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enviromental news

Throughout the year, we will update this segment with news and information about important environmental and horticultural topics.

We will strive to include local, regional, and national topics of interest. 

- Garden Club of Georgia - Planting Info Newsletter (Environmental Edition)

Topics of interest:



- City of Atlanta Passes 100% Clean Energy Resolution

- Bat Endangered Species Intervention
- US Lists Species of Bumble Bee as Endangered

- ROSES IN BLOOM Click here for a comprehensive guide, full of tips and techniques, to grow and maintain a beautiful rose garden. Learn about the different varieties, as well as a month-by-month guide to their care and maintenance.

- Poison Concerns



Immediate Attention

In the interest of time, please watch this video on Protecting the Okefenokee, and take a few moments to fill out the quick forms to contact our reps and our governor. The forms will populate who your representatives are once you type in your address on the form, and then follow the prompts. From what I can tell (lots of red tape), this should be done by the end of January 8th, 2024. Barbara Bourque, GCG Legislative Chairman, wrote an article about this in the Fall Edition of your Garden Gateways publication, page 3. Please consider supporting this worthwhile cause. Thank you, Daisies!

Okefenokee video:

1. Ask Georgia legislators to sign the Okefenokee Protection Act.

2. Urge Governor Kemp to oppose Twin Pines Minerals mining permit application now being reviewed by Georgia EPD.





What Are Native Plants?

There are many definitions for native plants. Several references say native plants are those that grow naturally in a particular region without direct or indirect human intervention. Other references place a historical timeline on native plants, saying they are plants that were present in a particular area prior to European settlement of that area. Others say they are plants that have inhabited a particular region for thousands of years. Even the federal government published an "official" definition in the Federal Register, defining native plants as those that are "naturally occurring, either presently or historically, in any ecosystem of the United States."


Why Plant Native Plants?

  • A native plant community, left undisturbed and incorporated into a landscape, is low-maintenance and self-sufficient. 

  • Native plants provide "watchable" wildlife habitats.

  • Ecological preservation is another reason for using native plants.

Marietta Daisies Garden Club Environmental/Horticulture Committee Report

January Meeting Environmental Committee Survey Results
These results will be included in the Presidents Report.
Number of Members Participating in survey: 25
Do you have Native Plants in your Gardens or Landscape? Yes = 80%
Did you plant a vegetable and/or Herb Garden in in the ground or in containers? Yes = 80%
Did you install or maintain birdhouses, nesting boxes, birdfeeders and/or birdbaths to attract wildlife to your
backyard? Yes = 84%

Things To Do in Your Yard in February

Source: Walter Reeves


  • Prune fruit trees - Prune apple and pear trees now – but postpone peach pruning until mid-March

  • Redesign your lawn for easier mowing. Eliminate sharp angles and narrow turf areas. Use mulch, new flowerbeds or a groundcover like mondo grass there instead.

  • Water winter plants - Water poinsettia, Christmas cactus and amaryllis plants with houseplant fertilizer dilutedto one-half strength. Don’t overwater

  • Test your soil - How much fertilizer or lime does your lawn or garden really need? The only way to know for sureis to call your county Extension office (1-800-ASKUGA-1) and get a soil test kit.

  • Prune - Prune one-fourth of the branches from your overgrown fig bush. Removing any more will reduce thenumber of fruit this summer. Concentrate on saving the horizontal ones.

  • Force Winter blooms - Bring branches of spirea, forsythia and flowering quince indoors. Placed in a vase, theywill bloom in just a few days.

  • Rotate houseplants - Remember to turn houseplants 180 degrees every two weeks to prevent uneven growth.

  • Prune ornamental grasses - The brown foliage on pampas grass and maiden grass can be pruned away now.

  • Leave only a “crew cut” of brown stems twelve inches high.

  • Plant sweet pea - Plant sweet pea now for fragrant flowers later. Plant English peas, onions, asparagus orelephant garlic for your spring vegetable garden.

  • Prune your shrubs - Overgrown Burford holly shrubs can be pruned severely now. Even if it is reduced to twelveinches tall, this shrub will resprout plenty of new foliage by summer.

  • Plant a container garden - Plant a large container for your patio. A small boxwood surrounded by variegated ivyand blooming pansies would look very nice!

  • Plant daphne shrubs - Plant a winter daphne (Daphne odorum) near your home’s entrance or front walkway.

  • The scent will greet you each day when you arrive at your abode this spring.

  • Clean your bird boxes - Clean out bird boxes so they will be ready to welcome new residents in a few weeks.

  • Build raised beds - Build raised beds for vegetables, roses and herbs. It’s easy to do with four pieces of 2×8 woodplanks. Choose lengths that fit your space; bolt them together at the corners.

  • Prune your butterfly bush - Reduce the size of your butterfly bush by two thirds to one half to encourage newgrowth (and big blooms) this summer.

  • Clean up your monkey grass - Set your mower to its highest setting and cut off the tattered leaves of liriope(monkey grass). They will quickly regrow in March

Things To Do in Your Garden in January

Source: Walter Reeves


  • Get ready for roses - Prepare beds for bare-root roses that will soon arrive in nurseries. Dig an area four feet wide and twelve inches deep for each plant, adding plenty of soil conditioner to the soil.

  • Tend to your poinsettias - Water poinsettias only as needed – when the top inch of the soil becomes dry to the touch. Keep them in bright light but cool temperatures. Do not fertilize until March.

  • Prune your trees - It is easy to see the limb structure of trees now. Tie ribbon around the ones you think should be removed then step back for another look before cutting them off.

  • If the ground is dry, till the soil in your vegetable garden. You’ll eliminate lots of insects, weeds and nematodes.

  • Transplant shrubs - Small, leafless shrubs and trees can be transplanted easily now. Wait for a warm day when the ground is not frozen.

  • Cut back kudzu and bamboo - Chop unwanted kudzu, English ivy and bamboo to the ground. Follow with weed killer on the leaves in April.

  • Prune pampas grass - Prune clumps of pampas grass down to 12 inches tall. Use a gloved hand to pull out dead stems in the clump.

  • Water pansies - Water pansies and ornamental kale after a hard freeze so they can re-hydrate their wilted leaves. Remember to regularly water window boxes and other outside plant containers.

  • Bring in amaryllis - Amaryllis flower stems and their faded blooms can be removed now. Treat it like a houseplant for the rest of the winter then plant outdoors in a sunny bed in May.

  • Prepare for cold weather - Use calcium chloride or potassium chloride instead of salt on icy sidewalks. Too much rock salt (sodium chloride) can burn nearby plant roots. If temperatures drop below 20 degrees after a week-long warm spell, cover gardenias and camellias nightly with black plastic anchored to the ground on all sides.

  • Request seed catalogs - Write or call for your yearly supply of garden plant and seed catalogs. Buy an issue of a gardening magazine for addresses and phone numbers.

  • Plant pansies and daisies - Plant pansies and English daisies in a sunny bed when the weather is mild. Use plants in three inch or larger pots to make an immediate impact in your landscape.

  • Be careful - Look out for poison ivy when working outdoors. Even the leafless vine and branches can cause a powerful skin reaction if touched.

  • Check your bulbs - Check on the tender bulbs (canna, caladium, dahlia) you stored indoors for the winter. If they are beginning to shrink, mist each one with warm water.

  • Prune your fruit trees - Prune apple and pear trees and grape vines.

Things To Do in Your Yard In the Fall

Source: Walter Reeves

Rake fallen leaves - Blow or rake fallen leaves regularly from newly planted fescue lawns. Remove as
many acorns as possible from all lawns.
Plant Spring bulbs - This is the best time to plant spring-flowering bulbs now that the soil is cooler. Add
fertilizer as you dig the bed.
Dig up elephant ear bulbs - Dig caladium, elephant ear and dahlia bulbs now while you can still find
them. Store in boxes of peat moss.
Bring camellia blooms indoors - Enjoy sasanqua camellia blooms. Cut a few to bring indoors and float in
a crystal saucer for a dining table centerpiece.
Trim chrysanthemums - Shear chrysanthemums and asters down to four inches once the flowers fade.
Replace mulch under trees - Rake out fallen leaves and replace the mulch under crabapples and
dogwoods to prevent disease next year. Neaten perennial flower beds. Remove dry stems and dead
leaves. Put fresh mulch under shrubs, trees and perennials.
Fill bird feeders - Fill bird feeders with black oil sunflower seeds. Birds will find and eat each seed and
you won’t accidentally feed chipmunks and rats on the ground.
Fertilize recent plantings - Fertilize again the pansies, snapdragons, cabbage and dianthus you planted a
few weeks ago. Use a powdered, water-soluble fertilizer now but switch to a product containing
“nitrate nitrogen” December thru March.
Prepare a composting area - Prepare your composting area for fall leaves. You can make a cheap bin
from 4-foot-wide fence wire 10 feet long. Bend it into a circle and join the ends together. Pile in leaves
as you rake them. Spray each layer with water.
Clean up old vines - Clean all of the old vines from tomato cages before putting them in storage. Pull up
okra stalks plus squash and bean vines.
Bring herbs in for winter use - Bring some rosemary inside to dry for winter use. Freeze basil in water-
filled plastic containers.
Divide ferns - Divide your hanging basket of Boston fern into thirds and plant into three new baskets.
Hang in a sunny window; by spring they’ll be big enough to put outside.
Plant shrubs and trees - Continue to plant shrubs and trees. Even though its chilly outdoors, the soil is
still warm enough to encourage root growth. Remove all of the twine, wire or paper trunk cover on
each one.
Tie up roses - Tie up loose canes of climbing roses so they don’t slap against the arbor or each other on
windy days.
Water recent plantings - Water weekly the pansies and other cool-season flowers you planted earlier.
Spray or dig out weeds - Spot-spray or dig out chickweed, violets and wild onions you find in your lawn.
see Chickweed Control
Root Confederate rose before hard frost. 


Have a topic or interesting fact to share? Please contact Lorelle LoCurto.  


No Rain? No problem...Did you know that there is current research happening

with drought tolerant turf grass?

Tif Tuf has been widely and successfully used in the industry for several years now. It was released by our

own UGA. Tif Tuf demonstrated a 40% water savings over the leading Bermuda grass without loss of turf

quality. For this reason, it has been widely accepted in the sod industry.

Other varieties include, Tahoma 31, TamStar and Citra Blue. There are 2 forthcoming zoysia grass

varieties. There is a great deal of research in progress and on the horizon in regards to plant

breeding. Utilizing modern technology, growers are able to monitor many helpful and useful traits.

There is a nationwide campaign on the horizon aimed at educating consumers on why they should

choose a drought-tolerant grass and how to effectively manage it to reap all of the benefits.

Daisies Wisdom

Water Conservation


Why should I conserve water?

Eco-friendly landscaping is a great way to reduce water usage.

Water is a renewable resource, so outside of lowering your bills, why use less of it? 

For one, water takes energy and time to clean. The EPA estimates that “drinking water and wastewater systems account for approximately 2 percent of energy use in the United States, adding over 45 million tons of greenhouse gases annually.”

Every time you use water, it must be treated to remove pathogens and contaminants before it can go back into circulation. 

While the water is being treated, it isn’t available for consumption. 

Conserving water means that less of it will have to cycle through the extensive wastewater treatment process each day. 

Why plant a drought tolerant grass?

Reduces water bill Turf Developed through a partnership between Texas A&M and NG Turf, Sunbelt Blue™ is an innovative cool season cross between Texas and Kentucky bluegrass.

Sunbelt stands up to Southeastern summers better than fescue, while remaining cold hardy and keeping its bright blue-green color year round. It performs with superior resistance to disease as well.

Sunbelt’s rhizomatous root system provides heat and drought resistance and also allows it

recover from stress and damage—unlike fescue, which requires overseeding.

TifTuf™ Bermuda is the newest “Tif” release from the world-renowned University of

Georgia breeding program. After two decades of rigorous testing, TifTuf proved superior

drought resistance, maintaining quality and color while using 38% less water than other

Bermuda varieties. TifTuf’s growth allows for faster establishment and quicker recovery

compared to other Bermudas. Recommended for residential, commercial, golf course and

sports field applications, it features an attractive bright green color with faster spring green-up and late fall color retention.

Consider these options over turf:

Ground cover is your best friend.

There is a host of shade-loving ground covers that will grow where no turf grass dares to enter.

Check out shade-tolerant perennials and

ground covers like English ivy, ajuga,  hosta , sweet woodruff, and pachysandra.

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