Hay Alert Website
Just a reminder to livestock producers that if you are running low on hay or think you will run low, start looking now to purchase additional hay if you haven't already. The Hay Alert website is a resource for farmers in need of hay to connect with those that who have hay or forage for sale, for arranging transportation if needed and/or transport with suppliers. This site will list names, addresses, and other pertinent information. The website is
Don't wait... With the weather patterns we have been having, you never know when grass will start growing again. Better to have too much hay than not enough
January Garden Tips
- Use wood ashes on your vegetable garden, bulb beds and non-acid loving plants if the pH of the soil is below 6.0.
- Plant asparagus crowns this month when soil is dry enough to work.
- Prune grape vines.
- Prune broken and undesired limbs on your shade trees.
- Remove "weed" or undesirable trees from your landscape.
- Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn.
- Slow-release fertilizers may be applied on cool-season lawns.
- Hardwood cuttings of many landscape plants like forsythia (yellow bells), flowering quince, weigela, crape myrtle, juniper, spirea and hydrangea can be taken this month.
- Do not forget to care for holiday house plants like poinsettia, amaryllis, Christmas cactus, gloxinia and cyclamen.
- Order your small fruit plants like strawberry, blueberry and blackberry for a mid-March planting.
- Study your home landscape to see what additions or improvements can be made this spring.
- Visit your local Extension Center for landscape and garden information.
- Prepare a spot in the vegetable garden for early spring vegetables like English peas, cabbage, carrots, onions, Irish potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, spinach and turnips.
- Study your seed catalogs and check for the All-American Selections of flowers and vegetables.
- Order fruit trees, if not done last fall.
- Contact the Extension Center to find out the recommended small fruit varieties.
Plant Sale Underway
Now is the time to order fruit trees and other fruit plants. We are offering a variety of small fruit plants and trees this year. Plants will be available for pickup in March.
Blueberries - Tifblue, Powder Blue, Premier, Climax
Strawberries - Earliglow, Jewel, Albion
Blackberries - Triple Crown, Natchez
Grape - Concord (Seedless)
Muscadines - Ison, Late Frye
Figs - Celeste, Brown Turkey
Apples - Galarina, Goldrush, Honey Crisp
Asian Pears - Hosui, Shinko, Olympic
Peach - Contender
Paw Paw Tree
Master Gardener Program for 2017
Are you an avid gardener, but still wanting to improve your knowledge on all aspects of gardening? Well the Nationally known Extension Master Gardener Program might just be for you. Our Master Gardener Program is an educational program designed to enhance public education and assistance in horticulture in our communities. It provides a comprehensive 12 session educational program to its participants.
The Master Gardener Program is supported by a State Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator housed in the Horticultural Science Department at N.C. State University and by various Extension specialized agents and subject matter specialists. As a participant in the Master Gardener Program, you will receive 40 hours of training in all aspects of Horticulture including fruit and shade trees, ornamentals, lawn care, and vegetable culture. After the training if you wish to be certified as a Master Gardener, you will have the opportunity to provide 40 hours of volunteer service. This can be done by either judging 4-H gardens, assisting with fairs and their horticulture entries, planting or caring for community or public gardens/landscaping, or assisting with educational programs through the Extension Center.
Plans are well underway for the 2017 series of Alexander/Caldwell Master Gardener classes. Classes will be meeting on Wednesdays 1:30 - 4:30 PM beginning on March 8 and ending the first week in June.
From the looks of things, this is going to be one GREAT YEAR!!! We have recruited outstanding speakers, presenters, and subject matter specialist to meet the needs of interested citizens. Some classes will be taught in the Alexander Extension Center, three at outdoor settings, and several at the Caldwell Extension Center to which we will ride together to attend jointly with the Master Gardener groups there.
Application for acceptance into the Extension Master Gardener Program will be taken into February or until the class is full which ever comes first. The cost is $100 which will be used to cover the costs of the Master Gardener Notebook, hands on supplies, and field trip expenses.
Call the North Carolina Cooperative Extension - Alexander County Center at 632-4451 for more information, or to register for the 2017 Extension Master Gardener Program. Please plan to register now as the class usually fills up.
Commercial Poultry Grower Meetings
Cooperative Extension is offering Commercial Poultry Grower meetings across the state this winter. The meetings will provide up to date information on Waste Management Plans and record keeping, Emergency Action Plans, AI response, and Cost Share programs.
The agenda should cover all the aspects that the NC Poultry Federation recommended that growers receive training on during 2017. Please share with your growers and fellow poultry producers and contact me you have any questions or would like PDF or hard copies of the flyer. you can use this link to register directly for your preferred meeting date and location
click here to register online
These meetings have also been approved for 3 hours of Animal Waste Operator CEUs.
Commissioners' Choice Application
Deadline March 1st
Does your club or an individual you know deserve recognition for their volunteer efforts this past year? In other words did your club or organization benefit your community, assist individuals or families in need, or accomplish other noteworthy tasks in 2016? If they did, please submit or encourage them to submit a short application for one of the Commissioners Choice Awards Categories. Give your club or that individual the honor and respect on a county-wide basis they have earned.
The Alexander County Cooperative Extension Service and our County Commissioners would like to recognize volunteers, organizations, communities, etc. for their hard work. This is our county's way of awarding your group for their effort in making Alexander County a better place to live.
Our Commissioners' Choice Awards Program will award the most outstanding adult and youth organizations with $200 each. Second place winners will receive $125 each and third place winners will receive $75 each. Also, as in the last few years, "Community Spark" awards will be given to outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to churches, schools, organizations or communities.
Applications and report forms have been mailed or emailed to various clubs and organizations throughout the county. If your organization has not received them and you wish to apply, an application can be obtained by picking one up at the Extension Center, pulling one off our website at
or by calling 632-4451 where we can mail or email you one. Applications are due back in for judging on March 1st.
Out of county judges have been secured for judging the submitted applications. The Commissioners' Choice Awards Banquet will be held on Tuesday, March 21st, at ACHS. Tickets will be $12 each and may be obtained at the Cooperative Extension Center. The banquet will entail a welcome from our County Commissioners, an excellent meal, entertainment, and actual announcement and presentation of these various awards.
Representatives of our county commissioners will be there to present the awards.
Please apply, give us a chance to recognize your organization for the things you do to benefit your community, and then join us at the banquet. We look forward to again having a very successful program and awards banquet where we recognize the excellent volunteers, organizations, and communities here in Alexander County.
NC Agritunity Conference & Tradeshow
Saturday, March 4th, 2017
Iredell County Agricultural Center
444 Bristol Drive, Statesville, NC 28677
Registration starts 8:00am
Programs from 8:30am-3:30pm
NC Agritunity is a one-day educational conference for farmers of all types, featuring a tradeshow and a keynote speaker. Large commodity producers, livestock producers, small farm managers, beginning farmers, and anyone just interested in agriculture are welcome to attend.
Continuing education credits (CEUs) and pesticide training credits will be available in some of the presentations for existing license holders. To learn more about the educational session and feature vendors, please visit our website at ces.ncsu.edu or contact your local Cooperative Extension Center.
The event is free and open to the public.
Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement
2.1. North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, a ge, disability, or veteran's status. In addition, the two Universities welcome all person without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.
2.2. Persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency may request accommodations to participate by contacting Alexander County Extension Director, Lenny Rogers, at (828)632-4451 or
or in person at the County Extension Office at least 14 days prior to the event.