Ways to help your shrubs avoid getting the winter blues

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By Levi Berg

I feel as if I am becoming a broken record when I talk about preparing livestock and gardens for winter. However, winter can be brutal when it comes to fruit shrubs.
Just like every other agricultural commodity, fruit shrubs, such as strawberries, brambles, and others, need to be prepared for winter.
First, inspect your plants and determine which plants need to be removed.
Plants that are already damaged or severely diseased may not be able to survive the winter, and at a later time, you can replace those injured plants with hardier species and cultivars.
Next, examine the soil around the plants. Depression in the soil beside the plants can trap water by the roots, and ice can form causing physical damage to the plant’s roots. Soils should be sloping away from the base of the plants to prevent heavy ice buildup.
Remove all vegetation within 12 to 14 inches from the trunk of the plants.
This is discourage rodents from nesting or feeding on the plants. Treeguards can be purchased to deter rodents from eating on the plants.
Probably the most important factor to consider is direct injury from the cold.
One easy method to combat the cold is to mulch your plants. The mulch will help increase the temperature around the base of the plants and decreases fluctuating moisture levels in the soils. There are numerous types of mulch that can be used from compost to straw. One factor to consider is do not put the mulch on too early. A good time is a week or so before freezing temperatures.
Winter can be harsh on fruit plants, and there is no guarantee that your plants will survive through the winter. By mulching, cleaning and having proper soil structure, your fruit plants stand a higher chance of surviving. Information for this article was obtained from “Growing Fruit at Home in Kentucky” guide #HO-64.    
Henry County Cattlemen’s Annual Meeting and Dinner
It is that time of the year when the Henry County Cattlemen hold their annual meeting and dinner. This year, the annual meeting will be held on Nov. 16, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Henry County Extension office. Dr. Tom Keene, Extension Forage Specialist, will give a short presentation about incorporating warm season grasses into your pastures and grazing operations. Also, the cattlemen will be presenting the Henry County Cattlemen of the Year award. Don’t miss out on good information, food, and friendship. We ask that you RSVP with the Henry County Extension Office by calling (502) 845-2811. See you then.
Local Food Marketing Opportunities
Are you looking for buyers for your farm products? The Oldham County Extension and Louisville Farm to Table may be able to help. On Saturday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon, local buyers will be meeting at the Oldham County Extension office, hoping to form partnerships with producers. Come down if you have farm products for sale. For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Oldham County Extension office at (502) 222-9453.

Beginning Poultry Workshop
Are you looking to start raising poultry for meat or for eggs? If you are, join us on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Henry County Extension Office for a beginning poultry workshop. Topics to be covered are structures, different poultry breeds, feeding methods, protecting your poultry, and general care. Guest speakers include Walt Reichert, Shelby County Horticulture Technician, and Lindsay Berg, Poultry Marketing Manager for Neogen Corp. If you would like to join in on the fun, please contact the Henry County Extension office at (502) 845-2811.