Planting vegetables for the fall

AUBURN, Ala.- Fall officially begins September 22, but now is the time to begin changing your garden to prepare for fall vegetables.

“The best thing about the fall season is that it lasts a lot longer than our northern neighbors,” said Ellen Huckabay, a regional agent in home grounds, gardens and home pests with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

For the past few years, Alabama has been seeing warm falls, which allows flexibility for your garden.

“A lot of what we plant in the fall we can keep growing through the winter with a little frost protection because our ground doesn’t freeze,” Huckabay said.

Gardeners may want to rely on someone telling them certain dates to plant a vegetable but that is not a good idea.Radishes

Deciding when to plant a vegetable is up to you. (Photo: Pixabay)

“You really have to look at what the weather is going to be like in the next few months to really get a better idea,” Joe Kemble, an Extension specialist and Auburn University professor, said.

Vegetables that will “give a lot of bang for the buck” this fall are lettuce, turnips, collards and radishes, Huckabay said.

People think tomatoes can only be grown in the summer. While a full crop of tomatoes is not guaranteed in the fall, some still will grow.

How you should set up your garden

When you set up your garden, make it get direct sunlight. The sun should hit your garden for six to eight hours, according to Kemble.

Luckily, any soil in Alabama will be successful. The key ingredient is for your soil to drain well, Kemble said.

You do not want your soil to have a lot of pooling water.

Insect issues

Unfortunately, fall means high insect pressure. It is essential for gardeners to have a plan. Several worm pests will impact a traditional fall garden. Armyworms, beet armyworms and pickleworms will most likely be crawling in your garden. Treat these pests  with a biological insecticide called dipel, which is a caterpillar stomach poison.

Starting early

You can also can plant your strawberries for an early spring harvest. Begin planting the strawberries in October and November. Then begin protecting the blooms when the new year begins, Huckabay said.

More information

For more information about home gardens, soil, insects, weeds and more, check out Alabama Extension’s The Alabama Vegetable Gardener.

If you would like to know certain harvest dates, watch videos and more, download the SOW app at  Google Play Store or iTunes.

Featured photo by Pixabay.

Social Media Release: Aubie Claus

Aubie Claus


Come join Aubie for Aubie Claus 2016! Aubie will be dressed up in his orange and blue Santa Claus outfit. Aubie Claus will be located inside the Auburn University Student Center. This year there are extended hours for Aubie Claus because of popularity.


Aubie Claus is held so fans can get a picture with the famous Auburn Tiger. The event helps fund the Aubie Program and for Aubie to participate in the UCA Mascot National Championship. Aubie has won nine times.


  • The event will be held on Sunday, November 13 and November 20.
  •  November 13 time slots are at 9 a.m. through noon and 1 p.m. through 5:30 p.m.
  •  November 20 time slots are at 8:30 a.m. through noon and 1 p.m. through 6 p.m.
  • Aubie Claus is in the main lobby of the Auburn University Student Center (255 Heisman Drive, Auburn University, Ala. 36849).
  • A $10 donation is requested for two poses with Aubie. Additional poses are $5.
  • T-shirts are available to purchase when you register. T-shirts are also available to purchase at the event but may be limited to certain sizes because of availability.
  • You can bring as many people as you would like for this event.


(Photo retrieved from Aubie’s Facebook.)


Check out this video to see how Aubie Claus helps Aubie reach the UCA Mascot National Championship.


“Aubie Claus is incredibly special because it’s a time that Aubie really gets to interact with the whole community-families, elderly people, college students, etc.,” Kate Windham, director of Aubie, said.

“My favorite thing about Aubie Claus is watching the kids reactions when they see him…” Rosemary Shelton, director of Aubie, said.

Aubie’s Social Media:

Aubie Claus Contact:

When you are ready to sign up  for Aubie Claus 2016, sign up on the Aubie Claus  website.

Kevin Phillips: putting down the ball and picking up the mic


Kicking it with KevinWhen Kevin Phillips is not picking up a football, you might catch him picking up a microphone hosting his own show.

Phillips, the punter for Auburn University, hosts Kicking it with Kevin, which is a segment that airs on the “Auburn Review Show” on Sundays each week.

Kicking it with Kevin began the first week of the season. After practice Phillips would decide which players to interview. (Photo by Payton Beck)

“I try to choose guys that will be willing to talk and have fun with it and have funny and interesting answers,” Phillips said.

This past summer, the idea of Phillips hosting a show came from ideas being thrown out during his internship with Cassie Arner, associate athletic director of strategic communication, at Auburn.

Kicking it with Kevin Football players sit down with Phillips while he asks them whatever questions he has come up with. Questions Phillips asks will be generic Auburn questions and then a lightning round, which consists of fast and funny questions, Phillips said. (Photo by Payton Beck)

Questions Phillips asks players are random and come to him at random times. “Today I thought of one in the middle of class, so they’ll just float around,” Phillips said.

Phillips simply wants to highlight his teammates. “It’s fun to try and stump guys on some questions sometimes, but more so I like to make my teammates look good,” Phillips said. “I like to give them some questions that can show the Auburn family their stuff.”

The best part for Phillips is getting to pretend he is a TV host.

If Phillips had the opportunity to host his own show it would be something he thrives in, which is the woods.

Phillips would love to host a hunting show. Phillips’ brother is a producer for a hunting show, but Phillips would like to be on the other side of the camera.

While majoring in public relations, broadcasting has not really been on Phillips radar.

Although, people have been suggesting to Phillips to think about broadcasting since his show has come about. “I don’t know,” Phillips said. “We’ll see.”Kicking it with Kevin

Kicking it with Kevin has been nothing but fun for Phillips.

“I have to restart all the time,” Phillips said. “There has been several interviews when I’m just hysterically laughing and can’t stop.”

This is Phillips last year as an Auburn football player and he has enjoyed being able to host this show and try something new. (Photo by Payton Beck)

For a list of times and channels for the “Auburn Review Show,” click here.



Live in a palace during your summer abroad

Imagine spending your summer break throughout seven countries while receiving credit hours for school. This is how Kate Snow spent 12 weeks of her summer.

Snow, along with 20 other students,  studied in Ariccia, Italy this summer through the Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy program.

Chigi Palace

Students lived in the basement of Chigi Palace. This palace is now a museum, which sometimes would hold classes for Snow and her classmates. (Photo by Kate Snow)

Students going on this trip can receive a minor in International Human Sciences or 16 hours of Human Science classes.

Snow, a senior in elementary education, decided to take part of this program for the abroad experience. Although this minor does not necessarily help Snow in her major, she took the minor anyway.

A normal week would include class twice a week, a field trip twice a week and no class on Friday.

Two optional field trips were available, which students had to pay for, unlike other weekly field trips. Snow went on these two trips to Positano and Cinque Terre in Italy.

Italy Rome is about 45 minutes from Ariccia, so usually once a week a field trip was taken there. (Photo by Kate Snow)

“A lot of stuff we learned in the week we would then go on a field trip and see hands on what we had just learned about in class,” Snow said.

A lot of students’ grades came from activities in which students acted as tour guides, Snow said. The class would travel to a site assigned to a student, then the student would teach their classmates about that site.

Art, culture, current events and global events were much of what Snow was learning about during her two days of class. Starting class at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. made days long, Snow said.

Survival Italian taught Snow and her classmates “to learn little tricks to make you sound like you knew what you were saying,” she said. Snow said she learned in this class that double consonants are pronounced in Italian, unlike English.

Once Thursday was over, the fun began. Students were allowed to do whatever they wanted Friday through Sunday. Snow was able to travel to six other countries during her trip.

Snow traveled to Poland, France, Netherlands, Croatia, Switzerland and England.

Switzerland was Snow’s favorite weekend trip. She went kayaking, hiking and hang gliding in Interlaken. The chocolate, cheese fondue and sparkling apple juice were her favorite treats.Hang gliding

There was so much to do, the beautiful views and the people are what made Switzerland great, Snow said.

“That’s somewhere I want to go back. I left there seeing myself coming back,” Snow said.

Poland came as a surprise to Snow as she visited Auschwitz and Kraków. “I had low expectations for the city, but they blew me out of the water,” she said.

Most study abroad trips are not 12 weeks long, which contributed to the experience Snow had. “I am biased, but it is the best study abroad program at Auburn,” Snow said.

The program is set up for students to have the best time and get as much as you can out of it, Snow said. “They want you to have the best time, so they do so much to make sure you are having a great time,” Snow said.

Without the Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy, this experience would not be possible Snow said. “It was once in a lifetime. I feel like I was living in a dream.”

For more information on the study abroad programs in the College of Human Sciences, visit study abroad opportunities.


Try a transplant

AUBURN, Ala.- If you find yourself impatiently waiting for your garden seeds to sprout, try out transplants.

“The reason we like to use transplants is earliness,” Joe Kemble, an extension vegetable specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System said. “You don’t have to sit there and wait for the seed to come up.”

For example, going ahead and planting a four to five week old tomato gets you way ahead of the season, according to Kemble, who is also a professor of horticulture at Auburn University.

Using a transplant cuts out waiting on the tomato seed to germinate into a small plant.

Selecting plants

Not all plants will be a good choice for transplants. Corn and sweet potatoes do not like being transplanted, according to Kemble.

Plants age will also determine what will make a good transplant. Do not purchase transplants that are old in age, which you may find at a garden center.

Typically, you will want a five or six week old transplant, but in the case of cucumbers, you will want them to be two to three weeks old, Kemble said. Cucumbers should be younger in age because they can go through a rough transplant shock and you will not receive any crop.

Also, you do not have to pick the largest or tallest plants. “If purchasing plants, choose medium-sized plants that have a stocky, healthy appearance and deep green color and are free from insects and diseases,” Kemble said.

Growing transplants

The environment your transplants are in is essential for success. The key for successful transplants include your media, containing your transplants and location.

Growing media is an important consideration. “A growing mix well suited for transplants can be prepared by using one part loamy garden soil, one part shredded peat moss and one part sand,” Kemble said.

By baking the media in an oven for about 60 minutes at 210 degrees Fahrenheit, the media will be sterilized, which you should do. Instead of preparing your own media, you can also purchase it at a garden center.

“The easiest method is to purchase a seedling mix, which is typically composed of vermiculite and peat moss,” Kemble said. “These mixes are suited for more long term transplant production (4 to 10 weeks) and generally contain enough nutrients to provide nutrition to the developing seedling for up to two weeks.”

Compressed peat pots, disks of pressed peat and peat cubes work well for holding transplants.

According to Kemble, an easy way to plant a large number of seeds is using wooden flats and plastic trays. Kitchen items such as aluminum foil trays, paper cups and bottom halves of milk, ice cream and egg cartons work for starter containers.

Once the seeds have come through, sunlight and warmth is important for a healthy plant to grow.

Giving too much water or not enough water can cause major problems. Simply touch the media to check if water is needed.

Fertilization should begin shortly after the seeds have appeared. Check to see if the seedlings need more or less fertilizer during the process.

Bringing plants outside

“Before being set into the garden, the plants should be hardened off, which is the process whereby plant tissues are toughened to withstand the outside environment,” Kemble said. For two weeks, set the plant in “partial shade”, but remember to bring them inside at night, Kemble said. Each day you should leave them outside longer.

More information

Kemble provides more details in Keys to Producing and Selecting Quality Vegetable Transplants.

Ordinary donuts make their way to Auburn

University Donut Company is not your average donut shop and that is a value this family owned business takes pride in.

Have you ever heard of a donut shop owner that did not like donuts? You have now.

Teresa Vigueras would rather have another dessert over a donut, unless it is a donut from her business.

“I went about creating recipes that made the donuts more like a piece of cake,” Vigueras said. “They are wonderful desserts with a donut base.”

The classic donut such as glazed and chocolate are available, but gourmet donuts and build your own donuts are available also. (Photo by Payton Beck)donut

Some of the gourmet donuts include a banana pudding donut, a chocolate covered strawberry donut and a salted caramel toffee donut, which is their best seller.

Making their donuts fun is what University Donut Company strives to do, Vigueras said.

Opening the donut shop in Auburn was Vigueras’ daughter, Juliana Truska’s, idea.

Truska’s husband, Eric Truska, and Vigueras’ husband, Lou Vigueras also own the shop.

A donut shop in Missouri inspired the Truska’s to open University Donut Company because of the cool donut ideas the company had. The only problem was that the taste of the donuts were not good.

The only condition on opening the shop was, “They are going to have to be something I can eat,” Vigueras said.

Truska told her mom that Auburn would be a perfect place to open a donut shop that served these types of donuts. Vigueras studied at Auburn University, and Truska spent some of her schooling at Auburn before moving to Missouri.

The basic two-ounce donut costs $1.69.

Building your own donut and gourmet donuts costs $2.99.

The first step in building your own donut is to choose your base from one of the seven options.

Next, you will pick from the 12 to 14 icings and two toppings.

Cake and cheesecake are also sold by the slice. You also can buy a whole cake but give them at least a week or two notice, Vigueras said.

Additionally, University Donut Company has its own coffee line. The beans are sold by the can and the private label is Glazed and Confused, which is roasted by Mama Mocha’s. (Photo by Payton Beck)location

Vigueras thought having their donuts on campus would be a great idea, so the company also has a food truck.

The idea of the food truck is different than inside the shop, Vigueras said. Along with donuts, the food truck offers d’waffles and breakfast bites.

Breakfast bites are served on skewers. This allows students to eat quickly on the way to class.

A d’waffle is a non-glazed donut that is put into a waffle iron and then refried. A breakfast sandwich is made by putting bacon, egg and cheese or sausage, egg and cheese inside.

The d’waffle is sold inside the shop, but the breakfast bites are only available at the food truck. (Photo by Payton Beck) food truck

This shop is for the community and is meant to be a place where people can gather to hang out and be encouraged, Vigueras said.

The shop opens at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and closes at 8 p.m. On Saturdays, the shop opens at 9 a.m. and is open until at least 9 p.m. The donut shop is closed on Sundays.

Depending on game days, the shop could open earlier and stay open later.

University Donut Company is located downtown on Magnolia Street.

Valet parking now available in downtown Auburn

Searching for an empty parking spot in downtown Auburn does not have to be a problem anymore thanks to a valet service P&P Parking Solutions is providing.The Hound

Currently, The Hound and Quixotes, serve as drop-off locations. Although the kiosks are located in front of these businesses, the valet service is open to the general public.

Co-owners Brad Perkovich and Jameson Pugh, both graduates of Auburn University, knew they wanted to go into business together, but they did not imagine being in the parking management business.

Perkovich and Pugh began thinking of issues in Auburn that they could fix. The business partners knew parking downtown was painful for many people, so an opportunity presented itself. (Photo by: Payton Beck)

“We figured we could do it as good as anybody else, so we might as well give it a try,” Pugh said.

Three parking options exist including: pay to park, monthly subscription pass and a validation system.

Pay to park simply works by driving up to the kiosk, hopping out and going on your way. One hour costs $3, and any additional hour after that is $1. If you go more than
 10 hours you will pay a flat rate of $12.

A monthly subscription pass is available for locals who may own a business downtown, work downtown or goes downtown frequently, Pugh said. 
P&P Parking Solutions gives the subscription holder a decal to put on their car windshield and charges $50 a month for unlimited valet parking in any locations, according to Pugh.

The validation system is gearing towards businesses downtown.
“What we do is negotiate a deal with the actual location. They pay a monthly flat rate fee to us, and then for all their guests it is complimentary parking,” Pugh said.

The Avondale Bar & Tap Room was the first business to take part of the system. If you were to buy a beer at Avondale, take your receipt back to the kiosk when you leave.

Cars will be parked in the back parking lot of Quixotes. P&P Parking Solutions will be acquiring more space as the business grows.

Quixotes Operation hours begin Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday hours begin at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then open back up from 5 p.m. to midnight. Sunday’s hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ( Photo by: Payton Beck) 

“Within the next two weeks or so we should offer all operation hours,” Pugh said. All operation hours include Monday and Tuesday opening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday mornings will also start at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Valet parking for game days is not feasible right now because of the straight traffic flow, Pugh said.

While valet parking is not a concept most people know, especially in Auburn, it actually was the norm at one time. 

“It’s almost like a lost art or business that is making a comeback because the city of Auburn has fortunately been doing very well,” Perkovich said.

P&P Parking Solutions recognizes there is still free parking downtown, but what valet parking offers is a system that is quick and efficient.