Pesticide Waste Collection (Clean Day) Event

The Georgia Dept. of Agriculture will host a Pesticide Waste Collection (Clean Day) event on September 30, 2106 at the Cordele State Farmers Market in Crisp County from 9:00am to 3:00pm. The Georgia Department of Agriculture is excited to have the funding to support this excellent program as a benefit to all Georgia citizens and the environment. The collection day is open to all who would like to participate.  Due to collection limits, pre-registration is required and must be completed by September 26, 2016.  Additional information and registration forms can be found online at

Don’t leave pesticide waste sitting around in storage waiting for an accident or spill to happen, take advantage of this rare opportunity to dispose of pesticide waste safely and responsibly.

For more information, please contact:

Rick Hayes
Georgia Department of Agriculture
19 MLK Jr. Dr. Room 410
Atlanta, Ga. 30334
Office: 404-656-4958 Ext. 4113

Related Post:

Disposing of Excess Pesticides in a Safe Manner

Zika Virus and Outdoor Workers: Include Insect Repellent on your list of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Inherently, agricultural and outdoor workers experience a greater risk of mosquito bites that can vector illnesses such as chikungunya, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, and Zika virus disease.  The CDC and EPA recommend using EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol to protect workers against these infections. Fact sheets and posters have been released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) outlining the Zika virus to promote education and communication regarding practices to reduce worker exposure.

Read more

Get updated on fire ant baiting

Get updated on fire ant baiting

Article written by Mike Merchant, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Entomologist, in his blog Insects in the City

Fire ants remain the most prevalent outdoor ant pest in most areas of the southern U.S.  Throughout the U.S. we estimate the annual cost of fire ant control at over $6 billion.  But the cost of this pest goes far beyond measurable dollars.  Fire ants reduce the recreational value of our parks and backyards, disrupt wildlife populations, and send thousands to emergency rooms each year from their painful stings.

So as we get ready to enter fire ant season, it may be a good time to bring yourself and your staff up to speed on fire ant control. Many people are surprised to learn that fire ants are not an especially difficult pest to manage, once the biology and control tools are understood.

One of the best places to learn about fire ant management is the eXtension fire ant website, a place where the best information about fire ant is assembled by Extension agencies throughout the South. This information was recently summarized and presented in an informative webinar by Dr. Fudd Graham, fire ant specialist with Auburn University.   Dr. Graham focuses on fire ant biology and use of baits for fire ant control.

It’s worth knowing something about how fire ant baits work because they are the most economical, ecologically friendly, and effective control methods for fire ants. The webinar will provide you or your technician with an hour of training that should pay for itself many times over.


Mike Merchant is an entomology specialist for Texas AgriLife Extension. He works with pest management professionals, school facilities managers, extension volunteers, researchers and other extension professionals. His areas of specialty center on research on insects affecting man including spiders, scorpions, fire ants, termites and others. His program also focuses on training school maintenance professionals in principles of integrated pest management (IPM). His goal is to make schools healthier, cleaner places to study and live.

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.

Southern Nursery Association Research Conference Proceedings Now Available

SNA 2014 logo 22014 SNA Research Conference Proceedings Now Available 
The Proceedings of the 59th Annual SNA Research Conference are now available on the SNA website. Proceedings from 1991 to 2014 (2,986 titles comprised of 11,880 pages) are available in Portable Document Format (PDF) for downloading and viewing or printing. See list and links for each year’s proceedings.

For a complete list of proceedings (1991 – 2014) go to

For the 2014 SNA Research Conference Proceedings go to

READ MORE about the SNA Research Conference.

Take a look … there’s a lot of useful information!

New UGA Facebook page for nursery growers

Nursery facebook pageDr. Matthew Chappell, UGA Nursery Specialist, has started a Facebook page for nursery producers.  Interested readers can “like” the page for timely information. This is the Facebook page description:

Here you will find updates on events, research, news and occasionally gossip related to commercial nursery production in GA and other states across the southeast.

To find the page visit Facebook page for nursery producers.

‘Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast’ book helps with selection and care

Conifers are among the most beautiful and versatile of all landscape plants, offering year-round variety of color, form, and texture. They remain underutilized in the South, in part because of the common misconception that they are not adaptable to the climate. Laying such claims to rest, this book introduces readers to conifers that grow successfully in southern landscapes.

Gardeners in the South traditionally have relied on the mass of spectacular spring blooms as the mainstay of their landscapes. However, with the addition of conifers or cultivars of the genus ginkgo, homeowners can enjoy twelve months of low maintenance color. Tom Cox and John Ruter present a variety of conifers that grow from Virginia to Florida to Texas. They provide tips on growing, pruning, preventing disease and pest problems, and on proper selection and cultivation requirements–all unique to the Southeast.

In short, this guide includes essential information about what to buy, where to plant it, and how to maintain it. It also offers advice on what to expect from mature conifers and ginkgo while suggesting genera and species that have proved adaptable and cultivars that have performed well in the southeastern United States. Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast is a compilation of years of research and horticulture experience that will aid anyone, whether novice or professional, in creating beautiful year-round landscapes.

Comments on Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast

“Landscape selection of conifers and their cultivars for the Southeastern U.S. is now made easier. This is a guide every conifer-seeking gardener and landscaper in the region will want to consult. “–Ronald W. Lance, author of Woody Plants of the Southeastern United States: A Winter Guide

“Bravo! We finally have a reference suitable for conifer enthusiasts in the southern United States that explores not just the common conifers found in nurseries and landscapes but also introduces a plethora of species and varieties rarely encountered in the South and deserving greater use. “–Dave Creech, Director, Stephen F. Austin Gardens

“A good guide to what conifers may be used in the home landscape and any requirements necessary for their success.”–Don Howse, Porterhowse Farms


Tom Cox, past president of the American Conifer Society, is the founder and owner of Cox Arboretum and Gardens in Canton, Georgia.

John M. Ruter, Allan M. Armitage Endowed Professor of Horticulture at The University of Georgia, is a teacher, ornamental plant breeder, and has authored or coauthored over 400 publications and two books.

For more information see this article.

Preparing Nursery Plants for Winter in the Southeastern United States

A new publication from UGA and other southeastern universities equips nursery workers (and others) to protect container and dug plants from freezing temperatures. The publication explains winter acclimatization and how cultural practices (pruning, watering, fertilization, etc.) can impact cold hardiness. The publication also discusses the types of winter injury and methods to protect plants from winter temperatures.

Find the publication online here.

The following is a brief list of some of the Strategies and Techniques to Protect Plants

  1. Push pots together in large blocks.
    1. Wrap outside edge of plants with microfoam, spunbond nonwoven polyester material, or pine straw bales to protect from wind. No protection on inside containers.
    2. Mulch in and around plants on the inside of the block using:
      i. Newspaperwinter protection
      ii. Pine straw, hay, or some other grain
      iii. Leaves or other composted material
    3. Cover blocks of plants with microfoam or spunbond nonwoven polyester fabric.
      i. Cover fabric with white polyethylene.
      ii. Use mulches under the fabric.
  2. Overwinter plants inside a quonset-style greenhouse or similar structure.
    1. Place single-layer white poly cover on house.
      i. Push plants close together with no further protection.
      ii. Cover plants inside structure with microfoam or spunbond nonwoven polyester.
      iii. Heal plants in with mulch.
    2. Place double-layer white poly cover on house with inflator fan to create an insulating dead-air space between plastic covers.
      i. Also cover plants with microfoam or spunbond nonwoven polyester.
      ii. Provide an independent heat source inside the house:

      1. Portable forced-air heater that runs on fuel or electricity
      2. Permanent propane, electric, or wood-fired heater

Note: Organization of ideas based on Dunwell and McNeill, 2009.

New online book joins the IPM series

IPM bookMatthew Chappell, Associate Professor UGA & Statewide Extension Specialist (Nursery Crops)

The book IPM for Shrubs in Southeastern US Nursery Production Volume 1 is now available via iBooks for viewing on an iPad at the link below and as pdf files for viewing on a laptop, desktop, and most mobile devices at the link below that.

IPM Select Shrubs: Vol. I


Also, our previous book, IPM for Select Deciduous Trees in Southeastern US Nursery Production, is also available in iBooks for viewing on an iPad at the link below and as pdf files for viewing on a laptop, desktop, and most mobile devices at the link below that.

IPM Select Trees

We will be publishing 4 more volumes of the shrub book over the next few years, with each book covering 4-7 genera of woody ornamentals.

What is the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Program?

GCLP_371-150x157Taken from this page.

What is the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Program?

The Georgia Certified Landscape Professional (GCLP) program is a voluntary testing program that certifies those in the landscape profession who have mastered a thorough knowledge and understanding of job skills required to be successful in the industry.

The test consists of four written components and eight hands-on components. Applicants are provided a 400+ page printed study manual and access to a internet study site developed by the University of Georgia.

The GCLP program  is endorsed by the Georgia Green Industry Association, the Georgia Turfgrass Association, the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association and officially recognizd by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Written exam components include:

  • A multiple-choice test based on the study manual.
  • A plan reading skill test that requires participants to read and interpret a landscape plan, to answer questions pertaining to the plan, and to make calculations, such as square foot areas, plant quantities per area, etc.
  • A test on common insect, disease and environmental problems. Participants must identify 25 samples (photos or actual specimens).
  • A plant identification test that requires participants to identify fifty plant samples from a list of over 270 provided. Actual samples of trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, herbaceous perennials, annuals, weeds and turfgrasses will be placed on tables for ID.

Hands-on evaluations include:

  • Plan Lay-out: The participant will be given a planting plan and will be required to arrange containerized plants within a given are according to the plan.
  • Tree Planting and Staking: The participant must plant a tree according to specifications provided and show how to install a staking system.
  • Grading and Drainage: The participant must read a topographical map and demonstrate how to contour the grade of a site in a 10 ft. x 10 ft. sand box.
  • Pruning: The participant will show where and how to make pruning cuts and how to prune selected trees and shrubs.
  • Sod Installation: The participant must demonstrate the correct technique for laying sod in a given area.
  • Irrigation Management:  The participant must identify the components of a conventional and low volume landscape irrigation system and demonstrate knowledge of proper operation.
  • Pesticide Application: The participant will demonstrate how to mix and apply pesticides properly and will discuss appropriate clothing to wear during pesticide application. He/she must also be prepared to discuss handling and disposal techniques.
  • Equipment Operation: The participant will discuss routine maintenance practices and proper operation of power equipment.

The written and hands-on exams are offered at least twice a year. The written components are given at the annual conference of the Georgia Green Industry Association in January and in the Atlanta area in August. The hands-on components are given spring and fall at the UGA Research and Education Gardens in Griffin.

15 hours of Continuing Education Units are required every three years to remain certified.

For information about testing dates and locations and testing fees, contact Kimberly Allen with the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture at 770-233-6107; e-mail