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Gardening in the South

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 »

Getting Gardens Ready for Spring

Preparing the Garden

With the official first day of spring still a week or so away, now is a good time to begin preparing your flower beds and gardens for the season. By practicing a few garden maintenance tactics, your gardens will blossom to life with ease. Preparation of vegetable and flower bed gardens for new plants can begin at any time, but the ... Read More »

Crapemyrtles and the Promise of Good Pruning

Crepe myrtle

AUBURN, Ala.- The promise of pruning is a healthier and more productive tree. Gardeners want to do what is best for their plants, but sometimes do not know how. Gardeners know that pruning needs to happen, but often do not know how or when. Sadly, this happens all too often with crapemyrtles. Take a Saturday afternoon drive in late February, and ... Read More »

Alabama Master Gardeners Bloom

People want to give back to their communities. Sometimes, the challenge is finding the volunteer opportunity best suited to them. For people who are interested in gardening and nature, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System has a volunteer program that may be just what they are looking for. One of Alabama Extension’s most recognized community involvement efforts is its Alabama Master Gardener ... Read More »