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Extension News: St. Clair County Extension Office offering many free gardening opportunities

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Bethany O’Rear

Regional Extension Agent Bethany O’Rear

As things seem to be changing daily, please know that we in Alabama Extension are still here to help.

We know how much you miss getting together with family, friends and neighbors. Trust me, we miss it too! After all, interacting with a group of folks, large or small, formal or informal, is how we home grounds agents spend many of our days. It is not only what we do, but honestly who we are.

As many of you spend more time at home, your landscape and garden may be getting much more attention than usual. You now have time to get to those garden chores that you never quite finished (or in my case, started) done. You can finally work on that project that has been on your “to-do” list for quite a while, or maybe inspiration hits you, and you launch into something brand new. No matter your mission, Alabama Extension still wants to serve as your “go-to” resource for all things gardening.

A wise person once said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” While we didn’t invent all of the platforms currently being used, we are trying our best to get the most out of each of them. We want to be as accessible and informative as we possibly can during this time of social distancing. 

Take a look at all of the ways that the home grounds agents of Alabama Extension are helping your gardens grow! Stay safe and happy gardening!

Get outside with Alabama Smart Yards

This webinar series is held every Wednesday at noon via Zoom. Various topics related to your landscape and garden are discussed.

Be sure to “like” the St. Clair County, Alabama Extension Facebook page to find out what topics we will be covering each week. If you can’t join us while it's happening live, archived presentations can be found on the Alabama Smart Yards — Alabama Extension Facebook page.

Alabama Garden Chat

This Q&A session is held each Wednesday at 2 p.m. via Zoom through August. Join agents and fellow gardeners from across the state to explore seasonal horticulture topics and to answer your gardening questions.

If you have gardening questions, please send them to alabamagardenchat@gmail.com.

Alabama Smart Yards — Alabama Extension Facebook page

This page is the one stop shop for details regarding all of the events listed above. We also post helpful information about numerous garden topics related to ornamentals, edibles and turf.

Planning for the home garden

A successful home garden comes with planning and constant attention.

You must select the site carefully, plant at the right time, use the right amount of fertilizer, use adapted varieties, control pests; then harvest at the right time. This information is available in our Alabama Vegetable Gardener Series which is now available on the Alabama Extension webpage, www.aces.edu and on our Facebook pages too.

Alabama Master Gardener Helpline

If you have specific questions about growing a particular vegetable or dealing with an insect pest, please call the Alabama Master Gardener Helpline at 1-877-ALA-GROW.

Grow More, Give More Program

Alabama Extension’s Grow More, Give More project lends a helping hand. Both experienced and novice gardeners will find the information and resources needed to have a successful garden via Grow More, Give More. The project also encourages gardeners to grow an extra row and give back to their communities. So, how does it work you ask? 

To help you Grow More, check out Alabama Extension’s abundant resources, like the ones listed above, to boost your growing potential, whether growing in containers, raised beds or a traditional in-ground garden. As for Give More, some gardeners may want to share with neighbors, while others might deliver their harvests to a food pantry or a regional food bank.

 If you have questions about getting started with Grow More, Give More, just reach out by email to GMGMhelpline@aces.edu.I am also available to answer your questions as well. 

If you haven’t already, please visit and “like” the St. Clair County, Alabama Extension Office and Alabama Smart Yards — Alabama Extension Facebook pages to easily access all these resources now available to you. If you have questions or need more information, please contact me at (205) 612-9524 or email bao0004@aces.edu.