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Kyle’s News and Reviews

It’s Time To Plant Our Summer Gardens

I was out some this weekend breaking ground for my pea and butterbean patches and reworking some of my watermelon patches. The ground was working fairly well but it looks like we have a good chance for rain all of this week, which will halt all of the field work.  It never fails every spring that when I need to be working in the field I am either too busy or it is too wet.  I believe that we are out of the freeze hazard now and are safe to go ahead and plant the summer gardens.  I help my dad plant our garden and we already have beans, squash, tomatoes and watermelons planted.  

This weekend was filled with family fun for our family with a fish fry at my house after church Sunday.  My parents, my wife’s parents and one of my brother’s family all came out for the afternoon.  We enjoyed playing ball (baseball, football and kickball) in mixed fashion out in the yard.  I have been married to my wife for over a decade and have never really played any baseball with her, but by the time the party was over she was bat hogging and begging me to throw her just “one more pitch” so she could hit.  

By the way the kids, my two sons and my brother’s son had a good time also.  We had a fish fry with some catfish, hush puppies, French fries, slaw, several cakes and some homemade ice cream (chocolate).  I did my best not to overeat but it is so easy to do, I must admit though, I didn’t have any cake but did try the homemade chocolate ice cream.  These experimental flavors are just not as good as the old fashioned vanilla that I grew up with.         

The next vegetable growing class will be on Thursday, April 27, at 6 p.m. at the Multi-purpose building in Coffeeville.  These classes are for the commercial grower as well as the home gardener.  At the next meeting we will have a demonstration on plastic mulch, drip irrigation, and planting techniques.  The cost of the class will be $10.  If interested call the Extension office at 662-675-2730.

The Coffeeville Saddle Club will host a judged show on Saturday, April 22, at the Multi-purpose Building in Coffeeville.  The show will start at noon and there will be a concession stand provided by the 4-H Horse Club.

Horticulture Tips 

provided by Dr. Leila Kelly

Butterfly Gardening

Colorful butterflies are a welcome addition to any garden. To attract more of these insects you will need to look at your garden through the eyes of the butterflies. You must consider their needs and blend them with your own wants and needs for your garden.  

Butterfly gardening can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.  You should make an effort to know the species of butterflies that can be attracted to your garden, their larval food plants, and which nectar plants grow best in your area. 

As with almost all forms of wildlife (including some of us), food is by far the most significant influence in a butterfly’s life. We are talking about two stages of life, which require two different types of food—the larval stage, where as caterpillars (some folks mistakenly call them worms), they eat vegetative growth, and the adult life, where nectar is their primary food source.  Sometimes, we forget about the first stage and only think of the pretty butterflies as welcome additions to our gardens.  

“Worms” do turn into the pretty butterflies, so we need to have an assortment of larval food plants in our overall plan if we truly want to have a real butterfly garden.  Some folks think of all caterpillars or “worms” as an ugly, repulsive creature that is eating their prize plants and that should be squashed upon sight. This is a most unfortunate attitude, as many of them, upon close inspection; rival their final winged stage in patterning and coloration. So, to be a successful butterfly gardener we need to cultivate a tolerance for the larval stage and incorporate larval food plants in our yards and gardens.  

For further information on attracting these beautiful creatures as well as other types of wildlife to your backyard, request the Extension publication, P1402, Establishing a Backyard Wildlife Habitat from your County Extension office or use the web address below to view online or download:

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