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Gardening in the South

Slime Molds, Nostoc Appear in Yards after Heavy Rains

slime molds nostoc

 AUBURN, Ala.—Many Alabama homeowners felt the effects of torrential downpours in the garden and in their yards. Dr. Dave Han, an Alabama Extension turfgrass management specialist, said homeowners may see a plethora of strange-looking organisms popping up in the yard. “Besides the usual mushrooms, moss and algae, two strange-looking things are popping up: slime molds and Nostoc,” Han said. Slime ... Read More »

Ready, Set, Grow: Heirloom Tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

AUBURN, Ala.— Whether consumers choose to purchase their food or grow it themselves, many are interested in moving away from mass-produced items—including commercial tomato varieties. Alabama Extension Regional Agent, Hunter McBrayer said the trend brings consumers looking for more natural and sustainable foods. “Many believe heirloom tomatoes are more ‘natural’ and sustainable,” McBrayer said. “While you can save seed from ... Read More »

How to Grow and Maintain Elephant Ears

AUBURN, Alabama—Elephant ears are indigenous to Southeast Asia and feature large, thick leaves reminiscent of their namesake. The plant is used in many home gardens as an eye-catching focal point or in contrast to smaller plants. Although elephant ears are typically green, there are varieties created by breeders that add pinks, blues, yellows and black to your garden. They do not ... Read More »

Fruits for the Home Garden

plums fruits

AUBURN, Alabama— With summer on the way, fruits are a perfect snack. Growing your own fruits at home can be a way to make them more easily available and less costly. Blueberries Blueberries are easy to grow at home because they are very low maintenance. There are many different types of blueberries that include: Northern highbush, Southern highbush, Rabbiteye, and Lowbush. ... Read More »

Planting Indian Hawthorn

indian hawthorn

AUBURN, Alabama — Spring is here and many people across the state are working in their gardens and yards. One plant that seems to be particularly popular this time of year is Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis species). Indian hawthorn is a small  shrub or ground cover native to southern China and Japan and cultivated across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones ... Read More »

How to Make Your Lawn the Envy of the Neighborhood

Auburn, Alabama – With temperatures continuing to rise and summer only a few weeks away, people are beginning to break out the work gloves to start the process of lawn management. As nice as it is to have a lawn with beautiful green grass, the job of maintaining such a landscape can be difficult and require a considerable amount of ... Read More »

Backyard Bird Sanctuary

Auburn, Alabama — Turning a backyard into a bird sanctuary can be accomplished with a few simple additions. Homeowners often enjoy the sounds of songbirds in the spring and hummingbirds create flits of color as they feed on bright flowers. FOOD SOURCES According to Alabama Extension Specialist Nancy Loewenstein, consistent food sources are an important element to creating a habitat for ... Read More »

What You Need to Know about Wisteria

wisteria

AUBURN, Ala. — If you have driven along the interstate, then you have likely seen the beautiful purple flowers clustered on a green, leafy vine. While many consider this vine, wisteria, beautiful, it can cause quite the problem for home gardeners. What to Know About Wisteria Wisteria is a vine that grows across Alabama and much of the Southeast.  Some varieties of ... Read More »

What is a Master Gardener and How Do I Join?

AUBURN, Ala. – Do you wish you had a garden that looks like a feature in Southern Living Magazine, but you just don’t have the “green thumb” like your great-grandmother? The good news is that there are qualified people who are able to answer your questions if you reach out – they are called Master Gardeners. The Master Gardener program ... Read More »

10 Facts to Know about Dogwood Trees

dogwood trees

AUBURN, Alabama —  Loved for early spring blooms, dogwood trees are features in many Alabama landscapes and celebrated in festivals throughout the South.  The white flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), plentiful across Alabama, is an ornamental deciduous tree native to the eastern half of the United States. 10 Dogwood Facts to Know 1. Dogwood trees sport white or pink flowers. However, the true ... Read More »