Friday, January 25, 2008

Wildlife woes

I've just returned from getting some training -- a dangerous thing. Of course, some of the interesting things I learned, I wanted to pass along.

  • Squirrels may be cute, but they're mean, mean, mean!
  • When dealing with nuisance wildlife, THE most cost effective way to deal with them is exclusion -- that's right, folks. Keep deer out with a fence, keep squirrels out with hardware cloth, keep bats out with some plastic netting. Our wildlife Extension Specialist will back me up since he's the one who told us.
  • If you trap a nuisance animal with the intent to release it somewhere else, it cannot be on public land. That means you can't dump it in the Daniel Boone Forest. If you release it on another person's land, you must have their written permission, otherwise you could be in some trouble.
  • There's a good chance if you release a trapped animal at a different site, the animal will die anyway. Other animals may not like the new guy and beat it up. Or else the animal could wander around for a long time with little fat stores trying to find food and shelter. Not a fun way to die.
Nuisance wildlife is a problem most of us will encounter at some point. Just remember, changing the animal's habitat (to make our yards less appealing) and exclusion are the best tactics against them.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Return from Meeting

January is a renewal time for horticulture crop growers. Seems like they all have conferences in early January. I attended the Kentucky Landscape Industries conference and the Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference. Here's a very short list of a few things worth repeating from the conferences:

  • Get beyond geraniums as container plants -- use tropicals, use succulents, and arrange containers in your existing garden to stage those container plants
  • Don't fill a large container full of styrofoam peanuts to make the container less heavy. It may become top heavy. It's better to mix the peanuts throughout the medium. Makes sense, doesn't it?
  • If you're using woody plants in containers that will be left outdoors 12 months out of the year, you must choose plants that are hardy to zone 2 or 3
  • In Kentucky, don't be surprised if home-grown strawberries are available in late April instead of May. This is do-able in some regions in KY. Wow! I love that!
  • KY gardeners should use intermediate-day or 'day neutral' onion varieties to have the best luck in bulb formation and maturation. Soil sulfur content determines how pungent the onion will be.
Just a few tidbits of information to share with you.

Winter may be here, but speaking of onions, I'll be planting onion seed during this upcoming week. See -- it's already time to start gardening!