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August 1, 2014

Home & Garden

IN BLOOM: Colorful plants for a scorching summer

During the scorching days of summer, gardeners may notice their once-picturesque beds have become faded, dried-out husks. J&M Plants in Anniston may have just the thing to get your yard back to the colorful collage it once was.

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Sunday 07/27/2014
When she’s not tending children, this Anniston pediatrician tends plants
Updated: July 29, 2014 - 4:57 pm

In the home of Igor and Tatiana Bidikov, the dining room table is conspicuously missing a centerpiece. It doesn’t need a centerpiece, says Tatiana; the gardens seen through the window are centerpiece enough. She’s right. The landscape outside is a glorious panorama of perennials, shrubs, trees and artwork.

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Saturday 07/19/2014
Get rid of flies buzzing around the fruit bowl
Posted: July 19, 2014

The kitchen is one of the busiest places in the house about now.   Home-grown tomatoes line the countertops, waiting to be eaten or canned, but those veggies can also bring unwanted visitors — fruit flies.  

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Saturday 07/12/2014
Foraging for the elusive chanterelle in the woods of Calhoun County
Updated: July 13, 2014 - 2:42 am

A culinary adventure began for three Jacksonville residents early one July morning, where a rutted, grassy trail dead-ended into a common stand of woods in Calhoun County.

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Water works: Tips for irrigating thirsty lawns and gardens
Posted: July 12, 2014

Spoiled by the abundant spring rainfall, roots are more shallow than usual, which could be a problem if plants get thirsty. Irrigation may be their only chance for survival.

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Saturday 07/05/2014
Artist carves her niche in gourds
Updated: July 05, 2014 - 11:24 pm

Soggy, moldy, smelly. Those are the words most people use when they see a gourd. Peggy Mayo, on the other hand, sees a canvas.

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The ripe time to harvest summer fruits
Updated: July 05, 2014 - 10:47 pm

It is really easy to tell when a tomato is ripe. Harvesting other fruits and veggies at their peak can be a little tricky if you do not know how to spot the signs.

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Sunday 06/29/2014
Ways to take the bite out of summer
Updated: June 29, 2014 - 1:12 am

One of the best ways to avoid mosquitoes is to avoid outdoor activity during their peak time, which is usually greatest around dusk

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Sunday 06/22/2014
Hydrangeas: An old-fashioned bloom for June
Updated: June 22, 2014 - 2:27 pm

Bursting into summer with bunches of brilliantly colored blossoms, Hydrangeas boast an infallible air of class and old-fashioned charm. While many people associate the flower with memories of playing in grandma’s flower bed, hydrangeas are back in and better than ever.

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Saturday 06/14/2014
Send millipedes crawling
Posted: June 14, 2014

This region has numerous kinds of millipedes, but the common garden millipede is the one most of us notice with hundreds gathering on driveways and entering garages this time of year.

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Saturday 06/07/2014
For foragers and herbalists, Alabama is an oasis of edible plants
Updated: June 12, 2014 - 12:55 pm

Just over the bridge on U.S. Highway 431 behind a small Texaco station sits a seemingly decrepit wasteland of overgrown vegetation, railroad steel and fractured asphalt. To local foragers, however, this is an oasis of wild plants, able to be used as remedies for nearly any ailment you can think of.

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Saturday 05/31/2014
A sunny landscape gathers no moss
Posted: May 31, 2014

This time of year, many phone calls come in pertaining to lawns, a lot of which have to do with moss overtaking the lawn. Moss is not actually taking over the lawn, of course, it just happens to grow in conditions unfavorable for the growth of grasses.

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Saturday 05/24/2014
Be ready for a showdown when the Japanese beetle rides into town
Updated: May 31, 2014 - 10:30 pm

The annual return of the Japanese beetle could be described like the plot of an old western film. But instead of riding into town and shooting everything up, Japanese beetles fly in and eat up all our plants — they have the potential to literally destroy some plants in a matter of hours.

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Sunday 05/18/2014
DIY projects to rid your yard of buzzing, biting pests
Updated: May 20, 2014 - 8:48 pm

With the new deck came a new problem — carpenter bees. These wood-boring pests look a lot like bumblebees, but are usually seen hovering around wood structures, especially newly built ones. While the male carpenter bees don’t have stingers, they do patrol the area around the nest while the females do their egg-laying deep inside a tunnel they’ve bored.

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May f lowers bring showers of color all summer long
Updated: June 14, 2014 - 10:19 pm

Victoria Dubose, owner of Bloomin’ Miracles in Jacksonville, said when it comes to perennials, as long as they are in season, you really can’t go wrong with these low-maintenance frontyard fillers.

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Sunday 05/11/2014
Everybody poops: Worm tower — economical, agricultural and not as icky as it sounds
Updated: May 20, 2014 - 9:01 pm

Adding compost to your garden provides nutrients and moisture, and helps with drainage and fertility. And one of the best poops for a plant is worm poop

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Find the right wood for your garden
Updated: May 20, 2014 - 7:18 pm

Here at the Extension Office we’ve answered several questions this week on raised-bed gardens and the use of treated wood in those gardens. I believe what most gardeners are worried about is chromated copper arsenate (CCA).

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Sunday 05/04/2014
A mother’s garden: Anniston florist’s memories of his mother are filled with flowers
Updated: June 07, 2014 - 3:37 am

Daisies always remind Scott Skinner of his mother. She carried them in her bridal bouquet. “Simple, Southern and elegant — just like her,” he said.

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Sunday 04/27/2014
Make This: Burlap sacks make frugal, eco-friendly planters
Posted: April 27, 2014

I am a coffee person. Like many people, one of the first things I do in the morning is prepare the daily pot of joe (along with two sippy cups of chocolate milk — kids have their routine, I have mine). Rarely are we out of coffee and when we are, it’s usually worth a 6 a.m. trip to Walgreens to pick up a new block of Folgers. It’s the best part of waking up, right?

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On Gardening: Get your garden humming
Posted: April 27, 2014

Seeing a hummingbird for the first time is a startling, yet delightful moment. At first glimpse, the tiny thing darting between flowers looks more like a giant bee buzzing back and forth than a bird. And who ever heard of a bird drinking nectar from flowers and sugar water from hanging feeders? Looks like a bee, eats like a bee, even sounds like a bee — but it’s a hummingbird.

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Sunday 04/20/2014
Make This: Get on a roll with your veggie garden
Posted: April 20, 2014

Here’s a garden tip for you: When you’re ready to begin planting, you can find some very helpful supplies right in your bathroom. Yep, it turns out a roll of toilet paper can go a long way when starting plants from seeds.

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