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Gardening in the South

Fresh Greenery from the Garden for Holiday Decorating

The winter holidays provide a great opportunity to use greenery and garden elements in decorating your home. Fresh holiday greenery gives your home a warm holiday look while also giving off a wonderful, seasonal scent. When choosing greenery and other garden items to decorate with, select fresh materials with contrasting shapes, colors and textures. Kerry Smith, home grounds team leader ... Read More »

The Christmas tree: a living tradition

Christmas tree decorated

The turkey and fall decor is gone and people are decorating for Christmas. For many this means spending hours in the kitchen, visiting family and friends, stocking up on presents for children on Santa’s nice list and of course, getting a Christmas tree. Whether you chose to use an artificial or live tree, the Christmas tree has become a beloved custom for ... Read More »

Amaryllis: A Dazzling Display of Indoor Color During the Winter

For a dazzling display of indoor color during the winter months, plant amaryllis bulbs in the fall. The amaryllis blossom commands attention with its bold color and its 8-to-10-inch diameter. Each bulb usually produces two stems. Each stem can produce up to six blossoms. Consumers often see amaryllis in small pots for sale at garden stores during the holiday season. ... Read More »

New E-book Improves Gardening in the South

Auburn, AL – It’s hard to beat gardening in the South. Gardeners can have something blooming or ready to eat all year long. But the challenges can be daunting.  Poor soil, insects and plant diseases, heat, and incorrect plant selection can often frustrate gardeners who struggle with questions that are beyond their skill level. Alabama Extension has released a new generation of resources for gardeners called ... Read More »

Kick Pesky Invasive Plants to the Curb

Invasive plant species can be a nuisance year-round, but certain species are more obvious this time of year. According to invasive plant expert Dr. Nancy Loewenstein, “Invasive plant infestations can out-compete native species, eventually displacing or killing them, and impact wildlife habitat and nutrient cycling.” Loewenstein, a specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, says Chinese tallowtree, Bradford pear, Chinese ... Read More »

RECYCLING LEAVES

Fall leaves

Each year, yard waste accounts for more than a million tons of our state’s solid waste. What are alternatives to putting leaves out with trash? Burning leaves is not a good idea. Open burning generates hydrocarbons, which contain cancer-causing compounds and carbon monoxide. Recycle leaves either for mulch or as compost for improving soil is a good alternative. “Leaves make ... Read More »

Forcing Bulbs for Winter

Bulb forcing

Winter can be a dull and dreary season for gardeners, but forcing bulbs can bring life and color back into the home and the hope of spring back into a gardener’s heart. Forcing bulbs is the process of manipulating a bulb into breaking dormancy early in order for the plant to bloom sooner than it would naturally. The process, often ... Read More »

Cold Weather and Lawn Mower Maintenance

With winter approaching and  grass becoming dormant, the need to spend time working outside in the yard decreases. As the weather gets cooler, there are certain steps you can take to maintain your yard and lawn equipment to ensure they will be in the optimal condition when the first days of spring roll around and regular yard work becomes necessary. ... Read More »

Roses Welcome Cooler Fall Temperatures

Roses are tough plants when grown in well-drained soil, enriched with organic matter, and where there is good sunlight and air circulation. Fall is an excellent time to rejuvenate roses for a beautiful show of color before they rest for the winter. “Roses welcome the relief of cooler fall temperatures. It is one of the best seasons for plant growth ... Read More »

Dishing the Dirt on Soil Testing

Fall is in full swing and you know what that means, it’s time to break out the pumpkins, flannel shirts and soil tests. According to Dr. Charles Mitchell, a soil scientist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and professor at Auburn University, soil testing is a simple chemical process that estimates the nutrients available to crops in the soil. Most ... Read More »