Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Annual Agriculture Recognition Banquet Put On Hold
Trouble With Dates And Speakers Blamed For Delay

By Steve Cummings

For those of you who don’t know, our 4-H Agent, Christine Fielder, recently had surgery again.  Christine was not recovering well from the surgery she had prior to Christmas, so she went in for more tests.  The tests revealed that more surgery was needed as infections had occurred which was delaying her recovery.  Christine should be at home by now and recovering nicely.

Christine was actually planning to retire at the end of this month, but, unfortunately, these circumstances have forced her to exit a little sooner than we all planned.  We were in the process of planning a very nice send off party for her, but we’ll put that on hold until she has time to heal and enjoy it.  We will let everyone know when that date is set.

 The Annual Yalobusha County Agriculture Recognition Banquet has also been put on hold until perhaps June.  We were having trouble lining up our dates and speakers.  We will keep you posted on that date as well.  As you can see, sometimes things don’t always work out the way you want them to, but somehow they always seem to work out just fine anyway.

Horticulture Tips:

 Don’t Fertilize Lawns by Signs of Spring Flowers

 Seeing early signs of spring with daffodils, crocus, tulips, and forsythia blooming greatly tempts us to get out and work on our landscapes bringing out the fertilizer and applying it to everything that grows often to the detriment of the plants we apply it to, especially our lawns. Don’t rush into fertilizing your lawn too soon.  This may be setting your lawn up for serious injury if we have a late freeze.  Heavy fertilization early in the spring when the lawn is just beginning to green-up will enhance foliar vegetative growth at the expense of cold tolerance, root development, deplete carbohydrate reserves and enhance diseases. You would be much better off to delay lawn fertilization until the turf has completely greened-up and temperatures have moderated more.  A general guide is to wait until you have cut the lawn at least twice before applying spring fertilization.

 If you just cannot stand not to fertilize or if using a fertilizer carrier for the pre-emergence herbicide then use a fertilizer low in readily available nitrogen.  Several lawn fertilizers are characterized as slow-release formulations.  These fertilizers contain water insoluble nitrogen (WIN) sources that are primarily not immediately available to the turf.  The initial costs of these products are generally higher but they perform much longer and reduce flushes of growth particularly when there is still danger of winterkill.  Most lawns are still water saturated in early spring so caution should be taken not to create compaction problems with heavy equipment such as riding lawn mowers, wheelbarrows, etc. once you do begin spring lawn chores.

It is not too early to divide those perennials that bloom during the second half of the summer.  The list below will get you started. Blanketflowers, chrysanthemum, Japanese anemone, asters, boltonia, goldenrods, obedient plant, stokesia, and yarrow can all be dug and divided now.  Daylilies, hosta, and garden phlox can also be divided now.

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