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Gardening in the South

Tea Olives: A Staple for Southern Gardens

If you’re looking to add shrubs to your garden this fall, then it might be time to add tea olives to the mix. An Alabama Extension horticulture professional called tea olive shrubs (genus Osmanthus)  a classic staple of southern gardens. “Tea olives bring color and a sweet fragrance with its delicate blossoms,” said Mike McQueen, Alabama Extension Regional Horticulture Agent. ... Read More »

The Best Test for Potting Mixes

One problem that the Auburn University Soil Testing Laboratory has been having is more and more gardeners sending in potting mixes for routine soil testing. According to Dr. Charles Mitchell, an agronomy and soils specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, this is not the best choice. The problem is that potting soil is made up of mostly organic matter. ... Read More »

Muscadines, the Southern Fruit

Muscadines, scuppernongs, what’s the difference? And where do you find them? Dr. Elina Coneva, an Alabama Extension specialist in commercial horticulture, answered these questions and explained the perks and uses for this delicious fruit. For anyone who has heard of this fruit referred to as either a muscadine or a scuppernong, there is actually a difference. Scuppernong is the name of ... Read More »

Save Money And Energy Through Rainwater Harvesting

Ever notice how much it rains in the southeast? Alabama alone receives an average of 55 inches of rain a year. Although this is a lot of precipitation it is still important to consider water conservation. Dr. Eve Bantley, a water quality specialist with Alabama Extension says rain barrels and cisterns are water conservation methods that require little maintenance and ... Read More »

Choosing Drought Resistant Plants Reduces Watering Demands

As summer continues across Alabama, it is important to consider drought resistant plants when planning your landscape. Drought resistant plants help reduce the amount of water needed for planting and help save water for future use. Alabama has not experienced extreme drought conditions this season. However, regional Alabama Extension agent Dani Carroll recommends preparing for the possibility of droughts throughout the ... Read More »

Managing Soil Pests in the Garden

Even the most experienced gardeners have issues with pests in the garden. Alabama Extension Entomologist Ayanava Majumdar said if you plan to put in a fall garden, now is the time to take steps to reduce soil pests. Many home gardens are planted in areas previously covered in grass or turf. Tilling the garden area 30 days prior to planting ... Read More »

Grow Your Own Jack-O-Lanterns

Photo by: mikeledray/Shutterstock.com

Planting Pumpkins in Alabama Dreaming of pies or spooky jack-o-lanterns?  You still have time to grow your own. The pumpkin-planting window in Alabama is nearly a month long, beginning June 15 and continuing to July 15. Dr. Joe Kemble, Alabama Extension Horticulturist said the window covers pumpkin growers in northern and southern parts of the state — and everyone in ... Read More »

How Does Your Garden Grow? With SOW App

You can grow vegetables and fruits year-round in Alabama and across much of the Southeast. The challenge for many gardeners is knowing what to plant, how to plant it and when to plant it. But SOW, a new mobile app from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, takes the guess work out of garden planting. Kerry Smith, one of the leaders ... Read More »

Gardening in the Summer

As spring comes to an end, the fear of what summer means for home gardens can cause many to worry. However, by taking advantage of the use of annuals and perennials in flowerbeds, summer does not necessarily mean the end of a good-looking garden. Sallie Lee, an urban regional Extension agent with Alabama Extension’s Home Grounds, Gardens and Pests team, said, “annuals are ... Read More »

Pest Management in the Garden

Are the vegetables in your garden under attack? Summer weather can bring hungry garden pests to feed on luscious green leaves. Alabama Extension Entomologist Ayanava Majumdar said there are ways to curb pest damage in the garden through the use of integrated pest management (IPM) practices. “There are many ways to integrate pest management practices in the garden,” Majumdar said. “Extension ... Read More »