Upcoming Events



Become a Master Gardener!

Contributed by: Regional Extension Agent Mallory Kelley

Would you like to become a Master Gardener?

Do you have a love for gardening or have the desire to learn how?  The Autauga County Extension office is recruiting for the fall 2018 Master Gardener class.  Classes will begin Wednesday, September 5th, so get your applications in now.

The deadline to register is Friday, August 10th, 2018 and the cost is $150.00.  Applications are available at this link:Autauga 2018 Master Gardener Application

side view of gardening activity, unrecognizable woman hands wearing gloves, with her work tool planting seeds.

The Master Gardener Program is a nationwide Cooperative Extension Education Program designed for non-professionals who have an interest in increasing their gardening skills and helping others with the knowledge they have gained.

Herb Workshop Presenters
Presenters at Autauga County Master Gardeners Program (left to right): Janice Hall, Jane Mobley, Mallory Kelley

 

The Master Gardener program will consist of 12 weeks of class and hands-on training.  After completing the courses, the Autauga County Master Gardener interns will be expected to give 10 hours of service to the Master Gardener Helpline and 40 hours of volunteer service to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and/or their communities.

Examples of volunteer efforts include: Talking to Garden Clubs, community garden projects, outdoor school projects, educational workshops, or assisting the local Cooperative Extension Office in some way.

The courses on gardening will be taught by specialists, county agents, and veteran Master Gardeners on subjects such as:  Soils and Plant Nutrition, Plant Physiology, Plant Propagation, Care of Landscape Plants, Landscape Design, Lawn Care, Weed and Tree Identification, Vegetable Gardening, Herbs, Composting, and many more.

The Autauga County Master Gardener classes will be held on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Autauga County Extension Office in Autaugaville beginning September 5th through November 14th, 2018.

For an application please contact the Autauga County Office at (334) 361-7273.  The fee associated with this class is $150.

Autauga County Extension Grassroots Meeting 2018

The Autauga County Extension office will hold its Grassroots Meeting on July 19,2018, 8:30 a.m. at the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce in Prattville, Alabama.

Attendees at Grassroots Meeting in Autauga County 2017
Autauga County Extension 2017 Grassroots participants

 

 

All are welcome to attend this meeting to discuss issues impacting Autauga County residents and ways in which the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Autauga Office may assist our commuities.

If you are unable to attend this meeting, please complete the survey below, as we gather data on ways to best serve Autauga County.

2018 Grassroots Survey

“Have You Seen ‘Ums”?

Contributed by:

Mallory Kelley, Regional Extension Agent

If you are into camping, fishing, gardening, or really just hanging out on your patio grilling you may have come in contact with biting midges or what many people call “no-see-ums.”  They are especially bad early in the morning and late in the afternoon, but can also be present at any time of day when it is cloudy and no breeze.

adult biting midge

They get the name “no-see-ums” due to their tiny size and go unnoticed until you feel their painful bite.  They are barely visible to the naked eye so many times people don’t know what is biting them. Males and females feed on nectar, but the females require blood for their eggs to mature. The females will blood-feed primarily around dawn and dusk; however, there are some species that prefer to feed during the day.  The larvae cannot develop without moisture, but do not require standing water as they can develop in soil as long as it stays moist.

In the U.S., the biting midges are primarily a nuisance and the major medical issue associated with Culicoides is allergic reactions to the bites. However, in some countries they do vector diseases.

Insecticide applications targeting the adult stage are not efficient. While this type of application may kill biting midges activity one night, they are continually dispersing from the larval habitat and entering areas of human activity. Killing biting midges would require insecticide applications on a daily basis in some areas, and this is not efficient or environmentally sound. Many government agencies that provide mosquito control services receive complaints about biting midges. However, most of the programs are not mandated or allowed to respond by providing control measures.

Homeowners can install proper screening for windows and patios to prevent “no-see-ums” from entering areas used for leisure and entertaining. Most biting midges can pass through 16-mesh insect wire screen and netting, so a smaller mesh size is required. The small mesh size does limit air flow through the screens. In addition, because “no-see-ums” are so small and are weak fliers, ceiling and window fans can be used at high speeds to keep “no-see-ums” out of small areas.

Repellents containing DEET for mosquito repellents are also labeled for use against “no-see-ums” and can decrease your exposure to the painful insect. It is important that the directions for application that are printed on the label are followed for any product used as a repellent.

If you have other gardening related questions, please call the Master Gardener Helpline at:

1-877-ALA-GROW (252-4769), Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Are you interested in learning more about seasonal gardening topics?  Please join us for the FREE Master Gardener Lunch and Learn Program in your area.  These are EVERY MONTH from 12:00-1:00, Bring a Sack Lunch, Drinks Provided:

June topics and locations:

Montgomery: The 1st Wednesday of EVERY month

Topic: Butterfly Gardening in the South, Jane Mobley, Advanced Master Gardener

Armory Learning Arts Center on Madison Ave.

Wetumpka: The 2nd Tuesday of EVERY month

Topic: Landscape Design, Rip Weaver, Director of Aldridge Gardens

Elmore County Extension Office Auditorium

Prattville: The 1st Thursday of EVERY month

Topic: Herbs, Tia Gonzalez, Director of Auburn University Medicinal Plant Garden

Trinity United Methodist Church, Prattville

Have Fun with Autauga County 4-H This Summer!

The Autauga County Extension Office is excited to have 4-H Day Camp activities planned for youth beginning in June 2018!

A group of elementary age children are taking a yoga class together at the gym. They are standing on their yoga mats.

“Yoga in the Park” will be held at Pratt Park in Prattville, Alabama on June 14th, June 28th, July 12 and July 19th. It will be held from 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. on those dates. There is no fee for participating in “Yoga in the Park”. Please bring your yoga mat and/or or towel. Registration is required by calling 334.361.7273.

“Archery Day Camp”will be offered June 19th at the Autauga County Extension Office , 2226 Highway 14 West, Autaugaville, Alabama from 8:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. The fee is $5.00. Registration is required. Call 334.361.7273.

“Cake Decorating 101” will be offered July 10th at the Autauga County Extension Office, 2226 Highway 14 West in Autaugaville. The class will cost $10.00 per participant and will be held from 9:00 a.m. – Noon. Registration is required by calling 334.361.7273.

Additionally, a “Junior Beekeeping Camp” will be held at Wetumpka Elementary School June 21st and June 22nd, 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. The fee is $30.00, and registration is required by calling the Elmore County Extension office at 334. 567.6301.  A “Healthy Cooking Day Camp” will be offered at the Elmore County Extension office June 14 and July 10th from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Registration is required by calling 334.567.6301. “First Responders’ Day” will be observed , for more information about this event, and to register, please contact the Elmore County Extension Office at 334.567.6301.

 

Upcoming Animal Science and Forages Programs

Contributed by: Josh Elmore, Regional Extension Agent

2018 Animal Science and Forage Webinar Series

Cow
Cow

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Webinar Series, held the second Wednesday of the month at 10:00 am CST. Join us for timely updates on management topics from members of the Animal Science and Forage Extension Team! https://auburn.zoom.us/j/198428318

Date Speaker Title
Jan 10 Dr. Leanne Dillard Grazing Management and Maximizing Forage Utilization on Cool-Season Forages
Feb 14 Dr. Audrey Gamble Improving Soil Health in Grazing Systems
Mar14 Courteney Holland Nutritional Needs of Horses – Steps to Meeting Their Demands
April 11 Dr. Kim Mullenix Forage Management Practices and Mineral Availability for Beef Cattle
May 9 Landon Marks Native Warm-Season Grasses
June 13 Michelle Elmore Marketing Beef Cattle
July 11 Dr. Brittney Goodrich Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance
Aug 8 Alex Tigue Alabama Pasture to Rail Program
Sept 12 Dr. Rishi Prasad 4 R’s in Animal Waste Nutrient Management
Oct 10 Sarah Dickinson Estrous Synchronization and Artificial Insemination
Nov 14 Kent Stanford Nutrient Management Update

 

For more information and registration regarding any of these upcoming programs contact your local county extension office or Josh Elmore, Regional Extension Agent Animal Science and Forages.  205-646-3610 or 334-850-7859

The War Against Lawn Weeds

Contributed by: Mallory Kelley, Regional Extension Agent

Many of you have given up the battle to treat your lawn on your own, and many of you are still waging war yourself and wondering “What am I doing wrong?” Well, if you want to get ahead of the game, a pre-emergent applied in February is the way to go! This article will hopefully give you several tips from pre and post emergent products to fertilizers to help you achieve the beautiful lawn you are hoping for. 

The most popular product out there that seems to have it all, the “one stop shop” for all your lawn needs is the “weed and feed” products. I am often asked if this is the correct way to treat the lawn.  In central Alabama, there is not a large window of time during which this product would be beneficial, but it can be used in May or early June when an extra application of fertilizer would not hurt, and the application of the pre-emergent chemical in the product will help prevent weed seeds from germinating through the summer and into the fall.

The best and most effective control of weeds in the lawn may take a little more effort than the “weed & feed”, “all in one” products, but you can save money and time in the long run applying them separately.  Pre-emergent weed killers should be selected based on the type of grass you have.  These weed control products are preventative, so they should be applied before the weeds are visible in the lawn as they prevent the seeds of the weeds from germinating.  These and can be applied any time of year except during “green-up” or to newly seeded or sprigged lawns, but again February is a great month as we will soon have spring like temperatures and spring weeds will start to germinate.  Do not reseed a lawn for 4-6 months after a pre-emergent chemical is applied and remember to always read and follow all label instructions when making applications of any chemical.  I have provided information below to access our website for a list of all Pre and Post-emergent chemicals on the market so you can correctly select the chemical that is best for your lawn situation. Don’t forget, a post-emergent herbicide is only going to kill a weed that has already begun to grow in the lawn.

Fertilizers are generally applied twice throughout the year, first in early spring during green-up and then again in mid-summer.  Fertilizer type and amounts should be based on soil test results, not guess work and anytime is a good time to have a soil test.  Soil tests will provide you with the correct type of fertilizer and amounts needed for your specific lawn. A soil test will also indicate whether lime is needed, and lime can be added at anytime of year. Remember, lime raises the soil pH.  A soil test will help you become more accurate in your fertilizer application, provide your grass with the exact nutrients it needs and save you money down the road.

For information on proper care of your turfgrass visit our publications online at www.aces.edu and search for the type of grass you have.  Also, for a list of pre and post-emergent chemicals that are available and the type of lawn they can be applied to, visit our website and search for: IPM Weed Control or access this link:  http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0500-B/VOL2-2011/home_lawns_weed.pdf

Join us in February for our lunch and learn gardening programs in Central Alabama.

All Programs are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

EVERY MONTH from 12:00-1:00, Bring a Sack Lunch, Drinks Provided!

February’s Topics and locations:

Montgomery: The 1st Wednesday of EVERY month, Armory Learning Arts Center, 1018 Madison Ave.              For more information: (334)270-4133

Topic: Home Gardening Facts, Mallory Kelley, Regional Extension Agent

Wetumpka: The 2nd Tuesday of EVERY month, Elmore Co. Extension Office, 340 Queen Ann Road     For more information: (334)567-6301

Topic: Backyard Birding and Wildlife, Hal Smith, Wild Birds Unlimited

Prattville: The 1st Thursday of EVERY month, Trinity United Methodist, 610 Fairview Ave., Prattville AL           For more information: (334)361-7273

Topic: Rose Gardens, Gloria Purnell, Master Rosarian

***Coosa: Monday, February 26 from 11:00-1:00 Coosa County Extension Office, 13999 AL Highway 22, Rockford, AL

For more information: (256)377-4713

Topic: Seed Starting and Grafting Techniques, Mallory Kelley, Regional Extension Agent

     

 

 

 

 

January 2018 Autauga County Newsletter

The Autauga County Extension Office is preparing for a busy 2018.

Review some of our programs in 2017 and get a look at some of the upcoming programs for 2018 in the latest Autauga County Extension Newsletter.

Click here: Autauga County Extension January 2018.

 

Grassroots Meeting of 2017

 

June 2017 Pressure Cooking Class

 

Friends of the Forest 2017

 

Autauga County Master Gardeners serve during Arbor Day 2017 in Autaugaville

 

Farm City Day 2017

Residents Learn Gardening Tips During 1st Lunch & Learn of 2018

An impressive number of local residents learned gardening tips during the first Lunch & Learn of 2018!  The Autauga County Master Gardeners Association offers free “Lunch & Learn” meetings on the first Thursday of each month.

               January 4, 2018 Lunch & Learn Meeting in Autauga County

On January 4, 2018, Amanda Borden discussed gardening tips that  are specificic to central Alabama gardeners. Amanda is an Advanced Master Gardener, and her presentation was well received by beginner and advanced gardeners.

This year, ACMGA membars and local residents are meeting in a new location to accommodate increased participation in the fun classes that are offered during a lunch hour, 12:00 – 1:00 PM. The ACMGA Lunch & Learn meetings are being held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 610 Fairview Avenue, Prattville, AL 36066. Expect to learn about a different topic on each first Thursday of each month! Click here to review the schedule for 2018: 2018 ACMGALL Full Page Flyer

 

Remember to bring your sack lunch; water or tea will be provided. This program is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the Autauga County Extension Office (334) 361-7273.

 

 

 

New Lunch and Learn Location for 2018!

To accommodate growing attendance numbers, the Autauga County Master Gardeners Association Lunch & Learn program is being moved to a new location!

Portrait of mid-adult woman proudly showing her plants

On the first Thursday of every month, the 2018 Lunch & Learn programs will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 610 Fairview Avenue, Prattville, AL 36066, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. These free programs  are open to the public. Registration is not required.  Click here for a printable version of the 2018 Lunch & Learn Schedule2018 ACMGALL Full Page Flyer

Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch to enjoy as they learn about such topics as: shade loving plants, growing citrus trees in containers, drought tolerant plants for the South, and much more. The first meeting of 2018 will be held on January 4th, and the topic is “Gardening 101”.

Please view the attached schedule for meeting topics and speakers, or you may contact the Autauga County Extension Office at 334.361.7273 for more information.