I am moving to northern Kentucky this year and I’m curious to what fruits, veggies, flowers, and foliage grow in this climate. Is there a Web site or some literature you can recommend?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Marcia: Gardening in Kentucky will be quite different from where you are gardening now. Most of the plants that you consider hardy we would think of as annuals or tropicals. The soil you will be digging in will also be very different as well; I assume the soil you are used to is more of a loose, coarsely textured sandy composition. In Kentucky you will be on the other end of the spectrum with compacted clay soil. When you get into your new home you can have your soil tested so you know what you are dealing with in terms of nutrients, and if you are building a new home or if you are moving into a home that has been built within the past 10 years you may need to amend your soil. The best option for having your soil tested is through your county Cooperative Extension Service. They will send it off to a land grant university and the results will indicate if you need to adjust the composition. As far as reliable resources for gardening in Kentucky the Extension Service is a wonderful one. I am not sure which county you will be moving to but you can visit www.ca.uky.edu/county
and click on your county to find contact information for the horticulture agent in your county. This resource is specifically for home gardeners and there are publications written by horticulturists on basically every subject from annuals to disease and insect problems. The following link will allow you to search all the publications that you can read online, print off, or you can contact your agent and have them mail you copies: www.uky.edu/Ag/Horticulture
. The following may be of interest to you: www.uky.edu/Ag/Horticulture/homefruitrec07.pdf and www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/id/id128/id128.pdf
. If you are interested in taking a Master Gardener course this would introduce you to all aspects of gardening in Kentucky and other gardeners in your area.