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June 21, 2003

Raised Bed Materials

Most gardeners recognize the advantages of
growing in raised beds. The soil can be easily amended to create a
better growing environment, raised beds prevent surface water runoff,
and the beds are easier to manage. There are several choices when it
comes to building raised beds. Dr. Wayne McLaurin, Horticulturist with
UGA's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, shows Walter
some common materials, including pressure-treated wood, plastic
composite wood, and untreated yellow pine, that you can use. Concerned
about toxic materials that might leach out of treated wood? Well,
Wayne's research on how much arsenic is released from treated lumber
reveals that gardeners do not have to panic if their beds are made from
this common product.

Beneficial Insects

Pests plague our landscapes and gardens.
However, many of these pests, especially insect pests, can sometimes be
controlled by biological methods. In fact, biological control occurs
naturally in your landscape and garden when diseases and beneficial
predators and parasites attack and kill your insect pests. But, first,
you must learn to recognize these beneficial creatures living in your
yard. One way to learn who are the good guys is to contact your local
county Cooperative Extension office. There you will find many free
pamphlets on topics of interest for Georgia gardeners.

Armitage's Plant Pick – Heuchera

Dr. Allan Armitage of UGA's College of
Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has visited host Walter Reeves
several times this season. Allan oversees a trial garden for annual and
perennial plants at the University of Georgia. Today, he shares another
plant favorite of his – Heuchera (also known as coral bells).

Grow Your Own Fruit? You Might Want to Think About It!

Raising fruit in your back yard is a dream of
many gardeners. Some fruits, however, are more pest-prone than you
might expect. Even though Georgia is known as the Peach State, Dr. Dan
Horton, Entomologist with UGA's College of Agricultural and
Environmental Sciences, explains that insect control on peaches is
difficult. Dr. Horton tells Walter about techniques of Integrated Pest
Management (IPM) that a homeowner can follow, if they are interested in
growing fruits.