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Gary L. Wade

A proposed Center for Horticulture within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of The University of Georgia will target both Environmental Horticulture professionals and homeowners. To be headquartered at the Georgia Experiment Station in Griffin, Ga., with satellite units in Atlanta, Athens, Tifton, and Savannah, the Center will utilize advanced communications technology in developing and delivering educational outreach programs for clientele. Distance learning via fiber optics telecommunications will be used to provide educational short courses and seminars to clientele across the state. Distance imaging will be used for plant problem solving and plant identification. Newsletters, pest alerts, program announcements and other information will be sent electronically to clients via fax, e-mail, or the World Wide Web. Marketing of Georgia-grown crops will be a major thrust of the Center. A second component of the Center will be a public outreach unit, staffed by trained Master Gardeners, professional coordinator, and computer technician housed at the various satellite units. Citizens throughout the state will be able to phone one of the satellite units to get their gardening questions answered. Information will be sent directly to clients via fax, e-mail, or from the local county Extension agent when prompted via the computer to send the client an informational bulletin. A central server and database of information to support the Center will be maintained at the Georgia Experiment Station. The Center will utilize an interdisciplinary approach, involving teaching, research, and Extension personnel in responding to industry and consumer needs.

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Gary L. Wade, Jeff Jackson, and Kendra Henderson

Economic and aesthetic losses from deer browsing of ornamental plants in nurseries and landscapes has increased significantly during recent years. This, according to wildlife specialists, is primarily due to hunting restrictions in urban areas. There are numerous so-called “deer repellents” on the market, but most are foliar applied and can be washed off or diluted with rain or irrigation. This study evaluated the effect of a systemically absorbed deer repellent tablet, Repellex (trademarked product), on deer browsing of containerized ornamental plants. A foliar applied counterpart, Repellex liquid, was also evaluated. The 1.5-gm tablets are a 14–2–2 fertilizer containing denatonium benzoate, lactose, ammonium phosphate, hydrous magnesium, and potassium sulfide. Two to eight tablets, depending on the size of the container, are placed adjacent to the root ball of the plant and 2 inches below the media surface at time of transplant. Gumpo azalea, Indian hawthorne, daylily, and Manhattan Euonymus were used for the study. Plants treated with tablets were held 6 to 8 weeks, according to manufacturer recommendations, under nursery conditions, then transported to deer-holding pens at the Whitehall Forest Research Station at the Univ. of Georgia. The pens, 1/2- to 1 acre in size, contained seven to 12 deer, depending on the study. Growth measurements initially and at weekly intervals were used to assess the degree of deer browsing. Results varied by plant species. Generally, the tablets were ineffective in preventing deer browsing when compared to the control. The foliar applied liquid was effective in reducing deer for up to 6 weeks when compared to the control. Plants treated with a tablet at time of propagation and two additional tablets when transplanted were browsed to the container within 2 days of deer exposure.

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Melvin Garber, Kane Bondari, and Gary Wade

A survey of landscape installers was conducted to help determine how university personnel and industry groups could better meet the needs of the landscape industry. The top four opportunities by which university personnel could assist landscape installers were to: 1) provide a hot-line for immediate professional advice (21%); 2) provide more in-house training (21%); 3) facilitate testing and introduction of new products (16%); and 4) provide lists of available publications and research findings (14%). Landscape installers also identified the most valuable information sources regarding types of plants available and plant installation. The implications of the survey results for developing education and marketing plans to serve the landscape installation industry are discussed.

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Gary L Wade and William A. Thomas

Cost estimating and job bidding are among the most complex and time-consuming tasks of landscape professionals. A software package was developed to make cost estimating more accurate and efficient. HORT LAND, computer cost estimator for landscape installation, was developed for IBM compatible PC's using SuperCalc 5 spreadsheet software. The user builds a series of data bases, including an items listing of materials and equipment utilized in his operation along with their associated cost. Then, he defines a series of generic tasks, such as planting a 1-gallon size plant, and refers to the previous items list and associated code numbers for the materials and equipment necessary to install the plant. Once these initial data bases are constructed and saved, the user inputs a plant list, including size and price, then instructs the computer to translate the appropriate data from the initial data bases to arrive at a detailed listing of costs. The program then computes direct job cost and bid price, including overhead and profit.

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Gary L. Wade, Joan E. Marsh, and Mark Banta

In June, 1988, an Extension advisory committee of landscape professionals met in Atlanta to discuss educational needs of the industry. Representatives from commercial, municipal, Institutional, recreational and private landscape operations present unanimously Identified the need for employee training materials as a top priority. A sub-committee composed of Extension agents, Extension Specialists and landscapes then spent months examining training aids from other states and concluded most were not pertinent to the southeastern U.S. As a result, a series of locally produced employee training videos were proposed. With funding from various landscape firms and the landscape division of the Georgia Green Industry Association, an Atlanta based videographer was hired. Scripts are written and edited by a team of Extension Agents, Extension Specialists and landscape professionals. Extension agents then direct the filming and help edit and produce the final product. To date, two videos have been released and four more are in production. Each video is packaged with an instructor's manual, multiple choice exam and evaluation form. A great deal of support and enthusiasm from both the landscape industry and Extension administration has resulted from this team approach to Extension programming.