Monday, July 29, 2013

Upcoming Class: Seeding Fescue Lawns

Seeding Fescue Lawns

Tuesday, Aug.20 
From 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

At the Cobb County Cooperative Extension office, second floor classroom, 678 South Cobb Drive, Marietta, 30060.

Neil Tarver, UGA’s Horticulture Agent for Cobb County, will discuss ground preparation, fescue varieties, installation of seed and sod, fertilizer, lime, watering, and weed control.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Free and open to the public, but please preregister by calling 770-528-4070.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Brown Patches in the Lawn

This year's rainy spring and early summer (with the potential for yet more rain in the upcoming week) has been a great boost to fungal diseases in area lawns. One fungus in particular that can mar the green expanse that so many homeowners have worked hard to achieve is Rhizoctonia solani, which causes the disease called Brown Patch. The Rhizoctonia fungus thrives in warm, wet conditions.

In the recent Georgia FACES article "Too Much Moisture Can Bring Brown Patch Disease to Lawns," Extension Agent Paul Pugliese explains the disease's appearance:
"Circular patches of dead grass that range from a few inches to several feet in diameter occur during periods of high humidity and warm temperatures (75ºF to 85ºF)...Brown areas of dead grass are surrounded by a reddish-brown or purplish halo. After two to three weeks, the center area of the brown grass may recover and turn green, resulting in a doughnut shape of dead brown grass."
Pugliese also offers advice for improving the health of the lawn to help it resist attack by this and other plant diseases:
  1. Don't apply excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizers.
  2. Water early in the morning to allow grass foliage to dry before nightfall.
  3. Mow the lawn slightly higher than normal during periods of excessively high heat conditions.
  4. Avoid or remove excess thatch from the lawn.
  5. Mow your lawn often enough that no more than one-third of the grass height is removed in a single mowing. 
 For a fuller explanation of how to control the Brown Fatch fungus in lawns, see the complete article at this link.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Upcoming Events

Planning the Fall Vegetable Garden
Tuesday, July 23, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  Learn what can be planted for fall crops, when to plant those crops, and how to find the space in a garden still crowded with summer vegetables. Taught by Cooperative Extension horticulture staff member Amy Whitney. Free, but please preregister by calling 770-528-4070.

Canning Class: Pressure Canning
Wednesday, July 31, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Hands-on canning class for low-acid vegetables, soups, and meat products, taught by Cobb County Cooperative Extension's Family and Consumer Sciences agent Cindee Sweda. Class will be at 678 South Cobb Drive, Marietta, GA, 30060. Cost is $10, payable in cash, check (made out to Cobb County 4-h Club), or money order. Preregistration is required. Call 770-528-4070 for additional information.

Native Shrubs for the Garden
Tuesday, August 20, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. Presented by Ellen Honeycutt, past president of the Georgia Native Plant Society, as part of the ongoing Gardeners Night Out presentation series of Cobb County Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County, at East Cobb Regional Library (old Parkair Mall site), 4880 Lower Roswell Rd. Marietta.

ALSO, come meet Cooperative Extension staff and some of our Master Gardener Volunteers at the Marietta Square Farmer’s Market, the last Saturday of each month through October. We will be there on July 27, August 31, September 28, and October 26 to answer questions on canning, food preservation, and gardening. You are welcome to bring sick plants (or large pieces of them) for help with diagnosis and treatment options, and bring bugs for identification.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A "Good Year" for Mosquitoes

Last week's deluge was just the frosting on the cake for local mosquito populations, which have become increasingly annoying as the summer has progressed. However, reducing those populations to less pesky proportions is something we can all work toward.

UGA's June 25 Georgia FACES newsletter article by William Tyson, "Recent Rains have Increased Mosquito Populations,"  offers some suggestions for reducing mosquito breeding-grounds around our homes, reminding us all that mosquitoes will reproduce quite successfully in very small puddles that are less than an inch deep. He says,
"Look for and empty clogged gutters, leaf-filled drains, drain outlets from air-conditioners, plastic wading pools, dog dishes, soft drink cans, plastic bags, old tires, birdbaths and potted plant saucers. Even tire ruts, rotting stumps, old tree holes and puddles also need to be addressed. The goal is to eliminate as many sources of standing water as possible."
If water is in a place that can't be drained, or that needs to have water  in it (birdath, for example), he suggests using "Mosquito Dunks" to control the insects in their larval stage (when they are little "wigglers" in the water). The dunks are safe for use around birds and mammals, and they can last for several weeks before needing to be replaced.

Cutting back on their breeding grounds around your own home is usually only a partial solution, because the adult mosquitoes can fly in from other yards and will hang out on tall grass and in the shrubbery. Tyson suggests keeping the lawn mowed and shrubs trimmed to reduce the hiding places for these adult mosquitoes. He also offers a list of pesticides that are effective and safe to use around the home, and a detailed list of places to look for small puddles that might need to be drained. For the complete article, follow the link here.

UGA offers an additional publication on Stinging and Biting Pests that might be in or around the yard. The publication includes photos that can help in identification of the pests and information about eliminating them from your yard.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Landscape Training for Professionals -- Green University in Paulding County

UGA's Center for Urban Agriculture and Paulding County Cooperative Extension are offering training - with credits - at a Green University for landscape professionals in July.

The training will take place on Tuesday, July 16, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Paulding Campus of Chattahoochee Tech, Building B, Room 108B, 400 Nathan Dean Blvd., Dallas, GA.

The sessions:

  • Welcome & Extension Updates (Mary Carol Sheffield)
  • Safety Considerations for Landscape Professionals (Rolando Orella)
  • Is your spray program effective? IPM Landscape Scouting (Todd Hurt)
  • Effects of Phenoxy Herbicides on Landscape Trees & Shrubs (Paul Pugliese)
  • Application of Pesticides - Did the pesticide not work or did the coverage stink? (Keith Mickler)

Registration fee is $25 and cost includes lunch. Preregistration is required before noon on Monday, July 15.
Register online, or pay with a check using the form on page two of this information link.

Credit hours offered:

  • Commercial pesticide credit - 5 hours in categories 21, 23, 24 & 27
  • ISA Certified Arborist - 5 hours
For additional information email or call the Paulding County Cooperative Extension office at 770-443-7616.