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1104Fall is to bring more aggressive wasps and hornets in Alabama3/25/2019 1:49 PM
Great read
1100Tactics for Dealing with a Cockroach Invasion2/28/2019 12:17 PM
To permanently get rid of cockroaches in apartments, you need a foolproof plan that uses natural and chemical measures to eradicate them. It is important to seal foods in containers, ensuring cleaning is done in out of reach places, dump trash in a tight trash can, and repair crevices on your walls. And remove any clutter lying around. Essentially, you need to remove their habit areas.

1088Majestic Oak Trees for the Home Landscape8/17/2018 2:46 PM
Contemplating doing something with exposed tree roots. Maybe putting soil down to bring the ground up to the top of the exposed roots. Not literally covering the roots. I have already read it is unhealthy to "cover"tree roots because the need to "breathe". If it is unhealthy to "cover" exposed roots, Why are all roots not on top of the ground instead of all being under ground??
1084Azalea Lace Bugs6/19/2018 9:28 AM
Azalea lace bugs are not usually a problem on healthy azaleas – there are several predator insects that feed on these pests – however, plants under stress, like drought and excess heat due to sun exposure, are twice as likely to have infestations of lace bugs compared to non-stressed plants.... If you decide that insecticides are needed to control these pests, start with softer chemistries such as insecticidal soap or horticultural oil sprays – notice that soaps and oils must directly contact the insects to control them and are most effictive on newly hatched nymphs – early season control is more effective than later season.... other insecticides for managing this pest are neem-based products, pyrethroids, and carbaryl (active ingredients) – as with any insecticide, always read and follow all label directions.... I hope this information is helpful to you – and as always, thank you for looking to Extension for answers – Kerry
1083Azalea Lace Bugs6/18/2018 4:44 PM
1082Azalea Lace Bugs6/18/2018 11:43 AM
Is malathion the right spray for azelea lace bugs. Is there a better spray for these pests?
1081Ripening Tomatoes Crack Open from Too Much Water6/18/2018 2:58 AM
Appropriate distribution of water through smart irrigation techniques can reduce the amount of water being absorbed by the tomatoes. Smart irrigation also saves us from global warming and the shared blog enlightens us with all about it. Thanks for this insightful blog on ripening tomatoes. :)
1072White Spots under Tomato Skin12/2/2017 10:08 AM
i get these spots but they seem to be directly related to what i am calling early blight. The worse the plant has early blight the more the spots. I also get them on peppers. I do not believe this to be insect related.
1063Armadillos Give Homeowners Headaches4/21/2017 4:52 AM
Since they are burrowers, could you sprinkle cyaene pepper into you soil to deter them?
1062Preserving Old Heritage Trees: Is It Worth Our Time and Action?3/23/2017 2:48 PM
need an eight tall (minimum) ground support brace for a large slanting limb of a red bud tree
1058Tactics for Dealing with a Cockroach Invasion12/10/2016 3:15 AM
WOW !! So Cool blog and great article. Thanks author your Useful Tropic and Excellent Content. Really I got very effective information here. 
1057Trust Me, Snakes are on the Move12/1/2016 5:34 AM
When it comes to snakes I do my best to stay far away. Although I can't say im scared of them compared to most people. I know that it's smart to not play with something than can kill or hurt you very easily.
1054White Spots under Tomato Skin9/29/2016 2:42 PM
thanks for the info. are the tomatoes safe to eat?
1053White Spots under Tomato Skin9/20/2016 10:57 AM
Thanks for this useful information.  I've been growing tomatoes for 5+ years and this is the first year I've had this problem.  Unusually, it's only happening to one of my varieties, too!
1052Oak Cankerworms8/18/2016 8:49 AM
We have an oak tree which over hangs our deck.  The branches have some kind of caterpillars on them feasting on the leaves and dropping their waste in pellets all over our deck, to the point that we can spend any time on it. It is covered with the black pellets. This has been going on for over a month.  Will they go away on their own or do we need to do something to try to get rid of them?  The branches are too high to reach.
1048Chipmunks - Neighbor or Nuisance? 6/21/2016 9:49 AM
Seems I have a lot of chipmunks as my home is on the edge of a wooded area in Alabaster. Now I'm seeing their holes along the sidewalk edges and even in the middle of the yard. Can I fill the hole w/ dirt to close it and will that be successful? Thank you.
1047Sweet Tea Olive4/12/2016 2:55 AM
just wonder where to shop these items?
1044Mining Bees3/17/2016 9:38 PM
Thank you for your wonderful piece on miner bees. They are a gentle insect and wonderful harbinger of spring.
I noticed what seems to be an minor word usage error in your text in the paragraph describing their gentle nature. I believe you mean that they are docile, not dossal.
1042Winter Garden Chores - Pruning2/19/2016 1:31 PM
I have a small group of fruit trees at my home. Apples, pears, peaches, plums, and  pecans. I am looking for information on pruning and on the multiple rounds of spraying that need to be done for these crops to flourish.  Do you have this information or can you point me to where I might be able to acquire it?
I have a 2 story tall Crepe that we only pruned the limbs close to house and power line to our house.

Well about 2 months ago I go out to see power company butchering my Crepe.  I yelled at them and kicked them out of my yard till I could talk to someone.  They just came and cleaned up the limbs they had cut off.  They were about 3 inches around. 

Well what I want to know if I emailed you pictures of what they did, could you tell me what I might do to get that side to look more like the rest of it. 
1037Tactics for Dealing with a Cockroach Invasion10/12/2015 3:42 PM
Hi Shane a well informed post indeed, I am a professional pest Management Officer and I cannot fault your post, allow me if I may to supplement with a home-made cockroach bait which works a treat. Mix boric powder with egg and pea flour to a consistency of bread flour. Roll the dough into tiny balls around 2 mm in diameter. Place these balls in infected areas such as behind your fridge and check your results.
1036​Fall Vegetable Gardening9/26/2015 5:55 PM
Thank you for the article.  If I clean off my garden,  add horse manure (because it really needed nitrogen this summer), then a thin layer of wood chips, will this extra covering of wood chips cause detrimental bugs to be more prevalent?  I plan to have beets, turnips, collards, chard, and maybe more. 
Thank you for your response.
1035Master Gardener Helpline9/9/2015 11:20 AM
I have a 12 year old American Elm tree that has Yellow Leaf Decease. Is there anything we can do to save the tree?
Thanks in advance.
1034Summertime Tomatoes and ‘Home Grown’ Workshops9/6/2015 5:37 PM
I planted tomatoes plants this year again but this year it looks like a sunburn and also white spot looking circles on the tomatoes this year , and how can I prevent this from happing again ? now I trimed my plants back this year and also did not water enough like I did last year , could this be the reason ? could you please help me out with this ? thank you , paula
1033White Spots under Tomato Skin8/24/2015 8:08 AM
Hi Lana,
The usual recommendation is to only use non-blemished produce for preserving (freezing, drying, canning).  It's difficult to conclusively say that one type of blemish over another is safe.  It sounds as though your salsa product is fine this time, but we can't recommend using insect-damaged fruits.
1032White Spots under Tomato Skin8/23/2015 8:47 PM
I canned some salsa not thinking these white spots were a real problem---duh.We have eaten some of it and it tastes fine, we have not felt sick or anything.I would not give any to friends but is it safe to eat if we can get passed the fact bugs were there before us?
1030Watering Tips for Picky Veggies7/24/2015 9:36 AM
This is excellent information that I can print out and give to our clients who walk in with that blossom end rot and splitting that we have seen so much of this year.   Some years are really good for tomatoes but this year not so much due to the weather. 
1029Watering Tips for Picky Veggies7/21/2015 3:48 PM
my tomatoes have hard green veins and some have tough skin under the peeling.  help
Very informative! Thank you! I too have always assumed it was necessary to prune Crepe Myrtle that way, after seeing it done every year in our town. I have been wanting to plant some, and I'm so glad I saw this before I did!
1025All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series Resumes on February 64/30/2015 1:45 PM
Mr. Smith,

First all, I'm assuming that you mean fire ants, and also that  you are referring to how to get rid of them in your home landscape. The best solution is to use the 2-step method: apply a fire ant bait twice a year for long term control, and follow-up with mound treatments for pesky mounds you need to get rid of immediately.

A list of products can be found at: 
1024All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series Resumes on February 64/30/2015 12:50 PM
What is the safest way to get rid of ANTS?

Charles Smith
1023Of Weeds and Worts4/2/2015 3:09 PM
I have some weird looking material growing in my grass which looks like a type of brown moss I have not seen before.  I thought this blog might have facts relating to this substance and what I do to treat it.
Guilty as charged! We commit crepe cruelty each & every yr!  Some we have left to their own but the ones that are closer to the house we continue to decapitate each yr as I like the look once they come back out & don't particulary want a 30 to 40 foot tree that close to my house of in my beds. Enjoyed the article though. Please don't be sending the "Crepe Cops" to my house. Thank you.
1017Most Common Question of the Week3/3/2015 11:59 AM
I did not know that. Very interesting.

1012​Providing for Our Pollinators11/11/2014 10:33 AM
Great information Andy
1009Brown Patch in your Lawn9/5/2014 12:45 PM
Hi Mr Thomas,
Yes, spittlebugs can be a problem in centipedegrass lawns.  Keeping the turf in good health, but not excessively lush is the first recommendation.  When you water, water deeply for up to 20 or 30 minutes. Then avoid watering again until the soil begins to dry at the 3-4 inch depth.  This is usually once per week in droughty seasons.  Centipedegrass doesn't usually need supplemental water until July and August.  Mowing regularly enough to make sure clippings decompose quickly is also a good tip to remember.
Centipedegrass doesn't need much fertility either.  We recommend a maximum of 1 lb. Nitrogen per 1,000 ft2 of turf during the summer (1/2 lb. in May and 1/2 lb. in July is the norm).
When spittlebug infestations are high, an insecticide may become necessary.  Charles has mailed you some information, but here's info as an immediate reply.  Look for the active ingredient on pesticides labeled for centipedegrass lawns.  Several are available and often have names ending in "thrin", like "bifenthrin." The liquid spray products offer faster contact of the product to the insect.  AND notice that applying late in the day is also recommended. This timing is important because the insects are more exposed late in the day so better contact is possible (in the morning, they are lower in the turf and protected).
I hope this information is helpful in solving your problem.  Thank you for your support of Cooperative Extension.
1008Brown Patch in your Lawn9/5/2014 12:14 PM
I have several brown patches in my centipede lawn. Mr. Charles Pinkston of Cullman Office was in my area yesterday and he found "Snap Bugs" in each of these areas.
WE are trying to find the right insecticide for them. 
All the symptoms you mentioned in your commentary seem to be present in my lawn.  I
I have watered my lawn all summer and fertilized it in the early spring.
Do I forget the fungi and go with the insecticide for the Snap bugs?
1006Rotten Tomatos???8/25/2014 8:13 AM
Hi Rudy,
You can use the calcium sprays for BER anytime - these come premixed under various brand names.  Soil sample info can be found here - - find the address on this page and submission forms through the tab, "forms," at the top.  Remember to specify your crop at vegetables where requested on the form and any other specifics as these make the test recommendations more accurate for your application.  As well notice the "calculators" on the forms page.  These can help you with fertilizer usage.
Good luck with your fall/winter garden!
1005Rotten Tomatos???8/24/2014 9:01 AM
Sounds good.  Will spraying with blossom rot sprays help? If so, when can it be used? 
where do you send soil samples for gardens?  We have kits for our pastures.
1004Tactics for Dealing with a Cockroach Invasion8/21/2014 11:51 PM
I don't mind seeing the odd one here and there but when you see one of them you know there are usually more somewhere else.

In my experience the bait boxes or roach traps are one of the most effective methods you can use if you don't have a large infestation.
1003Rotten Tomatos???8/20/2014 9:34 AM
I haven’t had trouble with Blossom End Rot (probably because I have alkaline soils), but I have seen it in other’s gardens a lot.  It’s such a frustrating problem!  Thanks for this informative article.  I don’t think most people realize that it’s a problem within the plant rather than a fungus or something causing the issue.

1002White Spots under Tomato Skin8/11/2014 8:18 AM
Hi Paula,
Where are you located? Many of the big-box stores now have naturally based chemicals.
There are several "organic" pesticides you can use for stinkbug control.  Neem is the first that comes to mind, but needs to be sprayed when the insects are small for best effect.  Here is a publication describing other products that might fit your needs. 
1000White Spots under Tomato Skin8/9/2014 2:56 PM
Thank all of you for the info, great help. I do not use poisons in my garden and I get fungus and white spots on my tomatoes. Is there any place to buy chicken poo or a natural product that can help my garden next year?
999Sweet Tea Olive8/6/2014 8:37 AM
It's a challenge to find nurseries who want to dig plants from private property.  But you might consider asking friends, or finding plant societies or garden clubs who host plant sales.  Many times the volunteer type organizations appreciate free donations.  Good luck in your search.
998Sweet Tea Olive8/6/2014 2:59 AM
Do you know where I can sell the Sweet Tea Olive to? I have a garden planted so many Sweet Tea Olive Trees.
996Tactics for Dealing with a Cockroach Invasion7/28/2014 8:12 AM
Hi Shane, handy post you have here.  I had roaches a while back and got rid of them myself.  I decided to put together a website that deals with this issue, it's at  i'm always researching and adding new posts to it.  Feel free to take a look and tell me what you think so far.  Thanks and have a roach free day! :)
995Rotten Tomatos???7/15/2014 4:01 PM
Epsom salts contain hydrated magnesium sulfate, two micro-nutrients crucial to plant growth, but not relative to BER
• Sulfur (~13%) is crucial to the inner workings of plants, but it is rarely low enough in the soil to cause problems - plus plants don't use much of it per life cycle.
•Magnesium (~10%) can become scarce in soil, usually because of erosion or depletion of the top soil or a pH imbalance. Magnesium helps plants build strong cell walls, allowing the plant to take in other nutrients it needs. It also aids some plant processes like seed germination and photosynthesis.
I suspect that the water a gardener adds when applying Epsom salt is the better part of this remedy recommendation, but over time could assist the plant in more efficient intake of calcium.
Calcium nitrate is the better remedy and gets right to the matter - a calcium deficiency.
994Rotten Tomatos???7/15/2014 3:47 PM
Is Epsom salt an effective treatment for BER or is calcium nitrate or calcium chloride the best way to go? Thanks.
993Rotten Tomatos???7/15/2014 3:09 PM
A common question about mulch - "Can I use pinestraw? I heard it makes my soil too acidic for vegetables." 

Answer: Pine straw decomposes very slowly and will not quickly or dramatically impact soil pH.  As a general rule, any organic material you have on hand is a good mulch.  Wet newspaper or cardboard underneath works well too.
992Wood Boring Insects Can Attack Stressed Trees6/20/2014 3:57 PM
Some wood-boring insects attack plants regardless of plant health.  But some plants become more vulnerable to attack when they are under stress such as drought or unexpected temperature extremes. These plants, normally able to protect themselves by sealing off the insect damage, or just tolerating the damage, have lower defenses due to their weakened state. Stress causes some plants to have fewer resources for defense. Then the insects take advantage of this imbalance and find it easier to locate and attack the stressed plants.
A few of these insects are: long horn beetles, ambrosia beetles, clearwing moths, sawflies, and jewel beetles. 
991Attracting Birds to the Yard or Garden6/20/2014 4:12 AM
Awesome idea! I love it, it would really work. I would love to implement it. Thanks for sharing this!
989Growing Blueberries5/12/2014 5:57 AM
You are right that blueberry is delicious and juicy fruit. i also like to do gardening in my Spare time
985Freeze Damage? - When to Prune4/24/2014 10:31 AM
Hi Janet,
If the crown is sending up new "off shoots" then I suspect these will be your new plants.  As you know we had an unusual winter this year.  Most banana species were not hardy through those harsh temp's.  Clean out any dead trunks from last year's banana stand.  These will not likely regrow, but the new sprouts will become the new stand.  If last year's plants are still alive, you'll notice a green bud in the very center of each stump.
984Freeze Damage? - When to Prune4/24/2014 10:20 AM
I have pruned back my banana trees to where I felt like they were still maybe hardy, waited a week with no response to a shoot coming out, how long do you think I should wait  till I should cut the whole thing down? Most of them are 36" tall now.  Should I wait 1-2 weeks then if no shoot out the middle cut the whole thing down and consider seeing if shoot still comes out, or whack down to grown, wait a week see if anything happens?There are smaller off shoots coming up around some of them, does that mean I consider the stump void after how long of waiting for shoot to grow out of old stump?
983Gardening is Healthy!4/23/2014 4:38 PM
What a terrific idea!  Thanks so much for publicizing this wonderful project.  I plant an extensive garden every year, and I certainly believe that eating right is connected to health…and growing my own veggies and fruit ensures that I’ll have the most wholesome choices.  I just wish more people realized the benefits of gardening, including those that go beyond just providing fresh food—like exercise, how relaxing it is and feeling of accomplishment watching the growth of one’s own garden brings. 

982So Many Azaleas to Collect and Plant4/14/2014 8:09 AM
Hi Jim,
Azaleas really are a crown in our southern gardens.  Native species or imports from over seas, they add dependable color every spring..... and usually with little care from us gardeners.  Congratulations on your successful garden.
981So Many Azaleas to Collect and Plant4/13/2014 7:58 AM
  Shane, 30 years ago I bought 6 "dwarf" "Pride of Mobile" Azaleas during a little cafeteria plant sale at work. Today, these  little 1 gal. Babies are in full bloom and no passerby has seen the front of my house for 15 years. LOL I would not change them for the world. Three years ago the native hybrids (created by Mobiles own Dodd and Dodd nurseries & Dr. Aromi of University of South Alabama.) "Admiral Semmes" From Dodd's (I now grow 5) They are a bright yellow bloomer to 15' And  3 Aromi beauties from gold &orange to allmost red orange.  Oh! 10, Azalea Calandulacu 5 footers should arrive 4/15/14, I share your love of this plant (hobby) Jim Tomczak
979Cranking Up for Spring4/7/2014 10:54 AM
I am SO ready for spring!  The weather isn’t really cooperating yet where I live, but I enjoyed the encouragement of your article.  For me, the big job for spring is using the rototiller.  I’m not very strong, so basically I just start it up and hold on for dear life as it lumbers through the winter-packed soil.  It’s a job I hate, but I love the smell of the fresh-turned earth and that feeling of finally being able to plant my seeds.  Of course amending the soil is also an important early job.
978So Many Azaleas to Collect and Plant4/7/2014 10:35 AM
The first photo is of a Korean Azalea, variety “Poukhanense”.   I first saw it at Callaway Gardens in Georgia.  It has large 3" lilac blooms like the Southern Indicas and grows to be about 5' x 5'.  It is semi-evergreen, which is odd for an azalea. 
977So Many Azaleas to Collect and Plant4/6/2014 6:53 PM
Greetings! Can you identify the first azalea pictured in the article? It is stunning!
976Freeze Damage? - When to Prune4/3/2014 8:51 PM
Great article, and good reminder to not hurry pruning.  I’m a lazy gardener too, and always prefer to do it as little as possible.  Far too often I’ve cut a branch because I thought it was dead, only to find that it was indeed quite alive and well.  I’ve also made the mistake of pruning too soon, and had to stand by and watch as new growth was killed by a late, unexpected frost.  I’m especially careful with my roses, but have found some, like this one, to be more forgiving of mistakes.
975Summertime Snakes3/30/2014 8:45 PM
974Cranking Up for Spring3/18/2014 12:32 PM
very nice article thanks for sharing
949Trust Me, Snakes are on the Move8/27/2013 6:07 PM
I am probably one of the worst snake haters in West Tennessee where I've lived my entire life.  I have had some pretty bad run-ins with snakes that left me pretty shook up until the dead of winter.  Now let me tell you about a copperhead that was on the move that my husband was alert enough to notice. We were leaving for a short week-end, out-of-state softball tournament he was playing in.  As usual before he started our car, we held hands and he prayed to our wonderful Lord asking Him to please watch over our family and bring us home safely. He backed out into the road and as he started to pull off, he slammed on the brakes, rolled his window down, cut the wheel real sharp, driving back and forth saying Oh My Lord like he couldn't believe what he was seeing. He told our grown son to get out of the car and go behind it for several feet and get a shovel and hoe. He told our daughter and me to stay in the car. Of coarse that meant get out as fast as possible. On the road was a momma copperhead with her mouth wide open. About 30 baby copperheads were crawling out of her mouth. I started screaming at the top of my lungs and one of our neighbors heard me and walked out of his house. My husband yelled to bring another hoe and shovel. They killed copperheads for nearly an hour. All I could do was keep repeating thank you Jesus. The neighbor said why are you thanking God these snakes. I said I'm not thanking Him for the snakes, I'm thanking him for my husband, because if he wasn't the strong Christian he is, he would not have taken time to pray and the momma and babies would have already crossed the road into our yard and we would have had a copperhead infestation for sure. I still thank my Lord every day for my husband and in fact in 5 days on September 1, 2013 we will be married 40 years.
948Attracting Birds to the Yard or Garden8/15/2013 5:04 PM
Growing up, my grandparents had their pride and enjoy and that was their bird feeders! They loved them. They had this large picture window in their dining room so that you can sit there and enjoy all the gorgeous birds coming up and dining as well. My love with bird feeders and birds comes honest!
938Rain Rain Go Away!7/22/2013 1:10 PM
Thanks for the info
Hello Sue,
The balance between beauty and practicality is sometimes a challenge in our southern landscape.  Plants and fungi thrive here.  English ivy will eventually degrade the wood by holding moisture to the wood surface and with its aerial roots that actually penetrate the wood after it softens.  For longer lasting siding, it is recommended you remove the ivy from the siding.
I recently bought a house. The previous owners have trained English Ivy to cover the exterior walls.  Since the exterior walls are wood (no siding or masonry) won't the English Ivy cause wood rot and separation?  Frankly I love the look of it and would love not to have to pull it away from the house all the time.  However, I also don't want to endure the expense of replacing all the wood on the exterior of my house.  What would you recommend?  Keep it or get rid of it?
927Chipmunks - Neighbor or Nuisance? 6/18/2013 11:22 AM
Thanks for the article.  We are dealing with these guys (chipmunks) now.  Your article convinced me to leave them alone, well for the time being.  They are cute but a pest at times. :)
912Preserving Old Heritage Trees: Is It Worth Our Time and Action?3/28/2013 4:52 PM
Hi Karen,
This one is likely in concrete in the ground.  Dr Tilt is now retired so I'm not certain where he found this picture.  However, I can explain that the brace is made of metal and over time the brace will actually become one with the tree.  Tree growth occurs outward so with each season of growth, the limb diameter expands.  This eventually wraps around the brace bit by bit.  If you have a tree you feel is valuable enough for this effort, call a Certified Arborist.  Find one in your area at this website  
911Preserving Old Heritage Trees: Is It Worth Our Time and Action?3/28/2013 4:38 PM
Hi we have a large oak that needs a brace like this for one limb. I am trying to find some solutions. This looks like a feasible one.. is the brace put in the ground in concrete? Does one leave room for growth?  thank you Karen Cox
906Too Much of a Good Thing!2/28/2013 8:34 AM
hi Stan,
We're planning several in the birmingham area, but no dates have yet been decided.  I've forwarded your email to our agent organizing these and she will contact you when the dates are set.  Thank you for your interest in our ACES programs.
905Too Much of a Good Thing!2/25/2013 9:02 AM
I'm interested in more information on the "rain barrel construction workshop" mentioned above.  Thanks, Stan
902Fun Facts About Poinsettias1/4/2013 9:41 AM
Though simple to keep the plants alive - just think of them as other tropical indoor plants - making them color up again next december is a little tricky.  Here's our publication on growing poinsettias 

Good luck with your project and happy gardening!
901Fun Facts About Poinsettias1/4/2013 9:22 AM
I've often wondered how long a poinsettia plant could last. I'm trying to keep mine going this year on a window shelf in my kitchen. So far, they're doing ok.
900“Growing and Caring for Roses”12/31/2012 8:36 AM
hello merrill,

i'm not sure the basis of this recommendation - if the current/past plants were diseased, then we might worry about the new plants becoming infected - however, i don't know of any other reason for concern - as long as the plants you're removing are healthy (sounds so from details below) then the new roses should do fine

no need for concern given the details in your email - happy gardening! - kerry


899“Growing and Caring for Roses”12/30/2012 6:50 PM
I have a question regarding using the same plot to plant new rose bushes. I was told a few years back that roses are sensitive and will not grow in soil or planters that were once a home for roses. I have very old rose bushes. No matter how low I trim them back in the winter, they still grow huge scraggly stems. I want to replace the old rose bushes. What is the best way to plant new rose bushes in the same plot????  thanks!
895Fall is Peak Season for Yellow Jackets10/15/2012 12:44 PM
How about the copper colored wasps (I call it copper, could be orange or red-orange). I have bunches of them around the house.
892The Perfect Weather!10/8/2012 1:50 PM
We love this time of year when it finally cools down around Birmingham and we can actually get out and enjoy the weather. I am linking back to this page for my website for Fall color and staging your home for curb appeal. Thanks
886White Spots under Tomato Skin8/19/2012 11:55 AM
I too want to thank you for this info.  I was afraid to put up my tomatoes, but did as you advised.   Greatly appreciated!
879Trust Me, Snakes are on the Move6/28/2012 10:33 AM
I have seen more snakes thus far this year than the last ten years combined. Three of these have been venomous and ten were not. I am not sure about the last which was a very small snake brought over by a neighbor. Even though this sanke was only about 8 inches long, the shape of its head and light coloring around its head led me to believe it was a moccasin. I assume all the snakes I am seeing this year (14 thus far) is due to the mild winter and spring months we had.
878Trust Me, Snakes are on the Move6/19/2012 9:19 AM
Thanks for the information, really good info
Couldn't agree with you more.

For years I tried to cultivate various shrubs and plants in my garden with something like 30% being lost for one reason or another.

The moment I switched to local plants and shrubs the garden flourished and with very little maintenance.
325Caring for your Fig Trees7/22/2010 9:01 PM
  I love figs from the time a little girl growing up. I am a senior now. I had two figs trees . One i do not have anymore. It was a Kadota.  It was given to me by my husband's aunt. I brought it all the way from about three thousand miles when it was only about 5 twigs set in soil and covered. My husband cut it down when it was about five yrs. old. good tree bearing well. At the same time, i had one in another corner of the yard.  It was a black mission. very very good and healthy tree .when we cut the kadota down it hurted so bad bcause it was given to me, but causing plumbing damage. now the black mission i had, had to be cut down because of remodeling ,but i kept a piece in a pot. it had grown almost as tall as my 2 story home. figs taste so delicious and like candy. 3 years ago i took the 1 out of the pot & put it n the same place i cut the blk mission down. It is so beautiful. the false figs has fallen off and now loaded with the good one. will harvest in sept. I just went out and said aprayer for them. I also have perserved figs . my cousin sends me a case of 12 almost every year. i give some for gifts. Thank you for allowing me to comment......bjc
303Hydrangea and Spider Mites7/6/2010 1:27 PM
Some organic measures could be to use insecticidal soap or fine horticultural oil spray on the plant.  If it is a light infestation you could try a heavy stream of water.  Hope this helps.
302Hydrangea and Spider Mites7/3/2010 2:06 AM
Firstly, thanks for the

"tap a leaf over a sheet of white paper and then brush the paper lightly with your hand, if the paper smears reddish yellow it is probably spider mites"

I've ner heard of that before so it's good info. Trouble is as you mention in your poast it's a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Do you have any good organic suggestions?

297Squash Vine Borers Hit Home Gardens6/29/2010 3:54 PM
Thank you! I finally found someone to tell me what is happening to my plants. I will try ALL that you've said. This is my 5th year trying to plant squash and almost gave up. Now I know what I'm up against.
283Are WORMS eating your TOMATOES?6/14/2010 12:44 PM
The best way to protect and prevent the worms from attacking your tomatoes is by spraying liquid sevin on the plants about once every 10 days.
263“Growing and Caring for Roses”6/10/2010 12:05 PM
Well done for an informative post.

I find that planting roses in a sunny well drained site gives the best results as regards flowering and keeping diseases to a minimum. As the sun light is more intense in an open sunny site, it helps prevent thin weak branches from forming as they aren't forced to find the light.

I tend to prune them quite hard back so as to encourage vigourous growth in the spring. Roses are best when pruned. I tend to prune my bush roses back to an outward facing bud so as to keep the bush shape but keep the centre as open as possible to allow air to circulate more freely around the stems, this also helps keep disease to a minimum. Crossed stems in the middle of a bush are not only unsightly but because they can rub together on a windy day they can help cause disease as the stems become damaged allowing disease to enter more easily.

I myself do not like spraying due to the possible effects on any wild life that may come in to contact with it, and will only buy those types which have the strongest resistance to diseases like black spot. I find black spot to be one of the worst diseases to affect roses which is ashame as they are such beautiful plants to have in one's garden.
249Are WORMS eating your TOMATOES?6/4/2010 7:39 AM
So how do you kill them  They are destroying my garden!  AGG!  I am out there daily removing them and trying NEEM organic.  My poor tomatoes. 
247Sooty Mold 6/1/2010 9:33 PM
Sooty mold coverings on leaves block light, making photosynthesis less efficient. On outdoor structures and furniture, sooty mold growths are unsightly and may be difficult to remove. Many people are allergic to sooty molds, particularly the Cladosporium and Aureobasidium components common in sooty molds of the Eastern U.S.

Sooty molds can be indirectly controlled by reducing populations of sucking insects that excrete honeydew. Outdoor furniture can be hosed down with water during periods of honeydew excretion, particularly during drought. The growth of sooty mold fungi is inhibited by preservatives used in treated wood in rustic outdoor furniture.
In response to:  "I was always told that one reason for farmers fall plowing was to expose insect pests to winter frost and kill them. Is this no longer recommended?"

Actually, tilling and exposing weed seeds to sunlight helps them germinate. Seeds below the soil surface will not germinate because they get no sunlight. Alabama's winter temperatures rarely go and stay low enough to kill any seeds by freeze as the seed coatings are extremely tough. While tilling is an effective weed control measure in colder climates (because it buries seeds, not because it exposes them to freezing temperatures), the loss of organic matter in our warm climate is more of concern than the benefit to weed control.
Quoting from your page:

'Excessive tilling also destroys the soil's helpful microorganisms by exposing them to sunlight and open air.'

I was always told that one reason for farmers fall plowing was to expose insect pests to winter frost and kill them. Is this no longer recommended?
217Carpenter bees are demanding actions 4/20/2010 2:46 PM
If carpenter bees are a problem, you should use an insecticide recommended in the post, and then seal the holes according to the directions above.
211The Vegetable Garden Season Begins Indoors4/18/2010 3:36 PM
Excellent. I was just thinking of planting heirloom tomatoes this year instead of the standard Early Girl or Beefsteak varieties. I'll have to look into putting together a cold frame, I think.
198Abnormal Weather Presents More Garden Challenges2/11/2010 5:18 PM
Interesting to see the impact of weather patterns changing on vegetable growing. Also the wider impact on farmers. Thanks for the information, very useful.
193Fall Spiders and Their Amazing Webs1/20/2010 9:43 AM
Some people underestimated the capability of some spiders. but now i hope it would teach them to realized the beauty things that can able to do by these spiders. :)
190Majestic Oak Trees for the Home Landscape1/12/2010 6:31 AM
Good to read your article. I got some useful stuff from your site. Keep up with your good work.
187White Spots under Tomato Skin1/4/2010 12:42 PM
These spots on green or ripe fruits are caused by the feeding of stink bugs.
The acidity of the tomatoes should not be affected and the spots can be cut out as the tomatoes are prepared for canning. This particular exception, however, does not affect our general recommendation of never canning tomatoes with soft spots, broken skin or decay.
184Garden use of livestock manure and grass clippings12/30/2009 9:40 AM
Great Posts - I think this is something that is very important and not as well known as it should be.  Education is the key - thanks for the great post!
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