Special thanks to George Baldwin & Loyd Mehaffey for speaking to our group about Early Spring Foraging of Bees on weeds and trees. Great to have these to Master Bee Keepers in our group!
Got questions about your garden or lawn? Not sure when to prune your azaleas? Wondering about lawn fertilizers?
Master Gardeners are available at the Helpline phones. They answer questions from gardeners and homeowners across the state. Master Gardeners provide answers based on current research and best practices under the supervision of Alabama Extension agents.
“Generally, the toll-free helpline is manned Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and it’s available year-round,” said Kerry Smith, coordinator for Alabama’s Master Gardener Program. “We have voicemail for those busy days, so leave a message and someone will get back to you.”
“This is an invaluable resource for gardeners,” said Smith. Master Gardeners who answer the phones have the answers you need and send you additional materials including Extension publications.
To reach the Helpline, dial 1-877-252-GROW (4769).
A Master Gardener is ready to help with your questions.
Storm Resistant Trees with Dale Dickens – Urban Forestry Consultant
Quite a few of our Shelby County Master Gardeners will be moving up to a new level of volunteer achievement. Most of you, I am sure are aware of our “Reach for the Stars” Program. For those members who are not familiar with the Program or may just need a little reminder… You may have noticed some members have different colored stars or no star attached to their badge, or may even have a different colored badge? The “Reach for Stars” Program was approved and implemented by the State Master Gardener Board of Directors in February 1999. We now have 9 recognition categories. Categories are determined based on the total number of volunteer & CEU hours you have reported since becoming a Master Gardener. The category & requirements for each level are:
- Bronze Star 100 to 299 hours
- Silver Star 300 to 499 hours
- Gold Star 500 to 999 hours
- Gold Name Badge 1,000 to 1,999 hours
- Platinum Name Badge 2,000 to 3,999 hours
- Ruby Colored Gemstone 4,000 to 5,999 hours
- Emerald Colored Gemstone 6,000 to 7,999 hours
- Diamond Colored Gemstone 8,000 to 9,999 hours
- Lifetime Membership & Name Badge 10,000 plus hours
Please join me in congratulating the Shelby County members who will be recognized for their achievements at our March meeting:
- Bronze Star: Betty Daigle, Rita Forrest, Beth Glasgow, Aprille Hayes
- Silver Star: Judy Bynum, Judy Helms, Deborah Kattus, Ginny Whittaker
- Gold Star: Karen Kendall! Diane McKinnon, Loyd Mehaffey
Awards to be presented at the 2014 conference in Daphne:
- Gold Name Badge: Jan Rogers, Mary Tomas
- Platinum Name Badge: Cathy Canant
- Ruby Colored Gemstone: Jeanon Massien
Congratulations to all & thank you for everything you have done & will continue to do to support Shelby County and the Master Gardeners.
FRUITS & NUTS – Continue strawberry and grape plantings. Bud apples and peaches. Start planting blackberries. Remember, if weather conditions prevent prompt planting, heel the plants in by placing the root system in a trench and covering the soil.
SHRUBS – Fertilize shrubs (except azaleas and camellias) according to a soil test. Late plantings may be made, particularly if they are container-grown. Watch shrubs for harmful insects.
LAWNS – Plant Bermuda, Zoysia, and Centipede in South Alabama. Seed bluegrass and grass mixtures in North Alabama. Fertilize established lawns.
ROSES – Watch new growth for aphids. Begin a spray or dust program. Begin fertilizing.
ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS – Tender annuals may be planted in South Alabama. Check garden centers for bedding plants.
BULBS – Plant gladiolus every two or three weeks if a long Blooming season is desired. Plant tuberous begonias in pots. Plant dahlias.
MISCELLANEOUS – Check and repair sprayers, dusters, and lawn mowers. Control lawn weeds with chemicals. Delay pruning of fruiting shrubs such as cotoneasters, pyracanthas, and hollies until after flowering.
VEGETABLE SEEDS – Plant hardy crops recommended for January and February. After danger of frost is past, plant tender vegetables.
VEGETABLE PLANTS – Plant cabbage, onions, lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts in North Alabama; plant tomatoes and peppers in lower South Alabama.