Unplanned time at home this spring has helped to develop a new generation of home gardeners. Alabama is also home to many seasoned backyard gardeners.
Whether a new home gardener or a long-time lover of backyard veggies, Alabama Extension professionals have a treasure trove of resources for those working in the backyard garden this spring.
What Do I Plant?
Worried about when to plant green beans or blueberries? How about shade-loving hydrangeas? The Alabama Gardening Calendar includes a month-by-month look at the right time to plant in the back yard.
Before planting, all Alabama Extension specialists and regional agents encourage soil testing. Boxes are available in local offices. Make arrangements for pickup by contacting the local Extension office by email or phone. Directions for collecting samples, as well as directions for reading the soil test report are available online. Agents are also available via phone or email to help homeowners understand what the soil test means for their back yard.
Gardens: All Shapes, Sizes
Is the thought of a large, in-ground garden overwhelming? Not to worry. There are other options for every level of gardener.
A raised bed garden may be more convenient for some, and Alabama Extension is here to help. Read more about raised bed gardening and the plants that would thrive in that environment before getting started.
Looking for an option for limited spaced gardening? A patio or sunroom container garden may be just the right size for a smaller household. Read more about container gardening.
Home gardeners can also look through the Garden Problem Guide. This resource includes information running the gamut from soil fertility to bitter vegetables or pruning.
One of the most common problems experienced in the garden is related to insect pests. Garden bounties can be destroyed by an insect problem, so take care to avoid a devastating pest by brushing up on common garden pests and the methods used to best control them. Read more about garden bugs.
Master Gardener Helpline
One of the easiest ways to get help from garden-savvy individuals is to call the Alabama Master Gardener Helpline. Dial 1-877-ALA-GROW (252-4769) to connect with a knowledgeable team of certified Master Gardeners. These volunteers will research the problem and also determine a possible solution.
Still have questions? The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has more information available for the home gardener by visiting www.aces.edu. Gardeners can also contact their county Extension office for more information.