Thursday, October 27, 2011


  1. Amend soil - check
  2. Till ground - check
  3. Build raised beds - HONEY I NEED YOUR HELP!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fall Plant Sale Experience

What a fantastic day with the Wiregrass Master Gardeners' Association at their Fall Plant Sale at the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens yesterday! And what a mouthful! It was a fantastic learning experience and an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at this mega-successful production.

Some ideas I would like to adopt in my own club include:

1. Creating a resource guide for those working at the sale, containing information sheets on each plant offered, including pictures, mature height and spread, light and water requirements, etc, to better advise our buyers. Hey, not even Master Gardeners are experts on everything.

2. Partnering with local business for advertisements, signage, even manpower.

3. In the advertisements, encourage homeowners to come with their landscaping plans for advice AND plants.

4. Encouraging those working at the sale to wear green aprons (or t-shirt, or some other form of uniform) as a means of identification. For some reason, the green aprons popped in the crowd and blostered my confidence. I felt as if I belonged with this group of plant experts. It was amazing!

Given our size and number of active members, the Pike County Master Gardeners do a fair job at our annual plant sale, which is held during Troy Fest, the last weekend in April. With these few tweaks, we'll be well on our way to even greater success.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Husband the Contractor

I've been busy the last few days. Nearly everything has been dug up out of the garden and temporarily potted. I will finish the rest this evening and tomorrow should be able to start amending the bed.

Also found a plan for the raised beds I want to implement. I've "hired" the DH to work on these.

Should be fun!?!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pike County Master Gardener October Meeting 2011

For this month's Master Gardener meeting, we invited Jason Powell from Petals From the Past to speak on the virtues of antique plants. As usual, he was fantastic. There was a great turnout. I was so proud of my little group. And of course Jason brought goodies for us to purchase. In typical fashion, there was a minor scuffle over an antique rose. Only this time it involved one determined lady in a wheelchair...who won out. Great start to the new fiscal year!

As an aside, I talked to him about my soil pH and trouble with berries. He recommended digging everything up (this I anticipated and have already started doing so - seems my MG classes are paying dividends already) and potting them in store-bought potting mix while I amend the beds. This should help them recover faster as adjusting soil pH is a long process. Oy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lowe's Nursery Specialists

I constantly complain about big box stores, but somehow can't seem to stay away. It's amazing what I'll put up with for the right price I guess.

I get so frustrated with the "Nursery Specialists" at Lowe's. So the kids and I go there this morning for aluminum sulfate or sulfate coated urea to amend my garden bed to lower the pH. Because I get overwhelmed whenever there is more than one option for whatever I'm looking for, I decide to take a short cut and ask said specialist to pick one for me. She looks me in the eye and tells me point blank that they don't sell those. O-K. I politely thank her and brave the shelves myself.

As I'm browsing the assortment of fertilizers especially for acid-loving plants (a.k.a. plants that prefer a lower pH) an older Lowe's employee who I've known for years, with no fancy title, helps me narrow down my aluminum sulfate search. (Thanks Ms. Ellyn!) I momentarily considered calling the Nursery Specialist back and showing her where she could find the aluminum sulfate products, but ultimately decide against it.

I guess I should have been more specific with my request, telling her what I wanted to accomplish instead of asking for the active ingredient. Silly me for assuming she would be familiar with active ingredients. Note to self for next trip.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Honey-Do List

Fall is here which means it's time to work on that pesky garden honey-do list. These include:

  1. Lowering the pH of my garden from a whopping 8 to a more reasonable 5.5 to accommodate my blueberries (See
  2. Building a raised bed for my summer garden items e.g. bell peppers, tomatoes
  3. Transplant asparagus away from the blueberries, although the alkaline soil has them growing like weeds
  4. Transplanting forsythia and one butterfly bush as they are planted too close to the house
  5. Expanding garden bed under crape myrtle trees
  6. Consider planting a winter garden (yeah right!)
Tonight, the DH, kids and I got started transplanting the asparagus. Not going so well. We're doing a bang-up job on the roots so it will be a long shot if they survive.

Tomorrow it's off to Lowe's to purchase the necessary soil ammendments to achieve #1. Oy!