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Gardening in the South

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 »

Plants All Homeowners Can Manage

Crepe myrtle

AUBURN, Ala.-As spring approaches, many homeowners are looking to brighten up their homes with ornamental plants for the season. Not every plant requires high maintenance and a “green thumb.” Mike McQueen, a regional horticulture agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, gives five plants all homeowners can manage. “These plants have many benefits to homeowners. From an outdoor perspective plant ... Read More »

Celebrate Earth Day with Backyard Composting

As the 45th Earth Day approaches April 22, many people have been taking this day to reflect upon the planet on which we live. It gives us a time to be grateful for our Earth’s beautiful skies and stunning waters, it’s wondrous forests filled with green and mountain ranges that can pierce the heavens with their magnitude. With all of ... Read More »

Mulching Tips for Shrubbery in the Home Landscape

Mulching may be your shrubbery’s best friend, especially during hot, dry periods of summer. In addition to retaining soil moisture, mulches suppress weeds and prevent crusting of the soil surface. Also, as mulch breaks down, it adds organic matter to the soils which acts as a natural fertilizer and great for soil structure. “In most landscape situations, mulching material should ... Read More »

Growing Figs in Alabama

You may remember with nostalgia the fig tree in your grandmother’s yard or the mouth-watering fig preserves your mother used to make. “Home grown figs are not a thing of the past. Many Alabamians still plant figs and still make those delicious preserves,” said Mike McQueen, a regional home grounds agent for Alabama Extension. In most of Alabama, figs can ... Read More »

Spring Bursting with Color

It’s spring! And in Alabama that means colorful flowers and lots of them.  Azaleas and dogwoods are just a few of the plants that have spring bursting with color.  Alabama Extension’s publication on azaleas has great ideas on how to add a Masters and Augusta National sparkle to your landscape. To learn more about how to enhance your garden and landscape, check ... Read More »

Safe, Smart Pesticide Use

AUBURN, Ala.—Spring has arrived in full force with rising temperatures, which means pests are starting to come out of hiding too. Alabama Cooperative Extension System professionals want to educate people on safe pesticide use and how to store them correctly. A pest is any kind of insect or animal that acts in a destructive manner towards property including, but not limited to, ... Read More »

Succulents in Container Gardens

Succulents are a new trend in gardening and for good reason; they are unique and practically indestructible. Lucy Edwards, a regional home horticulture agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System said, “succulent is a generic term used in reference to plants that have thick, fleshy leaves, stems or roots adapted for storing water.” Read More »

Edible Flowers Add Beauty and Taste to Meals

Flowers are typically given as gifts or used for decoration, but when it comes to preparing a meal, flowers are not high on the list of ingredients. Kerry Smith, home grounds team co-leader for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, suggests various types of edible flowers as well as simple guidelines to keep in mind for anyone interested in adding something ... Read More »

Prepping Gardens Year Round

AUBURN, Ala. – After months of winter weather, spring is on the horizon. Spring also means that being outside regularly will return and people may explore creating their own garden. While some people may simply delve into starting their garden, others may do more research in hope of having a more thriving garden. Dr. Charles Mitchell, an agronomist with the ... Read More »