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Author Archives: Katie Nichols

Tomatoes: Pruning and Supporting

Tomato plants can produce a lot of delicious,  but heavy fruit. In order to keep tomato plants in top producing condition, pruning and support are essential. Pruning Pruning can increase fruit size and help facilitate early fruiting. Prune by removing suckers developed at ground level. Suckers forming below the first flower cluster should be left alone. Hunter McBrayer, an Alabama Extension ... Read More »

Daffodils Didn’t Bloom This Year?

Gardeners across the country love daffodils.  The beautiful white and yellow blooms brighten up the dreary winter weather, ushering in the spring. But sometimes these seemingly bullet-proof plants don’t bloom. Sallie Lee, an Alabama Extension urban regional agent,  has some ideas on why daffodils fail to bloom as well as tips for season’s end bulb care and ways to help ... Read More »

Food Friday: Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo week! While today isn’t exactly Cinco de Mayo, it doesn’t mean yummy Mexican food won’t make this weekend’s menu. Spice it up with some dishes from below the border. Mexican Bean Casserole 3 cups cooked dried pinto beans 1 cup canned tomatoes 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper 3/4 cup chopped onion 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon ... Read More »

Tomatoes: Site Selection and Planting

photo by shutterstock.com/AHMAD FAIZAL YAHYA

Tomatoes are one of the most popular plants grown in a southern garden, especially in Alabama. To get the most productivity from tomato plants requires gardeners do more planning and work than any other garden crop. Hunter McBrayer, an urban regional agent with Alabama Extension, recommends planting the garden close to home. “Gardens take a lot of work and the further ... Read More »

Attracting Garden Pollinators

Pollination is one of the most common concerns when planting late spring and early summer gardens. How do gardeners know if the cucumbers and squash are really getting pollinated? Alabama Extension Horticulturist, Dani Carroll, said there are several ways to ensure pollinators are active in a growing space. By simply observing a garden or flowerbed for a short period of time, one ... Read More »

Lichens: A Sign of Poor Tree Health

Lichens often take the brunt of angry homeowners wondering what causes frilly blue-green growths on a tree trunk. These growths do not cause harm to trees, but are a sign of poor tree health. Regional Extension Agent Beau Brodbeck said blaming lichens for hurting trees is nothing new. “Most people blame the frilly blue-green growths on a tree trunk for ... Read More »

Food Friday: Scrumptious Strawberries

Strawberry picking season is underway and baskets of ripe, red berries are ready and waiting to make delicious spring time goodies. Whether a pie or a salad sounds more appealing, we have a recipe for you. Put your strawberries into a delicious dish to share with your family! Strawberry Sherbet 1 envelope unflavored gelatin 1/4 cold water 1/2 cup boiling water ... Read More »

Spruce Up Gardens with Annual Color

The onset of spring weather has homeowners excited to get into the yard and garden, anxious to push away the drab colors of winter. Before rushing to the store or digging in, there are several important things to consider. Seeds vs. Transplants Regional Extension Agent Bethany O’Rear said the first decision to make when preparing to plant is whether to ... Read More »

Food Friday: Brighten Up Breakfast

Breakfast — the most important meal of the day! What are you doing to make it delicious? The Auburn Cookbook has lots of breakfast food recipes that will brighten up your workday and weekend mornings, and give your family a healthy start to the day. Blueberry Muffins 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup ... Read More »

Food Friday: Sensational Salads

Warm weather, fresh ingredients and cool meals go hand-in-hand. Are you wondering how to make your meal pop? Add something cool to the table. Try these salads as a side dish, or showcase them as the main course. What’s not to love about a sensational salad? Macaroni Salad 1 cup uncooked macaroni 1 cup mayonnaise 2 teaspoons prepared mustard ¼ ... Read More »