square Foot Gardening” has advocated these ideals for decades. Don’t get the idea there isn’t still work involved, as weeding by hand or with hand tools is still required, although due to closer plant spacing fewer weeds should be present. Mulching with an organic material between plants is an integral part of the intensive system. Continue reading