Field tour offers advice on garden plants selection

Published 12:52 am Wednesday, June 7, 2006

By Staff
Staff reports
The Brewton Agricultural Research Unit in Escambia County will host a field tour focusing on plant selection in the landscape and home garden Thursday, June 15, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
The unit conducts research on numerous horticultural plants, including ground covers, shrub roses, Indian hawthorns, dogwoods and vegetable and bedding plants, all of which will be featured during the event.
Several studies under way at the unit that will be featured on the tour involve evaluating plants for disease resistance, such as black spot on roses, leaf spot on hawthorns, tomato spotted wilt virus on tomatoes and a variety of diseases that affect annual bedding plants.
In addition, participants will see and hear results from a study looking at the effects of shade or full sun on dogwoods, and information will be available about a crape myrtle breeding trial that the unit is conducting in cooperation with Mississippi State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Leading the tour will be Randy Akridge, unit superintendent; Mike McQueen, regional agent for horticulture with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System; and Olin Farrior, Escambia County Extension coordinator.
Austin Hagan, an AU plant pathologist who is heading many of the studies at the unit, will also be on hand for the tour.
The event is free, but participants are asked to call Farrior at 251-867-7760 or Akridge at 251-867-3139 by June 14 to reserve a spot on the tour. Light refreshments will be served.
The Brewton Agricultural Research Unit is one of 12 outlying research stations operated by the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station.
This event is co-sponsored by the Experiment Station and Extension System and is open to all persons regardless of race, color, gender, religion or national origin.