Thursday, January 28, 2010

Burn Permits

Did you know that you need a burn permit for to burn yard debris?

It is very easy to get a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission.
Simply dial 877.OK2.BURN (877.652.2876) or your local forestry unit (Thomas County is 229.225.4003), or visit

Here is a little part of what you will see when you visit

From this page you can apply for a Daily Permit. See boxes below.

From this page you can obtain a burning permit for yard debris type burns such as leaf piles and small limb piles (approximately 6' x 6' or smaller). Fires should not be initiated before 8:00 am and should be completely extinguished before dark. In highly populated areas burning should be conducted from 10:00am until 30 minutes before dark. If you are burning large brush piles or conducting an acreage burn please contact your local county office of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Master Gardener Class - Rescheduled

Thomas County Extension will offer a Master Gardener Class beginning in March 2010. All classes will be held at the Thomas County Extension Office, 227 West Jefferson Street. The class has been reschduled for March 2010 so there is more time to sign up if you missed the previous deadline!
The new deadline is Thursday, February 25, 2010.

Applications may be obtained at Thomas County Extension Office at 227 West Jefferson Street or by visiting our website You may download an application here.

The Georgia Master Gardener Program is a volunteer recruitment and training program of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. The main purpose is to train volunteers to provide unbiased, research-based, environmentally sound, horticulture information to the public. Those completing the course will have a much greater knowledge of horticultural practices and will be expected to share their knowledge by volunteering 50 hours back into the community.

Most potential Master Gardeners want to know what community service entails. Community service is any activity in which your newly acquired horticultural knowledge is shared with others. These activities may include advising other citizens with caring for their landscapes, writing horticultural newsletters, working with youth, assisting with beautification projects, judging school projects dealing with agriculture, or civic and garden club presentations.

Most classes will be taught by extension agents and specialists from the University of Georgia. The following classes will be taught:

Introduction to the Master Gardener Program
Soil and Plant Nutrition
Botany/Plant Physiology
Basic Entomology/Pathology
Weed ID and Control
Using the Pest Control Handbook
Vegetable and Herb Gardening
Insects and Diseases of Vegetables
Herbaceous Ornamentals
Selecting Woody Ornamentals
Maintenance of Woody Ornamentals
Turf Selection and Maintenance
Diseases of Turf and Ornamentals
Developing a Waterwise Landscape
Insects of Turf and Ornamentals
Composting and Mulching
Fruit Gardening
Structural and Household Pests
Nuisance Wildlife

Registration fee for this class is $125.00 which includes a copy of the Georgia Master Gardener Handbook. A minimum enrollment of 10 participants is required to conduct this training. Maximum enrollment is 20 participants. More details on the course will be given during sign-up and be posted on our blog and website.

The deadline to apply is Thursday, February 25, 2010. Applications may be obtained at Thomas County Extension Office at 227 West Jefferson Street or by visiting our website You may download an application here.

If you have any questions, please contact R.J. Byrne, Thomas County Extension Agent at 229.225.4130 or

Pesticide Training - Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Pre-register by calling 229.225.4130

Cost: $10
Time: 9AM to 12PM
Location: Thomas County Extension Office

For more info contact This training will be for persons interested in obtaining pesticide credit hours and also persons needing a private pesticide license (must be used in producing agriculture commodities, ie: row crops, forestry).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Do you have a garden plan for 2010?

So if you are planning to plant a garden this year in Thomas County, then let me help you out some.

Take some time to think about what has worked well for you this past year and also maybe think about trying something new.

Its time to pull soil samples if you have not yet done so. We have soil test bags in our office, just bring in a sample to transfer to the sample bag. A basic soil test [pH, P, K, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Manganese] is currently $6.00.

Visit our site to find a very helpful garden calendar here:

As always, you can contact us for more help if you need to.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Composting: Recycling Landscape Trimmings

What do you need to know about composting landscape trimings?
Visit this publication to find out:

Citizens throughout Georgia are recycling newspaper, cans, glass and plastic in an effort to divert these materials from the waste stream. Another important part of waste reduction involves recycling leaves, lawn clippings, and tree and shrub trimmings instead of placing them curbside for the county or municipality to pick up. These landscape riches from Mother Nature can be easily recycled and turned into nutrient-rich organic matter right in your backyard through a process called composting.

This publication answers some commonly asked questions about composting.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Flowering Bulbs for Georgia Gardens

Visit this link below for a new publication on "Flowering Bulbs for Georgia Gardens"

A wide variety of bulbs grow well in Georgia. Most are grown for their flowers and some for their foliage. They are grown as pot plants, in shrub borders, naturalistic plantings and in mass displays. Bulbs offer a certain magic to the landscape virtually unrivaled by other plants.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Will club soda control fire ants?

I recently received this through an email list I am on and thought this would be good to pass on. This is from our working group on fire ant control.

The use of club soda as an ant mound drench likely will disappoint the user, because the chances of its working are slim to none. This so-called home-remedy was recently tested and found not to be effective. For a thorough discussion of the idea of club soda as a home remedy and how it has been debunked, view the following post from the blog Insects in the City: Club soda for your ants, Sir?

It is interesting how many different fire ant "cures" have been suggested. Many, but not all, of these have been scientifically tested in replicated university trials. The club soda home remedy, like many others, is attractive because it is environmentally sound and uses a readily available product. It has a basis in fact, because carbon dioxide in high concentrations is known to be lethal to many organisms. However, the quantity of carbon dioxide generated from a club soda drench would not be sufficient to replace the air in a colony that may extend 12 feet underground. The club soda drench might make the colony move since the fire ants do not like being disturbed. Also, the amount of club soda needed to kill any ants may be expensive! Find more information about home remedies at FAQ 1107, "Do any of the home remedies for eliminating imported fire ants work?" The eXtension fire ant resource area has information about safe and effective methods of fire ant control, including the Fire Ant Control Made Easy Video and the Managing Imported Fire Ants in Urban Areas Learning Lesson. You may want to try the Customized Fire Ant Management Decision Tool, which will help you develop your own fire ant management plan.

If you are curious about how much carbon dioxide occurs in club soda or any other carbonated drink, see Carbonation.