Ready, Set, Grow! Symposium

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Ready, Set, Grow! Symposium

Ready, Set, Grow! Symposium

Henry County Master Gardeners are busy planning their annual county symposium. Since 2017, with the exception of 2020, Henry County Master Gardeners have held the event in the extension office on Lake Dow Road. The symposiums are hosted to educate the public on horticultural matters and establish community relationships.

This year’s theme is “Ready, Set, Grow!” and will feature four speakers for the September 9 event. The keynote speaker, Joe Lamp’l, is one of the country’s most recognized and trusted personalities in gardening and green living. He produces and hosts a popular gardening podcast, The Joe Gardener Show, and founded a website and digital media platform that broadcasts environmentally responsible gardening and sustainable outdoor living. Mr. Lamp’l’s topic will be “Digging Deeper-Ecological Gardening for Beauty and Biodiversity.” His newest book, The Vegetable Gardening Book: Your Complete Guide to Growing an Edible Organic Garden from Seed to Harvest, will be available for purchase during the symposium.

A second speaker, Henry County Master Gardener Kayla Tucker, will explain what vermicomposting is and present the value of vermicomposting in gardening for plant fertilizer and growth. A native of Jesup, Ga., she will state how her interest in this type of organic and useful composting began and demonstrate how to set up and maintain a worm composting system.

Connie Gray, the third speaker, has been a plant professional in Georgia for nearly 50 years. Studying native plants and the impacts of current development and landscaping methods on our natural ecosystems, she has worked for government agencies, nonprofits, and private businesses. Having taught plant identification, sustainable gardening methods, and the problems of invasive plants, Connie’s topic will be “Plant Invaders: What’s the Big Deal and What Should We Do About Them?” This talk will explore why some plants become environmental problems and how they damage natural ecosystems. Georgia invasive and non-invasive plants will be highlighted, as well as how to recognize them; guidance will also be given on controlling their growth spread.

The last speaker for the symposium will feature Sheri Dorn, an Extension Specialist for Consumer Ornamentals and State Coordinator for the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program Coordinator at the University of Georgia. Sheri’s topic, “Ten Plants for the Home Garden,” will advise on popular landscape plants and where to plant them so that there will be success in home landscape beautification. In addition to these four speaker presentations, there will be a discussion of soil importance from a representative from Super-Sod Soil3.

During the day-long symposium, attendees can bid on silent auction items, enjoy a catered lunch, and perhaps be lucky enough to win a door prize. Tickets go on sale beginning June 15 for $40 and can be purchased at the Henry County Extension Office located at 97 Lake Dow Road in McDonough or by calling the Extension Office at 770-288-8421 to purchase by credit card. Seats are limited.

By Arolue Flemmen Prater