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Skaggs: This winter, grow a green thumb

POSTED: January 9, 2009 1:00 a.m.

A well-tended, fruitful garden is a delight.

It can supply you and your family with a variety of nutritious, healthful vegetables to be enjoyed fresh or preserved for later use.

Growing fruits and vegetables is also a great way to improve your physical fitness, but if you're looking for some low-maintenance gardening, consider including some herbs in your garden.

Although it's true that we can buy fruits and vegetables in supermarkets as fresh, frozen or canned products, many are turning to gardening to supplement store-bought food. And many types of fruits and nuts can be grown in Georgia due to our mild climate.

In Georgia, you can plant or harvest something from your garden almost all year.

The two major planting periods are spring (March to May) and fall (mid-July to September).

The spring plantings are commonly harvested in June, July and August, while the fall plantings are harvested from October to December.

Though it's cold out and you may not feel like gardening, January is a great time for looking at seed catalogs, dreaming of warm spring days, preparing garden plots and making plans for a productive season.

This winter, get a head start on your spring and summer garden plans by learning to grow your own!

Beginning Jan. 26, I'll be teaching a series of classes at Gainesville State College on how to do just that.

Billy Skaggs is an agricultural agent and Hall County Extension coordinator. Phone: 770-531-6988. Fax: 770-531-3994.



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