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Blount County Newsletter

November 2019

A Word From Our County Coordinator

Planting Ornamentals in the Landscape

At this time of year, most of us are a bit tired of battling the summer heat.  2019 was certainly a year for that, with close to 100 days at 90 degrees or above.  I think most were above, according to my sweat indicator!  Summer also closed out very dry, which has, and will, continue to impact our landscape and forest trees and shrubs. I have noticed that pine beetles have done a number on pines.  Many arborvitae species have also bellied up (which means died to a fisherman).  With that being said, I often get ask “when is the best time to plant landscape plants”.  My response is “about an hour after eating Thanksgiving dinner”. 
Fall is the best time to renovate or add plants to your landscape.  Fall and winter planting allows time for plantings to settle in and begin new root growth.  There is also more soil moisture at this time, so watering isn’t necessary.  Plants planted in the fall or winter will withstand drought conditions in early summer much better than those planted in late February or March.  However, February and March is the time that most folks think about planting trees and shrubs.  I guess after a long winter they are ready to get out and get busy in the landscape. I know I am. Local box stores also push planting at that time by making varieties more available.
Here are some tips on planting in the landscape:  plant as early in the fall as possible, make sure soil moisture is adequate, never put fertilizer directly into the planting hole, make the planting hole 2 – 3x as wide as the root ball or container, plant about ½ to 1 inch above the level of the container or root ball, know the plants desired pH range and check the pH of the soil you are planting in and finally, make sure you have put the right plant in the right place.  Remember “dwarf” is relative to the size of a non-dwarf of the same variety or species, and can get really big.  A dwarf tea olive means 8 -10 ft., while a standard size is 20 – 25, so make sure you have room for the dwarfs. 
I am adding plants that have a pleasant fragrance to my landscape.  This includes old fashion bush roses and two plants that I wasn’t familiar with until recently, the Paper bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha) and the tea olive (Osmanthus fragrans).  Edgeworthia is a deciduous shrub that has light yellow flowers in January.  It prefers light shade, an organic soil, and will obtain a height of about 6 ft. at full maturity.  It brings a ray of hope in the dead of winter.  Tea olive, an evergreen, has a wonderful fragrance and will bloom anytime there is a dramatic change in temperature, which means it will bloom two or three times during the year, mostly during the cooler months.  Mine are blooming now.  They too, are tired of the long hot summer.  Always remember “right plant-right place”.  Plant accordingly and add a touch of fragrance to your landscape.  You and the family will be glad you did.
By:  Dan Porch, County Agent
Protecting Your Thanksgiving Dinner Against Bacteria

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. –  It’s the holidays! This season of goodwill and giving thanks is also a festive celebration of food.   With so many delightful foods to choose from, it’s important to keep holiday treats safe from bacteria.


The Invisible Enemy

When dealing with food, be aware of the risk of harmful bacteria. Sometimes, you can’t see, taste or smell bacteria, but it can be on food and multiply rapidly in moist, warm conditions. If consumed, harmful bacteria can cause food-borne illness. Those who are preparing food this holiday should frequently wash their hands to reduce the risk of bacteria. Also, remember to clean food, food preparation area and utensils. It is important to remove dirt and other debris from vegetables and fruit by washing them before use. Additionally, be sure to clean utensils with soap and water, especially after they touch raw meat.

Read More 

    What's Happening In Our Area
  Great things are happening in the Poultry Science field here in North Alabama.
 Learn all about the Solar Powered Poultry Farm
        Dennis L Brothers
          Poultry Housing Extension Specialist
          National Poultry Technology Center
Alabama Extension Hosts
Industrial Hemp Meetings

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala.—The Alabama Cooperative Extension System will host a series of industrial hemp meetings for growers and restricted-use pesticide dealers Nov. 4, 6 and 8. The meetings are open to the public.
Nov. 4—Cullman County
Camp Meadowbrook
2344 County Road 747
Cullman, Alabama 35058

The $25 registration fee includes lunch and beverages. Register before Nov. 1 to ensure a spot and lunch. On-site registration is available, but lunch will not be guaranteed. Dealers may attend for free with a permit.
Learn more by visiting the event webpage.
What's Happening on the Plains
Music To Your Ears at 35 MPH!

Some of you may have seen the video #WarEagleRoad  floating around on social media sites, 
but here is the math,  science and engineering behind the story.

The section of South Donahue Drive is dubbed “War Eagle Road,” as it plays part of Auburn’s fight song, “War Eagle.” Drivers, operating a vehicle at 35 mph, experience the first seven musical notes as they head toward campus.

A musical note is simply sound vibrations at a particular frequency. An ‘A’ note, for instance, vibrates at 440 Hz per second. Arnold used the speed limit and the frequency of each note to determine how often a material would appear in the roadway to make the right sound.

“It’s that place where science meets art,” Arnold said of the musical road. “I hope it puts Auburn in that Cult Americana of the other roads.”

Learn more about the "War Eagle Road"

  Upcoming Events  
Deer Management Workshop
November 1, 2019
Registration begins at 9:30 am
Program begins 10 am- 2 pm

Pre-Registration is required
Mail Registration To:
Alabama Coop. Extension System
424 Blount Ave. Ste. G21
Guntersville, AL 35976

Contact:  Norm Haley
205-582-2009 or

Cost: $25 per person

Location: Marshall Co. Farmers Fed. Bldg
1333 Blount Ave. Guntersville, AL 35128

Topics: Ecology & Habitat, Food Plots, Prescribed Fire, Predators, Native Plants, Enhancements, Baiting, Assistant Programs 


Blount County Veterans Parade

November 2, 2019 - 10am

Organizers: Operation Grateful Heart

Grand Marshals-Local Vietnam Veterans

Parade Route: Along Highway 75


featuring all 8 County High School Bands, floats, and honored Veterans from Blount County.


ServSafe Class-Blount

November 6 & 7, 2019
 2 pm -7 pm

Location: Frank Green Bldg. Auditorium
415 5th Ave. East 
Oneonta, AL 35121

Cost: $140 per person 
No Refunds

Pre-Registration is Required
or call Christy Mendoza 256-547-7936
or email:




Fall High Tunnel
Vegetable Workshop

November 14, 2019 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Location: Wallace State Community College
Jack Hooper Forestry Building/Greenhouses  Hanceville, AL

Workshop Cost: FREE to everyone!

Registration: Call the Etowah County Extension Office (256) 547-7936

Pest Detection & Management, Focusing on Exclusion and Bio-insecticides, Over-seeding, Sanitation, Irrigation Monitoring, Pest Exclusion, Fabric Installation and Plasticulture



Sand Mountain & Beyond
4-H Stem Tour

November 11, 2019
7:30 am - 6:15 pm
meet at designated area

4-H Auburn Football Day

November 23, 2019
Auburn vs. Samford
Time: 12 am

Jordan-Hare Stadium

251 South Donahue Drive
Auburn, Ala. 36830

Cost: $10 for 4-H members and $30 guest

Deadline for Registration: Nov. 8, 2019

Registration is limited- so reserve your spot today!


Blount County 4-H Covered Bridge Community Club Meeting

Date: November 12, 2019
Time: 5 pm
Location: Frank Green Building Auditorium
415 5th Ave. East, Oneonta, AL 35121
Contact: 205-274-2129


2019 North Alabama Junior Beef Expo District Show

Date: Saturday, November 23, 2019
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Cullman County Agricultural Trade Center



Upcoming 4-H Project
Looking Back
Gerry Thompson, Regional Extension Agent, Animal Science and Forages for ACES 
Speaks during the Beef System Short Course held Sept., 24-Oct. 15
Morgan Pounds, Director of Field Services, Alabama Cattlemen's Association
Speaking during the Beef System Short Course 
The 4-H Grows Project 
got off to a good start  October 3, 2019
 Thank You, 4-H!
Blount County 4-Hers, Jacob and Emily Byrd, say ”Thank You, 4-H” for the opportunity to learn about raising chickens through the Chick Chain Project. Collectively over the past two years, the siblings have raised over $2,000 in sponsorship money for our local Chick Chain Project, allowing us to pay out over $3,000 in prize money and auction proceeds these past two years. Thank you, Jacob and Emily for your hard work!
2019 Master Gardener Fall Conference
was held Oct. 3, 2019 at Locust Fork Baptist Church
4-H Group on the  Sand Mountain & Beyond
Natural Resources Tour, October 14, 2019

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Alabama Extension · Frank J. Green Building · 415 Fifth Avenue East, Suite A · Oneonta, AL 35121 · USA

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