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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  • Red Insects – On Plants in Spring (wheel bug vs leaf-footed bug)

    Each spring I get pictures of clusters of small insects on plants or surfaces near a garden. The two most likely suspects are wheel bug nymphs and leaf-footed bug nymphs. But wheel bugs are beneficial insects and leaf-footed bugs feed...

    READ MORE

  • Dog Tuff Grass

    Q: What do you know about Dog Tuff grass? A: Only what I read here. Dog Tuff Grass Dog Tuff Grass Product Description...

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  • Indoor Palm – Scale Insects

    Q: My indoor palm looks awful. What’s going on? A: The palm has scale insects. They are almost impossible to control. There are just too many of them and they reproduce rapidly. I recommend you throw this plant out and...

    READ MORE

  • Rose – Mosaic Virus

    Q: This is a rose problem I had last year. Do you know what it is or how to treat it? A: It’s rose mosaic virus. Like human viruses, there is no cure for plant diseases caused by a virus....

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    Q: I need to transplant some zoysia to a better spot. Must I wait until spring? A: You are welcome to try it now but the best time to transplant is in mid-spring when the grass is greening up. If...

    READ MORE

  • Oakleaf Hydrangea – Brown and Crispy Leaves

    Q: My oakleaf hydrangea looks awful! The leaves are brown and crispy. A: You have a quandary. Like mophead hydrangea, oak leaf hydrangea blooms on stems that grew this year. If you prune all of the dead-looking stems in November...

    READ MORE

  • Loropetalums – Too Late to Trim In November

    Q: Is it too late for me to do some trimming on my loropetalums in November? A: You won’t get any leafy resprouting if you do the trimming now so you’ll look at bare stubs for most of the winter....

    READ MORE

  • Sasanqua Camellia – Powdery Substance on Leaves

    Q: There is a powdery substance on the back of my sasanqua camellia leaves. A: My bet is that it is tea scale. This insect population can explode on a camellia if unchecked for a couple of years. You might...

    READ MORE

  • Prune Nandinas With Red Berries – Proper Time

    Q: What is proper time to prune nandinas with red berries? A: You can prune common nandina in the winter after you harvest any red berries you need for holiday decorations. On each shrub, count the number of canes and...

    READ MORE

  • Cyprus Vine or Hummingbird Plants – Two Hours of Full Sun

    Q: Will cypress vine thrive in two hours of full sun per day? If not, what is a good hummingbird plant that will? A: Hummingbirds drink flower nectar and flowers that make the most nectar prefer sunlit spots. Cypress fine...

    READ MORE

  • Redbud – Seed Pod Removal

    Q: I have a six-year-old redbud tree. Each branch is covered in seed pods. Should I be removing these pods each year? A: To my knowledge there’s no effect of the dried pods on next year’s flowering or growth. I’ve...

    READ MORE

  • Tomatoes – Stink Bugs Return

    Q; I had a big infestation of stink bugs on my tomatoes this year. Will I have this problem again next year? A: If you have had stink bugs this year it’s likely you’ll have them next year too. They...

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  • Oak Trees – Cutting Limbs

    Q: I have two massive oak trees that are near my house. They are losing limbs at the tops. I’d rather not have them cut down but I saw a house that had topped all their huge old oaks so...

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  • Caladiums – Storing Bulbs

    Q: I planted a dozen caladiums this year. I am going to lift my bulbs since the leaves are starting to drop. How should I store them? A: In my experience caladium corms are difficult to keep over winter. They...

    READ MORE

  • The “Heat” In A Pepper – Where Does It Come From

    Q: Does the “heat” of a pepper come from the seeds? A: Many people believe the seeds are the hottest part of a pepper but that’s not correct. The most pungent parts are in the tissues around the seeds. The...

    READ MORE

  • Pine, Cypress, Juniper, and Spruce – Fall Fertilization

    Q: My landscape includes pine, cypress, juniper, and spruce. I fertilized in early March and again in June. Do I need to do a fall application? A: No. The rule of thumb is to fertilize when a plant is vigorously...

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  • Blueberry Plants – New Varieties

    Q: I have fifteen mature blueberry plants, including ‘Tifblue’, ‘Brightwell’, ‘Climax’, ‘Premier’, and ‘Powderblue’. I am not unhappy with my harvest, but I am wondering about replacing one or two with a newer variety. A: The varieties you have are...

    READ MORE

  • Dead Hydrangeas – Cut

    Q: Do you cut back dead hydrangeas? A: The trick is determining what is dead and what isn’t. If a hydrangea stem does not have any green buds on it right now then it is dead and you can cut...

    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,...

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  • 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...

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  • Bermuda Grass – Disease – Brown Patch

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    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

  • 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

Red Insects – On Plants in Spring (wheel bug vs leaf-footed bug)

Each spring I get pictures of clusters of small insects on plants or surfaces near a garden. The two most likely suspects are wheel bug nymphs and leaf-footed bug nymphs. But wheel bugs are beneficial insects and leaf-footed bugs feed...

READ MORE

Dog Tuff Grass

Q: What do you know about Dog Tuff grass? A: Only what I read here. Dog Tuff Grass Dog Tuff Grass Product Description...

READ MORE

Indoor Palm – Scale Insects

Q: My indoor palm looks awful. What’s going on? A: The palm has scale insects. They are almost impossible to control. There are just too many of them and they reproduce rapidly. I recommend you throw this plant out and...

READ MORE

Rose – Mosaic Virus

Q: This is a rose problem I had last year. Do you know what it is or how to treat it? A: It’s rose mosaic virus. Like human viruses, there is no cure for plant diseases caused by a virus....

READ MORE

Zoysia Transplant – Should I Wait Until Spring

Q: I need to transplant some zoysia to a better spot. Must I wait until spring? A: You are welcome to try it now but the best time to transplant is in mid-spring when the grass is greening up. If...

READ MORE

Oakleaf Hydrangea – Brown and Crispy Leaves

Q: My oakleaf hydrangea looks awful! The leaves are brown and crispy. A: You have a quandary. Like mophead hydrangea, oak leaf hydrangea blooms on stems that grew this year. If you prune all of the dead-looking stems in November...

READ MORE

Loropetalums – Too Late to Trim In November

Q: Is it too late for me to do some trimming on my loropetalums in November? A: You won’t get any leafy resprouting if you do the trimming now so you’ll look at bare stubs for most of the winter....

READ MORE

Sasanqua Camellia – Powdery Substance on Leaves

Q: There is a powdery substance on the back of my sasanqua camellia leaves. A: My bet is that it is tea scale. This insect population can explode on a camellia if unchecked for a couple of years. You might...

READ MORE

Prune Nandinas With Red Berries – Proper Time

Q: What is proper time to prune nandinas with red berries? A: You can prune common nandina in the winter after you harvest any red berries you need for holiday decorations. On each shrub, count the number of canes and...

READ MORE

Cyprus Vine or Hummingbird Plants – Two Hours of Full Sun

Q: Will cypress vine thrive in two hours of full sun per day? If not, what is a good hummingbird plant that will? A: Hummingbirds drink flower nectar and flowers that make the most nectar prefer sunlit spots. Cypress fine...

READ MORE

Redbud – Seed Pod Removal

Q: I have a six-year-old redbud tree. Each branch is covered in seed pods. Should I be removing these pods each year? A: To my knowledge there’s no effect of the dried pods on next year’s flowering or growth. I’ve...

READ MORE

Tomatoes – Stink Bugs Return

Q; I had a big infestation of stink bugs on my tomatoes this year. Will I have this problem again next year? A: If you have had stink bugs this year it’s likely you’ll have them next year too. They...

READ MORE

Oak Trees – Cutting Limbs

Q: I have two massive oak trees that are near my house. They are losing limbs at the tops. I’d rather not have them cut down but I saw a house that had topped all their huge old oaks so...

READ MORE

Caladiums – Storing Bulbs

Q: I planted a dozen caladiums this year. I am going to lift my bulbs since the leaves are starting to drop. How should I store them? A: In my experience caladium corms are difficult to keep over winter. They...

READ MORE

The “Heat” In A Pepper – Where Does It Come From

Q: Does the “heat” of a pepper come from the seeds? A: Many people believe the seeds are the hottest part of a pepper but that’s not correct. The most pungent parts are in the tissues around the seeds. The...

READ MORE

Pine, Cypress, Juniper, and Spruce – Fall Fertilization

Q: My landscape includes pine, cypress, juniper, and spruce. I fertilized in early March and again in June. Do I need to do a fall application? A: No. The rule of thumb is to fertilize when a plant is vigorously...

READ MORE

Blueberry Plants – New Varieties

Q: I have fifteen mature blueberry plants, including ‘Tifblue’, ‘Brightwell’, ‘Climax’, ‘Premier’, and ‘Powderblue’. I am not unhappy with my harvest, but I am wondering about replacing one or two with a newer variety. A: The varieties you have are...

READ MORE

Dead Hydrangeas – Cut

Q: Do you cut back dead hydrangeas? A: The trick is determining what is dead and what isn’t. If a hydrangea stem does not have any green buds on it right now then it is dead and you can cut...

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

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

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

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