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February Garden Tips

Friday, January 18th, 2019

February Garden Tips

Keep in mind that the average last freeze for North Texas area is not until mid-March. Even so, many plants normally begin to show signs of growth in February, which makes it the perfect time, to get outside and work in the yard.

Pruning is both an art and a necessary maintenance function. Most trees and shrubs can be lightly pruned at any time; however mid-winter is generally the best time for major pruning.

Summer flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned before buds begin to swell for Spring, generally they bloom on new growth; examples are crape myrtle, butterfly bush, spiraea and honeysuckle. If those seed heads on crepe myrtles bother you, remove them this month. Just clip back the ends of the branches, do not destroy the beauty of the gracefully sculptured trunks by severe pruning. Please never top a crape myrtle. Spring flowering plants such as azalea, Carolina jessamine, wisteria, forsythia, and quince should not be pruned until after the blooms are spent.

February is the best time for pruning most roses. Remove any old and diseased canes then cut the remaining canes back by 50%. Make your cuts above a bud that faces away from the center of the plant.

Early to mid-February marks the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide for lawns. These products kill germinating seed. A second application may be needed in late May or early June. Remember that the best defense against lawn weeds is a healthy, thick turf resulting from good management.

February Garden TipsTrim back perennials and ornamental grasses before the new growth appears in Spring. Clean up around plants and mulch well to protect.

Thinking about a spring garden? Look for onion sets and seed potatoes, they arrive early. By planting early, plants will be off to a better start and can become adjusted before the stresses of summer arrive.

Winter Cattle Management

Monday, January 14th, 2019

winter cattle management

Good winter cattle management practices help cattle tolerate the wind and cold temperatures. During the cold winter months, close attention should be paid to herd nutrition. Taking shortcuts on your cattle nutrition during the winter months could risk next year’s calf crop, this year’s weaning weights and the long-term viability of your herd. According to information from university of Minnesota extension beef experts, winter feeding programs vary for each cattle enterprise.

Feeding programs are dependent on variables such as:

• Forage quality.
• Cost and availability of winter supplements.
• Animal type (mature cows, replacement heifers or back-grounded calves).
• Body condition of your cattle.
• Calving date, if applicable.

The Minnesota beef experts explain that generally, winter feeding can be accomplished with harvested forages such as hay and silage. Grazing crop residues can also be utilized, but may not always be feasible in areas that receive significant amounts of snowfall during early winter months.

Cows can graze through up to 9 inches of snow to get high quality forages, but reduced forage intake will occur with as little as ¼ inch of ice covering the snow. Plus, cold temperatures and precipitation can decrease the feed’s nutritional value.

Regardless of whether you feed stored forages or graze crop residues, the cow’s diet must be sufficient to uphold a body condition score (BCS) of 5 at weaning, a 6 at calving, and no less than a 5.5 score at breeding. At this level of condition, a cow is able to maintain its body weight and support production functions such as lactation and fetal growth. Maintaining adequate body condition in pregnant cattle is crucial in the two to three months prior to calving.

Feeding Supplements
Depending on the quality of forage, supplementation may be needed by cows when nutrient demands are not met by the basic diet the cow is offered, say the Minnesota experts. Typically, diets of late gestating beef cows will meet nutrient needs if they contain a minimum of 55 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN ) and 8 percent crude protein (CP). However, lactating cow minimum requirements during the winter increase to 62 percent tDn and 11 percent CP, such as with fall calving cows.

When feeding pregnant first- and second-calf heifers due to calve in the spring, maintaining a diet with tDn at 60 percent and CP at 11 percent from the beginning of winter through early lactation should be sufficient.

It is important to compare nutrient intake of the diet with nutrient requirements of the cow based on animal type and pregnancy status, and to determine what additional nutrient(s) are needed for supplementation.

Evaluate Cow Performance
Throughout the winter,it’s important to evaluate cow performance by observing body weight and condition Herd Health Program changes resulting from your feeding program. This will tell you if you are correctly supplementing your cattle through the winter and preparing those spring calving herds for the calving season.

Purina has made it easy for you to maintain your production level by designing supplemental feed products to help economically manage your herd’s nutrition needs in all life stages. these products include Sup-R-Lix®, Sup-R-Block® and Accuration®/Cattle Limiter, all controlled intake products featuring IM Intake Modifying technology®.

Purina also offers Wind and Rain® mineral supplements that have been specifically designed to meet mineral deficiencies based on forage quality and cattle nutritional requirements. These minerals are weather resistant and are proven to enhance consistent consumption.

Contact J&N Feed and Seed at 940-549-4631 with questions and how we can help you get started with this program.

 

 

Winter Bird Feeding Tips

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

Don’t forget your feathered friends as the weather turns cold. Winter bird feeding is important as food sources for birds slow in the cold, winter months.  At J&N Feed and Seed we have a great selection of bird feeders, suet, treats and of course, Purina Wild Bird Chow to keep your backyard friends coming back year after year.

Feeding wild birds in the winter is important as food sources for birds slow in the winter. Read our proven tips and techniques to help you quickly enjoy beautiful wild birds found around your yard.

Most bird feeders are designed to attract a wide variety of wild bird species but some have features which appeal to certain species such as Goldfinches and woodpeckers. An excellent feeder design to start with is a “hopper” feeder with wide ledges which presents black-oil sunflower seeds for big and small birds already living around your backyard. This approach ensures that you will attract beautiful wild birds quickly by using the seeds they prefer.

Bird-feeding tips:

Place your feeder so you can view it from a favorite room or chair. Think of a picture window, deck railing, patio, comfortable armchair or breakfast table. Some feeders are designed to attach to your window pane.

Your birds also need to enjoy where your feeder is placed so make sure it’s near plant or tree cover for protection from the weather and safety, yet easily found too.

Take an old, white t-shirt or towel and place it on the ground beneath your feeder (whether mounted on a pole or hanging from a hook or branch). Take a handful of black-oil sunflower seeds and sprinkle them on your “target”. Birds follow other birds’ feeding patterns so when the first bird finds these seeds, you and your feeder are in business!

Re-fill your feeder as often as necessary to encourage your backyard birds to enjoy your feeder every day too.

Get ready for your family to enjoy lots of natural fun!

Stop by your local Farmer’s Coop for Wild Bird Blend seed mix, assorted bird treats and bird feeders.

Source: National Bird-Feeding Society

Prepare For Freezing Weather With Products From J&N

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

prepare for freezing weather

Prepare for freezing weather with frost cloth, heat lamps, pipe wraps, deicers, pine shavings and MORE at J&N Feed and Seed.

With freezing temperatures fast approaching, don’t be caught off guard. J&N Feed and Seed is your one-stop shop for freeze protection this winter.  We carry a variety of products that will protect your pipes, landscaping, stock tanks and even bird feeders from the threat of a freeze.

  • Ice & Snow Melt by Zero Ice Melt –  An effective and proven ice melter that will beat any other products on the market.
  • Portable Heaters by Mr. Heater – Heat a small space our your entire garage or workshop. We’ve got a size to fit your needs.
  • Pipe Wraps and Faucet Covers – Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or heating tape to protect exposed pipes and faucets.  Perfect to wrap exposed pool equipment!
  • Pipe Heating Cables-heating Cable prevents frozen water pipes to –50ºF. Wrap exposed pipes and faucets to protect against freezing pipes.
  • Heat Lamps & Bulbs– use anywhere to provide extra warmth.
  • Stock Tank & Bucket Deicers– keep your stock tank from freezing.  We carry floating and sinking deicers.
  • Pet Bowl & Bird Bath Deicers – Make sure water fresh water is available for our outdoor pets and wild birds during the freezing winter months.
  • Pine Shavings – keep your outdoor animals warm with warm, dry shavings.
  • Frost Cloth & Burlap  – protect your delicate landscaping and tropical trees. We’ve got traditional brown and camo burlap.
  • Frost Blankets – protect your tender garden and landscaping vegetation.

Stop by J&N Feed and Seed and let us help you be ready for the cold weather ahead! A little preparation now can save you time and money with the weather dips below 32 degrees!

Young County Jr. Livestock Show 2019

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019
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Young County Jr. Livestock ShowThe Young County Jr. Livestock Show kicks off  Wednesday, January 9, 2019, and runs through Saturday, January 12, 2019, in the Main Arena of the Young County Arena. Come out and show your support for our local kids at this great event.

Before you head to the arena, stop by J&N Feed and Seed for Sullivan Show Supplies, show feeds by Lindner, Moorman, Honor Show Chow, shavings and more. Let our experts help you raise a winner in the ring this show season. Good luck to everyone showing this year!

LocationYoung County Arena – 120 Barclay Blvd. Graham, TX

Date: Wednesday, January 9th  through Saturday, January 12, 2019

Click here for driving directions to Young County Arena.

 

Blue Rhino Propane Tank Exchange

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

Propane Tank ExchangeNeed propane for your grill or heaters? We can help you! Blue Rhino Propane Tank exchange is now available at J&N Feed and Seed. Blue Rhino is America’s leading brand of propane tank exchange. And together with J&N Feed and Seed, we’re dedicated to providing quick, easy access to Blue Rhino propane that’s close to home. Simply drop, swap and go — and always be ready to fire up the grill.

  • Always cleaned
  • Always inspected
  • Always leak-tested

Swap or purchase a new tank of Blue Rhino Propane and receive a $3 rebate by mail. Click here for a money saving rebate on your Blue Rhino propane tank exchange.

Getting your $3 mail-in rebate
Purchase a Blue Rhino propane tank, with or without exchanging an empty tank, at J&N Feed and Seed, between now and 12/31/19. Print the rebate form & complete it in its entirety. Limit 1 rebate per household*, per calendar year.

The Proof of Purchase you’ll need to attach to the rebate can be found on the Blue Rhino tank wrap, to the left of the Blue Rhino logo along the bottom. Simply cut it out along the dotted line as shown and include it with your submission. Be sure to retain the rest of the package, as it provides valuable safety information. Here’s what the proof of purchase looks like:

 

Have questions?

Contact our Customer Care team at
800.BLU.RINO (800.258.7466).

P.O. Box 6075

Top 5 Showmanship Tips from the Experts

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

The Head of a Cattle Champion Simmental Cow.Countless hours are spent preparing a project heifer or steer for show day. Early mornings and late nights are consumed washing, feeding, clipping and practicing. All of that work accumulates for ‘5 minutes of fame’ – the brief time when an animal walks into the ring and gets a chance to impress the judge. After a few laps around the ring, exhibitors get a chance to display their animal’s side profile, then animals are pulled in, placed and the class is over.

When all is said and done, exhibitors and their projects have only been in the ring for a few short minutes, even in large, competitive classes. How can exhibitors make the most of those few minutes, while the judge contemplates his or her decision? How can they make sure their animals are presented to perfection during that time, giving the judge the best look possible?

Honor® Show Chow® Ambassadors Dave Allan, Bob May and Kirk Stierwalt have had decades of combined show industry experience and all have had the opportunity to judge showmanship on a regular basis.

Now, they are sharing their top five showmanship tips based on their expertise and experience to help exhibitors and their projects excel in the ring:

1. Teach cattle manners.
“Cattle need to know the cues and fundamentals to be shown properly in the show ring,” says Stierwalt. “It’s hard to win, even if you have a good calf if you can’t get it set up.”

Practicing at home and in various environments is critical. The only way for an animal to learn cues and get comfortable showing is to practice. Practicing in variable environments – whether that be indoor or outdoor, individually or with a group, with background noise or without – can help prepare your animal for a situation they might encounter in the show ring.

2. Know your animal.
“Not all cattle are set up the same,” says Stierwalt. “You need to know what your calf looks like from a judge’s point-of-view to show them with the best result.”

For some exhibitors, it may come naturally to correct flaws with their project, while for others it may take some time to see what the judge sees in the show ring. While one animal may need its head held a bit higher, another might need it’s back touched down just a bit more. Practicing both on the halter and off, can help exhibitors identify flaws and learn how best to correct those flaws in the ring.

3. Walk into a staggered position.
One of Dave Allan’s top tips is learning how to walk your cattle into a staggered position to minimize show stick use for feet placement.

“Practice at home by taking the last several steps, switch hands while walking backward looking at the back feet, and walk them into staggered position,” says Allan. “By doing so, most of the time you’ll only have to move the left front foot. You’ll be set up quickly and avoid a lot of time spent on the unnecessary shuffling of the feet.”

Allan adds that learning the in’s and out’s of halter pressure will help when the need does arise to shuffle feet.

4. Set, and don’t forget.
Both Allan and May emphasize that while many parents tell their kids to watch the judge and smile, too often young exhibitors end up staring the judge down and disregarding presentation of their animal.

“Exhibitors spend months preparing for a show. To be competitive you need to watch your animal. First and foremost you need to get them set up, then look for the judge,” says May.

Allan adds, “You need to know where the judge is to correctly set your animal up and watch for cues to get pulled, but priority should be on making sure your animal is set up properly.”

5. Never be late. 
Whether the class is showmanship or the animal’s actual class, May advises exhibitors to always be on time. Be aware of how quickly classes are going, keep a close watch on the show ring as your class approaches and be ready to enter the ring once the previous class is in.

If a judge has to wait for late arrival or is already in the midst of placing the class, exhibitors late to the ring often won’t get the look they worked hard to receive.

An exhibitor may have a potential class-winning animal, but if not properly presented and fed, that animal may not rise to the top. Practicing and perfecting showmanship skills are critical for giving the judge the best look on show day, as is a high-quality plane of nutrition.

For more showing tips join the online community of show enthusiasts at www.facebook.com/HonorShowChow or at www.twitter.com/HonorShowChow.

Article Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition

Planting Potatoes, Onions and Other Cool Weather Vegetables

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

PotatoesInDirtOnion sets and seed potatoes arrive mid-January at J&N Feed and Seed. Planting potatoes and onions are at the top of everyone’s gardening list this time of year. As everyone in North Texas knows, our late January and February weather can be a gamble— temps can be spring-like one day and fall below freezing the next.  But, the weather extremes should not deter gardeners from planting during these months.  Potatoes are top of the list for planting this time of year.

Other good go-to cold weather vegetables are root produce such as turnips, beets, and carrots as well as hardy leafy greens like spinach, cabbage, kale, and chard. Bulb veggies (onions and garlic), as well as asparagus crowns, can also be planted at this time.

Preparing and Planting Potatoes 

When purchasing seed potatoes, look for certified seed potatoes. These are seeding potatoes which have not been treated with growth retardants to prevent sprouting. Conventional potatoes in grocery markets are typically treated with retardants.

After you have planned and prepared a garden spot with well-drained, loose soil, the seed potatoes can be prepped for planting:

Cut each seed potato into quarters (sulfur dust can be applied to the fresh cut ends) and let the potato quarters set out overnight or longer until cut sides callus over.  Seed potato quarters are then ready to plant— for a good rule of thumb, potato quarters should be planted 3” to 4” deep and spaced 12” to 15” apart. To provide plants plenty of growing room, make sure rows are spaced 24” to 36” apart.

Caring for Potato Plants

Potatoes need consistent moisture, so water regularly when tubers start to form.  Before the potato plants bloom, hilling should be done when the plant is about 6 inches tall. Hoe the dirt up around the base of the plant in order to cover the root as well as to support the plant. Bury the plant base in loose soil. Hilling will keep the potato plants from getting sunburned, in which case they turn green and will taste bitter.  You will need to hill potatoes every couple of weeks to protect your crop.

When the potato plants have bloomed, new potatoes are ready for harvest.  For larger potatoes, harvest only after plant tops have fallen over. For more information on planting seed potatoes, visit the Texas A&M website.

Other Cool Weather Vegetable Plantings

Lettuce, spinach, and cabbage can be planted at this time either by seeds or plant starts. For reference, these vegetables can be planted in February with seed or starter plants.

Stop by J&N for your seed potatoes, onion sets, and other cool weather vegetables.

 

January Garden Tips

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

January Garden Tips

It may be chilly outside at this time of the year, but winter is a perfect time for a number of outdoor chores. Just consider how much better outdoor chores like soil preparation, planting, transplanting, and pruning can be done without toiling in hot summer temperatures.

January Garden If you need to move a plant to a different spot in the landscape, this is the month to accomplish this job. Most plants move best when they are fully dormant as a result of prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Remove some of the top growth to compensate for the inevitable loss of some of the roots. Once the plant is moved, water thoroughly, apply root stimulator, and a few inches of mulch over the root area.

January is a great month to accomplish pruning of fruit trees. Annual pruning keeps the harvest within reach, thins crowded branches, allowing more light to penetrate developing fruit and stimulates new growth for next year’s crop. Shade trees can also be pruned at this time.

Fruit trees and vines can be planted at this time as the ground usually does not freeze here in north Texas. You can also prepare the soil for new flower, rose or shrub beds by mixing plenty of organic material like compost or a flower or shrub mix. This way the soil is ready for immediate planting when temperatures get a little warmer.

Fertilize pansies to keep them actively growing. Houseplants can be fertilized with reduced rates of water-soluble fertilizer this month. Do not over-water your houseplants.

Birds of all kinds appreciate a constant source of seed, suet and water during the winter and you will enjoy the activity they create in your backyard. Just remember once you start feeding, you should keep it up through the winter.

7 Plants That Need Winter Pruning

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Between now and mid-February Texas winter pruninggardeners should begin winter pruning.  Neal Sperry offers this list of plants that should be pruned during this time of year.

  • Shade trees:  remove damaged or dead branches (pruning sealant only on oak cuts). All cuts should be flush with the branch collar on the trunk.
  • Evergreen shrubs: prune to maintain natural growth form of your evergreen shrubs.
  • Peach and plum trees:  prune to remove the vertical growth and keep plants low and from spreading.
  • Grapes: for those that grow grapes, remove as much as 80 to 85 percent of cane growth.
  • Summer-flowering shrubs and vines: prune damaged or excessive branches. Do not top your crape myrtle plants.
  • Prune dead stems and leaves from perennials to tidy up your garden beds.
  • Prune freeze-damaged stems from plants hurt by December cold. (Could include gardenias, oleanders, bottlebrush, pittosporum, depending on where you live in Texas.)

Spend the time now to prune and care for your trees and plants, it will pay off in the spring.  Looking for garden supplies?  Come visit our store!

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