HomeNewsUT Gardens, Jackson celebrates their gardens and educates gardeners

UT Gardens, Jackson celebrates their gardens and educates gardeners

A normally hot and humid day at the UT Gardens, Jackson, turned out to be just right for gardeners at the annual Summer Celebration. 

This year featured 20 different talks, ranging from propagation, to turf tours, pesticide safety and more. 

“You have experiences where you plant the wrong thing. You spend a lot of money and it dies, or you plant the wrong tree and you want it to be 20 feet tall and it’s 120 feet tall. It’s a problem. Those are the kinds of mistakes we’re trying to help people avoid, by giving them an education,” Scott Steward, Director of the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center, said.

“The whole idea is really for the green industry, the ornamental landscape industry, to teach folks how to do things that work in West Tennessee: good management, good selection of plants, things that are pretty but also easier to manage,” he said.

The UT Gardens, Jackson, and West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center are operated by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, part of UT Knoxville. They operate gardens and research centers across the state. 

The gardens are open daily from sunrise to sunset. If you were unable to come to the Summer Celebration, you can also reach out to your local UT Extension office for information. Gardens Curator Jason Reeves also publishes information on Facebook every week as he manages the dozens of beds. Since they are a research-based organization, their goal is to help people create the best gardens they can. 

While the gardens are beautiful, they are a fraction of the work that goes on at the 400-acre center. Their scientists provide research and information to producers all over Tennessee and the United States. 

“Our primary research responsibilities and education responsibilities revolve around major row crops: cotton, corn and soybean and wheat,” Stewart said, “As director here, I like the gardens as much as all of those because they bring in the public that’s not that familiar with agriculture, and we get a chance to introduce them to everything we do out here.”

Julia Ewoldt, julia@jacksonpost.news

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