All About Hostas

The program topic for our Chilton County November meeting was “Let’s Learn About Hostas”presented by Autauga County Advanced Master Gardener Bionca Lindsay. Bionca was such an entertaining speaker and so down to earth. She gave us the basics of purchasing, planting, dividing, fertilizing and watering hosta and shared tips to help us be successful! She suggests letting the plants bloom as pollinators will definitely benefit. Who knew that hostas come in sizes from mini to extra large?

CCMGA voted on our officers for 2022 and they are:
President: Pat Farmer
Vice President: Gail Brooks
Secretary: Treasia Bennett
Treasurer: Lyn Webb
Congratulations to our new officers and a big Thank You for stepping up!

Article by Trisha Williams and Audrey Giles; photos by Diane Clapp and Audrey Giles

Candid shots of Nov. meeting
Top photo, speaker, Bionca Lindsey; Bottom left, Joyce Lawson, Susan Cleckler, and Judy Cobb; Right photo- Lee Walters, Jerry Farmer, Alan Reed, and Larry Jones
Candid shots from Nov. meeting
Top-Pat Farmer-Pres., Gail BrooksV. Pres., Treasia Bennett-Sec., Lyn Webb-Treas. Bottom, Left photo, Speaker, Bianca Lindsey and Par Farmer, Pres. Right photo, Harriett Jackson giving Advisory Cancel report

Fall in Love with Your Garden

The Fall AMGA Master Gardener Seminar, Fall in Love with Your Garden, was hosted by the Autauga County Master Gardeners Association. Fudd Graham, PhD, discussed Identifying and Encouraging Native Insects in Your Garden. He was followed by Desmond Layne,PhD, who told us about the Transformation Garden being developed at Auburn University with fundraising in progress. This garden is designed as a green space and a teaching garden for students. The garden will include row crops, hydroponics, invasive plants, perennials, annuals, pollinator garden and more. What a real treat to hear Leila Scott Kelly, PhD, talk about Color in the Fall and Winter Landscape; she was informative as well as humorous. The last program was presented by hummingbird expert Fred Bassett. He taught us about the Fall Hummingbird Migration and discussed our ruby throated hummingbirds as well as many others that may visit during the winter. Following the seminar ACMGA hosted tours of their public gardens including Prattvillage, Prattville-Autauga Demonstration Garden and Wilderness Park. Several Chilton Master Gardeners attended and one that has dual membership was a volunteer for the program. We really enjoyed the programs and fellowship with Master Gardeners from around Alabama. Photos by Diane Clapp, Trisha Williams and Audrey Giles. Article by Trisha Williams.

Master Gardeners from Chilton County

Straw Bale Gardening

Straw bale gardening was the program for our September meeting. Eric Schavey, ACES Regional Extension Agent in Commercial Horticulture, taught us the 10 day process to prepare a straw bale for growing vegetables, herbs and even annuals. The items needed are the straw bale, ammonium sulfate, water, fertilizer (8-8-8) and lime. Transplants work best for this type of gardening. Eric was a great speaker and we really enjoyed his presentation. He even left all the items used in his presentation for door prizes!
Photos by Diane Clapp and Audrey Giles

September program speaker Eric Schavey
Members enjoying fellowship at Sept. meeting
Top- Mildred Knowles and Trisha Williams
Bottom- Jimmy Knowles, Jerry Farmer, and Alan Reed

Celebrating 40 Years of MG

Chilton County Master Gardeners celebrated the fortieth anniversary of Alabama Extension Master Gardeners Volunteers with a luncheon at the Chilton Research and Extension Center. We enjoyed visiting with retired CEC Gay West and retired 4H Agent Josine Walters. The crew at CREC also joined us for lunch and a delicious chocolate celebration cake. Hurricane Ida gave us cooler but damp weather so we headed home to watch the ACES Zoom presentation. Thanks to Mary Lou McNabb and Extension Agent Gary Murray for starting the very first MG class in Alabama. Thanks also go to Elouisa Stokes(40 active MG years), Tony Glover and Dave Williams for their contributions to the Master Gardener Extension Program.

Garden Insects

Chilton County Master Gardeners had a last minute change of meeting location and met at the City of Clanton Zoning and Planning Room. Autauga County Master Gardener Anthony Yarborough spoke to us about Destructive Garden insects. We learned about several insects that attack our vegetable gardens such as flea beetles, squash bugs and the always hiding tomato hornworm. Let’s not forget about the white flies, flea hopper, pickle worms and more. He told how to scout insects and control them early. He suggests following Integrated Pest Management using cultural and mechanical methods before using insecticides. When insecticides are needed start with Bt, Sevin, or Milky Spore Powder before using more potent chemicals. Always spray early or late to help protect bees.

Our members were encouraged to help with our plant dig on Thursday, seed saving, Helpline calls, and sharing vegetables through the Grow More Give More campaign. We had a good turnout and expect to be back at our normal meeting place in August, hope to see ALL of you there!

Pres. Pat Farmer presents Anthony Yarbrough with hand crafted walnut pen by MG Ron Herbster
Back, Ron and Cheryl Herbster, front, Jan and Jim Rabey

Back, Jerry Farmer and Jimmy & Mildred Knowles; middle, Faye Collins and Wally Walters; front, Joyce Lawson and Judy Cobb
back, Linda Church, front, Lanell Baker and Harriett Jackson