Featured Article

Trip to England – 2017

It’s decided! I have always wanted to visit the Cotswolds in England. I’ve been to London, but when I was there, everyone said “Yes, the gardens here are outstanding but if you REALLY want to see the prettiest part of our country, don’t miss the Cotswolds!” So I’m going….and I’d...

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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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Turfgrasses (Lawn Grass) – Identifying

Unlike trees, which have distinctive leaves, or blooming plants, which have distinctive flowers, turfgrass identification is much more difficult for the amateur . There are five major lawn grasses grown in Georgia. Following are characteristics that will help you distinguish them: TALL FESCUE is green throughout the year but tends...

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Leyland Cypress – Limited Lifespan

Nothing lives forever. Whether plant or animal, living things seem to have typical life spans: some measured in centuries and some in days. Leyland cypress is enormously popular in Southern landscapes. It’s been planted by the millions.  Even so, it is not particularly suited for heat and drought. Both lead...

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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Rose – Sprouts From Grafted Understock

    Q: I have a rose bush that I had in a planter for about a year but it died. Now that the weather has gotten nice I have noticed four or five small bushes growing in the planter. Two appear...

    READ MORE

  • Azalea – Dead Area on Side

    Q: I have a shrub with problems in my front yard. I cannot tell if this dead pattern is due to the soil or a bug. A: This shows why it’s important not to shear azaleas. Over the years the...

    READ MORE

  • Termites – In Dead Stump

    Q: I prepared to remove a stump in my parent’s backyard and realized that it has termites. I want to remove and grind the stump; however, I’m not sure if we need to treat the termites first. Her house is...

    READ MORE

  • Join Me for a Pacific Northwest Trip – July, 2016

    Looking for a quick garden get-away to one of the garden beauty spots of the world? Join me this summer in the beautiful and exotic Pacific Northwest! Home to lovely gardens, rain forests, and stunning scenery. You’ll see Butchart Gardens...

    READ MORE

  • Bamboo Iris – Winter Care

    Q: I have a large (and spreading) clump of bamboo iris, Iris confusa. Can I remove leaves in winter? A: Unlike most irises, it’s better not to remove leaves in winter. The slender, flower-bearing stems emerge from old foliage and...

    READ MORE

  • Carolina Jessamine – Identification

    Note the way this plant’s name is spelled: it’s not “jasmine” but “jessamine”. It’s a terrific spring-flowering vine often seen on Southern arbors. It’s also spotted along highways, where its habit makes drivers think they’re seeing a yellow-flowering tree. An...

    READ MORE

  • Wild Strawberry (Indian Mock Strawberry) – Identification

    Indian mock strawberry, Potentilla indica, is a non-native weed only slightly related to “real” strawberry. It’s flowers are yellow while those of edible strawberry are white or pink. The fruit of mock strawberry is not poisonous but the taste is...

    READ MORE

  • Wild Lettuce (Prickly Lettuce) – Control

    It looks like dandelion leaves at first…..but it makes a tall stem. What could this be? It’s wild lettuce…..and it’s edible! You can dig the long taproot with a dandelion fork (click for sources)  or uproot it with a Water...

    READ MORE

  • Sowthistle – Control

    The spiny leaves make this weed easy to spot. Fortunately, spiny sowthistle is easy to control. You can dig the long taproot with a dandelion fork (click for sources)  or uproot it with a Water Weeder. A spot spray of...

    READ MORE

  • Peach – Shortening a Tall One

    Q: Your web site says that peach trees should be pruned to about 6 ft. tall. I have never done that and my peach trees are 12′ to 15′ tall. Can I cut my peach trees back to 6′ at...

    READ MORE

  • Fig – Removing Vigorous Small Twigs

    Q: We pruned our fig severely two years ago and left only three big trunks. It came back somewhat the next year with lots of sprouts from the roots. We removed some of them and now we need to prune...

    READ MORE

  • Carpenter Bee Control – Bug-a-Salt Gun

    If you fancy yourself a prospective big game hunter, why not start small…..hunting carpenter bees? The Bug-a-Salt (click here for sources) is an air gun that uses table salt to kill small insects.  (One wag says you can also use...

    READ MORE

  • Dandelion – Control

    My young friend Ayana and I recently spent several minutes making a bouquet of dandelion flowers and blowing on the seedheads of those already bloomed. Although the flowers are bright and distinctive, some folks would rather not have this plant...

    READ MORE

  • Organic Insecticides

    A hammer or a quick slap will kill an insect, but how do you control lots of them in your garden? My father paid me a quarter to hand-pick potato bugs in our garden but there is currently a shortage...

    READ MORE

  • Organic Gardening – Resources

    Q: I have been all over the Internet and cannot find a good resource about organic gardening in Georgia and what to plant when. We want to start an organic vegetable garden now. What can we plant in the summer...

    READ MORE

  • Meyer Lemon – Hand Pollination

    Q: I had a dozen lemons the first summer I had this tree. Last year in winter it had a few blooms every few days but they fell off quickly and were small. It also lost a lot of leaves....

    READ MORE

  • Plum, Peach, Nectarine – Black Knot Disease

    Q: We have a fruit cocktail tree, bearing plum, peach and nectarine fruit, planted five years ago. It blossomed and had some fruit but the fruit developed a gum-looking disease and eventually fell off. A good number of branches on...

    READ MORE

  • Sweet Potato – Wireworm Damage

    Q: Could you tell me what is eating on my sweet potatoes every year? A: The creatures in question are millipedes but I think they are just enjoying the damage done originally by wireworms. Wireworm control is difficult. One tip...

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Rose – Sprouts From Grafted Understock

Q: I have a rose bush that I had in a planter for about a year but it died. Now that the weather has gotten nice I have noticed four or five small bushes growing in the planter. Two appear...

READ MORE

Azalea – Dead Area on Side

Q: I have a shrub with problems in my front yard. I cannot tell if this dead pattern is due to the soil or a bug. A: This shows why it’s important not to shear azaleas. Over the years the...

READ MORE

Termites – In Dead Stump

Q: I prepared to remove a stump in my parent’s backyard and realized that it has termites. I want to remove and grind the stump; however, I’m not sure if we need to treat the termites first. Her house is...

READ MORE

Join Me for a Pacific Northwest Trip – July, 2016

Looking for a quick garden get-away to one of the garden beauty spots of the world? Join me this summer in the beautiful and exotic Pacific Northwest! Home to lovely gardens, rain forests, and stunning scenery. You’ll see Butchart Gardens...

READ MORE

Bamboo Iris – Winter Care

Q: I have a large (and spreading) clump of bamboo iris, Iris confusa. Can I remove leaves in winter? A: Unlike most irises, it’s better not to remove leaves in winter. The slender, flower-bearing stems emerge from old foliage and...

READ MORE

Carolina Jessamine – Identification

Note the way this plant’s name is spelled: it’s not “jasmine” but “jessamine”. It’s a terrific spring-flowering vine often seen on Southern arbors. It’s also spotted along highways, where its habit makes drivers think they’re seeing a yellow-flowering tree. An...

READ MORE

Wild Strawberry (Indian Mock Strawberry) – Identification

Indian mock strawberry, Potentilla indica, is a non-native weed only slightly related to “real” strawberry. It’s flowers are yellow while those of edible strawberry are white or pink. The fruit of mock strawberry is not poisonous but the taste is...

READ MORE

Wild Lettuce (Prickly Lettuce) – Control

It looks like dandelion leaves at first…..but it makes a tall stem. What could this be? It’s wild lettuce…..and it’s edible! You can dig the long taproot with a dandelion fork (click for sources)  or uproot it with a Water...

READ MORE

Sowthistle – Control

The spiny leaves make this weed easy to spot. Fortunately, spiny sowthistle is easy to control. You can dig the long taproot with a dandelion fork (click for sources)  or uproot it with a Water Weeder. A spot spray of...

READ MORE

Peach – Shortening a Tall One

Q: Your web site says that peach trees should be pruned to about 6 ft. tall. I have never done that and my peach trees are 12′ to 15′ tall. Can I cut my peach trees back to 6′ at...

READ MORE

Fig – Removing Vigorous Small Twigs

Q: We pruned our fig severely two years ago and left only three big trunks. It came back somewhat the next year with lots of sprouts from the roots. We removed some of them and now we need to prune...

READ MORE

Carpenter Bee Control – Bug-a-Salt Gun

If you fancy yourself a prospective big game hunter, why not start small…..hunting carpenter bees? The Bug-a-Salt (click here for sources) is an air gun that uses table salt to kill small insects.  (One wag says you can also use...

READ MORE

Dandelion – Control

My young friend Ayana and I recently spent several minutes making a bouquet of dandelion flowers and blowing on the seedheads of those already bloomed. Although the flowers are bright and distinctive, some folks would rather not have this plant...

READ MORE

Organic Insecticides

A hammer or a quick slap will kill an insect, but how do you control lots of them in your garden? My father paid me a quarter to hand-pick potato bugs in our garden but there is currently a shortage...

READ MORE

Organic Gardening – Resources

Q: I have been all over the Internet and cannot find a good resource about organic gardening in Georgia and what to plant when. We want to start an organic vegetable garden now. What can we plant in the summer...

READ MORE

Meyer Lemon – Hand Pollination

Q: I had a dozen lemons the first summer I had this tree. Last year in winter it had a few blooms every few days but they fell off quickly and were small. It also lost a lot of leaves....

READ MORE

Plum, Peach, Nectarine – Black Knot Disease

Q: We have a fruit cocktail tree, bearing plum, peach and nectarine fruit, planted five years ago. It blossomed and had some fruit but the fruit developed a gum-looking disease and eventually fell off. A good number of branches on...

READ MORE

Sweet Potato – Wireworm Damage

Q: Could you tell me what is eating on my sweet potatoes every year? A: The creatures in question are millipedes but I think they are just enjoying the damage done originally by wireworms. Wireworm control is difficult. One tip...

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

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

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

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