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Time for Georgians to let green thumbs get busy
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Dear Editor:

Some people think that due to the drought, they should not plant at all. This is not true. Changes in water restrictions now allow more flexibility for homeowners and gardeners.

We must not be ‘drop-wise and bucket foolish’ to paraphrase an old saying. Groundcovers, turf, trees and shrubs help keep our watersheds healthy by reducing flooding, pollution and erosion. Plants are critical to reducing the impact of development and pavement on rivers and streams. And let’s not forget that vegetation, especially trees, and especially trees in our cities, reduces the heat island effect and improves air quality.

Besides the environmental benefits, everyone understands and appreciates the beauty and value landscaping adds to our homes and property.  

Spring is here. I encourage everyone to plant something. Horticulturists at nurseries and garden centers are available to help customers select plants, instruct them on how to prepare the soil, how to mulch, and how to efficiently and adequately apply water. Selecting the right plants and installing them properly will greatly reduce the amount of water your home landscape needs. Yes, gardening during times of drought may require a little more research and even a little more creativity and effort, but it is worth it.  

The benefits of planting trees, shrubs and other plants are enormous.  You will feel better, too, knowing that you are helping the environment, providing homes for wildlife, making Georgia more beautiful, and providing shade and oxygen for thankful generations to come.

Tommy Irvin
Commissioner of Agriculture