In descending order, by date published.
Phosphorus (P) is an essential plant nutrient and a common component of many turfgrass nutrition programs. Although P application can improve turfgrass quality in some soils, most soils of Kentucky already have adequate plant-available P to support healthy turfgrass growth. What is the function of P within the plant, and how much P is required to sustain acceptable turfgrass in Kentucky? Also, if P applications are necessary, when and how should P be applied?
Fertilizers and other lawn amendments benefit the residential landscape by providing or supplementing the essential nutrients for plant growth and maintenance. Commercial fertilizers are commonly formulated based on three major nutrients, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) and each plays an important role in plant development. However, improper application of fertilizers and amendments may increase the risk of non-point source pollution of surface and ground waters.
A well-planned and properly kept garden should produce 600 to 700 pounds of produce per 1,000 square feet and may include many different crops. Consult "Vegetable Cultivars for Kentucky Gardens" (ID-133) for the latest recommendations on home vegetable varieties.
Although most would agree that gardening is a worthwhile endeavor, traditional gardening with long neat rows spaced 3 or 4 feet apart to allow cultivation by a tractor or tiller may not be feasible for everyone. Individuals that live in urban areas, especially those living in townhomes, condominiums, and apartments may not have the outdoor space needed for this conventional style of gardening. In addition, those with limited mobility may not be able to establish and maintain this type of garden. For many, raised bed gardening and container gardening may be a more practical and manageable choice for those gardening in small spaces and those with limited mobility.
"Wet feet" is the common term for a condition that affects plant species intolerant of wet growing conditions. This problem occurs when soils become saturated with water, which, in turn, displaces available oxygen. Roots require oxygen to function; when oxygen is deficient, roots suffocate. Once root damage occurs, plants decline and may eventually die. While "wet feet" is an abiotic disorder and is not caused by infectious organisms, declining root health and wet soil conditions can inhibit the ability of some plants to thrive. This also provides ideal conditions for many root and collar rot water mold pathogens, such as Phytophthora and Pythium.
Departments: County Extension, Plant and Soil Sciences, Plant Pathology
Series: Woody Ornamental Disease: Plant Pathology Factsheet (PPFS-OR-W series)
Tags: plant diseases
Size: 1.36 mb
The goal of water conservation in the landscape does not need to be as drastic as eliminating all irrigation, but we should choose plant material wisely and decide if and when irrigation is necessary. This publication is designed to promote a healthy lawn through watering while promoting water conservation through best management practices. One of the easiest things you can do to reduce the need for irrigation in your yard is to plant species that naturally need less water. When choosing plants, remember that just because a particular plant is drought tolerant does not mean that it is suitable for Kentucky's climate.
This publication covers the design, construction, and maintenance of residential ran gardens. Rain gardens are one of several stormwater management practices that homeowners can use to reduce their property's negative impact on water quality and flooding.
Authors: Brad Lee
The purpose of this publication is to discuss home water use patterns and suggest water conservation measures that could improve septic system performance and reduce the risks of hydraulic overload or other kinds of system failure.
Septic system components sometimes have unsightly aboveground pipes, risers, ventilation systems, or large mounds. Homeowners can improve the appearance of these functional features through site design and, in particular, plant material selection.
Authors: Brad Lee
This publication provides homeowners with a basic introduction to septic systems by explaining how septic systems function and suggesting ways to better maintain systems and increase their longevity.
Authors: Brad Lee
More than one-third of new homes and over half of the mobile homes in the U.S. depend on septic systems. Here in Kentucky, approximately 40 percent of the homes have septic systems. This is common in the southeast, where there are more septic systems per capita than any other region of the country.
Authors: Brad Lee
Septic tanks play an essential role in effectively treating wastewater in areas without municipal sewage treatment. Homeowners often assume that the septic tank in their backyard is their septic system. Actually, the tank is merely the first of a series of components that make up a well-designed septic system.
A high BOD value means potential septic system problems for homeowners; a low BOD means fewer problems for homeowners. This publication describes the environmental impacts of BOD, shows how BOD is distributed in septic systems, and describes remediation strategies for excess BOD.
Septic system additive vendors often market their products as necessities that improve septic system performance or repair failing systems. Rather than address specific products, this publication examines general categories of these additives. This publication also describes the treatment functions of septic systems and the available scientific data regarding the effectiveness of septic system additives.
Authors: Brad Lee
The most common septic systems used in the United States employ soil treatment area to treat and disperse wastewater into the environment. The soil treatment area consists of a network of perforated pipes within gravel-filled trenches. Under normal environmental conditions, well designed and managed septic systems work very well at dispersing wastewater and removing pathogens from the wastewater before they reach groundwater or surface waters.
Many homeowners notice color differences in the turfgrass over their septic system soil treatment area. Most often, homeowners observe green or brown stripes in their turfgrass relative to the surrounding lawn. This discoloration is worth keeping an eye on because turfgrass color is often an early sign that serious problems are about to occur.
We generally view gardening as a wholesome activity that enhances our environment. But pesticides, fertilizers, and erosion from gardens and landscapes can contaminate lakes, streams, rivers, oceans, and groundwater. Since the quality of our water resources affects our quality of life, we must learn how gardening practices can contribute to water contamination and how to reduce the threat to water quality.
Soil is a mixture of weathered rock fragments and organic matter at the earth's surface. It is biologically active--a home to countless microorganisms, invertebrates, and plant roots. Soil provides nutrients, water, and physical support for plants as well as air for plant roots. Soil organisms are nature's primary recyclers, turning dead cells and tissue into nutrients, energy, carbon dioxide, and water to fuel new life.
Gardeners have long made and used compost to improve garden soil. Composting plant and vegetable matter is an important way to reduce the waste burned or dumped in landfills. Yard wastes and vegetable scraps can make up as much as 20 percent of household garbage. Composting effectively recycles that waste into valuable organic matter that can be used as soil amendments.
Reducing, at the top of the waste management hierarchy, has the greatest impact on the environment and starts with you reducing the number of products you purchase and use.
Reuse is essentially any action that extends the life of a product and keeps it out of the waste system. The process of reusing an item can start even before you purchase it.
Americans create about 5 pounds of waste per day, half of which is recycled in some manner, leaving roughly 2.5 pounds of waste per day going to landfills.
Everyday products found around your house contain hazardous chemicals--everything from nail polish remover to household electronics to oil for your car.