Farmers market vendors have the option to view the Farmers Market Nutrition Program 2019 training webinar at numerous ISU Extension and Outreach county offices. Ten offices are hosting the March 28 webinar and 22 extension offices are hosting the April 11 webinar. Read more about County Extension Offices Hosting Farmers Market Nutrition Program Vendor Webinars
With a little spring preparation, your garden season can be more rewarding than ever:raised beds simply make gardening vegetables and herbs easier.
When gardeners choose to grow in raised beds, the soil stays looser which means the roots are happier.And every gardener knows happy roots means happy shoots.The soil also warms up faster and stays warmer;this helps with germinating seeds and allows them be planted earlier than they could go into the ground.Coupled with better air movement for disease prevention and less pest pressures, the warmer and looser soil in raised bed gardening gives you a higher yield of goodies during the growing season.
Consider the following when planning your raised bed:
- Ensure that your bed gets at least 6 hours of sun to grow most vegetables and herbs.If you have dappled shade, limit yourself to salad greens, swiss chard, kale, mustard, parsley, lemon balm, mint and chives.
- To prep your site, kill off existing vegetation with cardboard or moist newspaper at least 6 sheets thick.
- Build as close to the water source as possible, and consider adding drip irrigation.Drip irrigation is relatively affordable, and makes mid-summer watering less of a task.In 2018, Reid Young, Program Coordinator for University of Illinois Extension, installed a large drip irrigation system for raised beds at the Unity Community Center for $250.A smaller home system can be much less expensive.Reid tells me "with a little forethought, it's not too difficult to install.And it saves a lot of time and water compared to watering with a garden hose." Installation was completed in an afternoon.
- Raised beds can be as short as 6 inches tall, but I would recommend building 12-24 inches high.Build no wider than four feet or you will have difficulty reaching all of your plants.If your beds will be longer than 12 feet the, boards need to be reinforced or they may warp.
- Lumber treated with arsenic was phased out in 2004.Lumber is now treated with copper and is approved for growing food, but be sure to wash vegetables well.Untreated cedar is an excellent choice for rot resistance and durability, but can be very expensive.
- Reinforce corners with corner brackets of pieces of wood.
- Soil should be one-third topsoil, one-third organic matter, and on-third vermiculite and perlite.No more than 35% topsoil should be used, as it will hold too much water and will not provide the benefits of excellent root growth.
- To find the volume of soil you need, multiply length by width by height.Remember to use actual dimensions, and consistent units of measure!Soil is sold in bulk by the cubic yard, and by the cubic foot in bags.
For in-depth information on raised bed vegetable gardening, search for our Four Seasons Gardening webinar Growing Vegetables in Raised Beds or Containers.
According to Iowa Learning Farms 15-year evaluation data, Iowa cover crop acres grew last year by approximately 16 percent, resulting in approximately 880,000 total acres. This represents a 6 percent decline in new cover crop acres compared to last year’s estimate and a 19 percent cumulative decline since 2015. Read more about Cover Crop Acres Increase but Rate of Growth Declines in 2018
AUBURN, Ala. – Minutes stretch to hours as storm victims and volunteers work through the rubble and the
University of Missouri Extension
Story source: Kent Shannon, 573-445-9792
COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension specialists and local experts will give ways to make use of backyards and small acreages April 27 at the third annual Mid-MO Expo at Battle High School in Columbia.
The daylong event covers a variety of topics for the beginning to advanced gardener. Specialists will tell how to raise food, including poultry, honey, vegetables and fruit, and how to market it for sale.
The event offers numerous 45-minute sessions that will help landowners get more out of their backyards, says MU Extension agricultural engineering specialist Kent Shannon, who will give an overview of how small-property owners can use drones in their operations.
Beekeeper and MU Master Gardener John Williams gives several sessions to help those wanting to get into beekeeping. Terry Woods, an MU research specialist, shares ways to manage monarch butterflies and bees.
MU Extension entomologist Kevin Rice gives updates for the homeowner on insects. MU Extension agronomist Todd Lorenz tells how to start a garden. He also will talk about how cover crops can benefit gardens. MU Extension horticulturists Jim Quinn and Cory Creed tell how to grow fruits and hops. MU’s longtime state horticulturist David Trinklein gives a double session on tomato growing.
Retired MU Extension poultry specialist Jess Lyons gives a talk on “Backyard Chicken Production.” Shannon says local Master Gardeners and extension council members also offer sessions that attendees will find useful.
Representatives from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri, and the Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District will offer insights into water and erosion issues. Jeff Zimmershied of The Lawn Company gives tips for organic lawn care.
For more information or to register, go to extension.missouri.edu/boone or call 573-445-9792. The event runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Battle High School is at 7575 E. St. Charles Road, Columbia.
Photo available for this release:
Cutline: Mid-MO Expo
One hundred youth from Storm Lake, Storm Lake St. Mary’s and Fort Dodge school districts spent a day Getting Real Together through leadership activities, college exploration and cultural awareness. They were taking part in this year’s GRiT Conference, March 8 at Buena Vista University. Read more about Youth Explore Leadership, College and Culture at GRiT Conference