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South Fulton offers community garden beds

South Fulton offers community garden beds

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County Cooperative Extension, in partnership with the South Fulton Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, is looking for participants to occupy plots at the South Fulton Community Garden.

This year marks the 4th season for the garden, which has 33 beds available for residents of the district to occupy and help maintain.

The garden is located at 5645 Mason Road, College Park, behind the South Fulton Tennis Center.

A $35 non-refundable fee per year is required to occupy a plot for the entire growing season. Only money orders or cashier checks made payable to Fulton County Government will be accepted as payment. The deadline to register for a plot is Wednesday, Apr. 15.

Interested parties may sign up two ways:

Gardening tips available at Fulton County Extension Offices

Gardening tips available at Fulton County Extension Offices

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Spring is the optimum time for planting a variety of shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials and seeds but, before tilling the earth, it is important to consider your specific plant needs and your area's climate. Fulton County Cooperative Extension Agents are available to provide guidance to assist residents with growing successful gardens and beautifying their yards.

The University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (UGA CAES) provide helpful tips on line to help you get started.

“Spring is one of our favorite seasons simply because we get to help budding gardeners achieve their dreams of producing a successful garden,” states Menia, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “Whether it’s a flower garden or vegetable garden, our extension agents are able to provide expert guidance to county residents.”

Healthy lawns begin with soil testing

Healthy lawns begin with soil testing

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Nutrient rich soil makes it possible to have a beautiful lawn and blooming flowers. Developing and maintaining productive soils begin with soil testing. Soils tests provide information on the soil’s actual nutrient status. Test results are used to determine the amount and kind of nutrients that should be added for the best growth of lawn, garden, and other types of plants.

“Cooperative Extension is able to help residents with their gardening questions,” states Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “We are equipped to assist residents in having their soil tested by the University of Georgia (UGA) Extension office.”

Tips for cold weather plant protection

Tips for cold weather plant protection

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- When the weather report calls for freezing temperatures overnight, you do not want to be rushing outside in the dark to cover cold-sensitive plants.

According to University of Georgia experts, protect plants in containers either by placing them inside a protective structure (house, garage, greenhouse or shed) or by placing a protective covering over them.

“People put a lot of time and expense in caring for their plants,” states Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “It is important for them to know how to protect their investments to nurture them for growth when the weather is cold.”

Container plants are especially susceptible to cold temperatures; their roots are more exposed because they are above ground. Plants with roots that are damaged by cold temperatures may not show immediate signs of damage; these plants will show signs of stress when temperatures rise and the demand for water from the roots are greater.

Fulton County Fire Rescue provides guidelines to prevent holiday fire hazards

Fulton County Fire Rescue provides guidelines to prevent holiday fire hazards

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- As residents string up the lights and ignite the candles, the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department encourages everyone to keep fire safety in mind.

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), fires involving Christmas trees caused more than $16 million in property damage per year between 2004 and 2008. Holiday lights and other decorative lighting caused more than $8 million dollars in property damage per year over that same time period.

Apple season in Georgia

Apple season in Georgia

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Georgia apple season in here!  This means it’s time to make canned apples and make apple jellies and preserves. According to Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension, creating a delicious apple dish is a project the entire family will love.

To create your apple “masterpiece”, you must have the proper ratio of fruit, pectin (assists in gel creation), acid (needed for gel formation and flavor) and sugar (serves as the preservative for the product) or successful jellied products. Fruit low in acid or pectin may need additional acid or pectin added to ensure a proper gel formation.

According to Chester, the most common questions regarding how jellies, jams, fruit preserves, and fruit butters made have equally common responses:

Jelly is usually made by cooking fruit juice with sugar.

Plant pansies for fall curb appeal

Plant pansies for fall curb appeal

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County Cooperative Extension is a helpful source of information for residents wanting to improve their curb appeal during the fall. With their colorful faces and cold-weather tolerance, pansies are an easy landscape addition if they are installed correctly. Experts from the University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension provide tips to help the “do-it-yourself” gardener.

“Our relationship with the UGA is a true benefit for our residents,” said Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “Because of this relationship, we are able to provide research based proven methods to help residents with gardening as well as many other topics that assist in helping to live improved, healthier lives.”

A few pansy-planting pointers:

Don’t plant more than you can maintain. Annual flowers are high maintenance and require a lot of care to keep them looking their best.