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Irises, Favorite Tools on 'Gardening'


Photo: UGA Georgia Experiment Station Research & Education Garden

Bearded irises: multiply by dividing.

On this week's "Gardening in Georgia," host Walter Reeves shows how to dig, separate and replant irises and takes time to show some of his favorite "toys" -- digging tools.

The show will be aired on Wednesday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. on 0019 Georgia Public Television 017F . If you miss that show, it will be rebroadcast on Saturday, July 21, at 12:30 p.m.

Reeves shows how simple it is to lift the clump of irises with a spading fork, then slice the roots apart to leave a healthy fan of leaves on each section.

Favorite New 'Toy'

He uses the opportunity, too, to show one of his new "toys," a 0022 U-Bar digger from Lee Valley Tools 2E85 . As he works, he describes the flowers of different irises: bearded, Dutch, Japanese and others. He finishes his job by replanting the divided irises in a well-drained bed that gets full sun.


UGA CAES File Photo

Walter Reeves

Reeves demonstrates other digging tools, too, including the round-point flat and trenching shovel, spading fork and others. And he reveals how to choose the best tool for the job at hand.

Guest Dan Suiter, an entomologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, describes the life cycle of the smoky brown cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa). It often lives in tree hollows in your landscape. Suiter shows Reeves how to use a gel bait to control these nasty, large pests.

Sack Lunches in Trees

UGA entomologist Beverly Sparks shows that the spindle-shaped sacks hanging on your trees probably contain bagworms (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis). These caterpillars continuously build the bag, using it for shelter as they move about the plant, stripping it of its leaves.

Looking for a low-maintenance annual that's a nonstop bloomer for the landscape, planter or hanging basket? The New Wonder Blue Fan Flower (Scaevola aemula 'New Wonder') may be the answer. UGA horticulturist Jim Midcap describes this 1997 Georgia Gold Medal Winner.

"Gardening in Georgia" airs every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on GPTV. The show is produced specifically for Georgia gardeners by the UGA CAES and GPTV. To learn more, visit the show's Web site.

(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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