Upcoming Events



‘Fall Gardening Extravaganza’ Coming September 29th

We are pleased to announce that our ‘Fall Gardening Extravaganza’ will return in September!

After much success in 2014 and 2015, the Tallapoosa County Extension Office and Tallapoosa County Master Gardener Association have decided to host another grand event.  The 2017 event will be on Friday, September 29th at Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City.

We are very excited to offer another slate of well-known horticulturists and gardeners that have all agreed to come to Alexander City to speak at our 2017 “Fall Gardening Extravaganza.”  Get ready for this amazing 2017 all-star lineup of speakers as featured in the “2017 Fall Gardening Extravaganza” Event Pamphlet:

Chris VanCleave, “The Redneck Rosarian”, is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. His writing is seen at HomeDepot.com and on his popular website, RedneckRosarian.com.

Sara L. Van Beck currently serves as a Corresponding Member of the Royal Horticulture Narcissus Classification Advisory Group. She has recently published Daffodils in American Gardens, 1733-1940 (2015), co-authored, with her mother Linda, Daffodils in Florida: A Field Guide to the Coastal South (2003), and has written articles for numerous other publications.

Felder Rushing is the international founder of Slow Gardening, a highly satisfying approach that focuses on finding and following personal garden bliss. He is author or co-author of 18 gardening books and a former Extension Service urban horticulture specialist who actually started the Master Gardener program in his home state of Mississippi. Felder has written thousands of gardening columns in syndicated newspapers, and has had hundreds of articles and photographs published in regional and national garden magazines.

Carol Reese is an Ornamental Horticulture Specialist with UT Extension. She is a contributor to several garden magazines, and writes a weekly gardening and nature column for the Jackson Sun in Jackson TN. Her talk – Take a Walk on the Wild Side –  will discuss how to create fabulous habitat and wildlife garden alive with birds, bees and butterflies, yet have a sense of strong design and year-round appeal for the humans and other critters that enrich and entertain.

The 2017 ‘Fall Gardening Extravaganza’ will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Betty Carol Graham Technology Center located on the Central Alabama Community College campus.  Cost is only $25 per person and includes a lunch. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

“2017 Fall Gardening Extravaganza” Event Pamphlet


Register by calling the Tallapoosa County Extension office at 256-825-1050.

Registration Deadline is Friday, September 22, 2017

2017 Master Gardener Course Begins January 27th

Ever had trouble achieving that perfect lawn?

Not sure how or when to prune those fruits trees and landscape plants?

Still confused about how much fertilizer to put around growing vegetables?

Frustrated by all the weeds that pop up each year in those flower beds and lawn?

Determined to win the battle against insect pests and plant diseases this upcoming growing season?

Want to learn how to compost garden and yard waste?

Tired of wasting time and money on plants and garden products that die or just don’t work?

Answers to all of these questions and so much more will be addressed in the 2017 Tallapoosa County Master Gardener Course.  Plus, if you have a passion for gardening and volunteering, then you should be a Master Gardener.  Even if you don’t have a green thumb, come take the course and join the fun; you’ll learn a lot.

The Tallapoosa County Extension Office will again offer the Master Gardener Volunteer Program in 2017, with a starting date on Friday, January 27th.  All classes will be held during the day from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the county Extension office located in Dadeville.  Applications are now being accepted and will be accepted through Friday, January 20th . The fee associated with this course is $130 per person.
Topics to be discussed include soils and plant nutrition; composting; plant physiology; plant diseases; pesticide education; landscape design and plant selection; weed identification and control; entomology and pest management; fruit culture; plant propagation; home lawn care; vegetable gardening; care and maintenance of landscape plants; herbs; and bedding plants. Classes begin January 27th and will run 13 consecutive weeks until April 21st.  All classes will be held on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Dadeville.

The Alabama Master Gardener training program will consist of 13 weeks of horticulture related classes and training. The course provides more than 50 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction in horticulture and related areas. Classes taught include soils and plant nutrition; composting, plant diseases; landscape design and plant selection; weed identification and control; entomology; pesticide education, fruit culture; plant propagation; home lawn care; vegetable gardening; wildlife control, care and maintenance of landscape plants; bedding plants, and more.

Courses are taught by specialists from Auburn University, Extension agents from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, fellow certified Master Gardeners, and local horticulture professionals.

Those interested in participating in the Master Gardener Program are encouraged to call the Tallapoosa County Extension office to sign up or receive more information.  Those of you that have put-off taking the MG course the last few years or wish to wait and take it at later date are highly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity this year.  There are no guarantees the course will be offered next year.     Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity.

For more details. please contact the Tallapoosa County Extension office at 256-825-1050.

by Shane Harris,  is the County Extension Coordinator for Tallapoosa County.

Would You Like to Become a Master Gardener? Here's How.

master-gardener-banner

You have likely heard someone claim to be a Master Gardener. You may have even seen them working in your community or may have even spoke with them on the phone. But some of you still may not fully know and ask, “What is a Master Gardener?”.

Well, this special group of people are indeed avid gardeners, and possibly experts in some area, but they are more than just dedicated and skilled gardeners.  Master Gardeners are more importantly ambassadors of the local county Extension office; they are volunteers who love helping and educating people about things related to home gardening.  Their goal and primary mission is assisting Extension in helping all people, solving problems, and serving the needs of the community.

mg-class-photo-2 The Alabama Master Gardener Volunteer Program is an educational program offered through county offices of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Through this program, individuals are trained and certified in horticulture and related areas. These individuals, in turn, volunteer their expertise and services to help others through educational projects that benefit the community. The Master Gardener Program trains volunteers, who work through Extension, to bring the latest horticultural information and practices from the world of research to their communities’ landscapes and gardens.

The Alabama Master Gardener training program provides more than 50 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction in horticulture and related areas. Classes taught include soils and plant nutrition; composting, plant diseases; landscape design and plant selection; weed identification and control; entomology; pesticide education, fruit culture; plant propagation; home lawn care; vegetable gardening; wildlife control, care and maintenance of landscape plants; bedding plants, and more. Courses are taught by specialists from Auburn University, Extension agents from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, fellow certified Master Gardeners, and local horticulture professionals.

mg-class-photo-1In exchange for the training, participants are obligated to return an equal amount of volunteer service time on projects that benefit their communities.
These projects can range from working on community horticultural projects, to helping answer questions through the county Extension office, to conducting youth programs. To become a Certified Master Gardener, one must return at least 50 hours of approved community service.

So the question now is would you like to become a master gardener? If so, here’s how.  The Tallapoosa County Extension Office will again offer the Master Gardener Volunteer Program in 2017, with a starting date on Friday, January 27th.  All classes will be held during the day from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the county Extension office located in Dadeville. The fee associated with this course is $130 per person. Interested participants are asked to complete the application and submit to the Extension office.  Applications are now being accepted through Friday, January 20th .

Please contact us at 256-825-1050 if you have any questions.

Containers Need a Thriller, a Filler and a Spiller

container program - banner

Gail Bolt, a Tallapoosa County Master Gardener, recently presented a program on containers for her fellow Master Gardeners.  Here is a summary of what she said:

For gardeners with a lot of trees or with bland patios and porches, pots may be the answer.  Pots can be the heart of the garden that can add color and variety.  They are easily changed when you want a new look or when seasons change.

Choose evergreen shrubs, perennials, annuals or a combination.  Remember a few rules when choosing – you need a thriller, a filler and a spiller.  In other words, a tall showy plant, one or two that spill over the edge of the pot, and ones to fill in around them.  Some newer designers suggest adding a chiller (white or light colored plants).  Also choose plants with the same growing requirements ( sun or shade, water needs).

Add good quality potting soil, time released fertilizer  and your plants.  Have fun with your design.  Water well when planting and remember to water frequently.

See our publication on Container Gardening for more information.

Native Pollinator Workshop – March 4th

bumblebee on a flower

We need a healthy insect population to pollinate our plants!….  Some plants are wind pollinated (examples: grasses, conifers, and few others), but most plants with showy flowers need helpers to visit them and move pollen from the male flower parts (anther) to the female parts (stigma).  Lots of insects assist this process as they feed on the pollen and/or nectar in the flowers.

Several bees make Alabama their home.  Bumblebees are found in larger flowers due to their bulky size and are often seen working squash flowers and ornamentals such as Indica azaleas.  Mason bees like the early spring bloomers like fruit trees, mustard, and clover.  Other bees in Alabama include: squash bee, sweat bee, leaf-cutting bee, various digger bees, blueberry bee, numerous bumblebee species, and of course, the honeybee.

Have you ever wondered what you can do to help?

You can support pollinators by attracting them to your yard, an Alabama Smart Yard.  Plant a variety of plants together.  Remember that insects need help finding flowers so a big floral pit-stop makes their hunt easy. The flowers of herbs such as thyme, basil, bee balm, and rosemary all produce nectar that bees love.  Let your parsley, dill, and Cole crop veggies go to flower next spring as these are good bee pasture.  Mix flowers like coneflower, coreopsis, or any other aster family flowers into other plantings – even your vegetable garden.  Add some shrubs and trees like salvias, redbud, hollies, false indigo, and buckeye.

Consider extra caution when using insecticides.  Yes, even organic sourced insecticides may kill our beneficial insects when used incorrectly.  Think about the time of day bees are foraging.  The daylight hours when temperatures are between 70 degress oF and 95 oF is when most bees explore.  So if you need to use insecticides, dusk and later as better times.  Look for that lazy bumblebee who might sleep in a flower after a tiring day.  As a general rule, avoid flowers when applying insecticides of any kind.

Native Pollinator Workshop

Help support all pollinators by learning more about them.  Tallapoosa County Extension System will host a Native Pollinator Workshop on Friday, March 4, 2016 from 9 am until 11:30 am. Registration is only $5.00.   The workshop will be held at First Baptist Church, 178 Tallassee Street, Dadeville, AL 36853. Click here for a promotional flyer. Contact us at 256-825-1050 for more information or to register.