Upcoming Events



2018 River Region Successful Aging Initiative

The 2018 event is fast approaching and we invite you to receive education and resources at the upcoming River Region Successful Aging Initiative on Thursday, September 20th at Multiplex @ Cramton Bowl. 

9:00 a.m. -– 2:00 p.m.

Please fill out the below registration form and mail to – 5340 Atlanta Hwy., Montgomery AL 36109. If you need more information, contact us at 334.270.4133 or email bixlekr@aces.edu

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Upcoming Workshops

Critter Control

“Wildlife and Insect Control in and out of the Home”
Monday, September 18th 2017
Montgomery County Extension Office
5340 Atlanta Highway
Montgomery, AL
               9:00-2:00 p.m.

Chris Jaworowski, Chip East & Mallory Kelley will teach Best Management Strategies for:
Termites, Roaches, Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitoes, Fire Ants, Deer, Squirrel, Bats, Snakes, Voles, Moles and More!

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Farmers Marketing Workshop

Get ready for the 2018 growing season

Learn to market your farm with tips from Alabama Extension, the Farmers Market Authority, and USDA SNAP.
Friday, October 13, 2017
 Montgomery County Extension Office
5340 Atlanta Hwy.
Montgomery AL 36109
334-270-4133

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Fruit Workshop

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Founders Station in Pike Road
4902 Pike Road
Pike Road, Alabama
9:00 a.m. until 12 noon

The topics discussed at this meeting include site selection, variety selection, proper planting, mulching, irrigation, pruning, fertilization, and pest management. Crops: apples, pears, peaches, persimmons, muscadines, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.

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Pecan Problems

We get many questions at the Extension office all year long about pecan trees. Leaves having bumps on them, limbs falling, pre-mature nut drop, leaves and shuck turning black, etc. I will try to describe a few of the pests associated with pecans and maybe this will help you understand what is happening to your trees.

One of the first pecan calls I get in the spring is pecan phylloxera. This is a tiny insect that feeds on the young new growth including shoots, shucks, and leaves. As the leaves and new growth mature you will notice many knot like structures. There are different species of pecan phylloxera; some will only feed on the leaflet which is not a major problem. The ones that feed on the shuck and leaf petiole are the bad ones. When they feed, the plant forms a gall in reaction to the feeding of the insect. The insect continues to feed and lays eggs when they are mature. If galls are on the petiole the leaf may drop, if galls are on nutlets, they may not mature.

Fall webworm builds the web structures on ends of pecan branches as well as other trees. These insects are not a major pest that is hurting your pecan production. It is possible for high numbers to decrease pecan production, but it is not a pest a home pecan grower would be able to manage. A pecan farmer who maintains a spray program may not have this problem, but it is not something that should concern a home producer. Please do not try to burn these out of trees. They look bad, but management is not recommended to a small grower.

Twig girdlers are a very interesting pest. These insects will lay eggs on a branch about pencil size or a little larger, and then girdle the branch. The branch will eventually break off during a wind and fall to the ground. Other insects can girdle the branch, but the twig girdler makes a clean beveled edge and is very common. A good management practice would be to pick up the fallen branches and destroy them.

Other insects that damage the shuck or nut include hickory shuckworm, stink bug, nut curculio, pecan nut casebearer, and pecan weevil. Black and yellow pecan aphids can be found feeding on the foliage along with several other insects that I can provide information about if anyone is interested.

Pecan scab is the biggest pest of pecan trees in the southeast. This is a fungal problem that causes spots on the leaf, leaf petiole, and pecan shuck that causes early nut and leaf drop. A pecan farmer would have a spray program designed to manage this pest, but I do not recommend a home gardener try to spray. The pecan farmer has an air blast sprayer capable of reaching the top of the tree and will spray multiple times each year. If you are planting new trees, I can recommend some trees that are showing resistance to scab. For older plantings, I would suggest using cultural practices to make the tree as healthy as possible. Pecan trees can have other disease problems, but scab is the most common. Scab will be worse during rainy seasons compared to drought years. Although difficult to accomplish, it will help if all the leaves, stems, and undeveloped nuts that fall from the tree were hauled off site and destroyed.

Since I do not recommend a home gardener spray a pecan tree, what could a small home gardener do to increase production? The answer is maintain healthy foliage to increase carbohydrate reserves. What that means is keeping the leaves as healthy as possible will increase production. Pecan trees that consistently drops their leaves early in the fall would not be as productive as other pecan trees that hold leaves until much later in the season. The best ways to maintain healthy foliage include weed control, mulch, irrigation, and proper fertilization. I would start a pecan fertilization program in April, and the Extension System can provide information on fertilizer.

The weed control, mulch, and irrigation should be done at any time of year that it is needed. Irrigation may be needed many times of year when the tree is actively growing; however, it is most important during the months of August and September. If you are planning to plant pecan trees in the future, I would plant them no closer than 60 feet apart and I prefer 70 or 80 feet for good sunlight and air circulation when they become mature trees.

If you have any questions about pecan trees or most anything else, give us a call at your local County Extension Office.

Dr. Chip East
Alabama Cooperative Extension System

 

GMO Fact or Fiction?

Genetically modified organisms concept with an organic pears and a genetically modified pear.

Fact or Fiction?

The truth behind GMO’s and other food myths

GMO, Genetically Engineered, Bio Technology-What Does It All Mean?

Come join Alabama Extension professionals, researchers, and specialists from Auburn University and Alabama A&M University as we uncover the truth with non-based & research-based information.

When:
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
 Time:
9:00am – until
Where:
Montgomery County Extension Office
Eastmont Shopping Plaza
5340 Atlanta Hwy.
Montgomery AL 36109

This is a free program, but you have to register by May 15th

Contact 334-270-4133 for more information

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The Master Gardener Helpline IS OPEN!

If you have questions on a garden related topic, the Master Gardener Helpline is open!

Call 1-877-ALA (252)-GROW (4769)

March through August the Alabama Cooperative Extension System offers a Gardening Helpline for the public each Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. This helpline is operated by Master Gardener Volunteers who use research-based information to best answer all of your gardening questions.

Montgomery County Master Gardener Program Announcement

Do you love to grow fruit or vegetables or maybe flowers and herbs?  If so, we would like for you to consider the Master Gardener course this coming spring.  The Montgomery County Extension Office is offering the Master Gardener Volunteer Program, but space is limited!

Classes will be held every thursday starting February 16th through May 4th from 9:00am-2:00pm at the Montgomery County Extension Office on Atlanta Highway (the old probate office) and applications will be accepted through Friday, January 27th.

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

The program will consist of in-class training for 12 consecutive weeks.  After completing the courses, the Master Gardener interns will be expected to give 10 hours of service to the Master Gardener Helpline and 40 hours of volunteer service to Extension and/or their community in horticulture education.

Examples of volunteer efforts include: Talking to Garden Clubs, community garden projects, outdoor school projects and educational workshops just to name a few.

The courses on gardening will be taught by specialist, 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 Identification, Vegetable Gardening, Herbs, Composting, and many more.

The fee associated with this class is $150 and that includes all course materials and your lunch is provided by the Capital City Master Gardeners each week.

For an application please contact the Montgomery County Extension Office at (334) 270-4133 or online at: http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1155/ANR-1155.pdf

Mallory Kelley
Regional Extension Agent
Home Grounds, Gardens, Home Pests