Your School Garden, STEM, and UGA Extension

The Georgia Department of Education’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) day is May 6th.  In anticipation of that day we want to make sure that schools know what STEM resources are available to them through UGA Extension. According to information from Gilda Lyon, state STEM coordinator, there are 28 STEM certified schools in Georgia at this time.  There will be many, many more applying for certification.  The certification process is very involved and once a school is certified it will need to be re-certified every five years. So you are a school teacher and your school is a certified … Read more…

Earth Week 2016

Earth Week 2016

Happy Earth Week 2016.  How are you celebrating? I am celebrating with the butterflies and bees!  As the force behind the Pollinator Spaces Project I decided I needed to step up the pollinator habitat in my own garden in time for Earth Week 2016.  In one part of the garden I added three baby sage (Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’) plants.  I have always loved the bi-colored flowers and they really attract butterflies. In that area I also planted seeds.  I used Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) towards the back.  Those get tall and will last until frost.  Towards the front of … Read more…

Spring Green Up: Timing Nitrogen Applications by Temperature

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“When soil temperatures consistently measure 65 degrees (F) at the 4″ depth and are trending upwards, it’s time to fertilize warm-season turf,” says Dr. Clint Waltz, UGA Turfgrass Extension Specialist.  Resisting the temptation to fertilize warm-season turf too early in the season not only conserves valuable time and resources, but encourages a healthy competitive lawn.  Spring season air temperatures often fluctuate from lows in the mid 40’s to highs in the mid 70’s, resulting in wide swings in soil temperature.  The best time to fertilize warm-season turfgrasses such as bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, St. Augustinegrass, and centipedegrass is during the active growth … Read more…

April Gardening Chores for Georgia

April Gardening Chores for Georgia

It is that time!  Spring planting for summer vegetables.  Before planting check your soil temperatures.  Are they 60-65 degrees F and rising?  Look at the medium range weather forecast.  Any frost or temperatures below freezing predicted? UGA Extension’s Vegetable Gardening Calendar give us this advice for April: Plant your choices of the following “warm-season” or “frost-tender” crops: beans (snap, pole and lima), cantaloupe, corn (sweet), cucumbers, eggplant, okra, field peas, peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon. Plant tall-growing crops such as okra, pole beans and corn on the north side of other vegetables to avoid shading. Plant two or more rows … Read more…

Add Organic Matter, Water Deeply for Healthy Tomato Plants-A Guest Post by Michael Wheeler

tomatoplantlr

This week we are happy to have UGA Hall County Extension Agent, Michael Wheeler, as a guest blogger to give us a refresher on growing tomatoes.   Michael writes…. Homegrown vegetables are a must have for many Southerners during the summer. The one vegetable, well technically a fruit, which makes everyone’s mouth water in anticipation is the tomato. The folks I know always say the first tomato of the season is the best. It is a known fact that homegrown tomatoes are much better than anything you can buy from the grocery store. Nothing can beat it. Whether or not … Read more…

How much soil do you need to refill your raised beds?-A Guest Post by Steve Pettis

How much soil do you need to refill your raised beds?-A Guest Post by Steve Pettis

This week we are excited to have Steve Pettis, UGA Extension Agent for Rockdale County, join us for a math lesson on raised bed gardening!  Steve writes…. If you have have raised beds eventually you will need to add more soil. Over time soil compacts, organic matter dissipates, and soil erodes. So, what was once a box full of soil can end up half empty. Bagged soil is sold by the square foot. How do you determine how many square feet of soil you need to refill the beds? I would suggest using the formula for determining volume of a … Read more…

Horticultural Therapy Week in Georgia

Horticultural Therapy Week in Georgia

In honor of National Horticultural Therapy Week (March 20th – 26th) we have asked Katrina Fairchild, a registered horticultural therapist (HTR), to share some thoughts on these types of gardens.  Katrina writes: Thinking back on my time of working with and developing a program for teenage at-risk students, I present you with a series questions to ask yourself when deciding to undertake this significant project of offering and developing horticultural therapy (or therapeutic horticulture). What’s the primary purpose of offering the program and the garden? Is it for profit? Social or emotional therapy? Educational opportunity, be it vocational or academic? Purposeful … Read more…

Spring Bleeding: Maple, Birch, Elm, Grapevines

muscadine-bleed

Following a late winter or early spring pruning of Maple, Birch, Elm, or Grapevines it is common to observe “bleeding” from the pruning wounds.  This phenomenon usually occurs just before and during leaf emergence in the spring, especially during years of abundant soil moisture.  The temporary bleeding is generally not detrimental to the health of the plant and primarily consists of a watery sap solution. The bleeding usually ceases once the leaves have fully emerged and water begins to evaporate through the leaf stomata, creating transpirational pull that overshadows the root pressure. The upward flow of water is caused by osmotic pressure in the … Read more…

Soil Temperatures in Your Georgia Garden

Soil Temperatures in Your Georgia Garden

With the recent warm temperatures it is easy to be seduced into planting your summer crops now.   It is tempting to plant our vegetable transplants and seeds; we can’t wait for that first juicy tomato!  Be aware that soil temperatures are very important for success with your early summer plantings. Soil temperatures need to be 60-65 degrees F and rising at the 4 inch soil depth before you plant your summer crops. If you install a transplant too early the roots won’t grow and the plant will just be sitting in the soil.  If we have a large amount … Read more…

This is the Year to Add Pollinator Spaces to Your Garden

Green Meadows Pollinator Plants

Adding pollinator spaces to your community or school garden is a fabulous idea.  If you are a food grower, more pollinators means more pollination and increased food production!  Even if you aren’t growing food the benefits of attracting native bees, butterflies, and even honey bees are numerous. UGA’s Center for Urban Agriculture has created the Pollinator Spaces Project.  The mission is to make it easy to add pollinator habitat to any sized garden.  The process is easy: Step #1  Learn Learn about pollinators and pollinator plants using the Pollinator Spaces Project webpage.  The page includes a research-based plant list as … Read more…