Featured Article

Plants for Pollinators

Many landscape plants depend on bees and other insects to move pollen from flower to flower. The insects don’t realize they are pollinating the plants they visit – they’re just looking for nectar in the flowers. You can help the flowering plants in your neighborhood by planting a pollinator-friendly flower...

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Shrub – Pruning Calendar

The Home & Garden section of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution published a very nice pruning calendar several years ago. When viewed on a sheet of newsprint, it was gorgeous. When reduced to fit onto a sheet of typing paper it was impossible to read. I imagine you didn’t keep...

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Crapemyrtle – Pruning

One of the most confounding arguments I face is whether and how to prune crapemyrtles. They are mercilessly “murdered” by unaware landscapers and homeowners each winter… yet they still bloom in summer. Some people even believe a crapemyrtle won’t bloom unless it is severely pruned. Crapemyrtles do not HAVE TO...

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Fescue Planting – 1-2-3

September – October is the BEST time to plant a fescue lawn. I have tips on planting a new lawn or an existing lawn, whether with seed or sod. I also cover what kind of fescue is best. It is not as important as you think it is, but everyone’s...

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Venomous (Poisonous) Caterpillars – Photos

Several kinds of venomous caterpillars are commonly seen in late summer – early fall. They are usually inconspicuous, so when one is encountered it’s “OUCH – what stung me???!!“. Below are photos of those you might find in the Southeast. Because they are so uncommon and because they feed on...

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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • State Capitol Lawn

    Q: Do you know what kind of grass was grown at the state capitol lawn from mid-1982 to early 1984? A friend of mine is allergic to grass, EXCEPT for the grass grown at the capitol, where she worked during...

    READ MORE

  • Chattahoochee River Water-Safe for Irrigation?

    Q: Is it safe to use water from the Chattahoochee River to irrigate a vegetable garden? A: Many years ago, the Chattahoochee was not the cleanest river in the region. Folks were warned about eating fish caught there. Now the...

    READ MORE

  • Little Gem Magnolias-House Foundations

    Q: Six years ago a landscaper planted three ‘Little Gem’ magnolia trees six feet away from our house. She told us that the maximum height would be six feet. Since then they have grown much larger. We’re concerned that roots...

    READ MORE

  • English Ivy Ground Cover

    Q: Is it okay to use English ivy as a ground cover so long as I keep it off trees and structures? A: Many will disagree with the following but I’ll say it anyway: there are situations where English is...

    READ MORE

  • New Zealand Tree Ferns in Atlanta?

    Q: Do you think we can grow New Zealand tree ferns in Atlanta? A: They won’t survive winter. I see them for sale at “big box” stores as perennial plants but I just roll my eyes and pass them...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia-Time to Plant?

    Q: How late can zoysia sod be planted this summer and still have time to take root before cold weather? A: I think you’d be safe planting it 90 days before the first frost. There’s still then plenty of good...

    READ MORE

  • Whey for Plant Growth?

    Q: We make yogurt and strain it down to a half-gallon of Greek yogurt and a half-gallon of whey. We have read that whey can be used to help tomato plants but I’m not sure what that might do to...

    READ MORE

  • Replacement for Knockout Roses

    Q: I have a virus on all my Knock Out roses and have been told by a nursery to dig up and burn them. I also was told to not plant roses in that spot again. What plants I can...

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  • Mulch for Fruit Trees

    Q: I have several fruit trees. What would be the best mulch around the base of the trees? A: Any mulch (bark chips, woodchips, pine straw etc) will be fine. The main thing is to pull it away from the...

    READ MORE

  • Prevent Boxwood Blight

    Q: I recently learned about boxwood blight. My property has many Asian and English boxwoods. My yard service said they would disinfect their trimmers with Lysol. But what can I spray for prevention? A: It may seem extreme, but if...

    READ MORE

  • Climbing Watermelon Vines

    Q: I have limited space in my garden and plants with long vines like cantaloupe, watermelon and cucumbers take up too much room. Will they do okay climbing or is it best for them to spread across the ground? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Will Roundup Kill Rose of Sharon?

    Q: If I spray Roundup on the little plants around my rose of Sharon will it kill the tree? A: It’s not likely. The sprouts are typically from individual seedlings that sprouted this past spring. They are not attached to...

    READ MORE

  • Black & Blue Salvia Care

    Q: I have fallen in love with the new black & blue salvia. What can I do to encourage it to return year after year? My plants are spectacular! A: There are several different species of salvia. Some are annual...

    READ MORE

  • Pine Tress Rosin-Cooking

    Q: Have you heard of using pine tree rosin for cooking potatoes? Is there a local source to purchase the rosin? A: At first I thought you were joking but people do endorse this cooking method! An entrepreneurial family down...

    READ MORE

  • Plum Yew – Scale Control

    Q: I have some large plum yews that are infested with scale. I have been spraying with neem oil and have not seen much improvement. Is there a remedy to eradicate this insect? A: Oil insecticides are usually effective on...

    READ MORE

  • Leaf Piles-Tree Health

    Q: Between my house and my neighbor we have a 20′ by 300′ tree-filled section we both blow leaves into. The leaves are perhaps a foot deep. Will the piling of leaves create a problem for the trees? A: It’s...

    READ MORE

  • Planting Peony Seeds

    Q: I have recently harvested a number of seed pods from a peony plant. Some pods were green, others blackish brown. I need advice on how and when to plant the seeds. A: It’s better to harvest the pods from...

    READ MORE

  • Wisteria-Rescue/Saving

    Q: Our older home deck needs renovation but a huge wisteria has been trained to grow through a hole in the middle of the deck and then climb a big arbor. Will I be able to rescue it? A: I...

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  • Weeds – Identification with Pictures

    Weed control in the landscape is a tough business. You have to know a lot about the weed in question just to get started! As in most situations, a picture is worth a thousand words. Go through the sites below,...

    READ MORE

  • Diagnosing (Identifying) Holes in the Yard

    Sometimes many heads are better than one when it comes to solving a problem. Wade Hutcheson, my Extension colleague in Spalding county, gets plenty of calls from the citizens of his area asking his help in identifying various holes in...

    READ MORE

  • Brown Patch – Diagnosing

    You have brown patches of dead grass in your lawn. Is it the common lawn disease ‘brown patch’ or is it something else? The answer is important: if it is brown patch you probably need to spray with a fungicide....

    READ MORE

  • Lawn – Timing Spring Pre-emergent Herbicide Application

    One of the sourest phrases that can be directed at a child or adult is “I told you so!” Whether you touch a hot match, leave tools out in the rain, or lift cinder blocks all afternoon, someone is usually...

    READ MORE

  • Bermuda – Weed Control

    BASIC INFORMATION: Weed Identification Pictures General Turf and Weed Info Lawn Care Calendars THREE METHODS There are three primary methods of controlling weeds. Any one method, when used alone, will not usually control all of your weeds. To consistently control...

    READ MORE

  • St. Augustine Grass Seed – Where to Buy

    Q: Please tell me where I can buy St. Augustine grass seeds. Our lawn has some now and we like it a lot, but we’re having trouble finding seeds. A: You can’t buy St. Augustinegrass seed. The plant is very...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn – Growing in Shade

    OK. I admit it. I have given up. I came to the conclusion that grass just would not grow in the corner of my lawn near the ornamental cherry trees. The shade there is so dense that my grass, no...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn – Leveling

    A new home in my neighborhood had bermudagrass sod planted in March. By May, one area was a perfect checkerboard of straight lines, composed of weedy plants, surrounding the individual squares of sod. Evidently the sod installers were in such...

    READ MORE

  • Bermuda Grass – Disease – Brown Patch

    Brown patch is most prevalent on bermudagrass which has been heavily fertilized when night temperatures are above 68 degrees and day temperature are above 80 degrees. Dead patches of grass may start small but can grow and join together to...

    READ MORE

  • Crapemyrtle – Pruning

    One of the most confounding arguments I face is whether and how to prune crapemyrtles. They are mercilessly “murdered” by unaware landscapers and homeowners each winter… yet they still bloom in summer. Some people even believe a crapemyrtle won’t bloom...

    READ MORE

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES

State Capitol Lawn

Q: Do you know what kind of grass was grown at the state capitol lawn from mid-1982 to early 1984? A friend of mine is allergic to grass, EXCEPT for the grass grown at the capitol, where she worked during...

READ MORE

Chattahoochee River Water-Safe for Irrigation?

Q: Is it safe to use water from the Chattahoochee River to irrigate a vegetable garden? A: Many years ago, the Chattahoochee was not the cleanest river in the region. Folks were warned about eating fish caught there. Now the...

READ MORE

Little Gem Magnolias-House Foundations

Q: Six years ago a landscaper planted three ‘Little Gem’ magnolia trees six feet away from our house. She told us that the maximum height would be six feet. Since then they have grown much larger. We’re concerned that roots...

READ MORE

English Ivy Ground Cover

Q: Is it okay to use English ivy as a ground cover so long as I keep it off trees and structures? A: Many will disagree with the following but I’ll say it anyway: there are situations where English is...

READ MORE

New Zealand Tree Ferns in Atlanta?

Q: Do you think we can grow New Zealand tree ferns in Atlanta? A: They won’t survive winter. I see them for sale at “big box” stores as perennial plants but I just roll my eyes and pass them...

READ MORE

Zoysia-Time to Plant?

Q: How late can zoysia sod be planted this summer and still have time to take root before cold weather? A: I think you’d be safe planting it 90 days before the first frost. There’s still then plenty of good...

READ MORE

Whey for Plant Growth?

Q: We make yogurt and strain it down to a half-gallon of Greek yogurt and a half-gallon of whey. We have read that whey can be used to help tomato plants but I’m not sure what that might do to...

READ MORE

Replacement for Knockout Roses

Q: I have a virus on all my Knock Out roses and have been told by a nursery to dig up and burn them. I also was told to not plant roses in that spot again. What plants I can...

READ MORE

Mulch for Fruit Trees

Q: I have several fruit trees. What would be the best mulch around the base of the trees? A: Any mulch (bark chips, woodchips, pine straw etc) will be fine. The main thing is to pull it away from the...

READ MORE

Prevent Boxwood Blight

Q: I recently learned about boxwood blight. My property has many Asian and English boxwoods. My yard service said they would disinfect their trimmers with Lysol. But what can I spray for prevention? A: It may seem extreme, but if...

READ MORE

Climbing Watermelon Vines

Q: I have limited space in my garden and plants with long vines like cantaloupe, watermelon and cucumbers take up too much room. Will they do okay climbing or is it best for them to spread across the ground? A:...

READ MORE

Will Roundup Kill Rose of Sharon?

Q: If I spray Roundup on the little plants around my rose of Sharon will it kill the tree? A: It’s not likely. The sprouts are typically from individual seedlings that sprouted this past spring. They are not attached to...

READ MORE

Black & Blue Salvia Care

Q: I have fallen in love with the new black & blue salvia. What can I do to encourage it to return year after year? My plants are spectacular! A: There are several different species of salvia. Some are annual...

READ MORE

Pine Tress Rosin-Cooking

Q: Have you heard of using pine tree rosin for cooking potatoes? Is there a local source to purchase the rosin? A: At first I thought you were joking but people do endorse this cooking method! An entrepreneurial family down...

READ MORE

Plum Yew – Scale Control

Q: I have some large plum yews that are infested with scale. I have been spraying with neem oil and have not seen much improvement. Is there a remedy to eradicate this insect? A: Oil insecticides are usually effective on...

READ MORE

Leaf Piles-Tree Health

Q: Between my house and my neighbor we have a 20′ by 300′ tree-filled section we both blow leaves into. The leaves are perhaps a foot deep. Will the piling of leaves create a problem for the trees? A: It’s...

READ MORE

Planting Peony Seeds

Q: I have recently harvested a number of seed pods from a peony plant. Some pods were green, others blackish brown. I need advice on how and when to plant the seeds. A: It’s better to harvest the pods from...

READ MORE

Wisteria-Rescue/Saving

Q: Our older home deck needs renovation but a huge wisteria has been trained to grow through a hole in the middle of the deck and then climb a big arbor. Will I be able to rescue it? A: I...

READ MORE

Weeds – Identification with Pictures

Weed control in the landscape is a tough business. You have to know a lot about the weed in question just to get started! As in most situations, a picture is worth a thousand words. Go through the sites below,...

READ MORE

Diagnosing (Identifying) Holes in the Yard

Sometimes many heads are better than one when it comes to solving a problem. Wade Hutcheson, my Extension colleague in Spalding county, gets plenty of calls from the citizens of his area asking his help in identifying various holes in...

READ MORE

Brown Patch – Diagnosing

You have brown patches of dead grass in your lawn. Is it the common lawn disease ‘brown patch’ or is it something else? The answer is important: if it is brown patch you probably need to spray with a fungicide....

READ MORE

Lawn – Timing Spring Pre-emergent Herbicide Application

One of the sourest phrases that can be directed at a child or adult is “I told you so!” Whether you touch a hot match, leave tools out in the rain, or lift cinder blocks all afternoon, someone is usually...

READ MORE

Bermuda – Weed Control

BASIC INFORMATION: Weed Identification Pictures General Turf and Weed Info Lawn Care Calendars THREE METHODS There are three primary methods of controlling weeds. Any one method, when used alone, will not usually control all of your weeds. To consistently control...

READ MORE

St. Augustine Grass Seed – Where to Buy

Q: Please tell me where I can buy St. Augustine grass seeds. Our lawn has some now and we like it a lot, but we’re having trouble finding seeds. A: You can’t buy St. Augustinegrass seed. The plant is very...

READ MORE

Lawn – Growing in Shade

OK. I admit it. I have given up. I came to the conclusion that grass just would not grow in the corner of my lawn near the ornamental cherry trees. The shade there is so dense that my grass, no...

READ MORE

Lawn – Leveling

A new home in my neighborhood had bermudagrass sod planted in March. By May, one area was a perfect checkerboard of straight lines, composed of weedy plants, surrounding the individual squares of sod. Evidently the sod installers were in such...

READ MORE

Bermuda Grass – Disease – Brown Patch

Brown patch is most prevalent on bermudagrass which has been heavily fertilized when night temperatures are above 68 degrees and day temperature are above 80 degrees. Dead patches of grass may start small but can grow and join together to...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – Pruning

One of the most confounding arguments I face is whether and how to prune crapemyrtles. They are mercilessly “murdered” by unaware landscapers and homeowners each winter… yet they still bloom in summer. Some people even believe a crapemyrtle won’t bloom...

READ MORE