Horticulture December 2022 Newsletter
December 2022 EditionHorticulture
Share this Newsletter
Preview This Newsletter
December 2022 Horticulture Newsletter
"Around and About the Garden with Annette"
TIPS FROM ANNETTE
Even though the outdoor gardening season slows down, a few tasks can take place as well as the planning for next year begins.
- Continue to plant most trees and shrubs through the fall. HO-114 “Planting Container-Grown Trees and Shrubs in the Landscape” http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/HO/HO114/HO114.pdf provides best practices to improve establishment of the plant in the landscape
- Go ahead and finish planting bulbs if you still have some in a bag to prevent them from drying out and dying.
- Ornamental trees and shrubs that flower before June 1 should be pruned immediately after flowering.
- Trees and shrubs flowering after June 1 should be pruned in winter or spring before new growth begins.
- Fall is a good time to test the soil from the vegetable garden. If the garden has a low pH, then apply the lime this fall or early winter to allow time for it to become available to affect pH.
- Review your flower and vegetable gardening season.
- Plan to try new flower and vegetable varieties for the next season. Look for disease resistance and other qualities that fit your situation.
- Order or pick up seed and gardening supplies early.
- The best time to fertilize most ornamental trees and shrubs, if they need it, is in the late fall after they are dormant which is usually after Thanksgiving.
December 13, 2022– ”Houseplants” 2:00 p.m. at Daviess County Public Library and through Facebook Live.
January 2-4, 2023– Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference. Holiday Inn/Slone Convention Center, 1021 Wilkinson Trace, Bowling Green, KY 42103. Register Online: https://2023KYFruitVegConference.eventbrite.com
January 25, 2023– Ag Expo. Owensboro Convention Center
February 21-23, 2023– Kentucky Turf & Landscape Management Short Course. Hardin County Extension Center, 111 Opportunity Way, Elizabethtown, KY. Register Online: https://2023KYTurfShortCourse.eventbrite.com
The Daviess County Cooperative Extension Service 4-H Horticulture Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Daviess County Office 4800A New Hartford Rd. Each month we explore a topic in horticulture accompanied by a craft or activity. If you wish to be added to the email list to receive updates on club activities or have any questions, please email Rachel Logue, Extension Assistant for Horticulture at Rachel.email@example.com.
ALL-AMERICA SELECTIONS WINNERS 2023
All-America Selections (AAS) is a non-profit organization that conducts confidential and impartial trials of new, never-before-sold annual ornamentals, perennials and vegetables throughout North America.
Flowers from Seed:
Coleus Premium Sun Coral Candy Orange Solenostemon scutellariodes
Snapdragon DoubleShot™ Bicolor F1 Antirrhinum majus
Colocasia Royal Hawaiian® Waikiki Colocasia esculenta
Salvia Blue By You Salvia hybrida
Pepper jalapeno San Joaquin F1 Capsicum annuum
Squash kabocha Sweet Jade F1 Cucurbita maxima
KEEPING THE POINSETTIA BEAUTIFUL
By: Annette Meyer Heisdorffer, Ph.D., Extension Agent for Horticulture Education, Daviess County
Poinsettias are beautiful holiday decorations. The selection of healthy, less mature plants and the care they receive affect how long they will last inside. Our goal is to have a nice poinsettia to enjoy for a couple of months.
It is important to note that poinsettia is not poisonous to people or pets. The poinsettia is classified as non-edible and may cause major discomfort if consumed. Scientific research conducted at several universities showed no toxicity, no behavioral changes, and no mortality, even at extremely high doses. All non-edible plant materials should be kept out of reach of curious children or pets in the home.
Also, people with an allergy to latex may be allergic to poinsettias, according to information from the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service. Poinsettias produce a white milky sap when the leaves are damaged. The severity of the reaction depends on the person. Ask the recipient about allergies before giving them as a gift.
When purchasing a poinsettia, look for the yellow buds in the center of the bracts. The buds should be closed tightly with a green or red tip. Plants with wide open buds and pollen present are more mature and will not last as long. Also, look for foliage that is crisp, dark green, and not yellowing. The color of the bracts should be bright and undamaged. Plants without the yellow buds are the most mature, shortening the enjoyment time.
Remember to protect them from cold temperatures while taking them to your vehicle after purchasing. They are tropical plants native to Mexico and injury results if exposed to cold temperatures. Take them home right away to avoid exposure to cold temperatures while sitting in the vehicle.
When you arrive at the final destination for the plant, place it out of cold drafts from opening doors and in a room with bright, natural light. The best situation is to have direct sunlight falling on the leaves for three or more hours each day. Keep the poinsettia away from appliances and heat vents.
Water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch, and don’t allow it to wilt because it will drop its leaves. Also, pour out excess water, and don’t let it sit in water in the pot cover or a dish under the plant. Roots sitting in water may cause them to rot.
After January 1, fertilize the poinsettia once a month with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Keep the plant growing with adequate light and water for continued enjoyment.
For instructions on how to try to make your plant re-bloom again for the holidays, call the Daviess County Cooperative Extension Service Office. Enjoy your poinsettia!
THE BITE OF THE BROWN RECLUSE
By: Dr, Jonathan L. Larson, Entomology Extension Specialist
Source: Kentucky Pest News, October 2022
A stroll through the Halloween décor section at the store demonstrates that spiders are something that conjure up dread amongst most people. They are sitting on shelves next to zombies and vampires, amongst other spooky season all-stars. There are two species in Kentucky that seem to inspire the most fear though: brown recluses and black widows.
The Department of Entomology receives a few black widows a year from people who discover them on their property. Far more common though, are requests to figure out if a brown recluse has been caught in a home. Right now, as temperatures drop and some bugs attempt to move into homes, several species of spider may also try to get inside. Several of these are confused with the brown recluse. Let’s dive into some info on the recluse and dispel some myths while providing some casual identification tips.
BROWN RECLUSE BASICS
As the name implies, this spider species is not known for its gregarious behavior. In a natural setting, they would usually be found in hollow logs, beneath stones, or loose bark on trees. Luckily for the recluses, humans often construct buildings that afford them a lot of potential hiding spots as well. The species that resides in Kentucky (Loxosceles reclusa) can be found in attics, cellars, wall voids, closets, and garages. Mainly, they want to live in spots that have been undisturbed for an extended period. They feed on other household arthropods and even each other in these secluded spots. Brown recluses can produce spider silk, but they don’t construct webs like we see with other species. They may make a web enclosure between objects, which can have a slight tunnel-like appearance.
BITES & THE RECLUSE
Brown recluse spiders are armed with venom that helps them to capture their prey. In some instances, while you are pulling down the Christmas decorations, putting on clothes you haven’t worn in a while, or while performing home repairs, for example, you may come into contact with them. Typically, they will turn tail and run; they don’t want to mess with you. Unfortunately, in some situations you may grab or press up against the recluse, which can lead to a bite.
Bites may initially be painless, but over the next 3 to 8 hours, the bite site may become red, swollen, and tender to the touch. Usually, this is as far as symptoms progress with resolution happening within the next 3 weeks. Unfortunately, there are other cases where a necrotic “spot” can develop. There will be a central blister, surrounded by sinking, bluish skin. The lesion may remain small but can expand as well; these cases tend to result in a scar.
Brown recluse bites are not as common as many people tend to believe and many other issues have been misdiagnosed as a brown recluse spider bite. Medical research has shown that up to 80% of problems diagnosed as “spider bites” are in actuality caused by other issues. Most notably, skin infections, such as from staph or MRSA; these result in misdiagnosis that is still ultimately treated correctly.
CASES OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY
Due to its fearsome reputation, many people expect the brown recluse to be somewhere near the size of a tarantula. In truth, they are kind of puny and boring looking. The main body is only about 1/2 inch in length; with the legs included, they are slightly bigger than a quarter. They are light brown with a dark brown “fiddle” pattern on the top of their head area. This lends them their other common name, the fiddle-back spider. Brown recluses are also notable for having six eyes, arranged in three pairs that form a horseshoe of eyes. This eye pattern sets them apart from a lot of the species confused with them.
Some of the spiders most frequently confused with brown recluse are funnel weaver spiders, yellow sac spiders, tiger wolf spiders, and cellar spiders. None of these have the same eye pattern as a recluse but if you aren’t willing to perform some spider optometry for identification, there are some other tips available.
- First, check the size. Most species coming in from outside, such as grass spiders and wolf spiders, will be considerably larger and stouter than a brown recluse.
- Other times, it comes down to color: yellow sac spiders look remarkably like a brown recluse except they are too light in color.
- Finally, how is the spider living? Cellar spiders, in particular, live in the same areas as recluses but construct messy webs that they hang from. This behavior is not seen with the recluse.
If you feel you are dealing with a brown recluse problem, it is important to consult with a pest control professional. Because some recluses are found in a home, it does not necessarily mean the home is completely infested; it is not abnormal to find them. Reducing clutter helps to limit their population and they can be captured with glue board traps set up in storage areas. If a high number are being found outside of storage areas, a professional can help to perform pesticide applications where they will be most effective.
HOLIDAY TURKEY SALAD
Yield: 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds cooked turkey breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 (14 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup halved red grapes
3 chopped celery stalks
⅔ cup pecan halves
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add turkey pieces and cook until lightly browned. Let turkey cool slightly.
2. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt and honey. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix together pineapple, grapes, celery, and pecans. Add turkey. Add yogurt dressing until desired texture.
4. Refrigerate until well chilled.
390 Calories, 11 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 125 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 3g added sugar, 51 g protein
PLANT OF THE MONTH
Common Name: Cornelian cherry dogwood
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 15 to 25 feet
Spread: 15 to 20 feet
Bloom Time: March
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil
Source: Missouri Botanical Garden
Please “like” the Daviess County Cooperative Extension Facebook page at:
We have daily posts related to all areas of Cooperative Extension.
For exclusive gardening information and how-to videos, also visit and “like” the Facebook of the Green River Area Extension Master Gardener Association at