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Mission statement of Master Gardeners
To assist the extension agency in providing unbiased horticultural information through volunteer work, community service, and educational gardening projects using applied research and resources through UGA.
What is Cooperative Extension
Provides outreach to the average citizen and works to disseminate the latest information and research.
Qualities of a good leader
Interpersonal influence process in a situation in which the leader attempts to gain group support to achieve a specified goal. Has the following attributes ; intelligence, cooperativeness, consideration, fellowship and faith in himself and others.
Tips to communicate effectively
Communicate key learning effectively, process, barriers, tips and skills.
Identify keys to good writing
Be mindful of the average sentence length and do not use hard words. Make it understandable and interesting. If necessary, use computer for word processing software.
Common reasons pests enjoy homes
They find conditions that promote their survival and production. They also find food for themselves.
How to reactively manage home pests
Accurately identify. Seal doors and windows well, making it difficult for pests to penetrate.
Store bought pests
Locate source of problem, discard all infested products, clean out area thoroughly. To control – keep all products prone to pests sealed completely in containers.
Fire ant control
Two steps – broadcast fire ant bait over entire lawn. Always use fresh bait and clean spreader. Then treat individual mounds. Treat in late afternoon when no rain is predicted.
Least toxic method to control ants
Boiling water on mounds. Dust applied to mounds then light watering.
Identify the name of the new invasive ant in South Georgia
The Tawny Crazy Ant ( Nylanderia fulva) is found predominantly in Texas. However, it has spread to MS, LA, FL, and now S. GA. It was first seen (and identified) in an assisted living facility in South Georgia in September of 2013 where 2 inch high drifts of dead ants were found in corners and near baseboards. Can be attracted to electrical boxes.
Describe the Texas Two Step
To control fire ants, use this two step method:
1. Broadcast granular bait over entire yard in late afternoon when no rain is expected and while ants are foraging.
2. One week later, locate active mounds and treat each with one gallon of a liquid drench. This eliminates mounds within a few hours after application.
Common Georgia Cockroaches
- Smokybrown cockroach- found predominantly outdoors; considered the primary peridomestic cockroach pest in suburban neighborhoods. Live and breed outdoors, but may hitchhike indoors via shopping bags, drink cartons, used appliances, etc. Once inside may nest in moist dark areas—attics and crawlspaces for example.
- German cockroach- found normally in kitchens; prefer warm, dark cracks close to area where food is stored---under the stove or refrigerator, or next to garbage can, for example.
Bioitc/ abiotic plants and their problems
biotic- (caused by a pathogen) these are diseases caused by a live organism—parasite--that invades the host plant and interrupts the plant’s function. Parasites obtain nutrition at the expense of the host plant. Most only affect one species of host—or closely related species.
abiotic- (caused by environment) these are plant disorders that are caused by poor environmental conditions such as temperature, moisture, nutritional imbalances, chemical toxins such as herbicides or air pollution, and/or soil acidity or alkalinity
Pest (Disease) Triangle
3 factors must be present in order for a plant to be effected by a pathogen
a susceptible host—usually a stressed or injured plant
a parasitic organism—many are host specific
environmental conditions favorable to the pathogen and disease development such as wet foliage, high humidity, and poor air circulation
Therefore, disease management is based on the elimination or modification of one of these factors, such as breeding a disease resistant host, using chemicals to destroy the organism, or altering the environment.
Become a detective. Although diagnosing plant problems is difficult, the tables on pp. 264-270 provide a key for diagnosing some common problems of (common) landscape plants. It should help master gardeners ask the right questions in order to narrow down possibilities. Key not comprehensive and other resources are needed to aide in the diagnosis of specific plant problems.
Basically it says you need to know what the plant is, what problems are common to this plant, what plant looks like (wilting, yellow leaves, brown spots??). Then look at plants surrounding it, the environment around it, the light conditions, etc. Next take into account recent weather----wet or dry?, and if fertilizers or pesticides have been applied Ask client what he/she thinks problem is. What is condition of soil. Consider a soil test.Also remember in class she said most all problems she sees are abiotic---that is caused by environment---air, water, nutrient imbalance, or temperature stress. Planting too deep is another common problem.
Pathogenic causal agents
The major groups of plant pathogens are fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes (text p. 93- 98)
Fungi is a non-photosynthesizing multicellular organism that excretes cell-degrading enzymes and absorbs food. They produce the majority of all plant disease. Most produce spores and spread. Most are saprobes and are an essential part of most ecosystems—they decompose dead plant material. Some are beneficial but many (over 8,000 in GA) are parasitic. (text, p. 94)
Bacteria are single-celled microscopic organisms that can multiply rapidly by simple cell division to form colonies with millions of individuals. (p. 96)
Viruses are very small simples life forms that consist of genetic material (DNA sand RNA) encased in a protein capsule. Viruses take over a cell’s machinery to reproduce themselves. They must have a host to live and survive. They eventually infect the entire plant in the phloem and there is NO CURE for a virus infection. (p. 97)
Nematodes are microscopic worm-like animals that are found abundantly in all soils. Most are saprobes or predators and perform important ecological functions. Plant parasitic nematodes must have a live host plant in order to feed and survive. Most nematodes feed on the roots, resulting in root die-back and a gradual decline of the host. They are found in highest numbers in warm, porous soil that is moist but not saturated. (p. 98)
Phytoplasmas –are bacteria without cell walls; use sugar-rich phloem sap in which to live and interact with the host Also… more rarely… (class notes 1/12/16)
Parasitic plants- such as mistletoe-derive some or all of their nutritional requirements from another living plant. They have modified roots which penetrate the host plant. This connects them to the conductive system—either xylem or phloem or both.
How are bacterial diseases spread
How are bacterial diseases spread? Bacterial diseases are able to survive for years as groups of cells in a hibernation-like state in protected places on plant surfaces, in plant debris, on or in seed, or even on equipment. Once the warm, wet conditions that bacteria favor return, they resume growth and spread to new infection sites by wind-driven rain or water splash. If a susceptible plant is found and conditions remain favorable, the bacteria increase quickly to high numbers and move into the plant through natural openings or wounds. Their large numbers overwhelm the host’s defenses, causing cell death and disease. As more bacteria are produced within the plant, excess bacteria ooze out and are carried to other infection sites by wind driven rain, water splash, and in some cases by insects. Bacteria will continue to spread and cause disease as long as environmental conditions are suitable and the plant host is susceptible.
Cultural disease control strategies
Plant pathologists have developed procedures for breaking the life cycle of pathogens, lessening the harmful effects of plant disease. These include:
Exclusion- excluding or preventing the pathogen from entering the plant. Example—don’t use seed from diseased plants to grow same plant the next year. (pp. 99-100)
Eradication- remove or replace mulch from diseased plants, rotate plant so that it is not grown in same soil, plant a cover plant that reduces pathogen survival, also remove problem plants (p. 100)
Cultural practices that protect plants during the growing season – put right plant in right location, do not plant plants too deep, use proper irrigation, situate plants in open with good air movement, apply fertilizer when indicated by soil test, use mulch, incorporate organic material or install French drains to reduce risk of root rot or crown rot, rotate annuals, control insects and weeds, and apply fungicides and bactericides only as a last resort. (p. 101, p. 274, class notes 1/12/16)
There are over a million species of fungi. Most fungi are beneficial and are needed in the environment—for example for fermentation and decomposition. (class notes, 1/12/16) Most fungi produce spores as a means of spread and infection. Spores are produced in large numbers and most spread through air movement, but some are also spread by water, or even animals. A special group of fungi are only found in the soil and cause disease in roots, lower stems, or other plant parts that are in contact with the soil. Once inside the soil, the fungus produces mycelium that starts to feed on plant tissues creating cell death and disease symptoms. Eventually more spores are produced on the surface of the infection site. Environmental and host factors determine how extensive the infection becomes. (p. 96)
Characteristics of viral infections
Just like human viruses, plant viruses take over a cell’s machinery to reproduce themselves. They must have a live host to continue to survive. Viruses over-winter in perennial crops and weeds, sometimes in infected seed, or in the insect vector that spreads the viruses. Most can only infect a limited number of plant species while a few have a wide host range and can survive on many different plants. Viruses are spread by vectors, most commonly aphids, but also by whiteflies, thrips, leafhoppers, nematodes, and even beetles. (pp. 97-98)
Signs of plant infection –
Biotic (pathogen) patterns in diseased plants are random and spread over time (class notes 1/12/16)Signs of infected plants include symptoms such as yellowing leaves, plant wilt, stems that turn brown and soft, plant may be stunted, blisters containing orange, yellow, or brown powdery substance appear on underside of leaves, random brown dead spots on leaves, grayish mold on flowers, leaf galls, fine webbing on leaves, black sooty mold on leaves, etc. (charts in text, pp.264-270).
3 things necessary for disease to develop book pg 92
- 1- a susceptible host
- 2- a parasitic organism
- 3- environmental conditions favorable to the pathogen and disease development
Types of plant pathogens that spread disease book pg 93
Fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes
Describe benefits of deadheading book pg 170
It prevents the plants food reserves from being put into seed production rather than allowing new growth and flowers. It also prevents disease potential.
Define annual, perennial, biennial, and best time to plant each book pg 166
Annual is plant that completes its life cycle in a year or less. Plant mostly in the spring but there are hardy annuals and cool season annuals so follow the plant guide recommendations for planting.
Perennials are plants that do not die after flowering, but live 3 years are more. Plant according to the recommendations of the type of perennial you have chosen, but Sept is common for our area.
Biennial plants that complete their life cycle in two years or growing season. Depends on the plant for planting season.
Description and examples of winter annual, summer annual, perennials, biennials book pg 167
Winter annual is a plant that tolerates frost and some freezing. Example Delphinium, Larkspur, pansies and Sweet PeaSummer annual are plants that do well when the day time temperature is 80 to 90 degrees and the nights are 60 to 70 degrees.Examples are Marigold , Vinca and Zinnia
- Perennials – A hardy perennial is one that can survive the coldest George winter and the hottest summer too. Examples are Coral Bells, Daylily, and Gerbera Daisy. And there are tender perennials that can survive mild winters
- Biennials are plants that live two years. First year they produce their root, stem, and leaves which remain through the winter months. Second year their growth completes with the formation of flowers , fruit , seed and then the plants dies. Examples Hollyhock, beets and brussel sprouts.
Dig them up then pull or cut apart being careful not to cut the bulb.
Any plant that is growing where you want it can be a weed.
How to mechanically control weeds book pg 104
Hoeing, pulling, burning, digging or tilling are ways to remove weeds.
Purpose of controlling weeds
Weeds compete with plants for for nutrients, water and light.
They cause economic loss.
They are host for insects and disease.
Weeds can deface a well planned landscape.
Describe benefits and concerns for using the following: pre-emergent, post-emergent, contact and selective herbicides - Weed Science Pgs 108-109 and Pgs 12- 13 class presentation
. Pre-emergents: Benefits – 1) Control the weeds during the seed germination process – before they grow. 2) Our best line of defense since selective postemergence herbicide options are limited. 3) Persists in the soil for an extended control period (2 to 4 months). Concerns: 1) extended control period is a disadvantage if seeding, sprigging, sodding or other replanting activity is planned for the same site. These activities have a low level tolerance to most pre-emergents. 2) Weeds already emerged at time of application are not controlled by pre-emergents. 3) Limited application times - Fall (Sept 1 – Oct 15) and Spring (Mar 1 – 30).Post-Emergents: Benefits -1) Control perennial grass and broadleaf weeds that are not controlled by pre-emergents. 2) Little if any soil activity. 3) Flexible application time. 4) Spot treatment 5) Small containers 6) Fits well into IPM programs. Concerns: 1) Multiple applications are required throughout the year for a complete post-emergent chemical control program. 2) Avoid spray drift on windy days. 3) Do not apply dicamba mixtures over the root zone of ornamental trees and shrubs. .Contact Herbicide: Can be selective or non selective. Example Diquat (Reward) Benefits – 1) Affect only the green plant tissue contacted by the spray. 2) Kill quickly often within a few hours. Concerns: 1) Will not kill underground plant parts such as Bermuda grass rhizomes. 2) Adequate and thorough spray coverage is required to be effective. 3) Generally do not work well on perennial type weeds..Selective Herbicide: Example 2, 4-D. Benefits – 1) Controls one plant species without seriously impacting the growth of a different plant species. Concerns: Did not see any concerns listed in book or class presentation??
Average residential water use (increase in summer months) - Class presentation
.The average residential water use increases 30% to 50% in summer months when citizens turn on their outdoor irrigation systems
Gallons used in 1 hour usage (sprinklers, etc.) - Class presentation
One portable lawn sprinkler operating 1 hour uses 360 gallons of water
7 steps to Watersmart Landscaping
- Planning and Design
- Soil Analysis
- Appropriate Plant Selection
- Practical Turf Areas
- Efficient Irrigation
- Use of Mulches
- Appropriate Maintenance
Plants appropriate for low water zones
Examples are: Junipers, Crape Myrtle, Yaupon Holly, Oaks, Native AreasIt should be noted that even if the plant is appropriate for low water zones, also select plants adapted to the site and the stresses of the environment. Drought tolerance is important, but also consider potential insect and disease problems, sunlight and soil requirements.
What does too much nitrogen cause
- Increases pest problems
- Increases top growth
- Reduces root growth
- Increases pruning requirements
- Increases run-off into groundwater
Know the Sustainable gardening practices
- Organic Gardening
- Use Native Plants
- Back Yard Composting
- Reduce Energy Use
- Drip Irrigation
- IPM- Integrated Pest Management
- Facilitate Wildlife
Tree Root characteristics Pg 224
- Active and aggressive
- Absorb and transport water and essential elements
- Grow most of the year stopping only when soil temperatures are cold
- Extend out 2 to 5 canopy diameters from the main stem
- Most active roots grow in the top 12 inches of soil. The heavier the soil the closer to the surface because they need oxygen.
- Perennial woody roots become thicker every year with wood and bark just like branches. They grow downward and outward to anchor the tree.
- Annual absorbing roots grow from woody roots in massive numbers. They form shallow, horizontal fans to take up water and essential elements. Thousands develop and then die during the growing season.
- Roots avoid each other when young but may be forced together as they grow larger forming a graft. These grafts may conduct disease from one tree to the next.
Good pruning practices Pg 247
- Prune large branches in three steps
- a.) Cut the underside 8 to 12 inches from the trunk to prevent bark tearing b.) Move out 2 to 3 inches beyond the first cut and cut down to completely sever the branch
- c.)Make the last cut outside the branch bark ridge and outside the branch collar to remove the remaining stub.
2.Prune twigs, small branches or large limbs to the outside of the branch collar and branch ridge
3. Do not flush cut, stub back, shear or top trees
4. Prune branches at the trunk or where attached to a major branch
Bad for all trees – don’t do it! Crepe myrtles are beautiful trees and should never be topped (They are topped because they flower on new growth and have the same number of flowers regardless of size. They are beautiful trees when left to be trees.)
3 cut pruning method
1st cut on underside of branch 8-12” from trunk; undercut about 1/3 of way thru branch
2nd cut on top side of branch move 2-3” beyond the 1st cut; cut down; this will sever the branch from trunk
3rd. cut should be to remove the remaining stub : cut outside of branch bark ridge and the outside of branch collar
Important things when choosing an arborist
- Check education and experience; check certifications
- Check for liability insurance and workman’s compensation insurance
- Check references from friends and other professionals
- Review contract carefully
Root rot characteristics
Roots will be discolored brown or black; smaller feeder roots are sloughed off which reduces tree’s ability to uptake water and nutrients. The older leaves will yellow. Tree will appear stunted and in general decline
Values of urban trees
Trees affect the well-being and appearance of our community. They can provide esthetic and economic impact. Trees provide shade as well as windbreaks. They add to the beauty of our surroundings and keep us cool. They remove CO2 from the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen.
Proper planting techniques
Bare root trees (best planted when dormant) should be planted at their original depth in a hole that has been dug 2 x diameter of the root system. Place tree in the hole on a small compacted mound within the planting hole. The roots should be spread and distributed over this mound.
Backfill hole with original soil and water in. Create a basin with a 3 to 5’ berm and add 3” of organic mulch. Basin will be used to water as necessary.
B & B trees should be planted in hole that is 2 x diameter of the rootball. In compacted soil, the hole should be 3-5 x the width of the rootball. An area out 10 x diameter of the rootball should be worked: adding organic matter 8-12” deep. BE SURE NOT TO PLANT DEEPER THAN THE ROOTBALL. Backfill the hole, water in, and add more soil if needed to provide support and fill any cracks. Again they recommend that you create a basin with a 3 to 5’ berm and add 3” of organic mulch. Basin will be used to water as necessary.
Once planted be sure to remove all tags and labels so that they will not girdle the tree.
Care of trees after planting:
usually don’t need to fertilize trees at planting pruning isn’t usually recommended mulch with 3-4” of organic material (pull back from stem to allow sufficient drying and prevent trunk/crown rot) Properly water (slow soak, only when <1” rainfall per week, caution with overwatering in clay)
Factors in tree selection
Buy the smallest and best possible tree; Single trunk; Best tree grows in your soil from a seed/acorn; select a proper sized tree for the area; don’t plant under power lines
Practical trees for schools
Deciduous trees that provide shade in the warm months but allow winter sun to heat the buildings in the winter. Plant shade trees close to metal play equipment to prevent excessive heat buildup in mornings and afternoons. Plant screening trees to lessen the visual impact of large parking lots on the school ground. Seasonal accents can be added by planting flowering trees such as crepe myrtle and dogwood. Shade trees with attractive fall color also provide accents. Lastly, use large growing trees to provide a background for the building and to frame the sides. p231
Odis: Don’t try to fill or close them; they provide shelter for many types of wildlifeBook: p255 Don’t clean out or fill. Cover openings to keep water and animals out. (Contradicts Odis – which do we go with?)
Purpose of cambium in a tree
Living portion, responsible for new cells/growth; produces wood on the inside and bark on the outside p242
Preferred method of staking trees
Odis: Most trees don’t need to be staked. If they do, stake with non-treated wood through the root ball in a way that eliminates trip hazards (flat to the ground). Wood will eventually rot away.Book: p251-2 Protection Staking: 3-4 stakes to prevent mowing damage to trunk Windy/Sandy soil: may be needed to reduce the movement of the rootball – single stake with elastic material placed upwind; if multiples are needed, use flexible ties Guy wires (for trees >3” in diameter): pass wires through hose and anchor 3-4 to the ground (not tight – will girdle)
Tree sustainability plan
Plant a $1 tree in a $10 hole. Mulch! Trees are social – plant them together Plant the right tree in the right place (plant it so that it outlives you) For every 1” in final diameter, plant it 1’ away from building
Products of photosynthesis
A building up process – drives plant growth – energy is stored
Occurs only in cells containing chlorophyll
Carbon dioxide and H20 combine in the presence of light & chlorophyll to produce = oxygen, energy in the form of ATP and sugars like glucose or sucrose
Purpose of cellular respiration
The process by which carbohydrates are broken down and combined with nutrient elements to form growth substances
The process of metabolizing (burning) sugars to yield energy for growth, reproduction, and other life processes
A breakdown process – releases energy
Occurs in all living cells
Carbohydrates/sugars and oxygen combine to produce carbon dioxide, water and heat
Some of the carbohydrates/sugars combine with other elements to form plant foods (amino acids, proteins and fats)
Know the function of the stomata
Microscopic pores or breathing structures on leaves that allow atmospheric elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen) in the form of carbon dioxide, water vapor and oxygen to move rapidly into and out of the plant
Transpiration – allow H20 vapor to escape from the plant
When conditions are right (e.g. high light intensity & high humidity), stomata open
When roots sense water shortage, stomata close
Generally stomata are open during the day & closed at night
What is chlorophyll
Green pigment which is found mainly in chloroplasts and is involved in photosynthesis
Woody plants / process of photosynthesis / where?
Chlorophyll must be present for hotosynthesis – green parts of plant especially leaves
Criteria to determine if an element is essential
Long Answer: There are 21 essential elements (aka. nutrients) that have an essential role in plant metabolism and physiology. Each element is essential because no other element can be substituted for it in 100% of its plant functions each one has a unique role in plant metabolism and physiology. A plant cannot complete its life cycle without essential elements. Three essential atmospheric elements- carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, make up approximately 95% of the dry weight of plants.
Short Answer: Each element is essential because no other element can be substituted for it in 100% of its plant functions each one has a unique role in plant metabolism and physiology. A plant cannot complete its life cycle without essential elements.
What are macronutrients
Long Answer: Substances required in large quantities by organisms. Bedsides carbon, the major macronutrients for soil organisms are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and to a lesser extent, calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
Short Answer: The nutrients needed in large amounts by plants: nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium and sulfur.
What do root hairs do?
Long answer: Long extensions of the epidermal cells on the root that are in intimate contact with soil particles. The location and sheer volume of roots hairs are what allows a plant to take up such high volumes of water from the soil.
Short Answer: Tubular outgrowths of surface cells of the root.
Know the function of the phloem and xylem
Phloem: Plant food manufactured during respiration is transported within the plant via the phloem. Food is transported wherever it is needed; from where it is produced, called the source, to where it is used, called the sink.
Xylem: Consists of a series of vessel elements joined together much like a pipeline for transporting water and nutrients to the above-ground portions of the plant.
What is photoperiodism?
Responses of plants to the relative lengths of light and dark cycles. A long-day plant requires a short night to flower, whereas a short-day plant requires a long night to flower.
Short / long day plants
A long-day plant requires a short night to flower, whereas a short-day plant requires a long night to flower.Short-day plant, needs a day shorter than some critical length to flower. Other short-day plants include chrysanthemums, poinsettias, Easter lilies, and some soybeans. The opposite of a short-day plant is a long-day plant. In order to flower, these plants need light periods that are longer than a certain time. Examples of long-day plants include spinach, radishes, lettuce, and irises.
What is transpiration?
Simply, it is the emission of water vapor (excess water) from aerial parts of plants, chiefly through leaf stomata. (see page 44, Chpt 3)
4 components of soil
Air, Water, Mineral, Organic
Clay soil vs. sandy soil
- Smaller particles
- Drains water slowly
- Sandy Soil
- Larger particles
- Rapid water drainage
Most desirable soil structure
Sandy Loam. Sandy loam soil is a mixture that is generally well-balanced by sand, silt and clay. (page 4, Chpt 1)
Benefits of adding organic matter
Adding Organic matter improves:
- air infiltration
- water infiltration
Plants stay moist through dry spells, roots grow extensively, easy to work the soil, it resists compaction and erosion.
6 abiotic factors of good soil (pages 5 – 10, Chpt 1 Discussion Question 3) P N W O T L
pH the negative logarithm of the hydrogen cation (H+) in soil solution. Soils range from Acidic to alkaline, (Plants are best 6.0 to 7.0 pH)
Nutrients (CEC cation exchange capacity) the soil’s ability to hold onto both negative and positive ions) (cation positive charged , anion negative charged)
Water (moisture) Kinetic energy (in motion) and potential energy (the potential to be in motion / an apple hanging on a tree, how far the earth is, when it will fall). Water flows from high energy to low energy (gravity goes downhill). Water potential of soil affected by :
Osmotic Potential – water moves toward salty water
Matric potential – is the sum of adsorption of water to surfaces of soil particles and the capillary forces
Gravitational potential – water wants to move toward negative potential (the low spot)
Oxygen (redox potential the compound’s tendency to accept or donate electrons. Measured in millivolts))soil aeration / how well the soil is oxygenated. The smaller the pores (like in clay) the slower the air diffusion.
Temperature – It can increase the rate of physical and chemical processes in soil. Temperature and moisture are related
Light – a form of energy, light from the sun heats the soil and dries it out. Light increases mineral decay
Fertilizers – NPK / up down and all around
Fertilizers are listed in this order when you see the listings on the container. These are macronutrients.
N - Nitrogen – UP (promotes upper plant growth)
P - Phosphorus – DOWN (promotes root growth)
K – Potassium - ALL AROUND (promotes growth all around the plant) potash, ash from fireplace
Secondary nutrients in soil
These are also macronutrients.
Ca - Calcium Lime contains calcium. It helps knock off ions from clay particles making them available to your plants.
Mg - Magnesium Plants need magnesium for photosynthesis. Magnesium is the key element found in chlorophyll molecules.
S - Sulfur Plants use sulfur in the processes of producing proteins, amino acids, enzymes and vitamins. Sulfur also helps the plants resistance to disease, aids in growth, and in seed formation.
3 P’s pattern in the garden in relation to diagnosing what is eating your plant?
To diagnose plant problems you need to be a good detective and recognize patterns to what you are seeing. Look for:
Patterns in the garden
Patterns in the problem
Patterns in the plant
Diagnosing causes of plant problems?
Disease, insects, environmental, animals (from lecture)
When analyzing the problem, is it:
weather related – rain, dry, freezing, light, temperature
Soil related – pH (Chlorosis green veins on leaves, leaf yellowing – shifting of nutrients to the fruit) oxygen amount
Water related – too much, not enough, drainage (browning of leaves at the edges)
Nutrient related – yellowing of leaves, poor growth
Pesticide related – weird bud growth, no growth
Pest related – raccoon, squirrel, vole (chewed up center of plants), deer, rabbits, insects, mites, beetles (holes, leaf-cutter bee, saw fly) birds (woodpecker making holes)
Organism related – Viruses, Bacteria, Protozoa, Fungi, Nematodes (diseases usually show as ‘halo’ effect around the spots)
The importance of lime
Lime contains calcium and is a soil conditioner made from crushed dolomitic limestone. Lime knocks off ions from clay particles making them available to the plant as nutrition. Lime lowers the acidity of the soil making it easier for the plants to use the fertilizer.
FYI :Things that make soil more acid: Decomposition of organic materials Fertilizer CO2 release
Site selection for vegetables
You need full sun (at least 6-hours of full sun)
Proximity to the house (gardener can frequently look for problems; insect, disease, weeds)
Located near a water supply
Avoid windy locations
Ground should be fertile
Free of weeds
What does VFN stand for
VFN means that a seed labeled with these initials are resistant to verticillium, Fusarium and nematodes. Verticillium and Fusarium wilt are common diseases of tomato plants. The climate in Georgia is too hot for verticillium, but Fusarium wilt is a common fungus. Fusarium wilt enters plant roots and moves up the vascular system, clogging water-conducting tissues. It makes the plant turn yellow and die. It is worse where nematodes may have injured the root system.
The importance of mulch
Mulch helps to control weeds and conserve moisture. Organic mulches include compost, pine straw, and hay for vegetables and may be incorporated into the soil after the growing season. Mulches such as wood chips and grass clippings should be composted for a period of time before using. Mulches may also modify soil temperature.
Blossom End Rot
often a problem with tomatoes, watermelons and bell peppers. The tissues on the blossom end of the plant’s fruit is sunken and leathery. To prevent blossom end rot maintain a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 and an adequate calcium level by liming. Keep moisture levels as uniform as possible. Spraying young plants with calcium chloride and proper mulching and irrigation may also help.
Determinate vs. Indeterminate plants
Determinate means limited growth; a determinate plant will grow to a certain size, set fruit and then decline. Compact cultivars of tomatoes may be determinate. An indeterminate plant does not have a specific maximum growth size at which it sets fruit and then declines. Instead it will continue to grow and fruit for the full growing season.
Root rots – planting depth
Root rot is caused by soil fungi which favor cool, wet soil conditions, and root rot occurs when rotation is poor. Deep plowing the previous crop litter, rotation and seed and soil chemical treatments are good cultural practices to follow. These practices will permit seedlings to become established before fungi can cause serious problems. Plants should be placed for planting at the depth of the root ball and with the crown right above soil surface. Seed planting depth depends on the size of the seed (generally, the smaller the seed, the shallower the placement), soil type and moisture conditions.
What are shoots/suckers?
The shoot is the above ground part of the plant which functions to provide structural support; manufactures food, moves food, water and nutrients; reproduces and stores food. The shoot is made up of stems, leaves, buds and reproductive structures. The spear of asparagus is a shoot. A sucker is a shoot that arises underground from an adventitious bud on the root. Shoots arising from the crown and near the soils’ surface may also be called suckers. Suckers are sometimes used for plant propagation.
How does too much or not enough fertilization affect vegetables?
Too little may stunt plants, cause leaf blotches or drop; stems or roots will not develop properly; too much may also be toxic to a plant. The plant may also become more susceptible to disease and pests
is the sowing crops of a specific family in different areas of the garden each year to avoid soil-borne diseases and nutrient depletion.
Methods of irrigation
Sprinklers; drip irrigation and hand watering. Sprinklers can be attached to a garden hose or underground pipers and pop-up spray heads with automatic controls (this works well for turf to provide uniform moisture. Drip irrigation applies water to roots slowly through small flexible pipes and flow control devices. It uses significantly less water than sprinklers.
Best spring and fall planting dates
Spring after danger of frost is past; usually when soil and air temperatures are 60 degrees F; Fall – in September before first frost.