Written by David Shivers
Albany, Ga. – Spring is the time for vegetable garden and landscape planting, and Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County members got a little inside scoop on things to plant during their April 1 meeting.
George Paul, Albany Technical College’s environmental horticulture instructor, visited the club with some samples of plants running a gamut of veggies (varieties of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, sweet potato, and herbs) to flowers and trees (roses, a rubber tree).
Paul said a major beneficial thing gardeners often don’t do is have their soil tested. Soil sampling, a service provided by the local UGA Extension Service, can tell the gardener about soil acidity, nutrients, and when to plant. He also noted that food plants don’t necessarily have to be in their own garden but can be scattered around the landscape.
The horticulture program at ATC that Paul heads up currently has 35 to 40 students enrolled in day or evening classes. Many of the students work for the local gardening/landscaping businesses and can’t attend classes during the daytime, he noted.
The students actually cultivated in the greenhouse the plants Paul brought with him to the meeting, he said. They are also responsible for the landscaping on the ATC campus, so the horticulture classes are truly a hands-on experience, he added.
The Kiwanians were invited to take plants home with them at the conclusion of the meeting. Paul also said it’s not advertised other than “word of mouth,” but plants are available for sale to the public by coming by the campus greenhouse.