CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the Cumberland County Master Gardeners will host the fifth annual Fall Gardeners’ Festival at UT’s Plateau AgResearch and Education Center on Tuesday, Aug. 27. The event will take place in the Plateau Discovery Gardens. Admission is free and registration begins at 9 a.m. The program is scheduled to run until 4 p.m. The gardens are located in the Central time zone.
Michael “The Reverend” Sullivan and Jeff Ross, garden manager of Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn., will be the featured presenters at the event. They will speak about the chef’s relationship to the gardener.
Festival activities will include educational presentations by UT experts and local gardening personalities teaching on topics including shade gardening, ornamental grasses, feeding your family with a garden and why trees die. Additional topics will include landscaping techniques, controlling weeds in your turf, grape production and organic gardening. Sessions on treating fruit and ornamental trees for pests and learning to differentiate fungal and other diseases in the garden will also be presented.
Wagon tours of the center’s operations and walking tours of the Plateau Discovery Gardens will also be available. In April the Plateau Discovery Gardens became the third site in the UT Gardens’ statewide plant collection and joined the other UT Gardens sites as the state’s official botanical garden.
The event will also feature vendors selling their wares and educational exhibits with information for gardeners and those interested in landscaping and nursery products.
The popular UT Extension Ask-the-Expert booth invites visitors to bring samples or photos of "needy" plant materials for analysis and recommended treatments. Also, Debbie Joines, manager of UT Extension’s Soil, Plant and Pest Center, will be on hand to provide free soil pH analyses. Those interested in this service should bring a sandwich bag full of the soil they wish to be tested.
Snacks and lunch items will be available for purchase throughout the day. The event will be held at the main unit of the Plateau AgResearch and Education Center on U.S. Hwy. 70N west of Crossville. A map and complete directions are available online at http://plateau.tennessee.edu/location/. For more information, call the center at 931-484-0034 or visit the Cumberland County Master Gardeners website: http://www.ccmga.org
The Cumberland County Master Gardeners Association is a program of the county’s UT Extension office. The Plateau AgResearch and Education Center in Crossville is one of 10 outdoor laboratories located throughout the state as part of the UT AgResearch system. Both Extension and AgResearch are divisions of the UT Institute of Agriculture, which also provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.