Browse Horticulture Stories - Page 7

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The 2021 CAES Ratcliffe Scholars (clockwise from top left) are Amaja Andrews, Ashley Dombrowski, Zaharia Selman and Sofia Franzluebbers. CAES News
2021 Ratcliffe Scholars
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) offers an exceptional array of courses taught by world-renowned professors — but it is often experiences beyond the walls of the classroom that truly set students apart.  
John Ruter, Allan M. Armitage Professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, was named UGA’s 2021 Inventor of the Year, recognizing his many years of work developing and testing new ornamental plant cultivars, many of which are sold commercially and adorn landscapes around the country. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski) CAES News
Master Gardener
John Ruter realized at a young age that he belonged in a garden. He came to UGA in 1990 to serve as the nursery crop research specialist at the Tifton Campus after earning bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in horticulture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the University of Tennessee and the University of Florida, respectively. He now serves as the Allan M. Armitage Professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, specializing in ornamental plant breeding and production.
UGA Extension consumer horticulturist Bob Westerfield checks bean plants for signs of disease and insects on the UGA campus in Griffin. Westerfield grows vegetables at work to be prepared to answer home gardener questions. He grows them at home for his dinner table. CAES News
Spring Vegetable Gardening
To call this past spring in Georgia normal would be a mischaracterization. Typical springs in Georgia seem to last about three days — and then we hit the hot weather. This spring, the cooler temperatures were most pleasant and hung on through the middle of May. Rainfall has also been feast or famine, and wind patterns have been higher than normal. Together, these conditions have made for a challenging time in the vegetable garden.
On May 10, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the fiscal year 2022 state budget that designated $26.1 million for capital projects at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. CAES News
Capital Gains
Gov. Brian Kemp signed the fiscal year 2022 budget for the state of Georgia on Monday, May 10, securing $21.7 million for the construction of phase one of a new Poultry Science Complex on the University of Georgia’s Athens campus.
The Passion hibiscus, developed by UGA plant breeder John Ruter, has burgundy and red leaves and bright-green flower buds that bloom into massive pink flowers. CAES News
Mother's Day Gifts
Plants and flowers are popular choices for Mother’s Day gifts each year and University of Georgia plant breeders are responsible for many beautiful varieties available in garden stores.
CAES Dean and Director Nick Place (left) and UGA blueberry entomologist Ashfaq Sial ceremonially plant the first blueberry bush in the new research orchard at UGA's Durham Horticulture Farm in Watkinsville, Georgia. CAES News
Blueberry Research
Native to North America, blueberries are the most-recently commercially domesticated fruit in the U.S. Just a little over a century ago researchers began studying this wild berry with an intent to develop improved varieties for commercial cultivation.
Dario Chavez, associate professor of horticulture on the UGA Griffin campus, shows off the drip irrigation system in the peach orchard of the Dempsey Research Farm used to study irrigation and fertilization management for young peach trees. CAES News
Peach Irrigation
While peach orchards are a common sight throughout middle and south Georgia — helping the Peach State live up to its name — peach producers need more than just the title to ensure that both long-established groves and newly planted fields are successful.
UGA Cooperative Extension volunteers contribute thousands of hours of their time and effort to support youth, family and agricultural programming throughout the state every year. CAES News
Volunteer Power
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, volunteers have continued to make a positive impact for Georgians of all ages. Throughout Volunteer Appreciation Week April 19 - 23, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is honoring thousands of volunteers who have dedicated their time to facilitate 4-H, Master Gardener and Family and Consumer Sciences programming on the county, district and state levels.
UGA researchers have been looking for ways to reverse the decline of pollinator populations by examining centipedegrass as a food source for pollinators. CAES News
Bee-friendly lawn
Over the past few decades, pollinators have been in decline worldwide, which is concerning because 70% of crops used for human food depend on pollinators. Turfgrasses – used for most residential lawns – often take some of the blame for pollinator decline as they are known to be wind-pollinated and were thought not to serve as a pollinator food source, until now.
Qian Feng, a second-year doctoral candidate in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has mapped additional genes responsible for volatile production in order to offer a more complete picture of the biochemical pathways in tomatoes. She hopes that other researchers can introduce the desirable genes into current or new varieties to breed a tastier  tomato. CAES News
Tastier Tomatoes
Why have tomatoes lost their flavor? Why do some dishes call for ketchup when cooking with tomatoes? These are a couple of the questions that Qian Feng, a second-year University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences doctoral candidate, seeks to answer through her research.