By: Rebecca Konopka
Carter County Extension Agent
Kentucky gardeners have a new tool available in Apple and Google Play app stores to assist with planting, sowing and harvesting decisions for their home garden. SOW—A Planting Companion is a free app based on University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension’s publication ID-18 Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky. The app also incorporates information for Alabama and North Carolina and other areas in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 6a-9a. Kentucky is primarily in zone 6b, with a few areas in 6a or 7a. After downloading the app, enter your state and county to get customized plant information based on your hardiness zone. You can always change the information later in the settings menu.
The app has three main sections: My Garden, Journal and Library. The library currently has information and photos of about 36 popular home garden vegetables. You may sort the vegetables alphabetically, by harvest date or by planting date. Clicking on a vegetable in the library will open information about that vegetable, including estimated days to harvest, expected yield, plant spacing, planting depth, soil pH range and average number of plants per person you need to include for a good harvest.
You can add vegetables to the My Garden section. You can develop more than one garden, for example, a spring garden, a summer garden and a fall garden, and keep them separate. My Garden helps you keep track of planting dates, seed or transplant planting method, the specific cultivar or variety you planted and when you should be able to harvest it. You can even plan ahead and enter a planting date for the future and the app will give you the option to add this date to your phone’s calendar as a reminder.
After you harvest a crop, visit the Journal section to record yield, harvest date or any other notes you may need to help plan next year’s garden.
The app can also link you to your local Cooperative Extension office, where you’ll find staff information and ways to contact extension agents with questions. Download the app through Apple, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sow-a-planting-companion/id840347996, or Google, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.aces.SOW&hl=en_US&gl=US&pli=1, or search for it in your mobile device app store.
For more information about gardening or other horticulture topics, contact the Carter County Cooperative Extension Service. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.
- Group Mineral Order – The Northeast Area Livestock Association is accepting orders as part of their summer and fall mineral order through April 20th. Call 474-6686 for more information.
- Northeast Area Livestock Association – April 25th @ 6:00 PM – Speaker: Dr. Jimmy Henning, UK Extension Forage Specialist; Topic: Repairing & Preventing Winter Sacrifice Areas
- Regional Farmer’s Market Meeting – May 1st @ 5:30 PM – Morehead State University Farm Area Classroom
- Little Sandy Beekeepers Association – May 2nd @ 6:30 PM – Speaker: Kenny Holbrook; Topic: KSU Bee Lab News & Updates
- Hike & Learn – May 4th @ 1:00 PM – Laurel Gorge Cultural Heritage Center