Don’t plant frost sensative plants yet

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By Dennis Morgeson

Every year this happens and every year I get calls from disgusted gardeners when it does. It warms up for a few days and everyone thinks it’s all right to plant anything! I noticed this weekend while out shopping that there were people buying tomato plants. I also heard conversations of new gardeners talking of planting! Yes, I know it only takes a time or two for someone to learn a lesson but do they really need to feel the sting of nature’s cruelness to learn? For those of you that know better or those of you that are new to gardening or to our area, we will have more FROST! Don’t be fooled and don’t waste your money and time planting tomatoes or other frost sensitive crops right now unless you have a way to protect them from cold weather. It will more than likely frost a couple more times!

Generally in Kentucky we don’t have frost after April 28, however, we aren’t considered safe from frost until May 10. This means it is not out of the ordinary for our area to have frost past the first week of May!

We are under a fire blight alert from the plant disease specialists at UK. This means conditions are favorable for fire blight infections to occur. Apples, pears and some cherries are blooming now and generally they are most vulnerable to infection at this time. Bees inadvertently carry fire blight bacteria with them that can enter trees through blooms. There are antibiotic sprays that orchardists can spray, however, it is not recommended for homeowners and it is difficult for most of us to purchase. So, what controls do we have? First off, the best thing you can do to combat fire blight is to plant resistant varieties and to prune out infections as they occur. Soon after bloom, you will see limbs or shoots on some of the susceptible plants that crook over and turn brown. Prune these out and make sure your cuts are down into clean undamaged tissue. Make sure to dip your pruners into a 10 percent bleach solution before each cut to reduce the chances of spreading the disease.

On a different note, I wanted to let you know about a couple things happening Friday, Apr. 19 that you may or should want to attend. At 9 a.m. on Friday morning we are hosting a rain garden workshop at the Washington County Extension Office and all are welcome to come! At noon we will join the rest of the community at the Farmers Market at The Depot for a community Earth Day Celebration complete with a free lunch for all, yes I said free! Around 1 p.m. or so we will plant our rain garden and hope all will stop by and admire our handy work. If you are wondering what a rain garden is and what it does, stop by or better yet join us for the workshop! 

If you have any gardening questions give me a call at 859-336-7741 or email me at dennis.morgeson@uky.edu. 

Happy gardening!