A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Intrepid Urban Farmer: Hate rain, love rain, don’t/do need rain — gardening is a collision of emotions

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward I don’t know about you, but I’ve just about had it with water. It just seems to be everywhere.  I turn on a faucet and it comes out. It always does. Sometimes it announces itself even when not summoned. Drip. Drip. Drip. This was in June after just a couple of days. Almost three inches. (Photos provided) But then, on occasion, when I’ve turned on the...

Intrepid Urban Farmer: Gardening — blunders, hard work, setbacks, rewards, joy, accomplishment

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward It seems that, in life, pursuits that are rewarding and give the greatest satisfaction are those things that are a challenge. Hard work and setbacks are the norm. Everything I’ve ever done that has given me a sense of accomplishment has ALWAYS required some level of aggravating diligence, and usually on some protracted timeline that has, in some cases, caused...

Intrepid Urban Farmer: Excitement building as a new gardening season looms. Look! Seeds are starting

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward Here we go again! It’s the beginning of another year of gardening, and I am excited!  I am so excited, one would think that I was at the beginning of an electrifying world tour that promises adventure with exotic, wild people; glorious food served in ten-course meals (French, naturally); buckets of champagne, fine wines and bourbon (I do live in Kentucky);...

Intrepid Urban Farmer: Lightning and lightning bug aside, we get down to basics — there is the tomato

By Ginger Dawson Special to NKyTribune As you may remember when we met here before, I had received my annual embarrassment of seed catalogues. And, instead of getting down to business and making considered choices of what plants I would be stewarding to their glorious rewards, I got mired down in the silly side-track of eccentric, amusing and just plain weird plant names. There is enough to consider...

Intrepid Urban Farmer: Seed catalogues! The (name) game begins — Gladiator Parsnips? Sugar Buns?

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward The planning commences! Most of the seed catalogues have arrived and are countering the gray boredom of being inside. This is the first spark of what Garden 2019 will ultimately become.   I always look forward to these catalogues, even if Doug, the mailman, does not. Actually, he’s a pretty good sport. He knows what will happen as a result of his efforts in...

Intrepid Urban Farmer: Cat lover-gardener requires tough love; (so far) Henry Clay can’t do zippers

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward I have always been a cat lover. From the first time that someone dumped off a load of sore-eyed kittens in front of our house when I was about three years old, I have been smitten. The minute I laid eyes on one of those little critters I knew that they were for me. The cute little stinker! Who could resist? (Photos provided) Naturally, I picked them up—all...

Intrepid Urban Farmer: It’s bell-ringer news, the kind that keeps her moving along on garden dominence

By Ginger Dawson Special to NKyTribune For about the past 15 years, or so, I have had my summers visited by the phenomenon of the whole fam-damily vacation. We all pack-up, come in from all over the country, and camp together as a tribe in some pre-selected place that will have us. The attendance numbers are generally around 15, sometimes more.    This was the biggest tomato waiting for me when...

Intrepid Urban Farmer: Zucchini wars have begun (hang the vine borer) and a new chapter opened

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward As many of you may know, I have spent much time, sweat and emotional anguish over the simple desire to have a successful, long-lived zucchini crop.   My fellow gardeners — is it too much to ask for? Over the years I have tried many, many techniques that have come highly recommended as tactics to fend off that hated foe of zucchini everywhere — the...

Intrepid Urban Farmer: A few wise words to gardeners everywhere — get a tetanus shot

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward I am a lifelong reader. I’ll read just about anything that even remotely sparks my curiosity.  Biographies, history, gardening books, Mark Twain, trashy rock and roll memoirs….you name it. I love them all. They are a window into lives and situations that edify and shape my intellect and world view. The best books start me on a journey that that might...

Intrepid Urban Farmer: Big event, Garden 2018 — for tomatoes, it’s Burpee Steakhouse vs Big Zac

By Ginger Dawson Special to NKyTribune It’s that time of year when the big event, Garden 2018, is in its nascent stages.   The seed has been ordered and received.  As usual, I ordered an ungodly amount.   In order to make sense of all of this, I made a master list of my selections.  Tomatoes, of course, are first.  I have different categories that I like to raise to fulfill my different uses: ...

Urban Farmer: Planting after Mother’s Day cuts down frost danger, but doesn’t lighten workload

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward Mother’s Day is that all-important marker of time for gardeners. I can pretty much always be confident that if I plant my garden the week following it, I won’t have any arctic surprises.  A cold temperature emergency has happened a couple of times in the past 25 years, but this is an anomaly. This year, Mother Nature must have felt very good about her day. The...

Urban Farmer: Throwing caution to the wind — and digging up the ‘dirt’ on what’s really in the soil

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist Mother nature is playing tricks on us. It’s the end of February and it’s sixty degrees outside! This is a cruel carrot to dangle. I want to go outside and start doing things. But, I’m afraid it will be a premature effort that will result in a waste of seed and time. I think I’ll throw caution to the wind and tempt fate anyway. I’m going to try to start...

Urban Farmer: When starting seed, figure out what works best for you – and take good notes

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist   The best time of the year is here. It is time to get the seed started.   I made a mistake in the past of starting seed too early. Each year, I have refined my approach and taken careful notes of starting dates, germination dates, varieties, etc… I’m always good at this record-keeping business at the beginning of the season. Then, even with the...