July Gardening Activities

You can’t beat vegetables fresh from the garden. Don’t forget to plant pumpkins the first week of July for fall harvest.   

  • Fruits and Nuts–Protect figs and other ripening fruit from birds.
  • Shrubs–Continue to root shrub cuttings until late in the month and mulch to keep soil moist.
    Remove faded blooms promptly from crape myrtle and other summer-blooming plants.
  • Lawns–Watch for diseases. Mow regularly. Water as needed.
  • Roses–Keep roses healthy and actively growing. Apply fertilizer. Wash off foliage to prevent burning if any fertilizer falls on plants. Water as needed.
  • Annuals and Perennials–Water as needed to keep plants active.
  • Bulbs–Iris and spider lilies may be planted late this month.
  • Miscellaneous–Keeping flowers, shrubs, trees, and lawns health is the major task this month. Watch closely for insects and diseases. Water.
  • Vegetable Seed–Plant beans, field peas, rutabagas, squash, New Zealand spinach, and Irish potatoes. Plant cabbage, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and celery for the fall crop.
  • Vegetable Plants–Plant tomatoes in Central and North Alabama.

Source:   Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Alabama Gardening Calendar  

Photo credit: Trisha Williams

February Gardening Activities

Bright yellow crocus and other early blooming plants will soon announce that spring is on its way. If you do not have crocus in your garden be sure to plant some next Fall.

  • Planting season continues for dormant trees, shrubs, roses. You may plant some vegetable seeds such as collards and Swiss chard as well as vegetable transplants including cabbage, onions, lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and strawberries.
  • Prepare beds for summer annuals.
  • Fertilize fruit trees, fertilize grape at a half rate now and a half after fruit sets.
  • Spray shrubs with fungicide before new growth starts.

yellow crocus

Picture credit: Trisha Williams, edited by Audrey Giles
Source:   Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Alabama Gardening Calendar


March Gardening Activities

Daffodils, forsythia and flowering quince are among the flowers making an appearance this month.

FLOWERING QUINCE

FLOWERING QUINCE

  • Fruits and Nuts–Continue strawberry and grape plantings. Start planting blackberries.
  • Bulbs–Plant cannas, amaryllis, gladiolus and zephyranthes in South Alabama; delay planting a few weeks in North Alabama.
  • Shrubs–Fertilize shrubs (except azaleas and camellias) according to a soil test. Plant transplants. Watch shrubs for harmful insects.
  • Lawns–Fertilize established lawns.
  • Roses–Watch new growth for aphids. Begin a spray or dust program. Begin fertilizing.
  • Vegetable plants– Plant cabbage, onions, lettuce, broccoli and Brussels sprouts in North Alabama, and plant tomatoes and peppers in lower South Alabama

Source:  Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Alabama Gardening Calendar

Decorating with Greenery

Decorating with fresh greenery from your landscape is easy and a great way to bring the outside in. AND, oh yes,  it is basically free! Many evergreens hold up well for a week to 10 days inside your home. If you place the stems in water and place them outside on your porch they will often last weeks during the cool days of our fall and winter.

There are many landscape and forest plants that perform well including pine, cedar, magnolia, juniper, wax myrtle, pittosporum, nandina, Leyland cypress, arborvitae, ivy and holly of all types. If you don’t know which plants perform well and which don’t, experiment with them ahead of your event.

You will need clippers to cut the greenery and a bucket of water to place them in as you cut. You may need to split the hard stems or bash with a hammer to open up the stems so they will absorb more water. You may want to rinse the greenery before letting it sit overnight in a cool place to absorb water.

Many evergreens like pine, cedar and magnolia leaves will hold up for several days without water but putting them in a container with water  will prolong their life.

Adding springs of fresh greenery to florist flowers is inexpensive and will transform simple cut flowers into holiday decorations. You may add greenery along your mantle or banister, in the branches of your chandelier, around a holiday decoration and many other places in your home.

Caution: some plants and berries may be toxic to people and pets.

For more information on using fresh greenery check out  Holiday Decorating with Fresh Greenery from Clemson Cooperative Extension. This publication has great pictures, more detailed information and even directions to make your own kissing ball.

 

Late Winter Blooms

Even with the cold temperatures in late winter is your garden showing signs of the coming spring? Have your crocuses and daffodils announced themselves yet? Do you have lenten rose blooming and buds on your old garden quince? If not, you should consider planting these and you will be excited when they show up and tell you  that Spring really is on the way!

Trisha Williams

 

 

Try a Cold Frame

A simple cold frame as pictured here is used as picture of a cold framea miniature greenhouse to protect tender plants from cold, grow plants such as lettuce, spinach, and radishes through the winter and to start transplants for spring gardens. The cold frame pictured was built by a Master Gardener from lumber and has a recycled glass storm door for the cover. Some are built from concrete blocks. In very cold weather an old quilt, blanket or straw can be used to cover it and help hold the heat. Some gardeners use a remote thermometer to check the temperature. When we have warm days the top will need to be propped open to regulate the temperature.

Trisha Williams