32 episodes

The Sunshine Gardening podcast covers research-based information from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service to help inspire and encourage gardeners in the Kentucky garden and landscape. Kristin Hildabrand, Warren County Extension Agent for Horticulture, shines the light on various gardening topics from fruit and vegetable production, gardening techniques, care and maintenance tips, pests, insects, and more to help the sun shine brighter over the Kentucky garden!

The Sunshine Gardening Podcast Kristin G. Hildabrand

    • Leisure
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

The Sunshine Gardening podcast covers research-based information from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service to help inspire and encourage gardeners in the Kentucky garden and landscape. Kristin Hildabrand, Warren County Extension Agent for Horticulture, shines the light on various gardening topics from fruit and vegetable production, gardening techniques, care and maintenance tips, pests, insects, and more to help the sun shine brighter over the Kentucky garden!

    Effective Ways to Controlling Moles and Other Pesky Critters

    Effective Ways to Controlling Moles and Other Pesky Critters

    Welcome to The Sunshine Gardening Podcast, your ultimate source for gardening tips and tricks! I'm Kristin Hildabrand, your host. In today's episode, which is episode 32, we will explore the world of pest control, focusing on those pesky creatures that can ruin your lawn. Dr. Matthew Springer, University of Kentucky Assistant Extension Professor of Wildlife Management, is joining us. From moles to voles and everything in between, we'll discuss practical ways to control these pests and keep your lawn healthy. If you're dealing with unwelcome visitors on your lawn, tune in to get expert advice on managing these critters!

    So, put on your gardening gloves, and let's dive into the secrets of controlling moles and other unwanted visitors on your lawn. Let's get started!

    In episode thirty-two of the Sunshine Gardening podcast, host Kristin Hildabrand discusses methods to control common lawn pests, focusing on moles and covering voles, chipmunks, skunks, and the newly emerging issue of armadillos. Kristin is joined by guest Dr. Matthew Springer, UK Assistant Extension Professor of Wildlife Management, who shares his expertise on various wildlife management strategies and insights on pest behaviors.

    Controlling Moles in the Lawn

    The episode begins with Kristin welcoming her audience, highlighting the relevance of pest management during the active lawn care months. Dr. Springer shares his background, explaining his shift from pre-med to wildlife management due to his interest in the outdoors and environmental sciences, influenced partly by his father's forestry background.

    The conversation then turns to pest control, starting with moles. Dr. Springer elucidates mole behavior and their solitary nature except during breeding and provides strategies for homeowners to deal with mole infestations effectively. He discusses using physical barriers and baits (specifically mentioning a product called talpirid) and the pros and cons of various mole traps, emphasizing safety concerns when pets and children are present.

    Besides moles, they discuss other pests like voles and chipmunks, noting their different behaviors and impacts on lawns and gardens. Dr. Springer details how trapping these smaller rodents effectively can involve snap traps baited with peanut butter and oats, also stressing the importance of correct trap sizing to avoid teaching animals to avoid the traps.



    A significant part of the discussion also addresses the recent presence of armadillos in Kentucky, their unique biological traits, and the difficulties they present in control due to their random digging habits and poor responsiveness to baits. Dr. Springer highlights that while armadillos are not a major problem, their numbers will likely increase, posing future challenges.


    Throughout the episode, Dr. Springer stresses the indiscriminate nature of wildlife impacts on lawns and gardens and the importance of setting realistic management goals. He advocates for tolerance and strategic intervention only where necessary,

    How to Attract More Hummingbirds to Your Kentucky Garden

    How to Attract More Hummingbirds to Your Kentucky Garden

    Welcome to the 31st episode of The Sunshine Gardening Podcast, the ultimate source of expert advice and gardening secrets. I'm Kristin Hildabrand, your host for today's show. This episode will delve into the fascinating world of hummingbirds with Annette Heisdorffer, Daviess County Horticulture Extension Agent. You won't want to miss this episode if you're going to bring more of these delightful creatures to your garden and create the ultimate hummingbird hotspot. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn some fantastic tips and tricks to attract hummingbirds to your Kentucky garden!

    Hummingbird Introduction

    Kristin opens the podcast by introducing the topic and highlights the joy of observing hummingbirds. Annette then dives into the specifics of hummingbird characteristics, emphasizing their preference for tubular-shaped, brightly colored (red, orange, or yellow) flowers and placing feeders and flower clusters in separate territories to minimize conflicts between the territorial birds.

    Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Visiting Cardinal Flower

    Annette also discusses the hummingbirds' need for secluded nesting areas and nearby water sources, adding that urban dwellers without access to such natural elements might face challenges in attracting these birds. She shares tips on selecting plants and flowers that attract hummingbirds, including cardinal flowers and various native plants like bee balms and trumpet honeysuckle.


    Plants for Attracting Hummingbirds

    How to Make Hummingbird Nectar

    Following plant suggestions, the conversation shifts to homemade hummingbird nectar. Annette recommends a 1:4 sugar-to-water ratio, advising against adding red dye as it could harm the birds. She explains the importance of boiling the mixture to prevent fermentation and stresses using feeders with some red parts to attract hummingbirds while avoiding yellow parts that might attract bees.


    How to Make Your Own Hummingbird Nectar

    The discussion also covers maintenance tips for hummingbird feeders. Annette advises cleaning the feeders weekly with hot, soapy water, possibly using a bleach solution, and thoroughly rinsing them. She mentions using glass feeders, which are easier to clean and disinfect.

    Lastly, Kristin and Annette tackle common questions and challenges that listeners might face, such as the appropriate duration to keep feeders up during the year and avoiding common gardening mistakes that could deter hummingbirds. Annette recommends resources like Dr. Thomas Barnes's publication for more detailed information on creating hummingbird-friendly gardens, which are listed below under resources.


    Thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of The Sunshine Gardening Podcast! We hope you enjoyed our discussion on attracting hummingbirds to your garden. Remember, with just a few simple steps, you can create a welcoming environment for these amazing birds to thrive.

    Be sure to visit our website at warrencountyagriculture.com for all the show notes from today's episode. And if you enjoyed what you heard today, please consider leaving us a review on your favorite podcast platform. Your support helps us reach more people and grow our community.

    • 22 min
    A Comprehensive Guide on How to Make the Most of the SOW Garden App

    A Comprehensive Guide on How to Make the Most of the SOW Garden App

    In episode 30 of The Sunshine Gardening podcast, host Kristin Hildabrand introduces the focus of the discussion to be the SOW Garden app and its applicability to Kentucky gardeners. The show's introduction underscores the podcast's aim to inspire gardeners with helpful advice and particular attention to plants suitable to Kentucky's gardening conditions.

    Kristin begins by welcoming Dr. Rick Durham from the University of Kentucky. They jump right into the topic with Rick outlining his background in horticulture as an extension specialist with a broad scope of responsibilities in consumer horticulture. He then delves into the origin of the SOW Garden app, initiated by Alabama Cooperative Extension and adopted by Kentucky with local data inputs. The 2023 launch in Kentucky has given local gardeners a customized tool.

    The app's core utility gets highlighted next, with its three main features—My Garden, a library of plants, and a journal function—each designed to aid in planning and managing gardens. My Garden allows the user to schedule multiple gardens and set reminders for planting, while the library houses extensive information about common vegetables, such as planting dates and care instructions. The journal records plant progress and issues that arise during the growing season.

    SOW Garden App- Create a Garden

    SOW Garden App- Crop Information

    SOW Garden App- Planting Date

    Kristin probes further into how the app could assist with pest control. Rick emphasizes that the app suggests potential problems but refrains from giving specific pesticide recommendations. Instead, it points users towards local extension offices for tailored advice.

    They discuss how the app aids beginning gardeners with its repository of basic plant information, such as expected yields, spacing, and soil pH levels. The conversation touches upon various plant suggestions and the importance of local knowledge for practical gardening.

    Regarding the accessibility of the SOW Garden app, Rick assures listeners that it is free and available for iPhone and Android users. While the app can adapt to location changes for custom advice, it also encourages users to seek more in-depth assistance and publications from their county extension offices.

    SOW Garden App

    To conclude the episode, Kristin reiterates the value of using the SOW Garden app for garden planning and management and informs listeners they can find a link to download the app in the show notes on their blog. The parting message invites listeners to leave reviews and reach out with questions or episode suggestions, wrapping up the episode with encouragement for the gardening community to keep learning and growing their gardens.


    SOW- A Planting Companion: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sow-a-planting-companion/id840347996

    SOW- A Planting Companion on Google Play: a href="https://www.play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.aces.SOW&hl=en_US&gl=US" target="_blank" rel="...

    How to Grow Guide for Dazzling Dahlias in Kentucky

    How to Grow Guide for Dazzling Dahlias in Kentucky

    In the Sunshine Gardening podcast episode 29, entitled How to Grow Guide for Dazzling Dahlias in Kentucky, host Kristin Hildabrand welcomes listeners to a show dedicated to cultivating dahlias. She introduces guest Dennis Morgeson, a Horticulture Extension Agent from Washington County, who possesses a wealth of knowledge on growing these flowers in Kentucky.

    Kristin begins by highlighting the beauty and variety available in Dahlia blooms and touches upon their tropical origins. Dennis explains his love for dahlias, mentioning their ease of growth and the possibility of preserving them year after year with proper care.

    Dahlia Varieties

    The conversation shifts to selecting the right dahlia varieties for Kentucky, with Dennis advising against expectations for "dinner plate" size blooms due to the state's heat. He recommends 'Kelvin floodlight' for those seeking larger flowers and emphasizes the influence of weather on bloom size.

    Dennis discusses the importance of proper cultivar selection and techniques like pinching to maximize bloom size. He mentions different dahlia series, including the Bishop series, with its smaller red flowers and purple foliage, which proves easy to grow in Kentucky.

    Soil Preparation & Planting

    As per soil preparation, Dennis underscores the need for loose, humus-rich soil with good drainage to prevent tubers from rotting. He encourages incorporating organic matter like aged manure or peat to amend Kentucky's clay soil.

    Dennis instructs for soil temperatures above sixty degrees when planting dahlias, typically around mid-to-late April or May in Kentucky. He advises proper plant spacing, with larger dahlia types needing at least eighteen inches. He also recommends staking the taller dahlia varieties to prevent wind damage.

    Fertilization is discussed. Dennis recommends a half cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer at planting, followed by monthly applications until August. He highlights the significance of soil testing to avoid guessing fertilizer needs.

    Dahlia Pests & Harvesting Tips

    Dennis covers common pests, such as slugs, Japanese beetles, and thrips, offering various control methods, from slug bait and soapy water for beetles to insecticidal soaps and protective mesh for thrips.

    The episode also addresses best practices for harvesting dahlia blooms, emphasizing cutting stems and placing them in hot water to prolong indoor vase life.

    The Ultimate Guide to Growing Microgreens at Home

    The Ultimate Guide to Growing Microgreens at Home

    The Sunshine Gardening podcast episode, hosted by Kristin Hildabrand, features Ray Tackett, an expert in horticulture and the extension agent in Bourbon County, Kentucky. This 28th episode is dedicated to growing microgreens at home and provides an in-depth guide for novice and experienced gardeners.

    Ray begins the episode by expressing his enthusiasm for microgreens. He notes their potent flavors and versatility in various dishes, such as sandwiches and smoothies. He emphasizes their substantial nutrient content despite their small size.

    Kristin introduces Ray, speaks of his expertise, and sets the stage for the discussion about microgreens—their selection, cultivation, and harvesting. Ray clarifies the difference between sprouts, microgreens, and baby greens, explaining that they are harvested at different stages and have distinct growing processes.

    In the detailed discussion, Ray offers practical advice for growing microgreens, starting with seed selection. He recommends beginners opt for easy-to-grow varieties like arugula, kale, radish, broccoli, and mustard. He advises against starting with more challenging varieties, such as amaranth or peas, with specific requirements like pre-soaking.

    Ray then covers the materials and equipment needed for growing microgreens at home. He stresses the importance of a shallow container with drainage holes, high-quality, unfertilized potting soil, and a light source (ideally natural sunlight, but grow lights can also be used). He suggests a dark cycle for sprouting the seeds to ensure better germination and then providing them with four to six hours of light per day.

    Watering from the bottom is recommended to prevent diseases and contamination. Ray mentions that microgreens typically do not require additional nutrients aside from what is already in the seed. He also shares a tip about adjusting the pH level of the water for better results, using lemon juice to bring it down to around pH 6.

    Moving on to the harvest, Ray says that microgreens are ready when they develop their first set of true leaves, typically in about two weeks. He instructs how to cut the microgreens cleanly and stresses the importance of sanitation—always starting with fresh potting mix after each harvest.


    Harvesting Microgreens with Kitchen Scissors

    Regarding storage, Ray indicates that microgreens should not be washed before refrigerating and can be kept in the fridge for five to seven days. He stresses that they should only be washed before use to prevent rapid degradation.

    Lastly, the episode touches on the culinary uses of microgreens. Ray enthusiastically talks about adding microgreens to sandwiches, smoothies, wraps, and salads and refers to them as "vegetable confetti" due to their vibrant colors.

    Meat Pizza with Microgreens

    a href="https://warrencountyagriculture.

    • 27 min
    Unlock Successful Gardening with the Horticulture Webinar on Wednesdays

    Unlock Successful Gardening with the Horticulture Webinar on Wednesdays

    Welcome to The Sunshine Gardening Podcast, where we help your garden grow! I’m your host, Kristin Hildabrand. In today's episode, episode 27, we spotlight the enriching Horticulture Webinar Wednesday program offered in Kentucky.

    Today, we discussed with agent Kelly Jackson the essentials of the Horticulture Webinar Wednesday’s program and explored the growth of this educational initiative. You'll get an insider's peek at the topics covered, the engaging educational content, behind-the-scenes of the webinar series, the growth it has witnessed, and how these webinars can help enrich your horticultural skills. So, grab your gardening gloves, and let’s dive in!

    Interview with Kelly Jackson

    1. Tell us a little bit about the Horticulture Webinar Wednesday program. How did it get started? What can we expect from the programs offered? (starts at 3:02)

    2. Do programs vary from month to month? (starts at 4:38)

    3. Who generally teaches these programs? (starts at 7:21)

    4. It takes several people to plan the Horticulture Webinar on Wednesday's program. Who else is involved with the planning for this program? (starts at 9:36)

    5. What episodes have been the most popular? (starts at 11:31)

    6. How long are the sessions? (starts at 13:22)

    7. How do people register? What is the best way for them to gain access to the training? Do you register for each class? (starts at 15:28)

    6. Where can people find more about the Horticulture Webinar Wednesday series? Check the links section at the bottom of the show notes for clickable links to all the Horticulture Webinar Wednesdays page and their social media pages.


    That's it for today's Sunshine Gardening Podcast episode! I hope you feel inspired to check out the Horticulture Webinar on Wednesdays and expand your gardening knowledge. Thank you to Kelly Jackson for being our guest on the podcast today!

    The show notes for episode 27, which can be viewed on the blog at warrencountyagriculture.com, provide details for connecting with the Horticulture Webinar Wednesday program on social media and learning how to register for the next webinar.

    Before we say goodbye, please subscribe to the Sunshine Gardening Podcast for more gardening tips, wisdom, and inspiration delivered right to you. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions, feedback, or ideas for future episodes.

    Until next time, keep your hands dirty and your hearts full. Happy gardening!





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Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

deconstructed ,

New listener

Just listened to my first episode about orchids, really excited to have found you and to learn new information!

kby3:45 ,

Very helpful!

I’m in Oldham county starting my first (very ambitious) garden. Such great tips here. Love the diy seed tape idea!

JKKY502 ,

So Helpful

I listen to other gardening podcasts and I’m so glad we have this local show to hear info pertinent to our area. I would love to hear about native trees and perennials as we are trying to add those to our back lot. Thank you, Kristin!

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