​Everyone Is Invited; Mark Tuesday, August 30, on Your Calendar

Overview Tour at Plateau AgResearch and Education Center

Visitors seem to float through the Plateau Discovery Gardens on tractor-drawn wagon tours during the Fall Gardeners' Festival. The tours highlight the ongoing work at the Discovery Gardens as well as the entire Plateau AgResearch and Education Center. This year's event is August 30. It's free to attend and open to the public. Photo by P. McDaniels, courtesy UTIA. Download image.

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — The 2016 Fall Gardeners’ Festival is scheduled for August 30 at the University of Tennessee Plateau AgResearch and Education Center on Hwy. 70N, west of Crossville. This is the eighth year for the festival, which highlights the Center’s Discovery Gardens.

Co-hosted by the UT Institute of Agriculture and the Cumberland County Master Gardeners, the free educational event promises something for young gardeners and those who are young at heart. Featured will be 12 gardening seminars, walking tours of the UT Gardens, Crossville—also known as the Plateau Discovery Gardens—and wagon tours of the AgResearch and Education Center. Young ones will enjoy playing on the many structures in the KinderGarden.

Seminar topics include deer-resistant plants for the Plateau; identifying destructive vs. beneficial insects; growing hydrangeas; indoor composting; soil fertility; and turf renovation. Weed identification, grape production and vegetable gardening are also on the program.

The festival will also include educational displays and garden vendors. The popular UT Extension Ask-the-Expert booth invites visitors to bring samples or photos of diseased plant materials or insect pests for analysis and recommended treatments. Also staff from 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.

Walt Hitch, director of the UT Plateau AgResearch and Education Center, says the center can accommodate the expected crowd of 1,000 visitors. “We have plenty of space to park visitors, and we plan to have shuttles on hand to help those that have mobility issues,” he said.

The festival will open at 8 a.m. CDT and formal tours and educational seminars will begin at 9 a.m. Admission and on-site parking are free. The program is scheduled to adjourn at 3 p.m.

Snacks and lunch items will be available for purchase throughout the day. A map and complete directions are available at the Plateau Center’s website: plateau.tennessee.edu. For more information, call the center at 931-484-0034 or visit the Cumberland County Master Gardeners website: www.ccmga.org.

In 2013 the UT Gardens, Crossville, became the third site in the UT Gardens’ statewide plant collection, which is now designated at the state’s official botanical garden.

The Cumberland County Master Gardeners Association is a program of the county’s UT Extension office. The Plateau AgResearch and Education Center is one of 10 outdoor laboratories located throughout the state as part of the UT AgResearch system. Both UT Extension and UT AgResearch are part of the UT Institute of Agriculture.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu



Walt Hitch, Director, UT Plateau AgResearch and Education Center, 931-484-0034, jhitch@utk.edu