Unusually cool spring temperatures may impede Georgia vegetable gardens

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.
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.
Georgia reads griffinjournal
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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.

As one of the University of Georgia’s state vegetable specialists, I have seen many issues this spring, both in home gardens and in commercial grower operations. Cooler-than-normal soil temperatures either delayed planting or caused some seed to rot before it germinated. Other vegetables, such as early-planted okra or beans, may have come up but many are stunted. Many of the new hybrid sweet corns prefer soil temperatures in the mid to upper 60s, and Georgia has only just reached that threshold in the past few weeks. Other symptoms caused by cool temperatures can include nutritional deficiencies in vegetable plants — including phosphorus deficiency, which often occurs when soil temperatures stay below 60 degrees. A sign of phosphorus deficiency in vegetables is leaves turning a purplish color.

The good news for most of these issues is that the plants normally outgrow them. Now that we are warming up, stunted plants will begin to take off and are also better able to use available nutrition.

To get your garden up and rocking and rolling again, there are a few things that you need to do. Rainfall can be unpredictable, so be prepared to provide supplemental irrigation. In the absence of rainfall, provide approximately 2 inches of irrigation per week. Raised beds may require more water as they drain much faster. Vegetable plants will also need sufficient nutrients to thrive. Adjust your soil pH to between 6.0 to 6.8. To determine the pH of your soil, take a soil sample to your local UGA Cooperative Extension office.

Testing your soil will also provide details on what kind of fertilization your garden needs. In general, vegetables will need approximately 20 to 30 pounds of a balanced fertilizer per 1,000 square feet at planting. Additional fertilizer should be added after vegetables begin to develop small fruits. Take care not to place the fertilizer on top of the vegetable leaves or too close to the stem of the plant, as this can burn the plant.

About the time vegetables begin to grow well, weeds also begin to show their ugly heads. Preventing weeds from germinating is the best course of action for keeping them under control. Pre-emergent herbicides, as well as organic mulch and synthetic weed barriers, are good options to help prevent weeds. Once weeds germinate, you will need to control them with post-emergent herbicide options as well as mechanical removal with a tiller, hoe, or hand pulling.

While warmer temperatures can certainly aid the garden, they also increase the level of disease and insect activity on your vegetables. Scout through your garden frequently for signs of insect problems to catch them early. Only a handful of insect species are problematic in the home garden. Learn how to identify the good guys from the bad guys so that you don’t spray beneficial insects. Disease issues can often be kept minimal through sound management practices. When necessary, select the proper disease control for either the fungal or the bacterial issue at hand.

With luck, and depending on what you have planted, you should be able to begin harvesting in a month or two. Harvest most vegetables when they are young, as they are most tender and tasty at that stage. This will also trick the plant into continuing to bear fruit. Store harvested vegetables inside the house or refrigerator to increase their shelf life. Your fresh harvest should produce many delicious meals throughout the growing season.


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The public needs to know

Democracy Dies when Eyes of the Public are Closed
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Questions needed to be answered by elected officials of Griffin and Spalding County.
 
  1. Why is there a need for an assistant to the County Manager?
  2. Why haven’t     Griffin and Spalding County Commissioners requested the Governor for an investigation of Sheriff Dix for stealing money from the city and county evidence room when he worked as a Griffin police officer?
  3. Why does County Commissioner Gwen Flowers Taylor continue serving as a commissioner when was found to have misused absentee ballots and fined?
  4. Why do City and County Commissioners Cora Flowers, David Brock, Rita Johnson continue to be elected when they continue to do nothing of importance for Griffin and Spalding County?
  5. Why it is Spalding County and the City of Griffin continue to have a high number of vacancies that need to be filled to keep the government running smoothly?
  6. Why do Griffin and Spalding County continue to allow a person to not be investigated for possibly having sex with an inmate when he worked as a jailer for the county?
  7. Why is it that Griffin and Spalding County hire on the basis of friendship rather than qualifications?
  8. Why are unqualified people allowed to appoint people to serve on a board they are not qualified to serve on, Election Board?
  9. Why it is Griffin allows Hollberg to sit as Mayor when he has been reprimanded by many in open meeting for his lack of ability to hold that office?
  10. Why is it?
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OSHA issues new COVID-19 safety rules for healthcare workers

griffinjournal, no one reports it better in Spalding County
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The U.S. Labor Department released new COVID-19 workplace safety rules for healthcare June 10, including a requirement that healthcare employers provide workers with paid time off to get vaccinated and to recover from side effects.

The emergency temporary standard applies to employees who work in healthcare settings where suspected or confirmed coronavirus patients are treated. This includes hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as home healthcare and ambulatory care settings.

The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said there are some exemptions for healthcare providers who screen out potentially infected patients.

The rules take effect once published in the Federal Register, which officials said will be soon. The compliance deadline for most provisions is within 14 days and within 30 days for the remaining provisions.

"Too many of our front-line healthcare workers continue to be at high risk of contracting the coronavirus," Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said in a news release. "As I said when I came to the department, we must follow the science. This standard follows the science and will provide increased protections for those whose health is at heightened risk from coronavirus while they provide us with critical healthcare services. Given the pace of vaccinations, this standard, along with the guidance OSHA, the CDC and other agencies have released, will help us protect front-line healthcare workers and end this pandemic once and for all."

Under the emergency temporary standard, nonexempt facilities are required to conduct a hazard assessment and have a written plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, said OSHA. The agency said healthcare employers are also required to provide some employees with N95 respirators or other personal protective equipment; ensure 6 feet of distance between workers, or put-up barriers between employees where feasible; and provide workers with paid time off to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects.

Additionally, healthcare employees who are infected or may be contagious must work remotely or otherwise be separated from other workers if possible or be given paid time off up to $1,400 weekly, said OSHA. The federal government said tax credits in the American Rescue Plan may be reimbursed through these provisions for most businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

The emergency temporary standard — which was announced alongside updated guidance for other industries related to unvaccinated workers — comes after President Joe Biden issued an executive order in January directing the Labor Department to act to reduce the COVID-19 risk for American workers.

Read more about the rules here.

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Speed cameras expected to bring in millions

For Real News more people are reading griffinjournal
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One of Georgia’s largest counties say it expects to get $4.4 million in ticket revenue from its new speed-monitoring cameras.

Gwinnett County is projecting millions of revenue after similar cameras have generated an estimated $3 million for four cities in the county, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners this month unanimously approved a contract for Illinois-based Red Speed USA to install the cameras at no cost in some school zones in the county just northwest of Atlanta.

Two other counties in the metro Atlanta area — Clayton and Henry — also use the company’s cameras to nab motorists for speeding.

Statewide, about 40 counties and cities — including Duluth, Lilburn, Norcross and Snellville — contract with the company.

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More information obtained from Marcia Ridley out-going Election Supervisor

Finding the facts takes work. Facing them takes courage.
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After posting information griffinjournal received from the out-going Election Board Supervisor Marcia Ridley we made contact with her and got the following update. Click here for more from Marcia PDF. — This is griffinjournal
 
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