Gilmer County Master Gardener Volunteers

UGA - Gilmer County Extension



  • Monthly Meeting January 22, 2019 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am Gilmer County Library, 268 Calvin Jackson Dr, Ellijay, GA 30540, USA
  • Sustainable Gardening February 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Gilmer County Library, 268 Calvin Jackson Dr, Ellijay, GA 30540, USA
  • Thugs and Barbarians March 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Gilmer County Library, 268 Calvin Jackson Dr, Ellijay, GA 30540, USA Nuisance plants and invasive species. (Julie Keller & Debbie Rupp)
  • Monthly Meeting March 19, 2019 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am Gilmer County Library, 268 Calvin Jackson Dr, Ellijay, GA 30540, USA
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Education Programs Scheduled

University of Georgia Logo

Gilmer County Library – 268 Calvin Jackson Road, Ellijay

6:00pm – 7:00pm

February 7,  Sustainable Gardening 

March 7,  Nuisance plants and invasive species

April 4,  Grow Veggies Anywhere

May 2,  Ornamental Grasses 

All programs are free and open to the public.  Additional details will follow.



Christmas Market

The Gilmer County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers will host the 2nd Annual Christmas Market.


Date: Saturday, November 17
Hours: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Registration Fee: $25
ADD $3 if using electricity

We will have music, Santa Claus,

a food truck and a coffee/hot

chocolate vendor.


Click here to view and print the registration form

If you have any questions, please

email us at,

or call/text Margaret at 706-273-9163.

Fall Programs

We are now accepting registrations for our final Make and Take – Moss Balls (Kokedama).

Moss Balls Registration 2018




The 3 Rivers Boy and Girls Club of Gilmer County received a grant for local Master Gardeners to work with the children.

The Gilmer County Master Gardeners received $125 from the Georgia Master Gardeners to enhance the children’s gardening skills and love of plants.
b&gc master gardener check
Left to right:
Carol Harris, Eddie Ayers (Gilmer County Extension Agent)
Kathy Levine (Gilmer Master Gardeners President)
Karen Hyde,
Brooke Nations ( presenting check, District Manager for Georgia Master Gardeners)
Jan Day (Director of the Boys and Girls Club)
Debbie, Parks, Dorothy Berry, Julia Padgett and Pat Corker
photo by Michael Andrews

Barbarians in the Garden: Invasive Species – By Master Gardener Julie Keller

While giant hogweed hasn’t made its way to Georgia yet we have plenty of other invasive plants in our own back yards.   Invasive species, also known as exotic, nonnative or introduced species, are plants and animals that have been introduced, either intentionally or accidentally, into areas outside their natural ranges and cause economic or environmental harm. The three bullies listed below are ones that you probably have on your property, each capable of taking over your garden in a heartbeat.



Chinese Privet (ligustrum sinense)


Japanese honeysuckle (lonicera japonica)


Japanese stiltgrass (microstegium vimineum)


For information about these and other invasive species, go to where you’ll find a wealth of information and links to more.  For control information this link is very helpful:



May 3 – Shade Gardening–Beyond Hostas

May 3  6:00 pm – Gilmer County Library

Shade can be defined in many ways. In this session we will not only define shade but also discuss soil prep, design principles, microclimates, hardscapes and  dividing current plant material. IMG_5210.JPG

Deer and Home Landscapes

By Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent

DeerMany of us are getting the urge to get in the yard and plant. Now is a good time to plant, but there are a lot considerations when trying to decide what to plant. This article is devoted to choosing plants that deer may not go to as their first choice.

Deer like nutrition-rich plants, especially in spring and summer when does are pregnant or nursing, when young deer are growing and when bucks are growing antlers. Fertilized plants, such as those in home landscapes, provide protein, energy-rich carbohydrates, minerals and salts. Deer also get about one-third of their water from the moisture in irrigated plants and young, succulent vegetation on expanding leaves, buds and green stems.

Nuisance deer that feast on home gardens and bucks that damage young trees by rubbing them with their antlers during the rutting season are difficult and expensive to control in residential communities. Although there are a number of commercially available deer repellents on the market, none of them are 100 percent effective. Most “home remedy” repellents, such as soap, human hair and animal dung, are unreliable. Milorganite is a fertilizer that some claim repels deer. Another option is a motion sensor connected to a water hose that will spray them when they are close to the detectors. Red reflectors placed around eye level to the deer gives them the impression there is a predator near. One problem with all of these methods is that they must be moved around or the deer will figure out that there is no danger.

Shooting deer or using noise guns is prohibited in most residential neighborhoods, and many citizens are opposed to this method of control. Fencing whole communities or individual properties is often not practical, and may be against local ordinances or community covenants. Trapping and relocating deer is costly and often harmful or fatal to deer.

If deer are overabundant in your neighborhood, and deer herd reduction or management is not feasible, a good way to prevent deer browsing in landscapes is to plant ornamental plants that deer might not like to eat. Of course there is no such thing as a completely deer-resistant plant, so when deer populations are high and food becomes scarce, deer may feed on plants that are thought to be deer-tolerant, however, they generally do not like plants with pungent aromas. Some gardeners have reported success with planting strong-scented plants like lantana, catmint, chives, mint, sage or thyme adjacent to plants that deer frequently browse. Deer also shy away from plants with prickly or rough leaves and plants with a bitter taste. Sometimes, deer browse new plantings or established plants with tender new growth, then avoid those same plants when their leaves are mature.

Over the years, wildlife organizations, universities, botanical gardens and garden writers have constructed many lists of deer-tolerant and deer-susceptible ornamental plants. Because most of these lists are constructed from observational trial-and-error data instead of controlled scientific studies, they are open for criticism and there are also many variables that influence deer feeding preferences, however, the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources developed a compilation of deer-tolerant ornamental plants for Georgia hardiness zones that appear in published literature (some observations are made by the authors) and I will provide you with a link to this publication. Just remember that the publication should only be used as a guide for selecting ornamental plants for landscapes where deer browsing is a problem and that plants known to be invasive (and a serious problem in natural areas, regardless of their level of deer tolerance,) were excluded from the list. The link to the publication is:

Agricultural Awareness Week

Eddie Ayers, Gilmer Extension Agent,  highlights how Gilmer county contributes to agriculture in Georgia.   Eddie Ayers Article – Agriculture Awareness Week

Earth Day – April 21, 2018

Earth Day 2018

UGA Extension Cooking Class Apr 7, 9:30-11:30 am

Cooking class ugaext



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