Author: MOBILE MASTER GARDENERS

CITRUS GREENING DISEASE: DON’T GIVE UP YET!

By John Olive, Director, AU Ornamental Horticultural Research Center | [email protected] Q: I read about growing citrus in a recent issue of Lagniappe, and would like to plant one but my neighbor told me about a serious citrus disease that could kill my trees. Is it worth the risk to plant a satsuma? A: The short answer is yes, it is still worth the risk to plant citrus on the Gulf Coast, even though the destructive disease known as citrus greening, huanglongbing (HLB) or yellow dragon has been devastating everywhere it has occurred, and has recently been found in...

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Plan your pre-emergent herbicides now

By Evan Ware, Regional Extension Agent, Home Grounds | [email protected] Q: Last summer, I had a lot of weeds in my lawn. Is there anything I can do ahead of time before my lawn starts growing this spring to help prevent weeds? A: Even though there’s still a chill in the air and your summer lawn may be the last thing on your mind, it isn’t too early to start planning ahead so your yard is looking its best this spring and summer. In fact, mid-to-late February is the perfect time in our area to apply pre-emergent herbicides to...

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Chelsea: a Master Gardener’s photo journal

Story and Photos by Brenda Bolton, Mobile Master Gardener — When we last met I promised fewer words and more photos of the Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show at Chelsea in London. If you missed it, the Jan. 3 Lagniappe carried details about this year’s show dates and the website for booking reservations (read Part I of this story here). The RHS, like our own Cooperative Extension System and Master Gardener program, is invested in horticultural education, with a modern emphasis on scientific sustainability through gardening. The Chelsea show offers a wealth of knowledge, both theoretical and practical, but...

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What’s on your garden bucket list for 2018?

Story and photos by Brenda Bolton, Mobile Master Gardener — Gardeners love to visit gardens, and no vacation seems complete without one. Don’t ever miss an opportunity to visit the oldest and most prestigious of the world’s famous flower shows: The RHS Flower Show at Chelsea in London. Now is the time to buy your tickets for the May 22-26 event. Being properly and stoically British (“there is always next year, dear”), Chelsea limits ticket sales to preserve the show’s character. Imagine: 157,000 tickets can go fast, and prices increase in April. Chelsea is sponsored by the U.K. Royal...

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Try citrus in your yard

By Carol Williams, Mobile Master Gardener | [email protected] Q: After eating sweet satsumas from my neighbor’s trees, I’ve decided I’d like to plant some citrus trees in my yard. What tips do you have to help me get started? A: Although on the northern limits of climate suitable for citrus, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of productive and beautiful citrus trees in Mobile’s yards and orchards. Once established, citrus requires little care, and careful planning before you plant will give you years of pleasure, both picking the sweet fruits and enjoying the evergreen beauty in your own yard. First,...

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Mobile’s other bloom season

By Brenda Bolton, Mobile Master Gardener | [email protected] Q: I’m new to this area and miss my garden peonies, but I see the camellias in bloom here and want to know more about this beautiful flower. A: Welcome to a year-round gardening city, where naming the best flower or bloom season is a challenge. Is it traditional springtime with its first blush of pastel rose petals, azaleas and asters, or June’s striped crinums and big blue hydrangeas, or the butterfly’s September celebration of vibrant sages? But consider for a moment a quieter season, when the clamorous colors of summer...

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Holiday tablescaping

By Brenda Bolton, Mobile Master Gardener | [email protected] Q: I am hosting my first “extended family” Thanksgiving. I’m wondering if you have any centerpiece advice. I want a “tablescape” that is decorative but not tacky. A: A successful holiday dinner is created by good company, good food and a warm atmosphere, which is all about managing the environment for your guests. Your best gift to guests is a sense of time and place that says “home for the holiday,” and nothing says “home place” better than nature. You may risk “tacky” with an overload of Pinterest, but abundant nature...

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The how and when of using horticultural oils

By Brenda Bolton, Mobile Master Gardener | [email protected] Q: The shrubs in my yard have been attacked since last spring by whiteflies and scale. I read that spraying with horticultural oil would help, but when I went to buy the oil, there were so many choices that I couldn’t figure out which would be best to use. I hear that neem oil may be best for organic gardening. Which oil would you recommend? A: Horticultural oil is petroleum-based or plant-based oil that contains an emulsifier enabling it to be mixed with water for spray application. When it comes to...

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