A Valentine’s Day Tribute to Vegetables by Georgia Gardeners

A Valentine's Day Tribute to Vegetables by Georgia Gardeners

As community and school gardeners we love our vegetables and in honor of St. Valentine we asked several lifelong gardeners to tell us about their favorite.   The interesting part is how they all waxed poetically about their love for growing food. Fred Conrad, the Community Gardener Coordinator for the Atlanta Community Food Bank, is well known throughout metro Atlanta for his love of community gardens.   You can often see him riding through the Atlanta streets on a tractor! Fred loves growing tomatoes.  He says,  “I like the on-going interaction of training them during the season as they grow … Read more…

Congratulations Georgia Certified Plant Professional and GGIA Jr. Plant Professional Graduates!

On Thursday, January 28th, the testing room at the GGIA Wintergreen Conference was buzzing with industry professionals and middle school students who gathered to take the written and plant identification exams for the Georgia Certified Plant Professional and the GGIA Jr. Plant Professional Certification Programs. Congratulations to the six industry graduates who achieved professional certification and the six middle school students who certified in the junior division. Georgia Certified Plant Professional Graduates: Anna Testa Dan Smith Michele Sarti Amy Rothenberg Amy Collier Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Graduates: Charles Daniel Please congratulate these graduates when you see them. Special thanks to … Read more…

The 2016 Sod Forecast has Arrived

The Sod Forecast has Arrived

The Georgia Urban Ag. Council has released their twenty-second annual sod producer survey outlining the inventory levels and pricing data for spring 2016.  The sod forecast provides the green industry with valuable insight when estimating expenses and availability for the upcoming season.  Dr. Clint Waltz, Extension Turfgrass Specialist with the University of Georgia, notes that the inventory for all warm-season species is expected to improve marginally over the previous two years and half of the larger growers predict a poor supply of bermudagrass for early 2016. Sod prices for 2016 are expected to stabilize at 4% to 15% over 2015. Looking ahead, 57% … Read more…

February Chores for Your Georgia Garden

February Chores for Your Georgia Garden

As we all wait patiently, or impatiently, for Spring there are things we can do this month to be ready.  This chore list was taken from UGA vegetable specialist Bob Westerfield’s Vegetable Garden Calendar. Indoor Chores This is the time to start your seedlings indoors.  Peppers and eggplants take about eight weeks to grow from seed to transplant size.  Tomatoes will take about six weeks.  For detailed information about indoor seed starting visit our January 2015 post on seed starting by Amy Whitney. Check in with your local UGA Extension office to see what type of classes are being offered … Read more…

Winter Scouting for Burweed (Soliva pterosperma)

Burweed

Winter is the time to scout for lawn burweed (Soliva pterosperma), a broadleaf weed producing seed clusters in mid to late spring that delivers a rather irritating jab to bare feet.  The tiny spines on the seeds are actually quite fragile and tend to break off in your skin during the removal process, leaving an itchy reminder of their presence.  My children who love to run barefoot in the backyard can testify to the annual “de-spurring” event each spring. December through February is the best time to manage this cool season annual because plants are juvenile and haven’t developed the … Read more…

Three Tools that Will Improve Your Indoor Seed Starting

Seedlings small

Starting your garden seeds indoors is simply FUN.  It means Spring is almost here.   And, it is almost magical to see those green seedling emerge from the soil.  Planting many seeds requires organization and we have three tools you need for seed starting 2016. Three tools you can use: Tool #1 Bleach Your seedling trays and pots need to be sterilized.  You do not want to start the season with trays contaminated with fungal spores.  Simply mix 1 part bleach to 9 parts water soak your pots for a minimum of ten minutes.  Rinse well and you are ready! … Read more…

Pollinator Protection Plan for Georgia

Pollinator Protection Plan for Georgia

Because of real concerns about our pollinator population the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked each state to develop a customized pollinator protection plan with recommendations on improving pollinator health.  This is not a regulatory document but just guidelines to help our pollinators. Georgia’s plan is finished!  Protecting Georgia’s Pollinators (PGP) was developed as a joint effort between UGA’s Department of Entomology and the Georgia Department of Agriculture.  The author committee is made up of Jennifer Berry, Kris Braman, Keith Delaplane, Mike Evans, Philip Roberts, and Alton Sparks.  Those of you who are beekeepers may recognize several of these names as people heavily … Read more…

Winter Bloom: Will the Azaleas Flower Again this Spring?

Azalea bloom

Dr. Bodie Pennisi, University of Georgia Horticulture Extension Specialist, reports that the azaleas will likely still bloom, only with a few less flowers.  “Many of the flower buds remained dormant during the warm spell. Keep in mind however, that the flower buds on azaleas developed last summer and any pruning done prior to the spring will potentially remove those flower buds.” The same applies to Hydrangea macrophylla (Bigleaf Hydrangea) and H. quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea). Microclimates also affect cold damage, for example, overhangs, tree canopies, evergreen shrubs, and built features in the landscape often provide frost protection, buffer against radiant heat … Read more…

Using Signs in Your Georgia Community and School Garden

Using Signs in Your Georgia Community or School Garden

Have you thought about the best way to use signs in your Georgia community or school garden?  Gardeners often use small signs as plant labels but larger signs can be just as useful.  They can be an important way to tie your garden together. A creative, welcoming sign at the entrance can tell who you are: Since gardeners don’t always work at the same time, signs can be a great way to communicate between gardeners: More permanent signs can hold announcements, maps and other documents. They can be a great way to tell the story of your garden: And, they … Read more…

The Window to Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs is Closing

Narcissus

Daffodil (Narcissus sp.) bulbs and other spring-flowering bulb-like plants (corms, tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes) make excellent additions to the landscape.  These plants add color and interest to the late winter/early spring garden while other plants are still dormant.  They can be placed most anywhere in the garden and make great additions to beds, borders, and containers. The ideal planting time for spring-flowering bulbs is fall to mid-winter to allow enough chilling time (below 40-50 degrees) to induce flowering.  For landscape companies looking to generate some wintertime business, perhaps a bulb planting service in order.  Established daffodils have already started to … Read more…