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Gardening in the South

Bring Favorite Herbs to the Backyard – Tips and Tricks for Beginners

When preparing a tasty meal, the final touch often requires a quick reach into the herb cabinet. Herbs, though small and often forgotten about, provide the extra flavor to a meal, taking it from good to great.  Before purchasing herbs, however, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. Know your tastes. Before planting an herb garden, ... Read More »

Tomatoes: Disease and Drought

Tomato plants are susceptible to foliar diseases and sensitive to drought.  To avoid those problems, gardeners need to use extra care in the garden. Selecting a disease resistant tomato variety is one of the first steps toward growing healthy tomato plants. There are plenty of good tomato varieties, but it’s best to pick a variety recommended for your region. To be ... Read More »

Turf Tips 101

With warmer weather and abundant rain, many Alabama lawns have jumped into high gear. Homeowners can tackle some simple chores to help get their turf in tip top shape. Dr. Dave Han, an Alabama Extension turf specialist, said general maintenance on the mower is one of the first orders of business. Sharpening mower blades, changing spark plugs and setting mower ... Read More »

Gardeners Have New Tool for Spring Gardening

Auburn, AL – With warm weather finally here to stay in the Southeast, gardeners like Carol Dent are stocking up on plants, seeds and tools for the 2015 gardening season. Dent who lives in central Alabama has added something new to her gardening toolbox. What makes Dent’s new tools special is that they are iBooks. Dent recently downloaded all of Alabama ... Read More »

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 »

Boxwood Blight Detected in Additional Alabama Landscapes

Boxwood Blight

AUBURN, Ala.– Boxwood blight has been detected in recently installed landscape plants across Alabama. A plant pathologist with Alabama Extension says when infected boxwoods are planted in a landscape, the pathogen can easily spread to established boxwoods. “The fungus that causes boxwood blight is easily spread by splashing water whether that be irrigation water or rain,” said Dr. Kassie Conner. ... 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 »

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 »