Horticulture March 2024 Newsletter

Horticulture March 2024 Newsletter

Horticulture March 2024 Newsletter

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Beautiful Bluebirds by Kara Back

Bluebirds are a beautiful bird to have in your garden. Their breeding season begins in March and goes through July. They will try to get nesting sights early before other birds. Bluebirds will have two to three broods per year. They will normally use the same nesting sight each year.
The female tries to find a location four to six feet above ground. She will lay one egg per day for four to six days. They are pale blue in    color. She will sit on them for 12-14 days. Once the eggs hatch, they will stay in the nest for 15-18 days.
When the young leave the nest, the male is in charge. He will watch over them, feed them, and teach them how to find food for        themselves. He will do this for several days. During this time, the     female is busy repairing the nest to get ready to start laying eggs for her new brood.
To learn more about bluebirds and to learn how to build a bluebird house, come to the new Bird Club. It will be meeting bi-monthly and the first meeting is on March 25th at 1:00 p.m. at the Taylor County Extension Office.


Calendar of Events


Think Ahead and Save Your Seeds by Karen Redford, Master Gardener

Growing vegetables yourself can provide fresh produce for you and your family now, but also can help you provide for your future as well. It can help preserve your future generations too, by preserving heirloom seeds. It can be a gift that keeps on giving!
For tomatoes, saving seeds from your best performing plants can help grow them year after year. Look for disease free, heirloom variety plants. To save their seeds, cut a ripe tomato in half and scoop out the seeds, along with the gel-like substance. Ferment this mixture in a jar for two to four days, stirring daily, until a layer of mold forms on the surface. Rinse the seeds in a fine strainer and remove any debris. Lay the seeds on a paper towel or paper plate to dry out. Store them in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to sow them next year.
With peppers choose a fully ripened pepper, even one changing color to red, orange, or yellow. Cut it open, remove the seeds and spread them on a paper towel to dry. Once dry, store them in an envelope or airtight container in a cool, dark place. If handling hot peppers be sure to wear gloves.
Squash and zucchini should be planted       further apart to prevent cross pollination.    Allow fruit to mature and ripen on the vine, past their edible stage. The skin should be tough and hard to pierce with your fingernail. Cut open the squash, scoop out the seeds and rinse in a strainer and remove any pulp. Spread seeds out on a paper towel to dry. Store in a cool, dark place.
Root vegetables and tubers, such as carrots, beets, turnips are biennial plants, meaning it takes two years to complete their lifecycle and produce seeds. In the first year, allow your plants to grow and develop strong roots.     Before winter, start digging up the roots    carefully, taking care not to damage them.
Store the roots in a cool, dark place such as a root cellar, surrounded by damp sand or peat moss to keep them from drying out. In the second year replant the roots and let them flower and set seeds. Harvest the seeds once the seed heads are dry and brittle, then clean and store in a cool dark place. Tubers, like potatoes, save small healthy ones from your harvest and store in a dark, cool, well-ventilated area. When it is time to plant, just cut the tubers into pieces with at least one eye on them, and plant directly into the ground.
Allow bean and pea pods to mature and dry on the plant until they become brown and brittle. Harvest the dried pods and shell the seeds. Remove damaged or discolored seeds. Spread them on a paper towel and dry completely before storing. If you have a large quantity, you can also place them in a bag and gently crush them to release the seeds. Separate the seeds out, and store in an            envelope or airtight container in a cool dark place. Beans and peas can cross     pollinate, but it’s rare. Grow different varieties at least 20 feet apart.
Saving heirloom seeds can save money and promote being self-sufficient. It can give you a bountiful and delicious harvest, season after season. Happy gardening and be blessed!
Resource: “The Seed Saving Bible” by Mark Sunderland


Cicadas by Kara Back
This year the 13 and 17 year cicada broods will emerge together this spring for the first time in 221 years. To put that in perspective, Thomas Jefferson was still president.
We have cicadas surface each year from living underground in their nymph form. In the nymph stage they feed on tree root sap. When they emerge they will transform into adults, then lay eggs and the cycle begins again. The periodical cicadas emerge every 13 years and the others emerge every 17 years. The cicada has one of the longest lifespans for insects.
We will most likely not experience both of the broods here in Taylor County. If you look at the projected brood emergence map you will see Brood XIX (17) will be in  western Kentucky and Brood XIII (13) will be in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. It is estimated there will be one trillion cicadas emerge. 
Their mating song can reach about 100 decibels,    nearly the intensity of a chainsaw. Some people are already making plans to experience this historical event, while others I’m sure are dreading it. Regardless, it will not occur again until the year 2245.


Hummingbird Feeder Class

Apple Grafting Class

Insect ID & Integrated Plant Management

Pesticide Safety Course

Warm Season Vegetable Propagation

Bird Club


It's Almost Garden Planting Time by Ailene Foster, Master Gardener
If you love to garden, then you know there is something satisfying about putting the spade into the soil and starting to dig and turn the earth.
Before you put anything into the ground, find out what kind of soil you have, and what plants will grow best in your soil. The right soil will determine how well your plants thrive and produce. A good soil base needs nutrients and proper drainage. Be sure your garden soil is well tilled; it helps the plants root better.
Choose plants that will grow well in the location and soil that you have in your garden. Be sure they will get enough sunlight and water. Whether you are using seeds or starter plants, be sure to plant them at the correct depth and spacing for proper growth. Some plants love sun, while others prefer partial sun to full shade.
Once your garden is tilled, try to avoid walking in it and compacting the soil. Especially if you have clay soil. If the soil dries out quickly, add mulch to help hold moisture in the soil. Soil that is too wet can damage your plants and cause root rot which leads to unhealthy plants or even plant death.
As your plants take root and begin to grow and produce blossoms, you may need to deadhead or prune them to encourage continuous blooms and growth. Gently remove grass and weeds from your garden so you don’t dislodge or uproot your plants in the process.
Add a little excitement and   diversity to your garden by   trying something new. New plants and hybrids can be found in your favorite garden shop or plant nursery each spring. Exciting colors can add pizzazz to your garden. Plant your garden with bloom time in mind for continuous color throughout the season. Happy Gardening!


Carrot Cake Smoothie Recipe

Contact Information

1143 South Columbia Ave Campbellsville, KY 42718-2456

(270) 465-4511