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.