Thursday May 5 was a beautiful day for a tour of the Chilton County Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden. We were host to Regional Extension agents Mallory Kelley, Dani Carroll and Bethany O’Rear and interns of Lee, Elmore, and Montgomery County associations. Everyone met at 10 am for a tour of the different beds of the garden. CCMGA member Harriett Jackson gave a short bio of the Gardens and how the new one came about. Matthew Price, director of Chilton Research and Extension Center, told them a little about the center, what their purpose is, how they are funded, and all the fruits they grow. Everyone enjoyed delicious doughnuts from Lickin Good Doughnuts, coffee from Jack’s, and ice cold bottled water. Then they all climbed aboard the 2 tour wagons from the Chilton Research and Extension Center to see the kiwi, strawberries, peaches, and figs, to name a few, that they are growing for research. After that, they all drove up the road to Petals From the Past for lunch and a welcome speech from Jason Powell of Petals. After their lunch catered by Panera Bread, they all had a tour of Petals by Jason and then went SHOPPING🤩🪴🎍🌳🌾🌹🌼💵💵❗️
Chilton County Master Gardeners held their Annual Plant Sale at Goosepond Park on April 15 and had a rain date sale on April 30. Our members propagated lots of wonderful plants including ferns, hostas, phlox, iris, daylilies, black-eyed Susan’s, ground covers, vines, figs, houseplants, shrubs, trees and more. This year there were tomatoes, peppers and watermelon plants too. There are always great old fashioned favorites and pass-a-long plants that you don’t always find in nurseries. We also had an Ask a Master Gardener table and a Country Store with gently used garden and decorative items. Two customers won a Grow More Give More bucket to grow a vegetable!
Our members enjoy helping our customers find lots of great plants for their gardens and talking gardening.
Sharon Hosch, head lead at the Demo Garden, came to speak to the intern class today about the Demonstration Garden that they maintain at the Chilton Research and Extension Center. She explained to them what’s at the Demo Garden and how it’s maintained, the schedule they normally work, and how they could earn hours by helping there. Then Pat introduced to the interns our Secretary, Treasia Bennett. Every year we invite the officers to come by and be introduced to the new intern class. The morning zoom class was “What Did I Eat Yesterday?” led by Dani Carol from the Auburn Home Grounds Team. The class was about growing vegetables and fruits in your home garden. After lunch, Pat Farmer introduced Harriett Jackson, who is over the Pollinator Bed at the Demo Garden, and Ruby Moberg ( not pictured), who is lead over the Extension Office Gardens. Harriett demonstrated to the class how to prune the knock out roses at the Extension Office. The interns learned a valuable, hands on lesson today. Photos by Audrey Giles.
If you have ever thought of becoming a Master Gardener volunteer, NOW is the time to register! Chilton County classes will be held at the Chilton County Extension Office February 3rd through May 5. SAVE $50 if you register and pay between Nov. 3 and Dec 19! Registration closes Jan 23. For more information see flyer or call (205)280-6268 Here’s the link to online registration Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom! HTTPS://www.aces.edu/go/2022springMGclass
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
What a treat to hold our June meeting at Petals From the Past! Our own Betsy Smith, who is working on her advanced certification on Herbs, was our speaker. She taught us about the five herb families and their growing needs such as amount of sun, soil type, water needs, and space and duration (perennial or annual). The families are mint, aster, carrot, amaryllis and laurel and of course she gave us the scientific names for each family.
Betsy also gave us handouts: one about all the different herb families and another on how to gather and dry herbs. We also enjoyed passing around the potted herbs she had for us to touch and smell. Who knew there were so many types of mint and thyme available and she didn’t even have them all!
Following the meeting a tour of Petals From the Past was available and that is always a fun learning experience.
Bright rain boots filled with spring flowers welcomed us to our April Chilton County Master Gardener meeting, thanks to Hospitality leader, Lyn Webb.
Congratulations to Intern Joan Crocker, who was awarded her Master Gardener badge and certificate.
Mollie Smith, Auburn School of Fisheries manager, presented a program on Aquaponics. She described the system used at AU and also showed how a smaller scale home version could be set up. Fish are grown in tanks and the water is used to water and fertilize plants. The fish, usually Tilapia, are also harvested. AU has had great success growing vine crops with their system.
Peach Automotive and Outdoor held a “Spring Garden Event” at their Clanton 205 location on March 12. This was a live event to kick off the spring gardening season. The day was all about gardening, tractors, seeds, free food and drawings. Master Gardeners Jerry Farmer and Alan Reed were there manning the “Ask A Master Gardener” table to answer any gardening questions. Photo by Jerry Farmer.
Chilton County Master Gardeners have “Ask A Master Gardener” tables set up at Garrison’s Farm & Home Center in Thorsby February 27 through April 10, and Holleywood Nurseries in Clanton April 3 through April 17. We are always glad to be able to answer any questions about planting and growing vegetables and flowers.