Keeping a Garden Journal

Keeping a Garden Journal

Gardening season is finally upon us! If you’re like most gardeners, you are looking forward to planting seeds with the full expectation of making this the best gardening year yet. While much of gardening comes down to experience, diligence, and creativity, having the right tools makes a big difference. One handy tool is the garden journal.   Advantages of Keeping a Garden Journal Permanent record. … Continue reading Keeping a Garden Journal

Top 10 Books for Beginning Farmers

Top 10 Books for Beginning Farmers

Just getting started? Whether you are still in the early planning stage or are trying to overcome your first obstacle, one of the best things you can do is to read extensively. Many others have walked the path before you. Why not smooth your own learning curve and take advantage of their experience? While there are many excellent books we could recommend (just check out … Continue reading Top 10 Books for Beginning Farmers

Pierce's Disease

Pierce’s Disease

Pierce’s disease (PD) is a bacterial disease of grapes named for Newton Pierce, who described the disease in 1892.  The bacterium species is Xylella fastidiosa. A grape plant is infected when insects, particularly sharpshooter leafhoppers, carrying bacteria bite the plant.  Bacteria then take up residence in the vascular tissue of the grape and reproduce, forming large colonies that block the transport of water and nutrients.  … Continue reading Pierce’s Disease

Fire Blight

Fire Blight

Fire blight, found across North America, is a disease to be reckoned with. Caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, this blight affects: Pears. Quinces. Apples. Crabapples. Cane fruits. Roses. The disease is most likely to appear after a mild winter and during a wet spring. Insects transport fire blight bacteria from plant to plant when the hosts are flowering.   Symptoms Brown leaves with a … Continue reading Fire Blight

The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 2

The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 2

Agripreneurship Young people continue to enter agriculture, according to the last USDA census. Most young farmers have limited capital to work with, and they frequently find outside financing difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. With land prices remaining high, they typically buy small properties when they first start out and purchase additional land as they save money. This paradigm leads naturally to the rise of … Continue reading The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 2

Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Cucumber mosaic virus does not affect only cucumbers. It also targets: Squash. Melons. Peppers. Tomatoes. Beets. Spinach. Celery. Petunias. The disease is primarily spread by aphids, but it can also be spread by cucumber beetles and on gardening tools. The virus overwinters in perennial weeds. Symptoms Stunted, unusually bushy plants. Thin, rough, curled leaves with mottled coloring. Reduced yields. Small, bumpy, misshapen fruits.   Treatment … Continue reading Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Get Ready for July 2016

Get Ready for July 2016

Summer can be very busy, but don’t forget to learn and brainstorm.  Spend some time enjoying nature, researching animals, and growing healthy plants. Brush up on your birdwatching vocabulary. Discover how wood type affects the sound of your guitar. Explore the 11 physiographic regions of Kansas. Learn about rare and popular breeds of livestock. Consider growing beans as a field crop in Kansas. Find out … Continue reading Get Ready for July 2016

Bacterial Wilt

Bacterial Wilt

As its name suggests, bacterial wilt is a bacterial disease affecting cucurbits, such as: Cucumbers. Muskmelons. Squash. Pumpkins. Gourds. Watermelons are rarely affected by bacterial wilt. Note that bacterial wilt of cucurbits is different than the various bacteria-caused wilt diseases of corn.  These corn diseases are caused by different organisms and spread by different insect pests. Bacterial wilt of cucurbits typically cannot survive or spread … Continue reading Bacterial Wilt

Dustin-Mizer

Dustin-Mizer

If you use diatomaceous earth (DE) to beat your garden pests, you will probably appreciate the Dustin-Mizer. This is a hand-powered device that will help you apply a fine dusting of DE to your plants. Operation is simple: Assemble the Dustin-Mizer. Fill the bin with up to one pound of DE. Point the nozzle toward a plant. Crank the handle to apply DE. Not much … Continue reading Dustin-Mizer

Get Ready for May 2016

Get Ready for May 2016

Summer is fast approaching! It’s time to battle the bugs, brush up on music skills, and plan some family time for Memorial Day. Discover the historical geography of the United States. Choose the right string gauge for your guitar. Deter garden bugs before they show up for lunch. Start a homemade construction project. Learn how to communicate with a sheepdog. Improve your banjo technique. Read … Continue reading Get Ready for May 2016