August Gardening Activities

 pink flowersHave you noticed the pink flowers–Naked Ladies–that pop up in gardens everywhere late in July and early August? These are Lycoris squamigera that bloom on two foot tall stems with with foliage that appears later. The hottest days of summer have arrived but there are still chores we can do in our gardens. Just get outside early in the day and keep hydrated.
  • Fruits and Nuts–Cut out old blackberry canes after fruiting and then fertilize and cultivate for replacement canes. remember to order new catalogs for fruit selection.
  • Shrubs–Layer branches of hydrangea to propagate.
  • Lawns–Watch for diseases. Mow regularly. Water as needed.
  • Roses–Keep roses healthy and actively growing. Hybrid teas and floribundas may need light pruning to prevent scraggly appearance.
  • Annuals and perennials–Water as needed. Plant perennials and biennials.
  • Bulbs–Divide old iris plantings and add new ones.
  • Miscellaneous–Keeping flowers, shrubs, trees, and lawns health is the major task this month. This means close observation for insects and diseases. Water.
  • Vegetable Seed–Plant turnips, rutabagas, beans, and peas in South Alabama.
  • Vegetable Plants–Plant cabbage, collards, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and celery.
  • Source: Alabama Cooperative Extension System
    Alabama Gardening Calendar
  • photo credit Audrey Giles

October “Gardening in Small Spaces”

Our program this month was presented by Mr. Glenn Huovinen.  Mr. Houvinen, a Master Gardener in Autauga County, is working on his Advanced Master Gardener certification in “Gardening in Small Spaces”.  His program was very informative, outlining the process of drawing a plan, getting a soil test, deciding what you like to eat and want to grow, and whether to grow in a raised bed or containers. He also explained about hooking up a rain barrel to your gutter system to help with watering. Mr. Huovinen talked about how to air prune and irrigate pots. He even touched on the art of Espalier for growing fruit trees, since this is a very space saving technique. I think everyone enjoyed his program on Gardening in Small Spaces.

Autauga County is partnering with Chilton County, along with Shelby County,  to host the AMGA Conference at the Clanton Performing Arts Center in May 2019. Mr. Huovinen set up our scrolling banner displaying the activities and speakers we have lined up for the Conference. He talked about the great venue for the conference without having to change rooms or choose which speaker you want to hear.

We are excited and working hard on getting everything scheduled and set up.  We have some excellent speakers, one being Joe Lamp’l from the television series “Growing a Greener World”, which is an award-winning PBS series. He was also host of Fresh from the Garden on DIY Network, and has been on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and the Weather Channel. The Conference is open to the public, but you must pre-register to attend. Registration starts in January, more information will follow.

Gardening as We and Our Gardens Age


“Gardening as We and Our Gardens Age” was the program topic for the March Chilton County Master Gardener meeting. Mike Rushing, Jefferson County Master Gardener, gave an informative and entertaining program on how we can continue to enjoy gardening as we age and experience changes in our abilities. We should evaluate changes in our gardens such as mature trees that create shade and perhaps remove a few or limb them up to provide more sun. He told us to eliminate plants that we consider high maintenance, plants that do not perform well for us, and plants that are dead or dying. Be sure to keep those plants that thrive. Another suggestion was to create smaller garden areas that one can reasonably maintain. Mike also suggested hiring someone to do the tasks you do not enjoy and to work smarter not harder.

Gardening as we age