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Useful Apps and Books

Check out the Alabama Master Gardener Library.

PowerPoint Presentations, created by Alabama Advanced Master Gardeners, extension agents, and university instructors, represent varied areas of expertise and interest. In keeping with our mission of outreach and continuing education, library presentations have been chosen for length and topic as suitable for a “Lunch & Learn”, a membership meeting, a community program, or interesting browsing for Master Gardeners. 

Sign into the Reports link and choose the “MG Library” link at the top. You can also visit the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Library online here. There are tons of useful gardening and horticulture books to read!

Useful Apps and Books
SOW
SOW - A Planting Companion

SOW – A Planting Companion.  While home gardeners have access to their Extension agents via email, text, and phone, the wealth of gardening knowledge is now expanded with this app, appropriately named SOW. And it is practically instant, since using a mobile device means asking the question while standing where the action is occurring. Want to delve deeper into a particular fruit, or veggie? There’s a “More Information” button associated with every one of the varieties listed in the app’s database. So explore further with the click of a button.  SOW can be downloaded for free from iTunes or Google


The Southeastern U.S. 2020 Vegetable Crop Handbook

The Southeastern U.S. 2020 Vegetable Crop Handbook will give you everything you need to know, including recommended varieties based on trials and observational data.   This is a free download from ACES.


Homegrown

Homegrown is a new app from Bonnie Plants that can be very useful in your garden. This free gardening resource can help you learn how to grow and track your harvest as well as get expert tips for gardeners of all levels! This is available for both Apple from iTunes and Android devices from Google. And just a plus, all Bonnie Plants are non-GMO.  


Hort Plants

Hort Plants is a comprehensive photographic plant database covering all types of landscape plants for mid-south USA such as trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, ornamental grasses, annuals and perennials. Included with the photographic database is comprehensive cultural and plant characteristic information. Hort Plants is a free app from iTunes.


Smart Yards

Smart Yards by Alabama Cooperative Extension System, is designed to be the ultimate pocket guide for all your yard work. The app will help you face yard work troubles with ease and turn your average yard into a smart yard. This free app can be downloaded from iTunes or Google. Or see the catalog here.

 

Sample Submission

Sample Submission app allows farmers, gardeners, landscapers, arborists, agricultural specialists and others to submit digital photo samples to a university plant diagnostic lab for diagnosis or identification. The app contains sample submission forms for plants ranging from small houseplants to large-scale agronomic crops. The user completes each form by responding to simple, customized questions. After entering a description of the problem and attaching corresponding photos the sample submission is sent to the selected diagnostic laboratory, Alabama Cooperative Extensions being one of the choices.  Available on iOS devices, this free app can be downloaded from iTunes or for Android.


Dirr’s Tree and Shrub finder 

Dirr’s Tree and Shrub finder is based on Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants.  This app has a searchable database.  It is available on iOS devices for $14.99 through iTunes or Android.


A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests

A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests. This free app available for iOS is based on the U.S. Forest Service publication. Invasions of nonnative plants into forests of the Southern United States continue to go unchecked and only partially unmonitored. These infestations increasingly erode forest productivity, hindering forest use and management activities, and degrading diversity and wildlife habitat. Often called nonnative, exotic, nonindigenous, alien, or noxious weeds, they occur as trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, ferns, and forbs. This app provides information on accurate identification of the 56 nonnative plants and groups that are currently invading the forests of the 13 Southern States.  The app can be downloaded from iTunes or for Android.


Rain Garden

Rain Garden is a free app designed to help you properly install a rain garden at your home, office, or job site. Through video tutorials, diagrams, text, and tools, the App guides you through determining the size and placement of your garden, selecting plants, digging and planting your garden, and maintaining your garden. It also includes tools for determining your soil type, measuring the size of the area that will drain to your garden, and managing  rain garden projects.  The app is available from iTunes for iOS or Google for Android.


Scotts’ My Lawn Care app

With Scotts’ My Lawn Care app, you can trace your lawn to see the square footage.  You can also create a personal lawn care plan.  This app is a free download from iTunes for iOS or from Google for Android.

iBooks


Alabama Smart Yards

We have a few copies of Alabama Smart Yards for sale in the Extension office upstairs at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  The price is $10.  All proceeds will go to our Jefferson County Master Gardeners.


Climate and Crops

The newest book from ACES is Climate and Crops: Alabama Extension launches nation’s first guide to variable climate farming. This, not to be missed book is free from iBooks. Drought, floods, heat, freeze, insects, diseases.  Cilmate variability can make each of these worse, complicating farm profits.  Scientists are opening new doors in understanding how to adapt to climate variation.  Change is coming.  Learn to adapt.   This free iBook can be downloaded on iTunes


Emergency Handbook

The Emergency Handbook

The Emergency Handbook brings together recommendations from national emergency response agencies and major universities into one easy-to-understand, interactive reference.  It addresses nearly 50 disaster preparation and recovery topics in four broad categories, including People and Pets, Home and Business, Landscape and Garden, and Farms and Livestock.
 
Southern states can experience some of the most violent weather extremes on earth.  A typical year may include hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, flash flooding, ice, and snow.  Alabama Extension and WSFA-TV, Montgomery, AL prepared this resource to help families, businesses and communities prepare for storms and clean up after they pass. This free publication can be downloaded for use on IOS devices on iTunes.


Gardening in the South, Getting Started

Gardening in the South, Getting Started.   Before you buy the first packet of seed, this book will  tell you about the South’s unique soils and how to make the most of them. It will  help you navigate fertilizer labels and select the ones that are right for your soil. From botany to plant propagation, you can understand how to grow strong plants and maximize the productive potential of your garden. Most importantly, it can help you create a vision, season it with inspiration, apply science and experience, and realize your dream of a beautiful garden. And for those special questions that reach beyond this book, it will help you connect to the deeper information resources of Cooperative Extension.  This free book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Multi-touch books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Books with interactive features may work best on an iOS device. iBooks on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later.


Gardening in the South - Plant Selection

The secret to a great garden is to have a plan.  Gardens are dynamic, they change with the seasons and are ever-evolving.  Through all of this change and growth – successful gardens reflect balance.  Your plant selections are the very foundation of the beauty and joy that is a garden.  Your choices of the right plant may seem limitless.  But in reality, your goal is to select the best plant, for the best location, that brings the right color and texture to your outdoor living space.  Annuals and perennials, ornamental grasses, vines and ground cover, shrubs and trees are all elements that you can apply to the canvas of your garden.  This book includes descriptions and recommendations of more than 300 plants, including 18 vines, 34 ground covers, 14 ornamental grasses, 154 shrubss and 99 trees.  This free book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Multi-touch books can be read with U on your Mac or iOS device. Books with interactive features may work best on an iOS device. iBooks on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later.


Gardening in the South, Landscaping

Gardening in the South, Landscaping. The secret to creating a successful landscape design is using a logical planning process. By selecting the right plant for the right location, caring for the plant so it can thrive and grow, and diagnosing pest problems as they develop, you can assure that your yard matures into a beautiful showplace.  This book summarizes woody plant variety recommendations for the Southeastern United States, and gives specific pointers to keep your landscape healthy and sustainable.  And for those special questions that reach beyond this book, it will help you connect to the deeper information resources of Cooperative Extension. This free book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Multi-touch books can be read withU on your Mac or iOS device. Books with interactive features may work best on an iOS device. iBooks on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later.


Gardening in the South, Pest Management

Gardening in the South, Pest Management.  Beautiful gardens are more than beautiful plants. A big part of gardening is controlling weeds, insects, and plant diseases.From insects, to weeds, to plant diseases, we can help you select the safest methods to control them. And for those special questions that reach beyond this book, it will help you connect to the deeper information resources of Cooperative Extension. This free book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Multi-touch books can be read withU on your Mac or iOS device. Books with interactive features may work best on an iOS device. iBooks on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later.


Planning for Stormwater

Planning for Stormwater – The quality of water that runs through your neighborhood reflects your quality of life. Planning for Stormwater gives community planners the tools to make water a resource for greater economic development. It includes design ideas for better engineering, vegetation concepts, and case studies in real communities. In Planning for Stormwater, you will learn:• Design ideas for engineering• Vegetation concepts that combine natural beauty with reliable function• Case studies in real communities.  Travel with Alabama Extension experts to communities across Alabama and learn how your community can protect water quality and plan for community development. City leaders, developers, and engineers take you behind the scenes to real case studies to show how stormwater planning can shape a community for generations to come.• Railroad Park—Birmingham, Alabama• Toomer’s Corner—Auburn, Alabama• Tornado recovery—Tuscaloosa, Alabama
When it’s done right, natural resources are protected and your community is perceived as beautiful, innovative, and inviting. This free book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Multi-touch books can be read withU on your Mac or iOS device. Books with interactive features may work best on an iOS device. iBooks on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later.

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