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Gardening in the South

Controlling thatch in lawn turf

Auburn, Ala. — For many homeowners, thatch is a common problem that tends to occur. However, many people may not be able to tell when thatch is becoming a problem or how to identify thatch in the first place. David Han, Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Extension specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, describes thatch as “the layer of partially ... Read More »

Extension’s Master Gardeners Making a Difference in Lives of Cancer Survivors

Auburn, Ala.—June 5 is National Cancer Survivors Day. It is a CELEBRATION for those who have survived, an INSPIRATION for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of SUPPORT for families and an OUTREACH to the community. There are nearly 14.5 million people living with and beyond cancer in the U.S. today, and more than 32 million cancer survivors worldwide. According to Kerry Smith, ... Read More »

How Does Your Tomato Garden Grow?

AUBURN, Ala. — Calling all tomato lovers: why pick up tomatoes from the grocery store when you can grow them yourself? If you love the fruit, this is your time of year. According to Dani Carroll, a regional Extension agent in Home Grounds, Gardens and Home Pests with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, “when soil temperatures warm up to about ... Read More »

How to control and kill certain invasive plants

Auburn, Ala.—Kudzu and Japanese Honeysuckle are just a couple of the invasive vines you will find in the Southeast. Even though these plant species are from different families and are native to different regions of the world, they have two characteristics in common. Invasive plants are non-native to their region and are considered harmful to native plants. Whether it is ... Read More »

A beginner’s guide to growing sunflowers

Auburn, Alabama—Gardeners, flower lovers and even children can all easily recognize this unique breed of flower that grows heads and shoulders beyond the rest. It’s the sunflower of course, and a field of them can put a smile on your face. What makes the sunflower so unique? Firstly, the sunflower, or helianthus annus, is the only seed crop which was ... Read More »

Protecting Backyard Chickens from Disease

Protect Backyard Chickens from avian influenza

AUBURN, Ala.–The popularity of raising your own backyard chickens continues to grow. A poultry scientist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System says it is vital that people with backyard flocks do their part to reduce disease spread. Dr. Joe Hess, an Alabama Extension specialist who works with both large commercial poultry producers as well as with backyard poultry hobbyists, says ... Read More »

Gladioli for garden borders


Auburn, Ala.- This spring and summer while planning and planting your garden, consider adding Gladioli as a garden border. Gladioli, sometimes referred to as a “sword lily”, make a great addition to any garden because of their color and easy maintenance. “During the summer, mulch gladiolus with pine needles, straw or grass clippings to help with weed control, conserve moisture and ... Read More »

Daylilies: Easy to Grow and Maintain


AUBURN, Alabama—If you are a beginner gardener, the first plant you might want to try is the daylily. They are perennial plants that easily adapt, grow vigorously and can even survive winters. Daylilies belong to the genus Hemerocallis and are not true lilies. This Greek word is made up of two parts: hemera meaning day and kallos meaning beauty. The ... Read More »

Hive to Home

How the honey you enjoy gets from the hive to your home Auburn, Alabama—Beekeeping is an age-old craft that has changed through the years with new methods and technology. The process of harvesting honey, which is fascinating in itself, is actually not even the most important benefit of honey bees. “Honey bees’ primary purpose is pollinating crops and ornamental flowers ... Read More »

Community gardens offer a sense camaraderie

community gardens

AUBURN, Ala.— There are immeasurable benefits to having community gardens. Fresh and locally grown produce becomes available to those in the local area. Regional Extension Agent Bethany O’Rear, said there is also a sense of camaraderie that is established among the volunteers in the community. The garden can be used as a learning tool for adults and children to gain hands-on ... Read More »