Winter time is the perfect time to plan for the garden. Have you ever thought about plants that would be best for creating winter interest? These plants provide beautiful winter interest through exfoliating bark, unique foliage, and interesting berries, fruits, and even cones. In this episode, I am chatting with Dr. Win Dunwell, University of Kentucky Extension Horticulture Specialist who’s area of specialization is Nursery and Landscape. In our chat, he recommends several winter hardy plants that would make ideal candidates for providing winter interest in Kentucky’s garden and landscape. To listen to the full episode, stay with me right here on the Sunshine Gardening Podcast!
Plants with Winter Features:
Ilex species Winter Red Ilex verticillate- still one of the best
Aronia arbutifolia Brilliantissima
Hammamelis virginiana Sunglow
Pinus densiflora ‘Oculus Draconis’ / Dragon’s Eye Japanese red pine.
Remontant azaleas – Autumn Royalty
Tulip tree the left over seeds heads after seed has blown away look like little candelabras can be cut for table settings
Edgeworthia chrysantia zone 7 blooms over long period white creamy fragrant blooms on bare coarse stems.
Barks – lighting trunks
Persimmon bark dark blocks Host plant to Luna Moth
Sycamore London Plane tree cultivars look great in the winter back yard with trunk lighting
Leave perennials and grasses foliage and seed heads
Rhodea japonica green leaves and fruit (later than Jack in the pulpit or Green Dragon)
Hellebores I have SunShine Selections from Barry Glick’s Sunshine Farm and Gardens in West VA
Yucca Color Guard
Lycoris radiata foliage
Arbovitaes turn brown but Eastern Red Cedar cultivars like Greenpoint and Taylor along with Juniperus chinesis Trautman
Rose Hips Rosa rugosa, Carefree series, even Knockouts
Tips for hips:
Select roses with single, semi-double, or otherwise cupped-bloom form.
Stop pruning around September 1st.
Provide adequate irrigation with good drainage.
Encourage pollinators, like bees and other insects, to visit your roses by creating a naturalized edge or hedgerow.
Allow blossoms to fade and fall off of the plant naturally.
Uses for hips:
Clip single or clusters of rose hips and use in floral arrangements, wreaths, and holiday garland.
Wash, remove stems and coarsely chop for use in recipes to make jams, jellies, juices, and more. (Never use rose petals or hips sprayed with chemicals in any food product.)
Walk in the woods the leaves of spring flowering native orchids are showy on the brown leaves of the trees leaves especially the one with green top and purple underside to the leaf, Tipularia discolor, Cranefly orchid, Aplectrum hyemale, Putty-root. The leaves are more showy than the flower stalks. Once you have seen the leaves and flowers you will find them very common to the area where they occur.
Cornus mas and C. officinales bloom Feb-March
I hope that you enjoyed our discussion today over Creating Winter Interest in the Garden! To view the show notes for Episode 14, make sure to visit me on the blog at Warren County Agriculture.
A big thank you to Dr. Win Dunwell for being our guest!
Thanks for listening to the Sunshine Gardening Podcast!
Gardeners keep digging into gardening and remember to add a little sunshine!
It is safe to say that the lawn is no longer actively growing and is in for a long winter’s nap! Even though the lawn is considered dormant, it is important to practice caution with the winter lawn to avoid any setbacks for the upcoming season!
One major area of concern for winter lawns is the physical damage to it. Foot traffic and parking cars on winter lawns should be avoided to prevent further harm to the turf crowns. Leaves should also be removed and mulched to avoid any shading to the lawn.
Be aware and select de-icing materials that will not be harmful to the home landscape and turf. Rocks salts, calcium acetate, magnesium and potassium chloride, and urea are all harmful to turf, trees and shrubs! It is best to avoid these products, but if it can’t be helped, make sure to follow these basic guidelines:
- Shovel ice and snow away as soon as possible and continue to exercise this routine frequently throughout the winter. Smaller amounts of de-icing material are less likely to wreak havoc to turf and nearby landscape plants.
- Use deicers sparingly and never exceed the rate listed on the label.
- Urea containing deicers should be avoided. They are said to be ineffective at lower temperatures, and the runoff sends excess nitrogen into the water supply.
For more information, make sure to contact your local Extension Office in your area.
I have just the activity to help YOU chase away the winter blues! It involves taking 15 minutes of your time and watching the birds in your backyard. This activity my friends is called the Great Backyard Bird Count and it is happening this year on February 12-15th 2021. This activity is coordinated by the National Audubon Society and other organizations to serve as an instant snapshot of birdlife around the world. Since bird populations are constantly changing, the information you collect from the GBBC helps scientist understand how birds are affected by environmental changes. The data collected over the years can display how certain species’ of bird populations are increasing or decreasing. It can also show scientists what kinds of birds are inhabiting cities and suburbs compared to the natural areas.
In this episode, I am visiting with Dr. Matthew Springer, our Assistant Extension Professor of Wildlife Management with the University of Kentucky to get the scoop on what all is involved with this Great Backyard Bird Count!
Before we dive into today’s content, I have a favor to ask! If you enjoy listening to the Sunshine Gardening Podcasts, let me know with a REVIEW on Apple Podcasts!
Leaving a review is simple! Just pop open that purple app on your phone, share your biggest takeaway from an episode or what you would like to hear featured in the future! As always, thank you for listening and leaving a review about the podcast!
To listen to the full episode, make sure to see the audio link at the bottom of this blog post.
Remember to mark the calendar for the Great Backyard Bird Count happening February 12th until February 15th because it’s a fun and rewarding experience for people of all ages! It encourages gardeners to venture outside….or they can watch inside from their kitchen window!
If you would like to participate in other bird counts, Dr. Springer also mentioned about the Christmas Bird Count. To find out more about the Christmas Bird Count, please see the link listed here: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count
Also below, I have listed more information about the Merlin app and the eBird app that Dr. Springer mentioned in the talk today as well as where to get more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count!
Thanks for listening to the Sunshine Gardening Podcast!
Gardeners keep digging into gardening and remember to add a little sunshine!
How to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, https://www.birdcount.org/
The Economic Aid Act reauthorized the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through March 31 and made several modifications beneficial to farmers. It also authorizes second draw PPP loans.
Eligible expenses paid with PPP loans are deductible for tax purposes. And Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance grants are not taxable. See your tax preparer for details.
New rule for farmers only. Calculation of PPP loans is now based on gross income instead of net farm income. Gross income comes from Line 9 of Schedule F. The rule applies to sole proprietors and eligible self-employed farmers who report on Schedule F and were in business as of February 15, 2020.
This means farmers who did not qualify before may now qualify. It also means farmers who did not qualify for the maximum amount may request an increase in the original PPP loan if the loan has not been forgiven.
For those without employees the maximum is now $20,833. Those with employees add the higher of 2019 or 2020’s monthly payroll multiplied by 2.5.
Increase in existing loan amount. Borrowers may be able to request an increase in the original amount of the loan under certain circumstances if SBA has not remitted a forgiveness payment to the Lender (the loan is forgiven). This includes the new loan calculation for farmers and partnerships that did not include partner compensation in the application. Contact the lender that made the PPP loan to request the difference.
Other New Rules. Borrowers may use 2019 or 2020 for purposes of calculating their maximum loan amount. And they may now choose a covered period to pay or incur eligible expenses stretching from 8 weeks up to 24 weeks from the date loan proceeds are disbursed.
Eligible expenses for PPP loans have been added including payments for certain business software and services, cost for goods that are essential to the operation, and rent and business interest paid on obligations incurred before February 15, 2020. These eligible expenses apply retroactively to existing unforgiven PPP loans. PPP loans still require that at least 60 percent of the proceeds be used for payroll costs.
There is a simplified loan forgiveness application for PPP loans under $150,000.
New Loans (First Draw). A borrower who did not receive a PPP loan in 2020 may apply for a new loan based on the new rules. This applies to small businesses, self-employed and sole proprietors with or without employees, partnerships, and others in operation on February 15, 2020.
Second Draw Loans. Borrowers who received a PPP loan during 2020 may be eligible for a second PPP loan, even if the first loan has been forgiven. A qualifying borrower:
- has 300 or fewer employees,
- will have used all the original loan funds for authorized purposes before the new loan payments are dispersed, and
- can show gross receipts in any one quarter of 2020 was reduced by at least 25% compared to the same quarter in 2019.
A borrower in operation all four quarters of 2020 need only show that gross receipts for 2020 was reduced by at least 25% compared 2019. PPP forgiveness received in 2020 is not included in gross income.
This is based on SBA guidance through January 13, 2020. SBA intends to issue guidance on loan forgiveness and the loan review process later.
Author(s) Contact Information:
The recent announcements of the EU approval of RR2XtendFlex (RoundupReady 2 XtendFlex) soybean and EPA approval of three dicamba products has brought a clearer view of soybean weed control options available to Kentucky farmers in 2021. Prior to these two announcements the waters were murky with unknowns of if the flexibility of the RR2Xtendflex system would be available and if any dicamba formulations would be available to spray on any dicamba tolerant soybean acres. With the recent announcement came answers and clarification, but also prompted a few more questions and restrictions.
The most recent event to occur was the approval of Xtendimax (Bayer), Engenia (BASF), and Tavium (Syngenta) for applications to DT (dicamba tolerant) soybean. The three labels stayed largely unchanged from previous versions although crops outside of DT soybean and DT cotton have been removed from the labels. Restrictions of nozzles, tank mixes, sprayer speed, boom height, wind speed, and temperature inversions remain the same as previous labels. The restrictions that have changed are rate changes for Xtendimax burndowns, application cutoff date/growth stages, increases in buffer requirements, and the new requirements of a volatility reduction agent or buffer agent. Each change is described below:
- Xtendimax can only be applied at a rate of 22 fl oz/a per application, regardless of application timing. Previous labels allowed up to 44 fl oz/a Xtendimax for preplant/burndown applications, but that rate is no longer labeled.
- All three labels have a federal cutoff date of June 30th and no application can be made after that date. The Xtendimax label also indicates a cutoff soybean growth stage of R1, whereas the Tavium label has a soybean growth stage cutoff of V4. In both cases whichever occurs first (date or growth stage) takes precedent. The Engenia label does not include a cutoff growth stage, thus June 30th is the cutoff for this product.
- Down wind buffers have been extended from 110 ft in the previous labels to 240 ft in the new labels. Similar to previous labels these buffers can be included in directly adjacent roads, mowed grassy areas, corn fields, DT soybean fields, fields prepared for planting, and/or areas covered by a building. THIS BUFFER IS NOT INTENDED FOR PROTECITON OF DICAMBA SENSITIVE CROPS, THE LABELS REMAIN THE SAME IN THAT APPLICATIONS CANNOT BE MADE IF THE WIND IS BLOWING TOWARDS A SENSITIVE CROP SUCH AS NON-DT SOYBEAN, TOBACCO, VINEYARDS, AND TOMATOES.
- These buffers can be reduced with the use of hooded/shielded sprayers or other approved drift reduction technologies (DRT), as outlined on each label website.
- Areas in which endangered species are present may need a 310ft downwind buffer plus a 57 ft omnidirectional buffer. A list of these areas can be found on the Bulletins Live 2 website.
- The addition of a volatility reduction agent (VRA) or buffer agent is also required for all three labels in addition to drift reduction agents (DRA) that were required by previous labels. The list of approved VRA or buffers can be found on each respective products label website.
As in the past, dicamba specific training will still be required prior to application of Xtendimax, Engenia, and/or Tavium. This training will be offed by the registrants and will largely be available online.
The additional restrictions bring some clarification to past issues of the previous dicamba labels, but the additional restrictions certainly do not make their application easier. The extension of the downwind buffer to 240 ft may cause havoc as many Kentucky fields are surrounded by trees and thus the buffers will have to be placed within the production field being sprayed. While the distance in necessary to protect our natural resources and endangered species, 240ft can add up to numerous acres very quickly. In some cases, the area will be large enough for applicators/farmers to question the feasibility of applying the product to a given field.
The addition of the June 30th cutoff date places a hard deadline on applications, whereas past labels in which growth stages were used allowed many applications to continue to occur in the hot and humid months of July and August. Weather conditions in Kentucky in July and August simply are not ideal for dicamba applications in any crops, not to mention the numerous sensitive crops that are out during those time of year including tobacco. This cutoff date does however eliminate a lot of possible uses for double crop soybeans that likely will not be planted until late June and early July, so growers may need to seek an alternative herbicide programs for double crop soybean acres.
Despite the increase in restrictions of the new dicamba labels, the announcement of these labels comes on the heels of the approval of RoundupReady 2 XtendFlex soybean by the EU and thus full clearance for commercial production of those soybean varieties. The availability of RR2XtendFlex soybean varieties brings versatility to the Xtend platform that can be compared to its closest competitors. The XtendFlex soybean offers resistance to glyphosate and dicamba the same as RR2Xtend, but also offers glufosinate resistance. The addition of glufosinate offers postemergence flexibility for farmers who are dealing with glyphosate resistant broadleaves such as Palmer amaranth or waterhemp. The biggest fallacy, in my opinion, of the RR2Xtend soybean varieties was that farmers were largely married to dicamba for postemergence applications when dealing with waterhemp and Palmer amaranth, especially with the increasing incidence of PPO-resistance in these two weed species. In many cases a farmer/applicator was stuck in between a rock and a hard place when deciding when to apply dicamba under restrictive conditions and a rapidly growing weed. The addition of glufosinate offers a bit more flexibility and can allow a farmer to make an effective postemergence application of glufosinate if environmental conditions or surrounding crops do not allow for a timely application of dicamba. It must be said, though, that glufosinate is very capable of drifting the same as any other herbicide and thus if the wind is blowing at high speeds towards a sensitive crop no herbicide application, glufosinate, dicamba, or other should be applied.
As has been the message from University of Kentucky Weed Science in the past, the specific dicamba formulation one wants to apply and/or when to apply glufosinate matters less than the residual herbicide applied. Anybody choosing to raise RR2Xtendflex soybean who is dealing with Palmer amaranth or waterhemp must remain vigilant and apply robust preemergence herbicides. Research supported by the Kentucky Soybean Board has shown that even with the flexibility of the RR2XtendFlex soybean platform the use of a residual herbicide with 2 to 3 effective sites of action is more influential on end of season waterhemp and Palmer control than the choice or sequence of postemergence herbicides. This message applies to all herbicide tolerant soybean systems, and will continue to be the message for these two troublesome weeds.
Up to the recent two approvals of RR2XtendFlex soybean and Xtendimax, Engenia, and Tavium there was a lot of unknowns in weed control going into 2021. These recent approvals have brought a lot clarification to what farmers will have available for weed control in 2021 and their options are now fairly large which is great for soybean farmers.
AGR-256, Identification of Palmer Amaranth, Waterhemp, and Other Pigweed Species: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/AGR/AGR256/AGR256.pdf
Author: Travis Legleiter, Plant and Soil Sciences
Make plans to attend the Virtual 2020 Specialty Crop Conference planned for Thursday, December 10th! This conference is geared toward both new and experienced growers looking to diversify their farming operations.
With the timing of this conference, producers can gain knowledge and inspiration to utilize on their farms! The conference is free and open to anyone who is interested in learning more about growing specialty crops in Kentucky. We have a great line-up of specialty crop growers, Extension specialists, and other speakers planned for this conference! View the photos below to see the specialty crops which will be highlighted at the conference.
To view the entire schedule for the Virtual 2020 Specialty Crop Conference, see the schedule listed below.
If interested in attending the Virtual 2020 Specialty Crop Conference, register HERE by clicking on this link:
If you have other questions related to the conference, please contact the Warren County Extension Office at (270) 842-1681!
Do you have trouble establishing a good stand of grass in your home lawn? Do you notice bare spots? Do you have more weeds than grass? If you answered yes to any of these questions, fall is the absolute time to carry out several home lawn improvement practices to help improve the appearance of your Kentucky home lawn. Today on episode 11 of the Sunshine Gardening Podcast, I am sharing the top 4 secrets to improving your home lawn this fall. For all the details, stay right here on the Sunshine Gardening Podcast!
#1. When is the best time to perform lawn care practices in Kentucky? The turf care calendar for cool season lawns in Kentucky is found at the beginning of this guide. It shows each month of the year and highlights the best and second best times to perform specific lawn care practices for the Kentucky lawn. There are also foot notes located at the bottom of the page that gives more explanations related to the specific lawn care practices.
#2. Select the right grass for the Kentucky lawn. Based on research from the University of Kentucky, turf-type tall fescue performs the best for Kentucky Home Lawns. Tall fescue has good qualities including: There are also some slight drawbacks which include good traffic tolerance. For a link to see the publication on Selecting the Right Grass for your Kentucky Lawn, make sure to see the show notes. This publication explores the different types of grass species that can be grown in Kentucky and lists major qualities and problems associated with each grass type. Recommendations for the top performing varieties of tall fescue and other cool-season grasses are also included in this guide.
#3. Soil Test, Soil Test, Soil Test! The secret to having a nice looking lawn is by conducting a soil test. I often say that the secret to good plant growth is through the soil and by testing the soil, this process gives homeowners the exact recommendations of lime and fertilizer rates needed to reach optimum plant growth. To improve the appearance of the lawn, first start with a soil test.
To test the soil for a home lawn, sample the top 2 to 4 inches of soil using a garden shovel or trowel. Collect soil from different locations in the lawn at random and make sure to avoid getting any grass clippings or leaves when sampling. Some people sample their front and back yards separately. Place soil in a clean five-gallon bucket. Repeat this same process 10 to 12 times and mix all the samples together. If there is any excess moisture in the soil, allow the sample to dry on newspaper for 24 hours.
After collecting soil, bring samples to the local extension office. Some basic information about the crop being grown is needed to go along with the sample before being mailed. There is a small fee to pay for conducting a soil test, but I assure you that it is the best money that you will spend since it gives you the exact amounts for lime and fertilizer that is needed. When results come back, extension agents review and sign the soil test recommendations. Soil test results generally take about 7 to 10 days to be processed.
#4. When should I fertilize my home lawn? Fertilization is an important part of maintaining a home lawn. Fall is the absolute best time to fertilize cool season grasses in the Kentucky home lawn. By performing this practice in the fall, the root system is stronger and can make it through the winter months. September, October, and November are the best months to apply fertilizer according to soil test recommendations.
The number of times nitrogen fertilizer is applied depends on the lawn quality desired. Most general home lawns with no irrigation system are maintained at the low to medium maintenance levels. These levels require either one or two applications of nitrogen. Make sure to have the soil tested to know these exact recommendations for the home lawn.
If interested in knowing more information about home lawn fertilization, make sure to see the link in the show notes to achieve the publication for Fertilizing your Lawn, AGR-212.
While I know that I gave the top 4 secrets to improving your home lawn this fall, I also have a free resource that I am offering up today that can offer more help in home lawn improvement practices! This free resource is called the Home Lawn Improvement Guidebook. This guidebook will assist you in making the best decisions for how and when to improve the appearance of your Kentucky lawn. Material in this guidebook is provided by University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Turf Specialists and other Extension Professionals. If you would like a copy of this guidebook, make sure to contact the Warren County Extension Service at (270) 842-1681 or contact Kristin Hildabrand at email@example.com.
I hope that you enjoyed this episode of the Sunshine Gardening Podcast! For more information about today’s show, make sure to see the show notes on the blog at Warren County Agriculture.
To stay up to date on all the latest episodes, make sure to hit the subscribe button wherever you get your podcasts. By hitting the subscribe button, you will be notified of future shows where gardening tips and tricks will be shared to help gardeners reach their gardening goals and to help the sun shine a little brighter over your Kentucky garden.
Thanks for listening to the Sunshine Gardening Podcast! I hope to see you again soon when the sun shines again!
Turf Care Calendar: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/agr/agr55/agr55.pdf
Selecting the Right Grass for your Kentucky Lawn: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/AGR/AGR52/AGR52.pdf
Fertilizing your Lawn AGR-212: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/AGR/AGR212/AGR212.pdf.
Join in on the Mammoth Cave Area Virtual Field Day that will be held on Tuesday, October 27th from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. This program will be held exclusively on Zoom video conferencing technology. The program is of no cost, but interested producers are required to pre-register. Participants will tour and learn about the following farms in the Mammoth Cave Area:
- Ag Diversification: Producing and Selling Ear Corn For Profit: McKinney Farms – Butler County
- High Tunnel Strawberry Production: Kevin Lyons – Monroe County
- Managing Mud in High Traffic Areas with Winter Feeding Pad: Ricky & Kay Keen – Simpson County
Participants will also have the opportunity to talk with each farmer during the program to help answer any question attendees may have. Pre-registration is required. To register go to this registration link
https://uky.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMlc-ygrTkqHtK9UBZUNbaKGepf7gwHVh0x or contact your local extension office. This event is being hosted by agriculture and horticulture agents in the Mammoth Cave Area.