May Gardening Activities

This month many flowers and perennials are looking their best. Enjoy the flowers and get those annuals and pink iris bloom up closevegetables planted. Many iris varieties are blooming this month and come in a variety of colors including a peachy pink.

  • Shrubs–Newly planted shrubs need extra care now and in coming weeks. Don’t forget to water them.
  • Roses–Spray for insects and diseases. Fertilize monthly based on soil test. Container-grown plants in flower may be planted now. Prune climbing roses after the first big flush of flowering.
  • Bulbs–Summer bulbs started in containers can be planted now. Don’t remove foliage from spring flowering bulbs. Do not let seedheads form on tulips and other spring flowering bulbs.
  • Vegetables–Plant seedlings of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, sweet potatoes, vegetable seeds.

Source:  Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Alabama Gardening Calendar

Congratulations MG Class

Due to the Covid-19 Stay at Home order, the 2020  Chilton County Master Gardener class members have been studying and completing tests on the remaining class topics at home. Once we can hold classes again we will reschedule the remaining classes. We look forward to the time when they can join our association members in MG and Extension activities and complete certification requirements. Congratulations to Patricia Agee, Gail Brooks, Linda Church, Joan Crocker, Julie Garris, Sharon Hosch, Peggy McGraw, Ruby Moberg, Jane Rabey and Jim Rabey for completing and passing all their tests!

Helping With the Beef Cook-Off

Last Friday, March 6, Chilton County Master Gardeners and interns helped with registering the participants at the 4-H Beef Cookoff, which is sponsored by the Chilton County Extension Office and the Chilton County Farmers Federation.
L to R- Interns Linda Church, Karol Collier M.G. Harriett Jackson, Interns Jane Rabey, Jim Rabey, and Julie Garris. Not pictured, MG Pat Farmer.

Wonderful Japanese Maples

Japanese maples, what a wonderful topic for a rainy March day! Our speaker for our Chilton County Master Gardener meeting was David Doggett, a Jefferson County Master Gardener and volunteer at Aldridge Gardens, who grows over 70 cultivars of Japanese maples at his home in Irondale. He discussed choosing a site, selecting a variety, companion plants and planting. David has donated and planted 51 (48 cultivars) Japanese maples at Aldridge Gardens.

There are cultivars to meet the needs of most gardeners: small or taller, upright or weeping, fine leaved or more coarse, textured leaves or smooth. Colors often vary from season to season but include reds, pinks, light greens, apricot, yellow, darker greens and more.

Weed Science and Propagation

Our Master Gardener Intern class on March 4 started with a visit from Renee Thompson,  ACES Outreach Coordinator for the Harvest For Health program. She told us a little bit about the program and how she loves working with the people involved in it. For more information about this amazing program, go to https://www.aces.edu/blog/topics/lawn-garden/harvest-for-health-making-an-impact-on-cancer-survivors/

Our first speaker for the day was Shane Harris, Tallapoosa County Extension Coordinator, on Weed Science and Control. 

After lunch, Dr. Arlie Powell, owner of Petals from the Past, Ph.D. in Agriculture, University of FL, and former Auburn Professor, taught Propagation. Both speakers kept your attention! We also had Master Gardeners Lamar Giles and Karen Mims there auditing the classes. It’s always good to refresh your memory!

Touring Tulip Festival at American Village

Several Master Gardeners and Intern Class members enjoyed a trip today to the Tulip Festival at the American Village in Montevallo . The weather was perfect! Everyone also toured the American Village and stepped back to colonial days. Great reminder as to how thankful we should be to our forefathers for our independence! Thanks so much to our V. President and Program Chairperson, Charla Doucet for arranging this trip. If you’ve never been, plan now to go!
Photos by Susan Cleckler and Charla Doucet.

Front row, , L to R MGs Harriett Jackson, Susan Cleckler, Wally Walters, Joan Barber, Intern Ruby Moberg and daughter
Back row, L to R – MGs Rick Miller, Charla Doucet, Interns Peggy McGraw, Patty Frye, Kathryn Martin, Julie Garris, MG Lee Walters, Intern Patricia Agee.

Growing Tomato Plants From Seeds

Master Gardener Lanell Baker did a short program February 26 on starting plants from seeds at the 2020 Intern Class. She did a hands on demonstration of transplanting tomato plants grown from seeds. She explained how to get them ready to plant outdoors. ‘Hardening off‘ is the process of gradually acclimatizing indoor-sown plants to outdoor conditions. For most plants, begin hardening off a week before the final frost date for your area. Water plants before they go outside.

Bethany O’Rear was the main speaker, teaching “Plant Care and Management Pruning.

Thanks, Gay West for these photos.

Master Gardener Lanell Baker
Bethany O’Rear teaches Plant Care and Management Pruning