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UGA Extension Office

Agriculture & Natural Resources

County Ag Agent

Areas where your Gilmer County agent can help you include:

  • Horticulture and Landscaping
  • Soil Testing Service
  • Water Quality Analyses
  • Pond Management
  • Plant Disease Diagnosis
  • Weed Identification
  • Insect Identification
  • Row Crops and Pastures
  • Master Gardener Program

Contact us for more information! 

Home Horticulture | Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes

For publications relating to lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables, etc., please visit our Publications page and type in a keyword ('tomatoes', 'pecans'....) in the 'Search Publications' box.

Testing Services

UGA Extension - Gilmer provides testing services through The University of Georgia. There are many types of tests available such as water, soil, plant tissue, and radon.

Please contact the office at 706-635-4426 to learn test options, pricing, packaging, and office hours for bringing in your test samples. Results are usually available in 8 - 10 business days.

Soil Testing

Determining the fertility level of a soil through a soil test is the first step in planning a sound lime and fertilizer program. Most Georgia soils are low in pH and/or one of the essential plant nutrients. Therefore, to maintain normal plant growth, lime and fertilizer must be applied in sufficient quality to meet the crop requirement. A SOIL TEST is the best means available to determine this requirement.

Soil tests are $6.00 per sample, plus shipping.

* Includes pH, Lime Requirement, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, and Manganese. At least a pint of soil is needed per soil sample to be tested. The lab cannot process samples that are less than a pint. Be sure to pull the soil sample from several spots at random to get a good representative sample. You may bring samples in a pint size plastic freezer bag (filled full) if you don't have a soil sample bag. Please follow the procedures for collecting soil samples below.

Soil Testing the Easy Way for instructions on taking a soil sample.

Soil tests provide information on the soil's actual nutrient status and are used to determine the amount and kind of nutrients that should be added to the soil for the desired crop.

Note: Soil sample bags and water bottles can be picked up at the Extension office.

Water Testing

  • Expanded Water- Recommended if water has never been tested. This test addresses common well water quality problems in Georgia such as corrosion, high levels of iron and manganese, and nitrate from various sources. $65
  • Basic Mineral  -  Recommended annual test after Expanded test has been done. $25
  • Bacteria Test- Tests for E-coli & Total Coliform. This test is time sensitive and can only be over night shipped Monday through Wednesday to the lab. $36 *Does Not Include Shipping*
  • Home Loan Closing Test-Used when purchasing or refinancing a home. Best practice is for the client to contact the lender for clarification on what exactly has to be tested. USDA and VA loans require this test. $85.00 *Does Not Include Shipping*
  • Radon in the Water - $30 *Does Not Include Shipping*
  • Water Lead Test Only - $45.00 per sample: Lead testing is recommended for homes and/or wells built prior to 1985. Pipes could contain lead solder which could leach into your drinking water.
  • Water Arsenic Test Only - $45.00 per sample: Arsenic testing is recommended for wells located on old farm sites where pesticides may have been used for cotton production or fruit orchards between 1920-1940.
  • Lead and Arsenic Test Combined--If you would like to have your water tested for both Lead and Arsenic at the same time, the fee is only $55 for a combined sample.

Please contact the office to find out what other water tests are available

Check out our Agriculture and Natural Resources Blog - A Fruitful Discussion by: Ashley Hoppers

Extension Publications
Vegetable Garden Calendar
Vegetable Garden Calendar (C 943) The recommendations in this circular are based on long-term average dates of the last killing frost in the spring and first killing frost in the fall. Every year does not conform to the "average," so you should use your own judgment about advancing or delaying the time for each job, depending on weather conditions.
Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines
Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines (B 987) This publication focuses on native trees, shrubs and woody vines for Georgia. It is not our intent to describe all native species — just those available in the nursery trade and those that the authors feel have potential for nursery production and landscape use. Rare or endangered species are not described. Information on each plant is provided according to the following categories: Common Name(s)/Botanical Name/Family, Characteristics, Landscape Uses, Size, Zones and Habitat.
Your Household Water Quality: Odors in Your Water
Your Household Water Quality: Odors in Your Water (C 1016) Homeowners sometimes experience unpleasant odors in their household water. In many cases, the exact cause of the odor is difficult to determine by water testing; however, this publication provides a few general recommendations for treating some common causes of household water odors.
Search for UGA Extension Publications

Below are some of UGA Extension's most broadly useful resources for those involved in agriculture on the farm, in schools, and around the home.

Production Agriculture:
Statewide Variety Testing
Statewide Variety Testing Which varieties should you plant? The variety testing team does the work and research for farmers.
UGA Weather Network
UGA Weather Network Reliable weather information for agricultural and environmental applications, including soil temperature, rainfall, wind speed, and more.
Pesticide Safety Education
Pesticide Safety Education Everything you need to achieve certification and maintain the knowledge to safely and effectively make use of restricted-use and all other types of pesticides.
Sustainable Agriculture A collection of resources for those interested in production and marketing practices that are profitable, environmentally sound, and that improve the quality of life for farmers, farm workers, and the community.
Ag Budgets and Economics Resources for production economics, farm management, marketing, situation and outlook, risk management, financial management, farm policy, labor, and taxation.
Farmgate Value Report
Farmgate Value Report Annual county-level reports documenting the value of all food and fiber commodities grown in the state.
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Home & Garden:
Soil Testing
Soil Testing Ensure that your soil is productive! Get your soil tested to determine the amount and kind of nutrients that should be added for the best growth.
Pest Management
Pest Management Recommendations for pest control around homes, on pets, in the home garden, and more.
Household Water Quality
Household Water Quality Water quality has an immediate and a prolonged effect on the health of your household. This publication series contains basic information about home water quality and treatment.
Home Garden Publication Series
Home Garden Publication Series Topics include garden planning, soil preparation, weed control, pollination, disease and insect control, harvesting, and preserving.
Georgia Green Industry Professional Development The UGA Center for Urban Agriculture offers professional training and certifications for the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, Georgia Certified Plant Professional exam and Super Crew employee training series.
Soil Testing
Georgia Green Landscape Stewards The Georgia Green Landscape Stewards program provides fact-based information to help businesses and residences in Georgia implement sustainable green practices in their landscape.
Community and School Gardens This Community and School Gardens blog is designed to help community and school gardeners succeed by connecting them to UGA Extension and other research-based resources.
Lesson Plans and Teacher Resources Whether you'd like to help protect the environment, teach your students how to avoid chronic diseases with healthy food and physical activity, or train food handlers in your cafeteria, University of Georgia Extension can help.
Upcoming Events
Aug 15 - Aug 17 Manager ServSafe Training Americus, GA - (183.0 miles) You can improve your food safety and sanitation skills through a nationally recognized food safety sanitation course. The class is 12 hours + exam by a Certified ServSafe Trainer of UGA Family and Consumer Sciences, Mitzi Parker. This course meets the new GA Food Code requirements and is certified through the National Restaurant Association and includes the course book, supplies, educational materials, exam, instruction, and refreshments. Successful completion of the exam provides certification. The class fee of $140.00 includes course book, supplies, educational materials, exam, and instructions.
Aug 15 So Easy to Preserve Food from Your Garden Pooler, GA - (262.0 miles) Join us for a food preservation class on how to preserve foods from your home garden. Participants will receive UGA food preservation publications, recipes and research-based food safety information for home canning (water bath & pressure), freezing and drying foods.
Aug 15 So Easy to Preserve Food from Your Garden Pooler, GA - (262.0 miles) Join us for a food preservation class on how to preserve foods from your home garden. Participants will receive UGA food preservation publications, recipes and research-based food safety information for home canning (water bath & pressure), freezing and drying foods.
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