Ad Spot

Club Chronicles: Start planning your gardens as spring returns

Spring is around the corner, but there are still a few more days of winter.

What do gardeners do in winter? You might say “Not much!” But there’s a lot that needs to be done and can be done.

One of the best things to do for the garden is to test the soil.  If the soil needs pH or soil acidity adjustment, winter is the best time to modify it.

Determine what should be pruned, transplanted or removed; decide whether you need more or fewer trees and shrubs to create a balanced look. Make a list of what needs to be done between winter and spring, which will help you organize your gardening activities.

Winter is one of the best times to mulch a garden. The compost nourishes the plants’ roots and helps control weeds.  Take a close look at your beds and weed them using your hands or a stand-up hoe.

When the weather keeps you inside, spend some time with plant catalogs. Winter is the perfect time to lay out next year’s garden, and plant catalogs are filled with suggestions.

When planning and planting for next year, just don’t focus on spring, summer and fall; make sure that you include something for a winter garden that will provide cover and food for birds.

Birds and berries add colorful warmth to a winter garden. Birds are wild and free; they can also be cold and hungry, especially during the long dark days of winter. They like shrubs with long-lasting, edible berries.

Hollies are the first choice for birds. These shrubs provide great cover and nesting sites as well as edible berries. Because the berries open at different rates, even on the same bush, they can provide food for at least a couple months.

Birds that forage on holly berries include robins, cedar waxwings, blue jays, mocking birds, Eastern bluebirds, red-bellied woodpeckers and brown thrashers.

The cherry laurel evergreen shrub or small tree also attracts birds with its black, shiny fruits.  They offer an interesting contrast to the reds, oranges and yellows of the hollies.

Others include the Pyracantha and Nandina, which attract a huge feathered following, such as cardinals, purple finches, woodpeckers and robins.

Birds have the freedom of the air, but only you can offer them the freedom of your garden.

Franklin County

Fall brings Pumpkin Palooza, NW-SCC trunk-or-treat event

Franklin County

Hodges festival promises food, fun, fireworks

Franklin County

Distinguished Through the Decades: 2008, Paige Palmer Thorne

Franklin County

Commission passes budget, shows support for two state amendments

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville Homecoming Court

Franklin County

PHOTOS: Tharptown Homecoming Court

Franklin County

NW-SCC public relations wins seven statewide awards

Franklin County

Phil Campbell City Council fills vacant seat

Features

Taste of Franklin: Flavors of fall

News

Red Bay celebrates Founders Day with plenty of entertainment for all

Franklin County

FCS bus driver faces arrest, termination

Franklin County

County seeks responses to broadband survey

Franklin County

NW-SCC reports highest fall enrollment since 2010 

Features

View from Crescent Moon Acres: How one New Jersey woman found her dream life in Phil Campbell

Franklin County

Franklin County 4-H rabbit project participants bring home awards

News

ADEM approves $348M for water, sewer projects

Franklin County

Extension warns: Harvest time means taking extra safety precautions

News

City approves line-of-credit bid from VSB for equipment purchases

News

Russellville Electric Board elects officers

News

RHS Marching Hundred hosts Northwest Alabama Classic

News

RCS BOE approves budget for FY-2023

Franklin County

FCS BOE passes budget

News

Red Bay plans annual Founders Day festival Sept. 24

Features

Distinguished Through the Decades: 2007, Lydia Hammock Freeman

x