Monday, March 02, 2009

Free Advice for Home Gardeners

As families tighten their economic belts and search for ways to cut household budgets, one of the expenses some are choosing to cut is landscape service. Keeping a home landscape healthy and vibrant isn’t easy, but it is vital to maintaining home values.

Fear not. Help is available, and it’s free.

“All Georgiana have access to free information on home landscape management, lawn care and better management of household funds through their local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office,” said Tony Tyson, director of county operations for UGA Extension. “We have offices in 157 of Georgia’s 159 counties, but we offer services and free advice to everyone.”

Online, information is available at www.ugaextension.com. The site offers publications on a vast array of topics related to home landscaping.

By calling 1-800-ASK-UGA1, Georgians can reach their county UGA Extension agent for advice, workshops, soil testing, water testing and a variety of other services.

“One of the most valuable tools most counties have is our digital distance diagnostics service,” Tyson said. “You can take in a bug or a diseased plant sample and in short order the county agent can send digital images of it to specialists who can help diagnose the problem and suggest ways to treat it.”

UGA Extension offers Master Gardener classes for those who really want to learn the ins and outs of home gardening. You can find out when the next class is available in your area by calling the county UGA Extension office.

UGA Extension is the outreach division of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in partnership with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. They offer educational programs and materials related to agriculture, horticulture, families and consumer-related issues. They also offer education on youth development through the Georgia 4-H program.

“Our mission is to take the educational information generated through research at the university and deliver it to the people of Georgia who need it most,” Tyson said. “We aim to help Georgians live healthier, wealthier, more productive lives.”

Faith Peppers
University of Georgia

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