Featured Article

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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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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  • Cuba Trip 2012 – Cuban People

    The Cuban literacy rate (99.8%) is higher than the United States’ rate (97%). Although not many people outside the tourist industry speak English, the natives were uniformly friendly, often blurting “We love the US…we just wish we could go there!”...

    READ MORE

  • Cuba Trip 2012 – Signs

    I understand very little Spanish but could sometimes puzzle out what signs meant. It was such a relief to arrive in the Miami airport and be able to navigate without getting lost! Back to Cuba Trip – 2012...

    READ MORE

  • Cuba Trip 2012 – Gardens and Farms

    Cuba is a tropical island, well-suited to growing many fruits and vegetables plus ornamental plants. Organic farms have sprung up by necessity, because they can’t get pesticides into the country. Back to Cuba Trip –...

    READ MORE

  • Cuba Trip 2012 – Transportation

    When the US embargo began in 1960, it was like a door slammed shut on importing cars from other countries. Cuba had plenty of cars from before that time and it has lots of Russian Lada cars (imagine a tin...

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  • Cuba Trip 2012 – Buildings

    It’s like a time bomb went off in the 1950’s: many buildings still stand but they have had NO maintenance for 60 years. No paint, no exterior repairs, no improvements….just the effects of weather on stucco and wood. We would...

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  • Illegal Tree Removal – DeKalb County

    Q: We have recently had an instance of a tree company clear-cutting a big lot in my neighborhood because the owner “didn’t know” there were rules about how many tree can be removed from a residential lot.  What are the...

    READ MORE

  • Bleeding Canker – Identification

    Q: I have a tree in my back yard that has several brown spots on the trunk. This is the only tree in my yard that has these, and they are all on the one side facing the sun. Any...

    READ MORE

  • Turtlehead (Chelone) – Identification

    Q: The attached photos are of a beautiful flowering plant that grows on the edge of the dam at the lake where I live. Do you know what it is? A: It looks like turtlehead, Chelone lyonii. This interesting native...

    READ MORE

  • Avocado – Care After Sprouting

    Q: I’ve been growing an avocado plant over the summer. I was advised to prune the original plant. Once I did, the stem stopped growing. The leafy branch pictured grew out of the original stalk after I pruned it. Should...

    READ MORE

  • ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea – Pruning

    Q: We planted a Limelight hydrangea last year. The blooms are large but the stems are thin and weak. Could you suggest how and when I should prune this fella to get a bushier plant with stronger stems? A: ‘Limelight’...

    READ MORE

  • Giant Ragweed – Identification

    Q: I have a very strange plant that has apparently killed or is stunting kudzu on my vacant lot. This is not a joke. The kudzu began healthy as usual this year, but was suddenly—and I mean suddenly—overtaken and stunted...

    READ MORE

  • Knock Out® Rose – Decline

    Knock Out®  rose has become a ubiquitous part of urban landscapes in the last decade.  It blooms reliably and is resistant to black spot leaf disease. Usually it is trouble free. However, I have noticed several instances where the rose just...

    READ MORE

  • Ground Birds – Plants to Feed

    Q: I want to plant grasses that feed and provide cover for ground birds on two acres of cultivated land. I want to provide feed and shelter for turkey, grouse, whippoorwills, quail, meadowlark and others. Where can I find information...

    READ MORE

  • Kudzu Bugs Bothering You?

    Those folks living near kudzu patches have known about the kudzu bug since 2009. This olive green/brown insect is about the size of a ladybug and imparts a distinct smell to the area where they congregate. It is well known...

    READ MORE

  • Spider Lily (Hurricane Lily) – Identification

    Q: Can you identify these flowers? They are growing in my son’s yard out of his liriope. A: It’s spider lily, Lycoris radiata, sometimes called hurricane lily because the blooms appear during hurricane season. It’s always a surprise to see...

    READ MORE

  • Broom Corn (Sorghum) – Identification

    Q: We believe we have some broom corn growing next to our driveway. It is about 3 ft. high and just came up on its own. Does broom corn grow in Georgia? A: You are exactly correct. Broom corn is...

    READ MORE

  • Squirrel-proof Birdfeeders

    Squirrels are the bane of bird feeders. I went though a half-dozen plastic and wooden feeders before I bought an Eliminator from Wild Birds Unlimited. It has a weighted, adjustable perch which allows lightweight birds to feed but slams a...

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  • Dogwood – Blooming in Fall

    Q: My dogwood is blooming again (in August). How can this be? A: Dogwoods are known to bloom in fall when they get rain after a stressful summer. That said, I don’t think this past summer was very stressful. But...

    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

  • 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

Cuba Trip 2012 – Cuban People

The Cuban literacy rate (99.8%) is higher than the United States’ rate (97%). Although not many people outside the tourist industry speak English, the natives were uniformly friendly, often blurting “We love the US…we just wish we could go there!”...

READ MORE

Cuba Trip 2012 – Signs

I understand very little Spanish but could sometimes puzzle out what signs meant. It was such a relief to arrive in the Miami airport and be able to navigate without getting lost! Back to Cuba Trip – 2012...

READ MORE

Cuba Trip 2012 – Gardens and Farms

Cuba is a tropical island, well-suited to growing many fruits and vegetables plus ornamental plants. Organic farms have sprung up by necessity, because they can’t get pesticides into the country. Back to Cuba Trip –...

READ MORE

Cuba Trip 2012 – Transportation

When the US embargo began in 1960, it was like a door slammed shut on importing cars from other countries. Cuba had plenty of cars from before that time and it has lots of Russian Lada cars (imagine a tin...

READ MORE

Cuba Trip 2012 – Buildings

It’s like a time bomb went off in the 1950’s: many buildings still stand but they have had NO maintenance for 60 years. No paint, no exterior repairs, no improvements….just the effects of weather on stucco and wood. We would...

READ MORE

Illegal Tree Removal – DeKalb County

Q: We have recently had an instance of a tree company clear-cutting a big lot in my neighborhood because the owner “didn’t know” there were rules about how many tree can be removed from a residential lot.  What are the...

READ MORE

Bleeding Canker – Identification

Q: I have a tree in my back yard that has several brown spots on the trunk. This is the only tree in my yard that has these, and they are all on the one side facing the sun. Any...

READ MORE

Turtlehead (Chelone) – Identification

Q: The attached photos are of a beautiful flowering plant that grows on the edge of the dam at the lake where I live. Do you know what it is? A: It looks like turtlehead, Chelone lyonii. This interesting native...

READ MORE

Avocado – Care After Sprouting

Q: I’ve been growing an avocado plant over the summer. I was advised to prune the original plant. Once I did, the stem stopped growing. The leafy branch pictured grew out of the original stalk after I pruned it. Should...

READ MORE

‘Limelight’ Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: We planted a Limelight hydrangea last year. The blooms are large but the stems are thin and weak. Could you suggest how and when I should prune this fella to get a bushier plant with stronger stems? A: ‘Limelight’...

READ MORE

Giant Ragweed – Identification

Q: I have a very strange plant that has apparently killed or is stunting kudzu on my vacant lot. This is not a joke. The kudzu began healthy as usual this year, but was suddenly—and I mean suddenly—overtaken and stunted...

READ MORE

Knock Out® Rose – Decline

Knock Out®  rose has become a ubiquitous part of urban landscapes in the last decade.  It blooms reliably and is resistant to black spot leaf disease. Usually it is trouble free. However, I have noticed several instances where the rose just...

READ MORE

Ground Birds – Plants to Feed

Q: I want to plant grasses that feed and provide cover for ground birds on two acres of cultivated land. I want to provide feed and shelter for turkey, grouse, whippoorwills, quail, meadowlark and others. Where can I find information...

READ MORE

Kudzu Bugs Bothering You?

Those folks living near kudzu patches have known about the kudzu bug since 2009. This olive green/brown insect is about the size of a ladybug and imparts a distinct smell to the area where they congregate. It is well known...

READ MORE

Spider Lily (Hurricane Lily) – Identification

Q: Can you identify these flowers? They are growing in my son’s yard out of his liriope. A: It’s spider lily, Lycoris radiata, sometimes called hurricane lily because the blooms appear during hurricane season. It’s always a surprise to see...

READ MORE

Broom Corn (Sorghum) – Identification

Q: We believe we have some broom corn growing next to our driveway. It is about 3 ft. high and just came up on its own. Does broom corn grow in Georgia? A: You are exactly correct. Broom corn is...

READ MORE

Squirrel-proof Birdfeeders

Squirrels are the bane of bird feeders. I went though a half-dozen plastic and wooden feeders before I bought an Eliminator from Wild Birds Unlimited. It has a weighted, adjustable perch which allows lightweight birds to feed but slams a...

READ MORE

Dogwood – Blooming in Fall

Q: My dogwood is blooming again (in August). How can this be? A: Dogwoods are known to bloom in fall when they get rain after a stressful summer. That said, I don’t think this past summer was very stressful. But...

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