Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Article from website Dave’s Garden
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/a-guide-to-gifting-herbs

A Guide To Gifting Herbs
by Anna Burke (Anna Burke) December 7, 2015
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·        Give a gift that keeps on giving this year.
Herbs make the perfect gift choice for gardeners, chefs and even loved ones without a green thumb. These attractive plants are aromatic and practical, offering culinary and medicinal uses for every home. Choosing the right herbal gift can be tricky. Let this herbal gift guide help you make the right choice this holiday season.
Choosing The Perfect Herb For The Gardener
Giving a gardener a plant is a recognition of their passion and shows your appreciation for the friendship you share. Herbs provide tasteful, aromatic plantings for ornamental gardens and offer a culinary treat for the vegetable gardener. Some gardeners enjoy making herbal teas and remedies with their herbs. You might even find yourself the beneficiary of a handmade herbal sachet in future holidays if you gift the right herbs to your gardening friends.
Here are the best herbs to give as gifts for gardeners this year.
11 Herbs For Vegetable Gardeners
Vegetable gardeners appreciate useful herbs. They want herbs that complement their fresh produce, like:
  1. Basil
  2. Dill
  3. Chives
  4. Coriander
  5. Parsley
  6. Mint
  7. Thyme
  8. Sage
  9. Tarragon
  10. Oregano
  11. Rosemary
Depending on where your gardener friend lives, these plants might need to spend the winter indoors. Take a moment to read up on the herb's cold tolerance. If your climate is too cold for the herb, put in in an attractive pot. That way your friend can keep it indoors or in a greenhouse during the cold months.
12 Herbs For Ornamental Gardeners
Ornamental gardeners appreciate aromatic herbs and herbs that attract beneficial insects. Many of these herbs boast interesting textures and attractive blossoms. Here are 12 herbs that bring subtle beauty to the garden, occupying sometimes difficult to fill niches:
  1. Lemon balm
  2. Lavender
  3. Thyme
  4. Chamomile
  5. Sage
  6. Catmint
  7. Sweet cicely
  8. Dill
  9. Anise hyssop
  10. Garlic chives
  11. Borage
Try and choose a plant that is suitable for your friend's climate. You can put it in a pot until spring, but the ornamental gardener in your life will want to incorporate your herb into their garden design.
12 Herbs For Container Gardeners
Herbs make excellent container plants. Some, like mint, are best cultivated in containers to prevent the plant from spreading. Your container gardening loved one will appreciate most herbs, but especially those that do well in pots. Consider accompanying your gift with a new herb planter.
Try one of these 12 herbs for container gardeners:
  1. Basil
  2. Chives
  3. Cilantro
  4. Rosemary
  5. Tarragon
  6. Lavender
  7. Lemon balm
  8. Marjoram
  9. Mint
  10. Sage
  11. Thyme
  12. Oregano
Choosing The Perfect Herb For The Chef
Every good chef knows the value of fresh ingredients. Give your chef friends a potted herb to spice up their recipes this year. With any luck, they'll even invite you over for dinner. Here are 10 mouthwatering culinary herbs the chef in your life is guaranteed to love.
1. Basil
Basil is the primary ingredient in every pasta lover's favorite treat - pesto. Basil flourishes year round in a windowsill and is delicious when served as a garnish, slathered in olive oil atop tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, or ground into pesto.
2. Oregano
Another Italian classic, oregano is a staple in sauces, soups, and seasonings.
3. Chives
Chives add a taste similar to garlic and onions but packaged in crisp, green shoots that bring out the flavors in soups, fish, potatoes, and other vegetables.
4. Cilantro
No Mediterranean dish or salsa is complete without a hint of cilantro. Plus, the plant's seeds, known as coriander, are another culinary seasoning no respectable chef goes long without.
5. Parsley
Parsley is called for in many meat and vegetable dishes. Its subtle flavor complements any dish it is paired with.
6. Peppermint
There is more to peppermint than its role as the key ingredient in a mojito. Peppermint tea and peppermint hot chocolate provide necessary comfort drinks during the cold months. This tried and true perennial favorite pots up nicely for the kitchen windowsill.
7. Rosemary
If there are lamb fans in your circle, rosemary is the gift to give. Rosemary is a primary ingredient in many meat dishes, and it also comes in tasteful Christmas tree shapes this time of year.
8. Sage
Poultry, sausage, and sauces wouldn't be the same without the leaves of this herb. Sage is not only tasty, it is beautiful, making it a decorative accent as well as an essential seasoning.
9. Tarragon
The anise-like flavor of tarragon adds zest to poultry, egg, vegetable and seafood dishes.
10. Thyme
Everyone needs a little more thyme in their lives. Chefs add thyme to soups, stocks, and sauces to add its subtle flavor to the dish.
Giving Herbs To Friends With Black Thumbs
Not everyone has a green thumb. Gardeners tend to forget that some of our beloved family and friends might not share our passion for plants. Giving a living thing as a holiday present comes with a commitment. Your friend will feel obligated to keep the plant alive, and might even feel guilt if it dies.
It is your responsibility to make caring for the herb you give them as easy as possible. There are three ways you can do this:
  1. Choose a hardy herb
  2. Provide a plant pot
  3. Include care instructions
Hardy Herbs
Choose a hardy perennial herb for your black-thumbed loved ones like one of these 6 herbs:
  1. Rosemary
  2. Sage
  3. Thyme
  4. Lemon balm
  5. Mint
  6. Lavender
Plant Pots
Whether its over watering or underwatering, water is usually the cause of a plant's demise. Consider purchasing a self-watering plant pot to accompany your herbal gift to take the pressure off of your friend.
Care Instructions
You don't want to sound condescending, but you do want to give your friend a little "care card." Let them know if the herb likes shade or sun, requires frequent or infrequent waterings, and most importantly, how to harvest clippings.
While you're shopping for herbs, pick a few up for yourself to brighten up your home and garden in the new year.
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About Anna Burke
Anna Burke has been farming and gardening for over 6 years. She graduated from Smith College with a degree in English Literature. A few months after graduation she started a small sheep farm in Upstate New York with her partner. Anna enjoys growing vegetables and raising livestock.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Lawn Program For Fescue

Lawn Program for Fescue

Large Lawns

Following this program should give you an excellent lawn within 3 years (often quicker).  This is recommended for lawns 1 acre or larger. 

March 1

-Spread pelletized lime if recommended from soil test.
-Spread 1 ½ lbs/1000 sq ft of Urea Nitrogen (34-0-0) over yard and water in (or plan when rain is expected, so rain will do the job).

March 15

-Use a plug aerator to loosen compacted soil.  Go in several directions to ensure lots of holes (can be done in the fall).
          -Spread pre-emergence weed killer (follow label directions).
-Apply 10-10-10 fertilizer as directed on your soil test (UT Extension sends soil tests to the state lab for about $8 per sample).

April 15 (or six weeks after first application)

-Spread 1 ½ lbs/1000 sq ft of Urea Nitrogen (34-0-0) over yard and water in.
-Spread grub control if needed.

April 30 (or six weeks after first application)

          -Spread pre-emergence crabgrass weed killer (Dimension or other granular).

June and July

-Use a weed spray (post-emergent 2, 4D such as Weed Be Gone) to kill individual weeds that might have missed the pre-emergent.

Can be done in August or September

-Kill off any weedy patches with weed spray (post-emergent such as Weed Be Gone).
-Repeat in one week if necessary.
-Remove debris with a rake or de-thatcher.
-Loosen soil in bare areas that need to be seeded.
-Seed lawn or over-seed patch areas ensuring seed is in contact with soil (Seeding should be done by Oct 15; sometimes warm falls and winters will allow for later seeding.)
-Apply 10-10-10 fertilizers as directed by your soil test.  (I recommend 10-10-10 because if it gets in flowerbeds it is less likely to harm anything.)
-Apply pelletized lime if recommended by soil test and if NOT applied in spring. 
-Apply any pest controls that might be needed (grub controls). 
-Cover large patches of seeded areas with straw.
-Water in and keep new seeded areas moist until germinated.
-Mow newly planted grass when it is 5 - 6 inches tall; only remove 1/3 of the finished lawn height (3 – 4 inches).

November 15

-Continue mowing grass as needed until growth slows.


*This program is designed for 10-10-10 fertilizer (the state lab sends soil recommendations for 10-10-10, 13-13-13, and 15-15-15).  This program will encourage the grass to grow deeper roots and keep weed seeds from germinating.  Remember that pre-emergent weed killer products do not distinguish between good seeds and bad seeds that is why you do not seed in spring.

**Mow fescue to 3 – 4 inches tall.  Any shorter will encourage weeds and can kill off the grass.  Aerate soil once per year or as needed to combat compacted soil.





Lawn Program for Fescue
Small Yards

This program is recommended for lawns less than 1 acre and should product a nearly weed free, healthy lawn within 3 years.

March 1
          -Use a plug aerator to loosen compacted soil.
-Spread pelletized lime if recommended by soil test.
          -Spread a Weed & Feed fertilizer according to directions.

March 15
-Spread grub control only if needed (these controls may kill earthworms as well).
         
April 30
-Spread a Weed & Feed fertilizer with Crabgrass control following directions.

June and July
-Use a post emergent weed spray (2, 4D such as Weed-B-Gone) to kill specific weeds that might have been missed by the pre-emergent.
-Late July or early August:  if you have a problem with winter weeds (especially annual blue grass), use a Weed & Feed Fertilizer with a pre-emergent weed killer (like Scotts with Halts).  A second application may be recommended on the package so read directions thoroughly.

Can be done in August or September
-Kill off any weedy patches with post-emergent weed spray (i.e. Weed-B-Gone).
          -Repeat if necessary about 7 – 10 later.
          -Remove debris with a rake or de-thatcher.
          -Loosen soil in any bare areas that need to be seeded.
-Seed lawn or over-seed patch areas ensuring seed is in contact    with soil.  Seeding should be done by Oct 15th; sometimes warm fall and winter will allow for later seeding.
-Apply a seed starter fertilizer if new lawn or 10-10-10 is overseeding.
-Apply grub control if needed (this may also kill earthworms).
-Apply pelletized lime if not done in the spring and recommended by soil test.
-Cover large patched areas or new lawn with landscape straw.
-Water in and keep newly seeded areas moist until germinated.
-Mow newly planted grass when it is 5-6 inches tall: only remove 1/3 of the finished lawn height (6 inches tall – 2 inches = 4 inches of finished grass height).


SON  (September, October, November)   
          -If you are not overseeding an established lawn, you may fertilize with any good fertilizer during these months.


*This program will encourage grass to grow deeper roots and keep weed seeds from germinating.  Remember that pre-emergent weed killer products do not distinguish between good seeds and bad seeds that is why you do not seed in the spring. 

**Mow fescue to 3 – 4 inches tall.  Any shorter will encourage weeds and can kill off the grass.  Aerate soil once per year or as needed to combat compacted soil.


  

 

Yard Calculations


This is the official calculation for ammonium nitrate.  In truth, I cut mine in half and the grass does great (100 lbs on 1 ½ acres of grassy area.)  Again less is more.

10’ x 100’ = 1000 sq ft

32’ x 32’ = 1000 sq ft

1 acre = 43,560 sq ft

1 acre = 43.5 areas of 1000 sq ft

Urea Ammonium  (34-0-0) means there are 34 lbs. of urea ammonium in 100 lbs. of product (the remainder is filler).  There are 17 lbs in a 50 lb bag.

For 3 lbs / 1000 sq ft, a 50 lb bag will cover 5.6 areas of 1000 sq ft. or 400 lbs will cover 1 acre of grass.

For 1.5 lbs / 1000 sq ft, a 50 lb bag will cover 11.3 areas of 1000 sq ft or 200 lbs will cover 1 acre of grass.


Adjust spreader to achieve the correct coverage.  Do a test area (10 x 100 or 32 x 32) to arrive at correct setting.    

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Plant Sale is almost Here!

Mark your calenders (if you haven't done so already)!
Next weekend is the 4th Annual PCMG Plant Sale!!

April 25th 8am -3pm 
Get there early for the best selection.

We are so excited to see all of you, answer your gardening questions, and help you choose the right plant for that perfect spot in your vegetable and flower gardens.

Check out or Plant Sale page for information on what varieties we are offering this year.

We had so much fun last year.  The days are counting until we get to do it again.
We will be there Rain or Shine.







We will be there Rain or Shine.  See YOU at the Putnam County Fairgrounds next weekend!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2015 Putnam County Master Gardener Plant Sale



2015 Putnam County Master Gardener Plant Sale

PCMG Plant Sale Flyer
The plant information cards that help educate you at the sale are available for reference online all year long. Scan the code block on the info cards at the sale to take you right the cards online anytime.
Learn more about the 
Tomatoes, Vegetables, Heirlooms, Herbs, Annuals, and Perennial varieties we are offering this year.