Having a productive garden in Alabama is easy to accomplish so long as you have the right plan.
That’s why in this article, we will walk you through on how best to carry out gardening in Alabama Including other information that you need to have a thriving garden.
Gardening In Alabama
Gardening in Alabama can be fun but in order to be successful, you need to properly understand the growing zones that will best suit the particular location that you are residing.
The growing zone which is also known as the hardiness zone or the planting zone was created by the USDA in order to help gardeners, whether beginners or experts, to determine which plant can best suit a particular location where you are planning to start your garden.
By hardiness zone, we get to know how cold or hot a particular location will be during the winter or summer.
It will help us to determine what plant will be right for planting at every particular season.
Alabama has three planting zones which are denoted as zone 7, zone 8, and zone 9.
So do well to find out the zone that you are residing in by asking around or browsing it out through the internet and use the information which we will provide below to start a successful garden.
Spring Gardening In Alabama
During the spring in Alabama in all the three hardiness zones i.e. zones 7,8, and 9.
You should try planting short-season produce that can adapt in the cold weather in March such as cabbages, carrots, and buttercrunch lettuce.
These crops will strive much better and be more comfortable in the moderate temperatures of spring.
So once the temperature begins to rise, they will be ready to harvest and replace with plants more adapted to the Alabama heat.
Also, classic home garden products, such as green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, and sweet peppers are great options for mid-to-late spring planting.
Fall Gardening In Alabama
During the fall season, the fall crops for Alabama zones are planted from July to August.
By doing so, it will provide enough time for the plants to grow before the cold weather begins.
Most of those crops include broccolini, cabbage, and the iceberg.
Also, hard root vegetables and durable leafy greens will be suitable for September and early October harvest.
Gardening Guide for Successful Planting In Alabama
Below are the gardening guides that you are expected to follow in order to have a successful planting in Alabama.
Guide 1: Pick The Site
The first thing that a gardener must do before starting a garden is to pick a site that has all the basic nutrients that a growing plant will need such a site that has been exposed to full sun.
Also, a site that is well drained and free of harmful chemicals, oil ashes, kotar etc.
Guide 2: Choose The Right Type Of Soil
After you have picked a good site, the next thing is to look for the right type of soil that best suits the type of crop you want to plant.
If the soil isn’t up to the expected manure level, you can improve the soil by adding organic matter, compost, leaf mold as well as a well-rotted sawdust.
Work it into the soil and by doing so, it will make the soil richer and productive.
Guide 3: Use The Right Amount Of Fertilizers/Lime
To know the amount of fertilizer that a plant needs, you need to carry out a soil test.
It is the best way to determine the level of fertilizer and lime that a plant needs.
You can seek information from experts on your soil test.
Nevertheless, since it is important that you should always test your soil.
Then, testing at least every 3 years is a good idea.
For most vegetables, the soil pH should be around 6.0 to 6.5.
So for it to be effective, the lime must be mixed into the soil before planting.
Long-season crops such as tomatoes, cabbage, pepper, okra, and potatoes need more fertilizer than short-season crops.
It is important that while trying to administer the fertilizer, you should look out for the Instructions on the label of the fertilizer which will show you the right amount that you should use.
Read Also: Gardening Terms And Definitions
Guide 4: Select The Best Type Of Seed To Plant
Not all seeds are grown in a particular soil or land.
So it is important that before you sow any seed, you need to select the best type of seed to plant.
For instance, plant small seeds, such as turnips and carrots which are about 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch deep.
Also, plant larger seeds, such as beans, cucumbers, and peas, at about 1 inch deep.
Use only stocky, healthy, fresh plants and always water transplants to settle the soil around the roots.
Lastly, you should set tall plants deeper in the ground than they grew originally.
Guide 5: Irrigation
Water is essential for a top-notch garden.
So during the long dry periods, try and soak the garden thoroughly once a week.
Don’t just sprinkle water on the plants daily, rather pour in enough water so that it can get to the roots of the plants.
Frequent irrigation will help only during the period of seed germination while overhead irrigation, especially late in the afternoon, is likely to spread certain foliage diseases.
So if you use overhead irrigation, do it earlier in the day so that plants can dry before night.
Guide 6: Disease Control
The best practices to use to avoid disease are through rotation, clean seed, resistant varieties, early planting, plowing under old crop debris, mulching, and seed treatment.
Chemical fungicides may also be used to control some common leaf diseases of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and cantaloupes.
So, if the garden is heavily infested with nematodes, you can either move the garden or heat the soil through a process called soil solarization.
Guide 7: Pest control
For you to have a successful garden, you must control insects.
Early planting will miss some insects, but usually, you will have to use insecticides.
You should use the biosensitive insecticides to treat insect problems in the garden.
Safer insecticidal soaps can also help in controlling aphids and other soft-bodied insects early on.
Malathion is a good all-around material for aphids, red spider mites and some worm control.
Another effective material that can be used to control pests, especially pests like bean beetles, tomato and corn earworms, cucumber beetles,and pickleworms, is Carbaryl , (Sevin).
Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt (Dipel, Thuricide) is also an excellent biological control for cabbage worms or cabbage loopers.
Guide 8: Weed control
In order to control weeds, you will need to use the method of Mulch which is more preferable than the use of chemical weed killers.
Even though chemical weed killers are not usually recommended for home gardens.
You should note that before you use a weed control product, you need to research or read the tablets in order to get more full information on how best to use it and what crop it should be used on and shouldn’t be used on as well.
Guide 9: Harvesting.
The main reason for gardening is to produce high-quality vegetables in the garden.
So, you need to form the habit of harvesting often to get vegetables at the proper stage of maturity.
For example, If you don’t harvest beans, okra, cucumbers, etc when it is at the stage of its maturity.
The plant will stop producing which might cause the crops to start spoiling.
For vegetables harvesting, early morning is the best time to harvest, which is before the vegetables absorb the heat from the sun.
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If you have read through this article carefully, we hope that you have properly understood how the gardening in Alabama looks like as well as the best ways that you can achieve a successful garden.
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