Community and School Gardening in Georgia

Helping Community and School Gardeners Succeed!

This gardening blog is put together by Becky Griffin, Extension Community and School Garden Coordinator. It is designed to help community and school gardeners succeed by connecting them to UGA Extension and other research-based resources.  Here you will also find links to school gardener teacher training events and information on the 2016 Pollinator Spaces Project.

Visit often, you will learn something each time!


Recent Gardening Blog Posts

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…

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…

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 Seed Catalogs are Here!

The Seed Catalogs Are Here

It is a great time of year for gardeners.  The seed catalogs are starting to arrive in our mailboxes.  What a thrill to open the mailbox and see the hint of one of the beautiful catalog covers.  These catalogs are mesmerizing.   The photos are works of art and the vegetable descriptions are literature. Garden Catalog Tips We have asked Robert Westerfield,  UGA vegetable specialist, to give us a few tips on navigating our way through these catalogs and all of the vegetable choices. Tip #1  If you are gardening for high yields or dependable results, use recommended varieties for … Read more…

Rodents and Your Community or School Garden

Rodents and Your Community or School Garden

One of the beautiful things about all types of gardens is the opportunity to see wildlife – birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, lizards – all types of wildlife.  A garden is truly an outdoor classroom.  Many school and community gardeners work towards having their gardens become certified wildlife habitats. Sadly, sometimes school or community vegetable gardens get blamed for harboring undesirable wildlife, like rodents.  This can be a real problem for the gardeners. Is the vegetable garden really the problem? Wildlife need food, water, and shelter.  Those things can be found in a garden, near a dumpster, or in buildings.  A … Read more…

The Tamper – A Great Gift for the Georgia Gardener

The Tamper - A Great Gift for the Georgia Gardener

The Garden Tamper It is gift-giving season and we want to share a useful gift that is easy to construct with scrap wood. We have mentioned using a tamper in several other blog posts.  It is a very useful tool to ensure good seed-to-soil contact when working with small seeds like spinach, lettuce, carrots, and collards.  The weight of the tamper is all that is needed to compress the soil slightly. I was first introduced to this tool by Jim Hall, a Cherokee County Master Gardener.  He guaranteed a higher germination rate of small seeds by just using the tamper! … Read more…

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