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Georgia Clipping: Using digital devices in landscaping!

““Every Summer writes its own story: Hair gets lighter. Skin gets darker. Toes get sandier. Sun gets brighter. Water gets warmer. Evenings get longer. Days get hotter. Food tastes fresher. Drinks get colder. Music gets louder. Friends get happier. Life happens in the sun! Autumn Seagle.

It’s that time of the year as we welcomed summer on June 20 which is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere where the sun is directly above the 20 degrees northern latitude.  However, we were experiencing the high temps of summer long before the actual day arrived. Pace yourself in this summer heat and don’t get too hot.

Digital gardening journals are very important in documenting items of importance in the landscape. Whether the information is about the placement of a bulb, the color of a flower, the much-wanted plant from across town, an enrichment item that you like, a particular creative design that catches your attention, the amount of rainfall last week, and so on, it is critical to realize such information to better improve how you design and maintain your landscape sites. If not recorded, then the potential for loss of such information is greater and makes your landscaping efforts more difficult! Using digital devices in landscaping is being proactive!

Digital camera: One of the best tools to assist you in documenting landscape information is the digital camera. This instrument is so useful and allows you to digitally document such information as taking pictures of bulbs, flower color so vivid this season on select plants, or photographing a plant that you have seen elsewhere and want in your garden. Also, such photos serve as a reminder about an enrichment item or garden design that catches your attention, locally or globally.

Also, taking pictures of weeds, insects or diseases for identification purposes or photographing a chemical label for your records can be priceless. Using the digital camera for recordkeeping anything and everything from A to Z is such an asset to the home gardener. Always transfer your pictures from the digital camera to an organized folder on your computer hard drive, as well as making a backup. Certain pictures may also be kept in your camera if you need to access them often for quick reference in other situations.

And keep additional charged batteries and memory cards on hand just in case you might need them at the least suspected time and place. Keep your digital camera with you at all times too (smart phones work as well).

GPS devices: Hand held GPS devices have usefulness in the landscape as they can assist you in determining the sizes of lawn areas and landscape beds in installation and maintenance situations.

Photograph records: Photographs make very effective records. Each photograph should include the date, time, location, special notations, etc. This type of information will become more valuable as you plan each successive season.

Pesticide records: Keep a record of all pesticides used in the landscape. Note the trade name, date, target pest, rate of application, and weather conditions at the time of application. Always follow label directions and file a copy of the label for future reference. Calculate and record the total square feet of lawn and bed areas.

Soil amendments and fertilizers: Record the date, rate of application, analysis, equipment used, liming information, soil tests, results and recommendations, etc. Also, record the weather conditions at the time of application. Calculate and record the total square feet of lawn and bed areas.

Think in terms of native and sustainable plants in the landscape. Keep your hanging baskets and potted plants refreshed with water and food. Remember to feed and water the songbirds. Give your pets the care they need. Do not leave them unattended in a hot car or tied to a tree all day long. Also, be on lookout for children playing and bicyclists riding along the streets and roadways throughout our communities this summer. Don’t drive distracted or impaired, and don’t text while driving. Help the homeless every chance you get. Let’s keep everyone safe!

Many thanks to all who read this column which is an effort to provide each reader with timely and useful information which is a small contribution on my part in “paying it forward” to my readers. We are preparing for a mission trip to the Andes Mountains in Peru next month and accepting donations to assist in its funding. If you would like to donate to this cause, please make a check payable to Heritage Church and mail to Eddie Seagle, Peru Mission Team, 108 Tallokas Circle, Moultrie, GA 31788. We thank you and would appreciate your prayers for a safe journey for our team.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

Seagle is a Sustainability Associate, Golf Environment Organization (Scotland), Agronomist and Horticulturalist, CSI: Seagle (Consulting Services International), Professor Emeritus and Honorary Alumnus, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Associate Editor of The Golf Course, International Journal of Golf Science, and Short Term Missionary, Heritage Church, Moultrie. Direct inquiries to eddie@csiseagle.com.