UGA offers turf, landscape & gardening certificate courses

Landscape - UGA Cont EdEdited from a longer article found here

Landscape managers are in high demand to maintain and enhance grounds for commercial and public property owners, including stadiums, golf courses, apartment complexes, resorts and office parks. The University of Georgia proudly offers its own courses for the landscaping industry.

In UGA’s turfgrass courses, you’ll learn to select and maintain different types of turf grasses for a variety of conditions, such as drought, shade and high traffic. 

Register yourself or employees for UGA’s Principles of Turfgrass Management (offered in English or Spanish) and become Landscape Industry Certified by PLANET, The Professional Landcare Network.

Register yourself or employees for UGA’s Sports Turfgrass Management. UGA’s Sports Turfgrass Management Course is an in-depth review of fundamental sports field management practices, endorsed by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA).

Armitage’s  courses Herbaceous Perennials for the Sun and Herbaceous Perennials for the Shade  ideal for master gardeners, nursery employees, and landscape designers. 

Print-based UGA certificate courses

Principles of Turfgrass Management

Learn standard turfgrass management practices and procedures. This course covers soils, turfgrass growth, fertilization, mowing, irrigation, weeds, diseases, pesticides, and much more.

Principios Sobre el Manejo de Céspedes

Aprenda prácticas y procedimientos estándares sobre el manejo de céspedes. Este curso cubre suelos, crecimiento de céspedes, fertilización, corte, irrigación, malas hierbas, enfermedades, pesticidas y mucho más.

Sports Turfgrass Management

This course explains how turfgrass management practices are specifically adapted to sports fields. You’ll learn the principles of warm- and cool-season turfgrass establishment, growth, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

UGA online certification and certificate programs

Armitage’s Herbaceous Perennials for the Shade

Learn how to plant, propagate, and care for 18 awesome perennials. You’ll learn each plant’s origin, characteristics, bloom time, flower structure, and optimum growing conditions.

Armitage’s Herbaceous Perennials for the Sun

Learn how to plant, propagate, and care for 20 awesome perennials. You’ll learn each plant’s origin, characteristics, bloom time, flower structure, and optimum growing conditions.

Some Facts About Florida’s Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Richard Levine is Communications Program Manager at the Entomological Society of America and editor of the Entomology Today Blog.
Richard Levine is Communications Program Manager at the Entomological Society of America and editor of the Entomology Today Blog.

Some Facts About Florida’s Genetically Modified Mosquitoes from an article in Entomology Today by Richard Levine

A deluge of news articles about the possible release of genetically-modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys swept the Internet. The modified mosquitoes, if approved, would be used to control mosquito populations without pesticides, and would lower the chances of Floridians being exposed to mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya.

Some of the articles were somewhat alarmist. The Washington Post, for example, managed to use the words “Genetically modified killer mosquitoes” in its headline and later referred to them as “Frankenstein mosquitoes.”

Read entire article here.

Subscribe to the Georgia Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin

Market BulletinSee the original article here

Every two weeks more than 40,000 subscribers look forward to receiving the Georgia Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin. Published by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, this periodical has been compared to everything from the Old Farmers’ Almanac to a version of Georgia’s own Southern Living. In the Market Bulletin you will find everything to from your fall planting guide, to the latest recipe. The Bulletin serves as a valuable resource for all things related to Georgia Agriculture, from mountains in Blue Ridge to the fields in South Georgia.

Market Bulletin History

Established in 1917, the publication began by providing free classified advertisements to enable Georgia farmers to market their products and to locate items necessary for their farming operations. Today the Market Bulletin has been expanded to include not only the free classified ads, but also articles of interest regarding the latest agriculture trends, innovations and products as well as southern lifestyle articles.

Throughout its history the Bulletin has been a vital resource to Georgia’s agricultural community. A subscriber summed up the publication by stating, “It is our link with yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The Bulletin is like an old friend who drops by to visit.”

Subscriptions for the print edition of the Bulletin are available at a cost of $10 per year. Online ONLY subscriptions are available for $5 per year.

Managing Pesticide Resistance

Super bug
More than 500 species of insects & mites are now resistant to the pesticides that once controlled them.

Rosmarie Kelly, Public Health Entomologist, Georgia Department of Public Health

A pesticide is a chemical or biological agent (such as a virus, bacterium, antimicrobial, or disinfectant) that deters, incapacitates, kills, or otherwise discourages pests.  Pesticides have been grouped into classes according to how they work (mode of action or MOA).  Repeated use of pesticides with the same MOA to control a pest can cause a form of artificial selection that can develop into pesticide resistance.   This means that there may be some pests in the population that will not be killed by the pesticide.  When those pests that survive breed, some of their young will inherit the pesticide resistance.

What is pesticide resistance?

  • It is the ability of a pest to develop a tolerance to a pesticide.
  • It results in the repeated failure of an insecticide product to provide the intended level of control when used as recommended.

Why are insects likely to develop resistance?

  • Many pest species, including insects, have short life cycles and lots of offspring
    1. Increasing the probability of random mutations
    2. Ensuring the rapid build-up in numbers of resistant mutants once such mutations have occurred
  • Pest species have been exposed to natural toxins for a long time before the onset of human civilization
  • Humans often rely almost exclusively on insecticides for pest control. This increases selection pressure towards resistance.  Pesticides causing the most problem are those that are:
    1. Highly persistent
    2. Highly specific
  • Long term exposure to pesticides with the same MOA
  • Low migration of the insects

However, other factors can prevent insecticides from providing satisfactory control in the field. They can also ultimately lead to an increase in resistance.  These include:

  • Improper equipment calibration
  • Improper dilution
  • Timing issues
  • Off-specification product use –
    1. Using the wrong product for the pest species
    2. Using the product incorrectly based on label directions
  • Climatic factors

In addition, it is important to properly identify the pest you are treating since pest behavior can cause failure of control as well.

Why should you be concerned? Pesticide resistance is a big problem.  It has been determined that, with every new insecticide introduction, resistance will occur within 2 – 20 years.

  • Currently resistance is found in:
    • More than 500 species of insects and mites
    • Over 270 weed species
    • More than 150 plant pathogens
    • About a half dozen species of rats
  • Additionally,
    • There are > 1,000 insect/insecticide multiple resistance combinations
    • At least 17 species of insects are resistant to all major classes of insecticides

How do I how to prevent resistance or deal with existing resistance?

  • Ensure all spray applicators are well trained
  • Follow product labels
    1. Do not use any product not labeled for the equipment being used
    2. Calibrate equipment at least yearly
  • Rotate pesticides between MOA classes. See the info on Resistance Action Codes (IRAC, FRAC, etc.) at the end of this article for more information on rotating pesticide MOA.
  • Avoid unnecessary pesticide applications
  • Use non-chemical control techniques
  • Leave untreated refuges where susceptible pests can survive
  • Adopt an integrated pest management (IPM) approach
  • PLAN AHEAD

Sources for more info

Grow UP with Trellises

With the limited space of a community garden plot growing UP is a great option.  Not only will you produce more food crops per area, but you help keep the food out of the reach of rodents.  For many crops keeping them off the ground increases air circulation and lessens the chance of diseases and rots.  Cucumbers, runner beans, peas, and pumpkins are examples of crops that can grow up.  Going vertical means you will need support in the way of a trellis.

Woodstock Community Garden
Woodstock Community Garden

These two trellises are simple – posts with wire or string between.  Adding a beam across the top will help stabilize the structure.  This is helpful for lightweight crops such as beans or peas.  Make sure the posts are deeply placed in the plot so they will be secure and not easily blown over.  Also, make sure your wire or string is strong enough to hold the weight of the food crop.

Woodstock Community Garden
Woodstock Community Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This teepee shape is popular for trellising runner beans.  In most cases string or wire is woven between the posts. If the tee-pee is large enough it can even be a nice hideout area for a young child.  Just trellis the beans on two of the three sides leaving one open.

Trellis 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stone Mountain Community Garden
Stone Mountain Community Garden

 

 

The trellises in this picture are a bit more complicated.   They are engineered for the posts to lean on each other for partial support.  Posts across the top help with stablization.

 

 

 

 

Here the chain link fence around the community garden is used to support pumpkins which appreciate the air circulation of growing UP.

Huntsville Botanical Garden
Huntsville Botanical Garden

 

Notice how this larger pumpkin has the support of a mesh sling.  Heavier food crops will need support so gravity doesn’t separate them from the vines.

Huntsville Botanical Garden
Huntsville Botanical Garden

 

 

 

 

 

Gardening in a small space often requires creativity.  Growing UP is one way to be creative!  Visit other gardens of your local UGA Extension office for more ideas.  After all, these aren’t your grandfather’s row crops.

Happy Gardening!

How do we control wild garlic in lawns?

Wild garlic plants - Photo by Jialin Yu
Wild garlic plants – Photo by Jialin Yu

Wild Garlic Identification and Control In Home Lawns

Drs. Jialin Yu and Patrick McCullough, UGA

Wild garlic (Allium vineale L.) is a common weed in most turf areas throughout Georgia. It emerges from underground bulbs in late fall and grows through the winter and spring months. Wild garlic is a winter perennial plant that declines in early summer.  This weed species is highly objectionable because it grows faster than cool-season turfgrasses after mowing and causes unsightly clumps in dormant warm-season turfgrasses during winter.  Wild garlic has a similar appearance to wild onion (Allium canadense L.) but they are easily distinguishable by their leaves. Wild garlic has round hollow leaves and while wild onion has solid flat leaves.

Wild garlic bulbs - Photo by Jialin Yu
Wild garlic bulbs – Photo by Jialin Yu

Mowing is not effective for controlling wild garlic because bulbs or bulblets in the soil will continue to sprout and grow. In addition, the bulbs can remain viable in the soil for years before emergence. Mowing, however, can weaken the plants and help prevent the production of seeds.

Chemical control is similar for wild garlic and wild onion. Preemergence herbicides do not provide effective control. Multiple applications of postemergence herbicides over more than one season are typically required to control wild garlic. Wild garlic has slender and waxy leaves, which may reduce herbicide uptake. In Georgia, herbicides should be timed during winter or early spring before the formation of bulbs.

Synthetic auxin herbicides are typically the best herbicides to use in tall fescue lawns for wild garlic control. 2,4-D alone or in three-way mixtures with dicamba and mecoprop (Trimec, Triplet, Weed B Gone, etc.) effectively control wild garlic. These herbicides are safe in warm-season grasses during active growth but should not be applied during the spring green-up. Reduced rates are recommended when spraying to sensitive turfgrasses including centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass. Using PowerZone or SpeedZone, which include carfentrazone and three-way synthetic auxin herbicides, may improve wild garlic control in cold winter. However, turfgrass tolerance to these products may vary and temporary turfgrass yellowing may occur on certain turfgrass varieties.

Postemergence control may also be achieved with ALS-inhibitor herbicides. Imazaquin (Image) controls wild garlic on warm-season turfgrasses but should not be used during spring greenup or on newly planted or sprigged lawns. Imazaquin will severely injure fescue and ryegrass.

Metsulfuron (Manor, Blade, others)  effectively controls a wide number of broadleaf weeds and wild garlic. Metsulfuron can be applied to tolerant warm-season turfgrasses including bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustine, and zoysiagrass. However, applications may temporarily inhibit greenup of centipedegrass and other species during spring transition. Metsulfuron should not be used in lawns with desirable bahiagrass populations. Woody ornamentals should not be planted in treated areas within one year following the metsulfuron application.

Glyphosate may effectively control wild garlic in dormant bermudagrass. To avoid injuring desired turfgrasses that are not completely dormant, spot treatments should be used on sensitive turfgrasses.

 

Table 1. Postemergence herbicides for wild garlic control.

HerbicideTrade nameRate (Product/Acre)Tolerant Turfgrass
2,4-D2,4-D Amine,

Weedar 64, and others

See labelKentucky bluegrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, zoysiagrass
2,4-D + dicamba + MCPPTrimec, trimec Southern,

Triplet

Weed B Gone and others

See labelKentucky bluegrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass
carfentrazone, MCPA, MCPP, dicambaPowerzone 2-6 ptTall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, red or fine fescue
carfentrazone, 2,4-D, MCPP, dicambaSpeedzone2-5 ptKentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, colonial bentgrass, red or fine fescue, common bermudagrass, hybrid bermudagrass, zoysiagrass
imazaquinImage8.6-11.4 ozbermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass
metsulfuronManor, Blade and others0.33-1.0 ozKentucky bluegrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass
glyphosateRoundup Pro, Touchdown and others0.75 ptbermudagrass (dormant)

 

Winter is a good time to control Chinese privet and climbing fern

Privet - James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org
Privet – James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org

Information taken from this article in the Thomas County Ag News

Chinese privet (also called privet) is an invasive weed that escaped from cultivation. It is often found in landscapes and around old homesites, edges of fields and in low areas. According to Dr David Dickens, UGA Extension Forester, this time of the year, a foliar treatment is a good option to control privet.

Basal treatments of privet (spraying the stems) can be difficult because of the large number of branches. Dr Dicken’s says that dormant-season foliar sprays with 3-5% glyphosate provide effective control. Concentrations greater than 5% are not economical.

Take care to keep the spray off the foliage and young green bark of desirable plants. Since  many plants are dormant at this time of year, there should be less effect on non-target plants.

Privet seeds are only viable for one year so in areas where they continues to germinate, the seeds are being introduced by birds or other means.

Climbing fern - Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
Climbing fern – Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org

UGA Extension Forester, Dave Moorhead, points out that this 3 – 5 % glyphosate spray will also work in controlling another invasive weed – climbing fern.

See the original article here for more information.

Read and follow all labeling directions when using any pesticide!

Georgia Peas, Please

Even though we are all in frozen shock with frigid winter temperatures, we are happy to report that there is garden work to do.  Peas are a cool-season crop and it is almost time to plant them.  Garden peas, snap peas, and snow peas all go in to the ground about the same time.  Garden peas are also called English peas and require shelling as only the pea seeds are eaten.  Snap peas are relatively new to the vegetable garden and the entire pea pod with seeds is eaten.  Snow peas do not develop large pea seeds and the pods are often used in stir-fry dishes.

Photo courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg - Twig Trellis
Photo courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg – Twig Trellis

Peas require full sun and most of them require some type of trellis.  The trellis is helpful to support the pea vines and to keep the pods off the ground to help prevent rot.   Some pea varieties are short, only 2-3 feet tall, while others can have vines as long as six feet.   Read your seed package well to know what to expect.  For a community garden plot, the easiest way to manage this crop is to put the trellis at one plot end and use the other space for additional cool-season vegetables.  (See UGA’s Vegetable Planting Chart for some ideas.)  Some gardeners use tomato cages they already have on hand.  In colonial times, tree branches were put in the ground as small twig trellises.  Some people prefer to just have a pea patch.

Start with well drained soil having a pH of  6.0-6.8.  Forward thinking gardeners get their pea beds ready in the Fall so that all that is needed is the planting.  The seeds should be planted 1 inch deep and 1-2 inches apart.  Peas work with bacteria in the soil to “fix” nitrogen.  This process take a while and it could be advantageous to use nitrogen-fixing soil inoculant just before planting.  You may want to split this purchase with other gardeners as the inoculants usually have an annual expiration date.   The inoculants are available through many seed companies; check your seed catalogs.

Literature says to plant peas as soon as the soil can be worked.  For the Southern gardener this is misleading as our soil can often be worked all year long.  The trick is to plant the seeds when the soil is warm enough for germination and the plant will grow and produce the vegetable before the weather gets too warm.  If seeds sit in very cold, wet soil for long they may rot.  Pea vines are more resistant to freezing than the pods.  This is helpful as the vines will develop first.  Timing is everything!

Soil temperatures need to be at least 45 degrees F.  (Check out www.georgiaweather.net.)  The warmer the soil temperatures the faster the peas germinate.  You can use dark plastic mulch around the seeds to warm the soil a bit.  Pay attention to the days to maturity number on your seed package as this can help guide you in a planting date.  For Northern Georgia start checking the soil temperatures the last week of  January.  Have them planted before March 1st.

Peas are best eaten as soon as possible after they are picked so harvest often.  All types are delicious to snack on as you work in the garden!  Some recommended varieties of garden peas are Wando (which is somewhat heat tolerant) and Little Marvel, and Improved Maestro.  Wando and Little Marvel are favorites of many Master Gardeners.  Some gardeners choose not to trellis these types and just to have a pea patch.   If you are growing snap peas consider Sugar Snap or Sugar Daddy.  Snow pea gardeners enjoy growing the Norli variety.   Your UGA Extension Agent and Master Gardeners can give you information on other varieties of peas to try growing.

We close with a gardening wives’ tale – ” If a girl finds nine peas in a pod, the next bachelor she meets will become her husband.”

Happy Gardening!

Licensed pesticide applicator – do you ever wonder …

  1. Question 2When does my license expire? To find out, visit the GA Dept of Ag Licensing & Certification site. Information on all applicators is here.
  1. How many hours do I need for recertification? (Note that you should have earned all your hours by 90 days before license expiration!) Visit the GA Dept of Ag Licensing & Certification site.
  1. Is my address correct with the GA Department of Agriculture? If not – you may not receive your new license renewal! Visit the GA Dept of Ag Licensing & Certification site.
  1. Where can I earn more hours towards certification? Visit the GA Dept of Ag Licensing & Certification site and look halfway down the page.
  1. How much does it cost to be recertified? Visit the GA Dept of Ag pesticide faq site.
  1. Can I renew my license online? Visit the GA Dept of Ag online licensing site.

To get answers to other questions, visit the GA Dept of Ag pesticide faq site or contact them at  martha.loggins@agr.georgia.gov or call (404)-656-4958.

Success with Off-Season Sodding

SodClint Waltz, Extension Turfgrass Specialist, University of Georgia. This info is edited from a longer article which can be read here.

Dormant transplanting of trees and ornamentals in the Southeastern United States is a common practice. Warm-season turfgrass sod can also be successfully established during dormancy.

Recommendations for normal sodding also apply to off-season sodding.

  • Successful transplanting is highly dependent on healthy sod, which is difficult to determine when the sod is dormant or overseeded.
  • Rootzone preparation is critical for success. Loosen the soil to a depth of 6 inches by tilling before sodding.
  • During site preparation prior to turf establishment is the best time to take a soil sample to determine pH and nutrient needs. Correction of soil pH and soil nutrient deficiencies is more effective when lime and fertilizer are incorporated into the soil before sodding.
  • Next, level smooth and moisten the soil. The soil should be lightly watered, but not saturated. Ruts from foot traffic or equipment can occur when soils are too wet and are difficult to repair after the sod is laid.
  • To prevent drying and potential cold injury of roots, install sod within 48 hours after harvest. This also allows the radiant heat from the earth to offer the sod some protection from cold injury when compared to turf exposed to the elements on a pallet.
  • Sod should be laid tight and rolled to minimize creases. If creases are apparent after sodding, top dress the sod to fill low spots, conserve moisture and potentially retain heat near the soil surface.
  • For best survival, avoid winter desiccation and low temperature injury. Dessication can be a significant problem since the warm dry winds of late winter and early spring increase the demand for water, but the combination of low soil temperatures and a limited root system will reduce the plant’s ability to obtain water.
  • Direct low temperature injury can be a problem because the crowns, stolons and shallow rhizomes may be killed. Unfortunately, newly sodded turf lacks deep rhizomes and the expansive root system necessary to recover from winter stresses.

Research and practical experience has shown that warm-season turfgrasses may be successfully sodded during the off-season (October-April) when the grass is dormant or slowly growing. However, the cooler climates in and north of Atlanta may damage some turf species. More winter injury has been observed on zoysiagrass and centipedegrass as compared to bermudagrass sodded in the fall or winter.

  • Overseeding sod with ryegrass may reduce warm season turf vigor and quality. While overseeded turf may look appealing during the winter months, during the spring the more heat-tolerant perennial ryegrasses can compete with the warm-season turf for water, nutrients and light. This can cause a poor spring transition and delayed green-up of the warm-season species. This is more common in ryegrass that has been heavily fertilized in the spring.
  • To assist spring green-up and stimulate turfgrass growth, fertilize with 1.0 to 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet once night temperatures consistently reach the mid 60s F. Also to further encourage warm-season species growth, lower the mowing height. This practice opens the turfgrass canopy, allowing more sun to the permanent warm-season species while stressing the overseeded grass. Resume accepted maintenance practices once conditions are favorable for warm-season turfgrass growth.

In summary, successful sod transplanting depends on proper soil preparation, good soil-to-sod contact, avoiding low temperature injury, and most importantly – proper water management to prevent desiccation. For more information, see these resources or contact your local UGA Extension Office.

See the original article here which has more information

Lawns in Georgia