Horticulture April 2024 Newsletter

Horticulture April 2024 Newsletter

Horticulture April 2024 Newsletter

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Carpenter Bees by Kara Back, Extension Agent for Horticulture
Carpenter bees are a common pest for homeowners. They bore one-half inch wide holes on exterior wooden surfaces of siding, eves, trim, decks, and outdoor furniture. These bees seem to be scary. Especially, when the male carpenter bee is protecting its nesting site; however, they do not have a stinger. The female does have a stinger, but normally does not sting.
Carpenter bees sometimes are confused with bumbles bees, but the are not the same insect. Carpenter bees nest in wooden tunnels, while bumble bees nest in the ground. Another way of telling the two bees apart is that carpenter bees’ abdomen are shiny, while bumble bees’ abdomen are hairy.
Prevention Tips:
• Paint wood (use oil based or polyurethane)
• Insecticide additive paints
• Fill nail holes with wood putty.
• Remove damaged wood and replace with chemically pressure-treated wood.
Control Tips:
• Permethrin insecticide
• Insecticides labeled for wasp control—apply late evening or at night to the holes.
• 24 hours after treatment plug holes with wood putty, caulk, or wood dowel covered with wood glue.
• If an insecticide is not used, adult carpenter bees can make a new tunnel to escape.
• Traps! To learn how to build a carpenter bee trap come to the class on Tuesday, April 2nd at 1:30 p.m. or Tuesday, April 9th at or 5:30 p.m. EST. To RSVP please call the Taylor County Extension Office at 270-465-4511.


Calendar of Events


Tips on Mulching by Ailene Foster, Master Gardener
Mulch has multiple purposes. It conserves moisture in the soil, helps keep soil cool, reduces weed growth, help improve soil quality, and beautify your landscape and home.
There are plenty of options to chose from when considering mulch, such as materials, textures, and colors. With all the different types of colors and textures, mulch greatly enhances the appearance of your landscape, and home.
Mulch can help keep soil moist and decrease the need for frequent watering. It keeps the soil cool by decreasing the penetration of sunlight that warms the soil. But you will need to give the soil time to warn up before applying mulch. Weed control is an excellent reason to use mulch and it also enriches the soil if you use natural mulch that decays and reverts back to soil.
Mulch can be made from a wide variety of materials such as: organic residues, compost material, stone, concrete, and ground or chopped rubber or plastics. Organic mulches are the most popular, widely available and probably the least expensive.
Organic mulches are made from bark chips, grasses, leaves, straw, pine needles, etc., and can be purchased in bulk. These materials help enrich the soil. So, during mowing season and fall leaf clean up collect the residue for use as mulch.
Compost can be used as mulch. It is made from kitchen scraps, and yard waste like grass and leaves. Compost is a great benefit for your soil. Keep in mind that it may attract insects and other unwanted pest. Be vigilant with your compost.
Stone and crushed concrete do not decompose. However, it does help maintain moisture, soil temperature, and inhibits weed growth. This type of mulch is more useful around trees and bushes. Be sure to keep stone and concrete mulch corralled using a border of edging so it does not migrate into the grass where it can be picked up by lawn mowers.
Rubber mulch is durable and long lasting, but is mostly used for playground areas. It is a good weed suppressor, but has no benefits for enriching the soil. In my opinion, lets just keep this one on the playground.
Plastic mulch comes on a roll and is usually used on larger agricultural farms. It’s more expensive, and great for maintaining moisture in the soil and inhibiting weed growth. 
Living mulches and ground covers add texture, color, and may even bear flowers and fruit. These types of mulches are a good choice for areas where the ground may be hilly, rocky, have erosion problems, or other challenges. They help maintain moisture, crowd out weeds, and add beauty to problems areas. Use ground cover that will not get out of control like English Ivy tends to do.
There are lots of colorful mulches on the market. Just keep in mind that some of the dyes used to create the beautiful colors may be harmful to your plants. Plus over time the once vibrant colors may fade from sunlight and weather.
When mulching, you want coverage that looks good and does the intended job you want it to; like controlling weeds and maintaining moisture. Use three to four inches for coarse mulch, and one to two inches for fine mulch. No need to remove old mulch as it adds to the soil when it breaks down. Just loosen it a little before applying new mulch so it does not become compacted. Don’t pile mulch around the base of the plants as it may cause rotting or disease. Give your plants breathing room.
When you have finished mulching, step back and admire the beauty of your hard work.

The Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization with respect to education and employment and authorization to provide research, education information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Reasonable accommodation of disability may be available with prior notice. Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and other related matter should be directed to
Equal Opportunity Office, Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky, Room S-105, Agriculture Science Building, North Lexington, Kentucky 40546,
the UK Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity, 13 Main Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0032
or US Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW,
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410.


Carpenter Bee Trap Workshop

Homebased Microprocessor Workshop

Plant Disease

Vegetable Gardening

Taylor County Farmers' Market

Composting & Organic Gardening

Lunch & Learn

Annual & Perennial Flowers

Taylor County Farmers' Market

Landowner Wildlife Habitat Class

Planting Potatoes by Karen Redford, Master Gardener
There is nothing better than potatoes from the garden, especially when it’s yours! Let’s see some different ways to grow them.
You can start your own seed potatoes yourself, by using potatoes that have sprouted out. You can help this along by placing your potatoes in natural light, which makes them sprout faster. This is called chitting. It is letting them sprout indoors before putting them in the garden. If you live in an area that has last frost dates, this will give your potatoes a head start.
You cut your potatoes into different sections so that each cut will have and eye on it, or where it is sprouted. After you have cut your potatoes up, let them scab over, which means to dry out some before planting. The inside won’t be moist anymore, which helps make it more resistant to diseases and pests.
One way to plant them is the traditional way, which is in the ground, in rows. Start by digging a trench about five to six inches deep. Put some organic fertilizer down and mix it in the soil. Put potatoes in with the eye up and place about one foot apart, then cover back up with soil. The further you place potatoes apart the less you will harvest, but they will be bigger.
There is a no dig method, called Ruth Stout method. This is when you plant on top of the ground. Starting with some good loose soil, sprinkle fertilizer on top of the ground and mix in with the soil. Take your cut potatoes and lay them down on top of the ground. Take straw and fluff it up some, it can be wet or dry, and just make sure the potatoes are covered well with the straw. The potatoes should be covered by at least three inches of straw, if not a little more. Make sure the potatoes are well covered so no sunlight will reach them. If sunlight reaches the potato, you will have green potatoes and that will not be good. Using straw will help with keeping in the moisture. If you are aiming to use a drip hose to water, cover up the hose with straw as well.
Planting in containers is another way. You can use cloth containers, large pots, washing tubs, or even a laundry basket. Just make sure your container has holes for drainage in the bottom. If using a laundry basket, line the sides with cardboard. Fill your container about halfway up with compost, and then sprinkle fertilizer in, and mix together. Place your potatoes about eight inches apart, with eyes up and then cover with about three more inches of compost or raised bed soil. Water well. You will have to water more often if plants are in containers.
Harvest time is when they start to turn yellow or brown. Just dig around the base of the plant to see what your end result will be. Hopefully you will have a nice crop that will keep you stocked on potatoes for a while.
Happy Gardening, Be Blessed, and a Blessing to Others!

Lean Green Lettuce Tacos Recipe


Contact Information

1143 South Columbia Ave Campbellsville, KY 42718-2456

(270) 465-4511