Master Gardener

Georgia Master Gardener program seeks public input

Posted on
Friday, October 9, 2020

You may have relied on advice from a Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer in the past. Now they want your input to make plans for the future.

A number of novice gardeners, or gardeners who haven’t gotten their boots in the dirt recently, have reached out to Master Gardeners for recommendations during the pandemic. These new gardeners may also have tuned in to Master Gardener webinar presentations or connected via social media to stay engaged with other gardeners.

“People turn to plants and gardening because it makes them happy, it can provide a source of food, it gives them a sense of accomplishment and it’s something they can do alone or as a family,” explained State Master Gardener Coordinator Sheri Dorn, who is based at the University of Georgia Griffin campus.

The volunteer program, coordinated by UGA Cooperative Extension, reached its 40-year milestone in 2019. Now Dorn and other program organizers want public input as part of their comprehensive strategic planning process to shape the next decade.

“Citizen participation is critical to Extension,” said Dorn. “Plants and horticulture have been huge this year due to the pandemic, and people may not know that we have this unique volunteer program. People with enthusiasm for gardening can partner with us to increase their knowledge and also help others, so we’re looking for people who may be interested to give us input for future Master Gardener program development.”

UGA Cooperative Extension experts available to speak on the drought

Posted on
Saturday, November 19, 2016

After months of abnormally dry and warm conditions, 52 north Georgia counties are now facing water use restrictions in accordance with Gov. Nathan Deal’s Level 2 drought response designation. Fifty-eight other counties are being required to implement Level 1 drought responses.

Homeowners and businesses in the affected counties must limit their landscape irrigation to two days a week. Even-numbered addresses and properties without numbered addresses may water on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursdays and Sundays, also between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m.

The Level 2 drought response also calls for homeowners and business owners to refrain from washing hard surfaces, such as streets and sidewalks; washing cars at home or for fundraisers; noncommercial pressure washing; using fountains or water features; and using fire hydrants for any reason except for firefighting and public safety.

Irrigation of newly installed turf or landscape plants or vegetable gardens; irrigation at commercial nurseries, parks, sports fields and golf courses; hand-watering; and irrigation with drip or soaker hoses are exempt from these regulations, as these are considered agricultural water uses.

UGA horticulture experts talk National Gardening Week, June 5-11

Posted on
Thursday, June 2, 2016

With National Gardening Week coming up on June 5-11 and National Gardening Day falling on June 6, the University of Georgia has horticulture experts ready with fresh-from-the-garden advice.

The horticulture faculty members work daily with growers ranging from home gardeners to commercial nurseries to small organic farm owners and everyone in between. The "green industry," as they call it, of flowers, shrubs, trees and vegetables is big business, especially with spring in full swing. We've compiled what the faculty have to say about the importance of gardening.

Paul Thomas, professor of horticulture, on how children learn through gardening:
"When you have a young person involved in gardening, they start learning about insects; they start learning about weather; they start learning about how people interact with plant materials and with other things that are living in the garden. And I just think it broadens all kinds of horizons and opens up a lot of doors to other lines of inquiry.

"Gardening activities really help young people look at the world, see how things grow, give them the feeling of the fact that they can grow something and make something flower or perhaps make a tomato have a fruit, for example."