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!


Agriculture is the original STEM program.  Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - all found in a garden.  Contact your local UGA Cooperative Extension Agent if you need assistance connecting your school garden to STEM!

Recent Gardening Blog Posts

Mosquitoes in Your Georgia Garden

Photo from Fairview Health

Are you especially concerned about mosquitoes this summer as you work in your garden?  Do you wonder how to care for your bird baths so that your birds are happy but you are not creating a breeding pond for mosquitoes?  We had the opportunity to talk with University of Georgia’s mosquito specialist, Elmer Gray, and asked him for some research-based mosquito information. Mr. Gray started our conversation by stating the cool nights and dry weather that we have recently experienced have delayed mosquito season in Georgia.  This is good news.  However, as soon as the temperatures are consistently warm, here … Read more…

Serve Squash Year-Round – A Guest Post from Bob Westerfield

Squash plant

Bob Westerfield is a UGA horticulturalist and our go-to guy for vegetable production.  We are fortunate to have him as a guest blogger helping us with our squash crops this week.  Bob writes: To most Southern gardeners, fried yellow squash or grilled zucchini are staples on the table during the summer. Serving up homegrown winter squash in the fall is worthy of bragging rights. While normally easy to grow, the endless choice of varieties and numerous garden pests have made growing squash a little more challenging. Squash come in an endless assortment of shapes, sizes and colors. Choosing the right … Read more…

Food for a Thousand – A Garden of Community

St. Patricks 1

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church’s Food For a Thousand garden in Albany, Georgia is a true lesson in community.  Dedicated church parishioners and Dougherty County Master Gardener Extension volunteers (MGEVs) maintain this space and harvest the produce.  Dougherty County 4-H volunteers even lend a hand.  All of the produce is donated to two local food pantries and a rescue mission.   This is an impressive operation. The garden was originally envisioned by a UGA Master Gardener and the first shovel of dirt was turned  in 2013.  The gardeners said the first year was a learning year.  But, the gardeners learned quickly and … 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…

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


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…

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