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Around Grant County

  • Favorite fall perennials

    There are some perennials that I can’t live without because of their fabulous late summer and fall performance.  Plant them in your garden now because you will overlook them at garden centers come spring. My mixed perennial beds look the best this time of the year (barring any unpleasant summer drought- and please ignore the weeds!)  The black-eyed Susan’s, Russian sage and various species of Aster, Salvia and Nepeta are prolific but they are only mediocre anchor plants compared to some of the other species that come on this time of the year.

  • Alpine Hills Dairy, Country Pumpkins accepted into roadside farm program market

    Alpine Hills Dairy and Country Pumpkins of Grant County is one of the 91 certified farm markets across the Commonwealth accepted into the 2017 Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) Certified Roadside Farm Market Program.
    In joining the KFB Certified Roadside Farm Market Program, Alpine Hills Dairy and Country Pumpkins has committed to offering quality products and service to its customers. Its acceptance by Farm Bureau tells customers that this market meets the highest standards of quality, freshness and marketing appeal.

  • Golden rod not the allergen you think

    I am allergic to many things and it is not just seasonal pollen…so trust me when I say don’t blame your late summer sneezes on this lovely perennial.  There are about 100 species of golden rod in North America, 20 of which can be found in Kentucky.   So, it is no surprise that Solidago, or golden rod, is Kentucky’s official state flower.  

  • Summer drupes on the fringe tree, paper lanterns on the silverbell

    The beacon of spring in these parts is undoubtedly the native dogwood.  But, because of disease problems, especially dogwood anthracnose, people are seeking alternatives to Cornus florida.
     There are other notable dogwoods like Cornus kousa and Cornus mas, but look beyond the dogwood for small, spring flowering landscape trees that prove to have interest well into summer. Consider the Carolina silverbell (halesia) and the fringe tree (chionanthus).

  • Rachael’s Recipes

    Slow Cooker Swiss Steaks
    2 pounds boneless round steak

    8 medium new potatoes
    2 cups baby carrots
    1 medium onion
    Cooking spray
    1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

  • Indeterminate or determinate?

    I received a letter from a reader years ago that asked somewhat of a philosophical question regarding determinate tomatoes.  Yes, philosophical, because she asked why would we plant a tomato that sets its fruit, reaches a certain point, stops growing, ripens nearly at once and then dies?  
    Our love affair with homegrown tomatoes would more logically dictate that we grew only indeterminate tomatoes that reached monstrous proportions and yielded fruit into a first killing frost.

  • Bagworms on the move
  • Harvest vegetables daily for continued productivity

    One day missed in the vegetable garden can mean a big harvest, literally.  All of a sudden, or so it seems, your zucchini is the size of a torpedo and beans are bulging beneath the pod.  
    Some vegetables need attention daily; others can be picked every couple of days.  

  • Troubleshooting tomato problems

    We cannot control the weather but we can control what our tomatoes eat, so to speak. At planting time, we prepare the soil with composted hen manure and a little organic fertilizer. We also mulch around the plants immediately in order to moderate soil moisture and to prevent the spread of soil-borne diseases.   This year, our work at building healthy soil has paid off because the tomatoes are thriving.  Some folks have not been as lucky as the rain poured down earlier in the season!

  • Curing potatoes, onion, garlic

    We harvested some fantastic looking “Red Candy Apple’ purple onions a few weeks ago and it is now time to start digging some ‘Yukon Gold’ potatoes and garlic over the weekend. I am so excited about the garden this year because it is performing so well!   We need to wait another week or so to harvest the ‘Sterling’ and ‘Walla Walla’ onions because tops have yet to flop over…. this allows them to store better.