From Special Reports

Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEV) have a great spring lineup for those of you that enjoy digging in the dirt while growing beautiful gardens, flowerbeds and awesome lawns!

Starting Feb. 13, the Backyard Association kicks off its monthly presentations with guest speaker Bob Lott, owner of Southern Roots Nursery on Hwy. 29 in Newnan. Bob has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Alabama and a master’s degree in Botany from South Alabama. His expertise and knowledge are always available when visiting Southern Roots.

Bob plans to share information about plants that do great in our Georgia area but are not necessarily known or common. For example, Farfugium giganteum or Giant Leopard Plant, is a tremendous shade plant that too many gardeners have never heard of. He also regularly attends many trade shows and learns about new plant introductions that may spike your gardening interest.

On March 13,  Dr. Tim Bowyer is set as guest speaker and will provide information to those wanting to be the envy of the neighbors with the thickest and greenest lawn on the street or just keep their lawns in good health! The turf grass program will address how to bring your lawn back in the spring and how to spot potential lawn damage that may have been caused by this winter’s unusually cold temperatures. He will also be sharing tips on how to enjoy your lawn with minimal work.

Dr. Bowyer, a resident of Newnan whose career and hands-on experience in grass, water and soil technologies spans nearly 40 years, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on turfgrass for golf course, athletic field and landscape uses.

Dr. Bowyer began his career in 1973 as an assistant professor of turfgrass pathology and agronomy at the University of Georgia. He has authored more than 50 scientific and professional articles and papers dealing with turfgrass health and maintenance. He has conducted research on turfgrass variety performance, pest resistance and control and turfgrass production, and has provided management and research services to a number of industry companies including Southern Turf Nurseries and Patten Seed Company. Dr. Bowyer founded the US based International Turfgrass Services, providing agronomic consulting and Green Solutions to the turfgrass consumer industry and has conducted business in 37 countries around the world.

The Backyard Presentation on April 10 will be “How to Be Sherlock Holmes in Your Garden.” Ever puzzled over a diseased flower or a shrub with holes in the leaves? How can you figure out what is afflicting your plants without being a plant pathologist or an entomologist? Let Atlanta’s garden guru, Walter Reeves, teach you how to look for patterns in the plant damage you see.

This program will help you know whether a bug, a disease or something else has caused the problem. Bring your weeds, insects or plant damage for Walter to inspect and lend his expertise “While You Wait!”

Reeves is retired from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, where he worked for 29 years. He hosted “Gardening in Georgia” on Georgia Public Television for ten years. He has been a popular guest on radio for the past thirty years, and currently hosts “The Lawn and Garden Show” radio call-in show on News Talk WSB every Saturday morning from 6-9 a.m. He also manages www.walterreeves.com, which contains more than 10,000 articles and answers to many garden questions; he also edits and publishes “The Georgia Gardener” bi-weekly e-mail newsletter. Mr. Reeves has also just completed his twentieth year writing a weekly column of gardening questions & answers for the Thursday Living section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

All Backyard Presentations are held on the second Tuesday of each month, January – November starting at 7 p.m. at the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension office located at 255 Pine Road, Newnan. Call the Coweta Extension office at 770-254-2620 or email uge2077@uga.edu if you would like to register for wonderful door prizes.

Lastly, make sure you mark April 14 on your calendar to support the MGEV Spring Plant Sale. These are locally MGEV grown, hardy plants at very reasonable prices. Proceeds support the entire MGEV program including educational programs like those listed here.