In Aug. 8 IssueBy Kim GrahamRussell County News Reporter
Last week local gardeners attended a Vegetable Demonstration Garden Tour sponsored by Russell County Cooperative Extension Service (RCCE) at the Hispanic Garden Project.
John and Brenda Durbin of Russell County have been gardening 7 years but decided to improve their gardening skills by attending the gardening classes.
"We've been gardening 7 years," said John Durbin. "We are attending classes trying to improve what we grow."
UK Extension Vegetable and Plant Pathologist Dr. Kenny Seebold and Bonnie Sigmon, Extension Associate for Horticulture discussed plant disease and pest prevention practices in vegetable gardens.
The event was well attended with 42 participants including 5 Hispanic families who tend and harvest the Hispanic garden.
"The Hispanic families enjoyed it a lot," said Margie Hernandez, Nutrition Education Assistant, Russell County Agriculture Extension Service. "They like people seeing the garden. They're very proud of it."
Bonnie Sigmon explained the advantages of using sheet plastic and drip irrigation.
She said using plastic assists with disease prevention, weed control, and increasing crop yields by double.
"I've put down every color in the rainbow of plastic from the traditional black to white, silver, green and red," said Sigmon.
In the spring, using black plastic keeps moisture in and helps to heat the soil. White plastic reflects rather than absorbs heat from the sun keeping plants cooler during warm weather.
Drip irrigation, laid with the plastic, assures a constant supply of water and provides direct fertilizer delivery to each plant.
Dr. Seebold studies plant diseases and recommends chemicals to be used to reduce disease in garden plants.
Using samples from the garden, Dr. Seebold showed the effects of plant diseases and explained application of chemicals to prevent and combat disease.
He said some insects, such as cucumber beetles, spread bacteria to plants causing damage in the garden.
"As soon as plants go in the ground, you should apply pesticide products to prevent infestation," said Dr. Seebold.
Once the bugs discover the crop, they can move in and survive the winter to become an even bigger problem next growing season.
Information from the garden tour, can assist growers in managing vegetable crops for a productive growing season.
"Everyone had a wonderful time and commented they learned a lot they can use in their gardens," said Pam York, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent.
The Hispanic Garden project has been in practice 3 years and is made possible by donations from area businesses and farmers.
The garden is located in Russell County on property owned by Frankie Antle. Antle donates the use of his property and prepares the ground for the garden each year.
RCCE's home gardening series of classes are taught beginning in late winter and are free to the public.
For additional information call Wanda Miick or Raymond Thompson at 270-866-4477.