ShadyGardens Blog

March 4, 2009

Master Gardener Day in Georgia

Filed under: class, county, extension service, gardening, Georgia, Master Gardener, program, volunteer — shadygardens @ 4:23 pm
Master Gardener Day in Georgia is March 21, 2009. All over the state of Georgia, Master Gardeners will be celebrating the day by doing what we do best–gardening for our communities.

Many do not realize what a Master Gardener actually is. Master Gardeners are volunteers who perform a wide variety of garden-related tasks in their communities. Some help in the office, taking calls and answering questions about local garden topics. Others work closely with children in the Junior Master Gardener program. While others actually get down and get their hands dirty planting gardens in and for the community. Whether it be an ornamental garden on the town square or a vegetable garden for the needy, Master Gardeners are always around to help.

Trained by professionals provided from the University of Georgia and the local County Extension Office, Master Gardeners are a knowledgeable group of people.

If you’d like to get involved in the Master Gardener program, please contact your local County Extension Office to find out when the next course will be offered.

December 7, 2008

Master Gardener Class Offered in Troup County, Georgia

Master Gardener Class for 2009

Do you want to learn more about how to make your garden grow, identify plants, and meet other people who are also interested in gardening? If so, applications are now being taken for the 2009 Master Gardener Class in Troup County. The class is open to residents of Troup, Harris, Heard, Meriwether, Muscogee and Coweta Counties in Georgia and also Lee, Chambers and Randolph Counties in Alabama.

Gardeners receive training in a variety of areas such as landscape design, soil and plant nutrition, plant physiology, turf grass maintenance and other related topics. Those participating will then volunteer to assist the local County Agents and local gardeners to answer their gardening questions and participate in special gardening projects with other Master Gardeners.

The classes are taught by professionals in their field, University professors and other well qualified individuals.

Classes will be held at the Troup County Agriculture Center, 21 Vulcan Materials Road, LaGrange and will meet from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from January 27 through April 2, 2009. Cost for the program is $125.00 and includes the textbook, all classroom materials, a name badge and certificate. A minimum of $75.00 is required with the application.

In the first year following completion of the course, class members are required to contribute 50 hours of volunteer time in the Community and to the Extension Service to receive their certification as a Master Gardener. To retain certification, 25 hours of volunteer service are required each year. For an application or more information, call the Troup County Extension Service at 706-883-1675 or stop in at the Extension Office, Suite 2200 in the County Government Center at 200 Ridley Avenue, LaGrange. Applications must be received in the office by December 15, 2008.

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January 24, 2008

Rain Barrel: Save Water for Future Drought!

Well, we went from no rain in sight with creeks drying up all over the place to large amounts of rain every few days! Wow! It just goes to show you we can never underestimate the power of prayer! The fact that rain is sometimes plentiful and then scarce again has prompted many gardeners to devise methods of saving that precious water for hard times. One method of rain collection that is becoming more popular is the rain barrel. I’ve seen numerous methods of building such a collection system, some quite expensive. One thing we in Georgia must consider is mosquito control, but safety is an important concern as well—it must be impossible for children and small animals to get into the barrel which would contain perhaps several feet of water. In addition to holding down costs on your water bill, it is wise to conserve and protect our most important resource—water. Ready made Rain Barrels can be purchased, or you can build one yourself. The photo above shows how attractive a rain barrel can look, while conserving water at the same time. Walter Reeves has 2 different methods of building a rain barrel online at http://www.walterreeves.com/how_to/article.phtml?cat=26&id=1005. If building a rain barrel is a matter that interests you, and you live near Troup County, Georgia, you’ll want to attend the upcoming Watersmart Program sponsored by the Troup County Extension Service in February. The Watersmart Program is an instructional program presenting many different water smart ideas for homeowners. During this program, Jennifer Davidson will demonstrate how to build a rainbarrel. A very small fee will be charged for the program which will be at the Troup County Agricultural Center at 10 am on February 8, 2008. To register, please call the Troup County Extension Service at 706-883-1675.

January 14, 2008

January Ideas for Georgia Gardens

Filed under: compost, extension service, garden, Georgia, mailorder, old-fashioned, sample, seed, seeds, soil, source, test, testing — shadygardens @ 6:22 pm

Even in mid-winter, there are many things you can do in the garden to enjoy those sporadic warm days we often have during January and February here in Georgia. Any time is a great time to improve your soil, but now would be ideal since you probably aren’t doing much planting. Soil amendments can be anything from homemade compost, composted manure, mushroom compost, or purchased soil conditioner. Do you ever wish you had some of those old-fashioned plants like your grandmother used to grow? Well, now is also a great time to order seeds. Order seeds of Nicotiana, Cleome, and other summer flowering favorites now, so you’ll have them ready when it’s time to plant. There are many mailorder seed catalogs, but I have found seeds from the following to always be fresh and reliable:

Winter is also a good time to have your soil tested. Soil tests can be purchased at most home & garden stores, but a more accurate result can be obtained from your local county extension service. In addition to more detailed and reliable soil nutrition levels, the report from the extension service will tell you exactly what you need to add to make your soil better! For complete instructions on soil testing, you can view the online publication:

http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/C896.htm or just drop by your local County Extension Office to pick up a soil testing bag with instructions. You’ll be charged a small fee when you take your soil sample back to the office where it will be sent to your state university for testing.

However you decide to spend the rest of your winter, I hope you’ll enjoy those nice days and take a walk through your garden as you dream of how much more beautiful it will be this year with regular rain. (I’m optimistic!)

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