Kristin Chenoweth View Comments Tony and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth will soon be seen on screen in NBC’s Hairspray Live! and she stopped by The Tonight Show on November 21 to chat about taking on the role of Velma Von Tussle. “I’m scared to death,” she admitted to host Jimmy Fallon, although baton twirling was already a special skill on her resume. Check out below as she then went on and sang in a way you’ve never heard her sing before…The live broadcast on December 7 will also star Harvey Fierstein, who is set to reprise his Tony-winning performance as Edna Turnblad, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad, Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton, Derek Hough as Corny Collins and newcomer Maddie Baillio.
Birds do it. Bees do it. But how do flowers and trees do it? On the next”Gardening in Georgia” June 15 and 17, host Walter Reeves will tell what to saywhen your child asks, “How do plants make babies?”Besides his “daffodil botany” lesson, Reeves will also look at “garbagegardening.” He’ll show how to sprout an avocado pit, root a pineapple top and plantginger and garlic you find at the grocery store.He’ll show how to get four times as many flowers by deadheading (removing the fadedflowers from) your rhododendrons, too.Finally, he’ll look at tropical plants. The tropical look that’s so popular incommercial landscapes can become a part of your landscape, too.Thursdays, Saturday on GPTVDon’t miss “Gardening in Georgia” Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. or Saturdays at 10a.m. on Georgia Public Television. The show is designed especially for Georgia gardeners. “Gardening in Georgia” is produced by the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV. Walter Reeves
By Paul A. ThomasUniversity of GeorgiaLike glowing beams of sunshine, Chartreuse Joseph’s Coat(Alternanthera ficoidea ‘Chartreuse’) is a dazzling,trouble-free addition to any landscape.It’s prized for its eye-catching yellow-green foliage, compactgrowth habit, durability and ability to provide nonstop colorfrom early spring until fall frost.Joseph’s Coat is an heirloom plant that was popular in theVictorian era when formal gardens were in vogue. Today there isnew interest in it, thanks to exciting new cultivars from Mexicoand South America, like Chartreuse.Easy to growIt’s a choice plant for today’s part-time gardener because itprovides season-long color with little routine care. It hassmall, greenish-white flowers in leaf axils. But they’re usuallymasked by the foliage and are indistinct.The plants grow in a compact, mounded shape 6 to 12 inches talland 12 to 24 inches wide. The leaves are opposite and linear, ahalf-inch to 1 inch long. Both stems and leaves are brightyellow-green.Chartreuse Joseph’s Coat is brightest when planted in full sun.It will perform well, though, in morning sun and afternoon shade.Moist, well-drained soils are essential. Like other annualplants, it requires scheduled irrigation to keep looking its best.Light pinching of the terminal shoot throughout the season willkeep it compact. In formal landscapes, plants are sometimessheared to provide a uniform shape.By any other nameChartreuse Joseph’s Coat is sometimes confused because it hasmany common names: Golden Parrot Leaf, Golden Alternanthera,Chartreuse Calico Plant. A yellow-green form of Summer Poinsettia(Amaranthus) is called Joseph’s Coat, too. Landscapers call itChartreuse Alternanthera.The plant has many landscape uses. It’s a favorite in formal knotgardens or as edging to define plant beds. Theme parks, likeDisney World in Orlando, Fla., use it to create intricate,eye-catching designs in the landscape.Landscapers call Chartreuse Joseph’s Coat an “echo plant” becauseit tends to enhance or echo other colors. It makes them look morevibrant. That’s particularly true with magenta, purple or blue.There’s moreIt’s a favorite in container gardens, too, and in baskets whereit spills over the side like froth from a bubbling stream. In formal beds where plants will be sheared as one unit for masseffect, set plants 12 inches apart. In beds where the plants willbe seen as individuals, space them 18 to 24 inches apart.Fertilize Chartreuse Joseph’s Coat with a complete, slow-releasefertilizer such as Osmocote 18-6-12 at planting time. Follow thelabel directions. You shouldn’t need to fertilize again.Adding 2 to 3 inches of a fine-textured mulch, such as pine strawor pine-bark mininuggets, at planting will help keep the soilmore uniformly moist. Don’t be tempted to water every other day.The plant can handle dry periods and even long-term drought withinfrequent watering.(Paul Thomas is an Extension Service horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.) Volume XXIXNumber 1Page 12
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaThose tiny vegetable transplants and seeds you planted early this spring are growing fast. Soon they’ll be burdened with a bounty of fresh produce. Don’t jeopardize the fruits of your garden labor now, says a University of Georgia specialist. Trellis those vegetables before it’s too late.”Trellising is one chore that should be accomplished fairly soon after the plants are established,” said Terry Kelley, a UGA Cooperative Extension vegetable horticulturist.But even if you forgot or didn’t know to do it, you can still give your vegetable plants the support they deserve, he said.”Trellising gets the plant and fruit up off the ground. This makes for better quality fruit and less disease,” he said. “It also helps maintain order in the garden and makes harvesting easier.”Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants are vegetables commonly trellised, he said. But almost any plant can use a little help supporting itself or its fruit.For tomatoes, some people simply put cages over the plants to support them as they grow, he said. Another method is to drive a 1-inch-square, 4-foot stake into the ground by each plant and tie the plant to the stake.If you have a long row of tomatoes, he said, set a large post at each end of the row and again about every 20 feet within it. Attach a wire across the top of the posts and about 4 inches above the ground. Use twine to tie each plant to the wires for support.Peppers can be staked like tomatoes, he said. Place similar 1-inch-square stakes about every fourth plant with twine running from stake to stake. Start the first twine 4 inches above the ground.As the peppers grow, put another string about every 4 inches above the last one. Start with the first stake and go on one side of the plants. Then go around the next stake and so on. When you get to the last stake, come back down the other side of the plants to box the plants in and keep them from falling over.To support cucumbers, use 4-foot fencing wire and some posts to build a temporary fence beside the cucumber row. Then just train the vines up on the fence as they grow.”You’ll find and pick your cukes easier,” he said.Eggplant can be staked, too. Place either tomato stakes or rebar next to each eggplant. Then secure it to the stake. Be careful not to cut into plants as you tie them with twine. But keep the twine tight enough to support the plants.While you’re at it, “don’t forget to scout for insects and disease problems,” Kelley said. “And keep weeds in check, and water as needed.”
A University of Georgia expert says the challenges in ensuring a safe U.S. food supply will continue to grow to unprecedented heights unless solutions are provided quickly.”Although most foods Americans eat are safe, with odds of greater than 1 in 1 million of becoming hospitalized from a serving of food, the dynamics of the U.S. food system are rapidly changing,” said Michael Doyle, director of the UGA Center for Food Safety. “Consumers are much more vulnerable now to large episodes of foodborne illnesses.”An array of foods affectedHundreds of illnesses from contaminated spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and even peanut butter have made U.S. newspaper headlines in recent months. Other reports tell of tainted shellfish, pet food and a variety of foods and food ingredients imported from countries such as China.Doyle said imported foods and inadequate testing methods at U.S. ports are significantly affecting the safety of America’s food.He said 15 percent of the food Americans eat is imported from other countries. “That may sound like a small amount,” he said. “But it represents 80 percent of the seafood and 45 percent of the fresh fruit consumed in the U.S.”Unsanitary processesThe problem isn’t where the food comes from, but how it’s grown or processed before it reaches American soil.”The centuries-old tradition of using human excreta on farmland is widespread in East Asia, especially in China and Vietnam,” Doyle said. “And unsanitary polluted water is used in production and processing. The result of these practices is contamination by harmful microbes such as Salmonella.”Imported food also comes from Asian countries where growers are allowed to use pesticides banned by the U.S.”They’re not only using these pesticides, they’re using them in excessive levels,” Doyle said. “This leads to residue contamination in foods.”Stronger detection methods neededThe solution to problems surrounding imported foods, Doyle said, lies in the hands of food producers, processors and such regulatory agencies as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”Solutions to today’s food safety issues will not come easy,” he said. “They will require a major research commitment to developing state-of-the-science methods to detect, control and eliminate harmful substances in foods.”The food industry, whether it be growers, manufacturers or distributors, is responsible for providing safe foods,” he said. “And regulatory agencies need more rapid and robust sampling and detection methods to verify that foods, especially those that are imported, are safe from harmful microbes and chemicals.”Percentage doubles every 10 yearsThe percentage of food imported into the U.S. doubles about every 10 years. At this rate, the U.S. will be a “net food-importing country within 20 years,” he said.Doyle expects the number and frequency of foodborne illnesses to increase in the U.S. as the percentage of imported foods increases. “Considering the dramatic changes occurring in our sources of food and the weaknesses present in our current food safety system, Congress needs to step up its funding of research to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply,” he said. “The longer we must wait for solutions the more challenging it will be to make effective corrective actions.”
University of Georgia researchers have developed an effective technology for reducing contamination of dangerous bacteria on food.The new antimicrobial wash rapidly kills Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 on foods ranging from fragile lettuce to fruits, poultry products and meats. It is made from inexpensive and readily available ingredients that are recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.The technology has commercial application for the produce, poultry, meat and egg processing industries. It is available for licensing from the UGA Research Foundation, Inc., which has filed a patent application on the new technology.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the U.S. alone foodborne pathogens are responsible for 76 million illnesses every year. Of the people affected by those illnesses, 300,000 are hospitalized and more than 5,000 die.These widespread outbreaks of foodborne illnesses are attributed in part to the fast-paced distribution of foods across the nation. Recently, raw tomatoes caused an outbreak of salmonellosis that sickened more than 300 people in at least 28 states and Canada.Currently, a chlorine wash is used in a variety of ways to reduce harmful bacteria levels on vegetables, fruits and poultry, but because of chlorine’s sensitivity to food components and extraneous materials released in chlorinated water treatments, many bacteria survive.Chlorine is toxic at high concentrations, may produce off-flavors and an undesirable appearance of certain food products, and it can only be used in conjunction with specialized equipment and trained personnel. In addition, chlorine may be harmful to the environment. “We can’t rely on chlorine to eliminate pathogens on foods,” said Michael Doyle, one of the new technology’s inventors and director of UGA’s Center for Food Safety in Griffin, Ga. “This new technology is effective, safe for consumers and food processing plant workers, and does not affect the appearance or quality of the product. It may actually extend the shelf-life of some types of produce.”A UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences professor, Doyle is an internationally recognized authority on food safety. His research focuses on developing methods to detect and control foodborne bacterial pathogens at all levels of the food continuum, from the farm to the table.He has served as a scientific advisor to many groups, including the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.The new antimicrobial technology, developed by Doyle and UGA CFS researcher Tong Zhao, uses a combination of ingredients that kills bacteria within one to five minutes from application. It can be used as a spray and immersion solution, and its concentration can be adjusted for treatment of fragile foods such as leafy produce, more robust foods like poultry, or food preparation equipment and food transportation vehicles.“The effectiveness, easy storage and application, and low cost of this novel antibacterial make it applicable not only at food processing facilities, but also at points-of-sale and at home, restaurants and military bases,” said Gennaro Gama, the UGARF technology manager in charge of licensing the technology. “The development of this technology is timely, given the recent, sequential outbreaks of foodborne pathogens.”
Researchers from the University of Georgia and Dow AgroSciences have identified a kudzu-eating pest in northeast Georgia that has never been found in the Western Hemisphere. Unfortunately, the bug also eats legume crops, especially soybeans.The bug has tentatively been identified as the bean plataspid (Megacopta cribraria), a native to India and China. It is pea-sized and brownish in color with a wide posterior, said Dan Suiter, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.“It kind of waddles when it walks on a surface, but it flies really well,” he said.Related to the stink bugIt’s also commonly called lablab bug and globular stink bug. Like its distant cousin the stink bug, when threatened, it releases a chemical that stinks.Suiter and CAES diagnostician Lisa Ames first saw the pest when samples were sent to them in mid-October from UGA Cooperative Extension agents and pest control professionals in Barrow, Gwinnett and Jackson counties. Samples have since arrived from Clarke, Hall, Greene, Oconee and Walton counties. Homeowners first reported the pest after finding large groups of the bugs lighting on their homes. “At one home in Hoschton, Ga., we found the bugs all over the side of a lady’s house,” Suiter said. “There is a kudzu patch behind her home that provides food, and they were attracted to the light color of the siding. At this time of year, the insects are most active in the afternoon when it gets warm.”In addition to homes, the bug is attracted to light-colored vehicles. Identified and verifiedThe week the bug samples arrived at Suiter’s lab, Joe Eger was visiting. The Dow AgroSciences field biologist has 35 years of experience studying the bean plataspid insect and has named new genera and species and identified the insect for museums across the world.Eger’s identification was confirmed by David Rider at North Dakota State University and Tom Henry at the Smithsonian Institution.Suiter believes the bug arrived here by accident. “We do have the world’s busiest airport here, but we’ll never know how the bug first got here,” he said. “When it found kudzu here, it found a food source, and it doesn’t have any natural enemies here that we are aware of.” A non-native feeding on a non-nativeSuiter says the pest’s populations are, for now, contained to northeast Georgia. It’s an “invasive species feeding on an invasive species.” Introduced to the U.S. in 1876 from Japan, kudzu was planted in the 1930s to control soil erosion. It now tops the nation’s invasive species list. “We have no idea what the long-term impact on kudzu will be, but we also have to consider the fact that it feeds on crops, too,” he said. “It’s kind of a double-edged sword. It eats kudzu, which is good, but it also stinks and gets on homes. And the ominous threat is that it eats soybeans and other legume crops.”“We will be working with the University of Georgia and USDA to find the best way of dealing with this insect,” said Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin. “At this time, there is not enough information to determine its current range and what its potential as a pest may be.”Planning, scouting and reportingRepresentatives of each agency met this week to form an action plan. Information has been sent to Extension agents and pest control companies across the state. County agents are asked to look for the bug, scout kudzu patches and report any findings to Suiter. Homeowners who find the pest should call their local Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1. “We’re still trying to get a handle on what its distribution is in the state,” Suiter said. How to control the pest in Georgia is a mystery that scientists will have to solve, Eger said. In India and China, manually removing them is the most common way.“Kudzu is its preferred host. So, it might be helpful by controlling kudzu,” Eger said. “It is a significant pest of soybeans and other types of beans in its native countries. My guess is that it has the potential to be an important pest of all types of beans.”
What type of plant makes up most of the lawns in Georgia? If you shrugged and answered “grass,” you’re not alone. Homeowners spend hours mowing and treating their lawns, but many don’t know much about the plant that makes up the green expanse between their driveways and front doors. If everything is going well — a lawn remains green and relatively free of weeds — homeowners may not worry much about the type of turfgrass they have. But if that grass starts to turn brown, or if weeds start to become unsightly, the type of grass in that lawn suddenly becomes very important. “Not all turfgrass species have the same mowing and fertilizer needs,” said Clint Waltz, a University of Georgia Extension turf scientist in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Also, some are more susceptible to certain pests. Therefore, knowing what grass you have is important for proper maintenance.” The most common warm-season lawn grasses in Georgia are bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass. The typical cool-season species used on lawns is tall fescue. Bermudagrass is made up of short, 1/8 inch-wide blades with rough sides and pointy tips. It can also be identified by the presence of both above ground runners, called stolons, and underground runners, called rhizomes. It is hardy across Georgia. Centipedegrass has a wider blade than bermudagrass, but is still less than 1/4 inch wide, and a strong center vein. The blade appears to fold along the center vein. Healthy centipedegrass will be a Granny Smith apple green.Centipedegrass is a low-growing grass that is suited for lawns across much of Georgia but used extensively from Macon southward. The cultivar TifBlair is adapted for Georgia, as it is cold hardy for the area from Atlanta to the northern part of the state. It spreads by stolons only, and doesn’t have underground rhizomes. The leaves of St. Augustinegrass are also folded along a strong center vein, but they have a broader blade of at least 1/4 inch, with a boat-shaped tip. St. Augustinegrass has aggressive stolons and no rhizomes. It is a dense, blue-green turf best suited to the coastal plain although it will survive in Atlanta. Zoysiagrass has short, sharp blades that form a medium to fine textured lawn. It spreads by both rhizomes and stolons and needs minimal fertility. Many zoysiagrasses can tolerate partial shade, as well as full sun. It can be successfully planted throughout Georgia. Tall fescue is a cool-season species with a fine leaf texture and a dark green color. Because tall fescue is a cool-season species, it looks its best in fall, winter and spring. When temperatures get hot, tall fescue’s canopy thins-out — a natural defense mechanism to survive environmental stresses. When conditions become favorable, tall fescue typically rebounds and resumes growth. It grows best on lawns in northern Georgia. Each type of turfgrass grown in Georgia requires different care — different mowing heights and fertility schedules. By selecting a turfgrass based on its characteristics, homeowners can get a great looking lawn with barely any extra effort. Also, when disease or weed problems do arise, finding solutions can be easier if you know the species growing in your landscape. For more information on Georgia turfgrass and for species-specific lawn care calendars, visit the UGA Extension turfgrass site www.GeorgiaTurf.com or call your local UGA Extension agent at 1-800-AskUGA1.
Organic vegetable farmers in the Southeast now have a successful model for planting summer cover crops with high-value, cool-season crops, thanks to a University of Georgia study. The two models use a series of crop rotations to increase yields, control insects and diseases, improve crop quality and build soil biomass.This system’s approach can be used to develop production recommendations and a production budget for organic farmers or for conventional growers interested in transitioning to organic production.“The purpose of the project was to take a systems approach to evaluate crop rotations to produce high-value, organic horticultural crops in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain of the Southeast,” said project investigator George Boyhan, a horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Originally, Vidalia onion growers interested in organic production were targeted for the study. Between 300 and 400 acres of these onions are grown organically in Georgia.“We wanted to see what cool-season, high-value crops could be incorporated in the crop rotation for onion growers in order to boost their profits,” Boyhan said. “As the study progressed, we found that the crop rotations would be suitable for any vegetable growers interested in organic production.”With funding from a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant, Boyhan, along with crop and soil scientist Julia Gaskin, plant pathologist Elizabeth Little, horticulturist Suzzanne Tate and agricultural economists Sam Kaninda and Greg Fonsah, studied two-crop rotations over a three-year period: (1) strawberries, bush beans and oats to Austrian winter peas, potatoes, sunn hemp, onions and southern peas, and (2) broccoli, lettuce, sudan-sorghum to cowpeas, carrots, sunn hemp, onions and millet.The rotations were developed with growers’ input to improve soil quality through cover crop biomass additions, to rotate between crop families to break pest cycles, to use cover crops to supply nitrogen and suppress weeds and to use cover crops and crop cycles to suppress nematodes.“The cover crops worked best when they were paired with a certain cash crop for a specific function,” Gaskin said.For example, sunn hemp planted before onions: “Onions are a high nitrogen-demanding crop and sunn hemp is known to fix nitrogen” and suppress nematodes and weeds, Gaskin said. A sunn hemp rotation plus nutrients in the soil provided 75 percent of the nitrogen for the onions. By contrast, the sorghum-sudan and cowpea mix grown before carrots may not have been the best rotation, Gaskin said. “The idea was to suppress weeds and nematodes. But the sorghum dominated the mix, outperforming the cowpea,” she said. “Yields with carrots were not as good.”Broccoli followed by lettuce produced “very good” yields, Gaskin said, but millet was not a great weed suppressor. Insects were practically nonexistent, although there some disease issues were found.“We chose cool-season crops because they are the easiest to grow organically in our region due to low insect and disease pressures,” Little said. “As far as diseases go, I’d say it was a success.”Some minor Botrytis was found in onions, Sclerotinia was noted in lettuce and beans, and a few leaf spots were recorded in strawberries. Very minor fruit rot problems were found. There was no evidence of root diseases in strawberries, and no diseases in potatoes or carrots, she said.Over the three-year period, onions produced the highest yields, exceeding the Vidalia onion county yield average for each of those years. Lettuce and broccoli yields were also high. Although the potatoes and carrots stored well, their yields were low.As far as the economics of the crops – based on variable and fixed costs, pre-harvest variables, and harvesting and marketing costs – the onions had the highest net return. The onions averaged more than $14,000 per acre and the lettuce followed, with a net return of more than $9,000 per acre over the three-year period.The UGA study found the net return for the cash crops generally increased over time, except for the strawberries. Summer cash crops of bush beans and southern peas were not profitable. The highest value crops also had the highest total costs; however, total costs were lower as the acres increased.Average net returns by crop rotations were $17,592 per acre for rotation one, and $20,964 per acre for rotation two.Researchers speculate the growing season was too short between cool-season crops.Cover crop costs averaged $6,000 per acre over the life of the rotation. The cover crops served as a weed control-soil building-nutrient cycling program.“The crop rotations show promise for mid-scale producers,” Boyhan said, ”but the one thing we learned is that timing is critical. This is an intensive system that requires work and a market to sell the product.”To view the complete study findings, go to http://tinyurl.com/LS10225.
Planting gardens at schools is not a new concept. The school garden movement first took off in 1917 when the U.S. School Garden Army was created with the motto, “A garden for every child, every child in a garden.”As of late, school gardens have experienced resurgence. A growing number of teachers are embracing school gardens to teach students much more than how to put a seed in the ground, care for it, watch it grow and enjoy the harvest provided by the plant.Becky Griffin, community and school garden coordinator for University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, says school gardens are gaining momentum for several reasons, including science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education requirements.“Schools can get a feather in their cap for using their school garden to meet the STEM certification,” Griffin said. “Teachers use their gardens to teach history by growing beans that (Meriwether) Lewis and (William) Clark brought back from their expedition, and they plant colonial gardens filled with crops from the time of George Washington. They also use school gardens to teach math. You use lots of division and recording to plant a garden. Some teachers have the students grow their crops in geometric shapes.”English teachers use school gardens by reading a book, then planting crops or flowers that were mentioned in the book, Griffin said.School gardens are an excellent educational tool, but they are also hard work. In Coweta County, Georgia, Griffin was called in to consult on a potential school garden before the soil was tilled and the seeds were planted.“First, the school administration needs to be on board, then the teachers, the parents and community leaders,” she said. “If the garden is being planned and planted by just one teacher, it’s going to fail. In the summer and during breaks from school, you need volunteers to help weed and water and care for the garden.”To help Georgia teachers grow gardens and successfully use them as teaching tools, UGA Extension and the UGA Center for Urban Agriculture offer school garden teacher training. In the summer of 2015, 60 teachers from 24 Georgia counties were trained at workshops help in Athens, Atlanta and Griffin, Georgia. They learned about crops that are in season during the school year, how to test garden soil before planting and how to control pests using as little pesticide as possible.For more information on this program, visit ugaurbanag.com/gardens/teacher-training.