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Control Erosion after a Wildfire

AUBURN, Ala.—Alabama is home to beautiful forests and hundreds of woodland creatures. The extreme drought settled into the south has wreaked havoc on the forest homes of woodland creatures. Wildfires have run rampant in the state with 1,721 fires burning more than 20,000 acres since the first of October. Alabama’s Tennessee neighbors are currently fighting fires that have destroyed homes, ... Read More »

How mulch helps save water

Auburn, Alabama — With Alabama in its current drought, residences throughout the state can mulch to help save water in their yards and gardens. Rhonda Britton, a regional Extension agent in home grounds, gardens and home pests, said mulch helps save water by holding moisture when placed on top of the soil. “It keeps down erosion and helps hold the moisture in,” Britton ... Read More »

Best Practices for Home Gardens During Winter

Best Practices for Home Gardens in Winter

AUBURN, Alabama– Winter is here, but for home gardeners that does not mean it is time to head indoors. There are several best practices for home gardens during winter. Planting cover crops, keeping your garden clean and mulching are just a few of these practices. “Right now is a good time to plant a cover crop if you’re not going to plant ... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Annuals Add Color, Fragrance to Fall Landscapes

colorful annuals for fall

Fall is a great time to plant flowers, and there are plenty of colorful annuals to choose from, says Sallie Lee, a regional agent in Home Grounds, Gardens and Home Pests with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. “There are a variety of annuals that flower from fall through winter,” she says.  As gardeners become aware of flowering plants for cool season ... Read More »