HIAWASSEE, Ga. – University of Georgia (UGA) Agricultural and Natural Resource Agent Jacob Williams offered a class Wednesday, April 10, at the Towns County Civic Center, educating gardeners on several topics of interest. Soil health, plant diseases, and insects were the main points of discussion at the seminar. Williams began by explaining the purpose the UGA Extension serves in Towns and Union Counties.
The organization provides researched-based answers for agricultural and natural resource based-questions, serving as a cooperative between UGA and county governments. The local extension office offers basic soil and water testing, e coli and radon screening, while providing citizens with information on matters such as land management and cultivation.
Williams explained the importance of organic matter in soil, the fine balance of pH levels, and the functions of mulch and compost. Common plant diseases discussed included mildew, Leyland Cypress disease, and root rot. “We’ve had two really wet years, back to back, and it’s been really good conditions for root rot to develop,” Williams said, adding that the best treatment is prevention by improving drainage and pulling mulch away from vunerable vegetation. Insects discussed consisted of aphids, ladybugs, Japanese beetles, and scale.
The class was interactive, and Williams answered numerous questions from those in attendance. Williams offered complementary soil testing via raffle to a lucky participant, a service typically priced at $10. Contact information for UGA Extension Agent Jacob Williams is available.