“The Vegetable Gardening seminar is really geared more toward beginners, folks that want to get into growing their own fruits and vegetables,” Pugliese said. “We’ll kind of give them the basic tools that they need to have a successful garden planting. That will cover everything from soil testing, getting your soil fertility right, planting as far as when is the right time to plant [and] recommended varieties of vegetables for Georgia. We’ll talk about the basics as far as maintaining that garden, everything from irrigation to controlling weeds and basic pest problems.
“Really, it’s more of an introductory class. The participants will also go home with a publication from the University of Georgia that talks about organic vegetable gardening specifically that they can use as a reference and again, we’re just trying to get them started and also let them know that we’re here as a resource. If they have any questions or problems during the growing season, they can call the Extension Office. They can ask to speak with a Master Gardener volunteer and we’ll be glad to help them troubleshoot or work with them to help fix any problems they might be having with their gardens.”
Since gardening is a learning process, Stokes said the seminar will be an ideal opportunity for beginners to gain tips from more experienced green thumbs.
“You [are going to make less] mistakes if you learn from somebody that’s done it in the past,” he said. “I’m 68 years old and I learned from my aunt when I was just a young boy and you learn a lot of things as you go.
“Of course, you learn a lot more by making the mistakes yourself. But if you can eliminate some of those mistakes by listening to somebody that’s done this or had some exposure to it, then your chances of growing a garden are a lot better.”
The Vegetable Gardening class is the second offering in the 2013 Bartow Lawn & Garden seminar series. Other programs will include:
• How to Build a Rain Barrel, April 6 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.;
• Top 10 Tree and Landscape Mistakes, April 9 from 6 to 6:45 p.m.
• Home Food Preservation Tips, April 9 from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m.
• Container Gardening, May 7 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Making a Hypertufa Pot, May 11 from 10 a.m. to noon, $15 materials fee
• Home Lawn Care, June 4 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Composting and Vermiculture, Aug. 6 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Holiday Wreath Making Workshop for Kids, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon, $15 materials fee
• Holiday Wreath Making Workshop for Adults, Nov. 16 from 1 to 3 p.m., $15 materials fee.
“The Lawn & Garden Seminars, our purpose is twofold,” Pugliese said. “One, to educate folks about how to do their own gardening and lawn and landscape care. If they want to do that themselves, we can give them the knowledge and the tools to be able to do that. We’re kind of a unique service as far as the information that we provide. You know it’s going to be good, reputable information because it’s coming from the University of Georgia and that’s a research-based, science-based institution that is not just some website that’s floating around that you don’t know what kind of information you’re going to get as far as gardening. You know you’re getting good information from us.
“Then the other side of that too is just exposing people to the basic services that we provide through our office, such as soil testing, water testing and insect and disease diagnostics and troubleshooting problems in the lawns and landscapes. And again, a lot of folks know [about] what we do as far as helping farmers, and most of our farmers utilize those basic services, but a lot of folks don’t realize — ‘Oh, those same services can work in my own backyard.’”
Prior to attending the seminars, those interested are urged to pre-register by calling the Bartow County Cooperative Extension — 320 W. Cherokee Ave., Room 112, Cartersville — at 770-387-5142 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.caes.uga.edu/extension/bartow.