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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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • 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

  • Tomato – Cracking Fruit

    Q: I have a cherry tomatoes plant that about 80% of the fruit has cracks. Anything I can do ? A: Fruit cracking is usually caused by hot dry weather followed by heavy rain or irrigation. The skin gets hard...

    READ MORE

  • Pre-emergent – When To Apply

    Many garden tasks can be done almost any time. I’ve transplanted shrubs in July and in December and had success. I fertilize my St. Augustine lawn three times a year but I don’t do it on exact, specific dates. On...

    READ MORE

  • Possum Grape – Identification

    Q: This plant grows by our lake and has three colors of berries in September. What is it? A: It’s possum grape, Ampelopsis cordata. It’s cousin, porcelain vine, Ampelopsis brevipendiculata maximowiczii, has the same sort of fruit. Birds and other...

    READ MORE

  • Skiff Moth Caterpillar – Identification

    Q: This green critter was found on a Japanese maple tree leaf. It is 1/2″ long and 3/8″ wide and 3/8″ high at the tallest point. The two dark brown “balls” are some of the excrement of this bug. Underneath...

    READ MORE

  • Bean Leaf Roller – Identification

    Q: Attached is a picture of a pest I found on my lima beans in the garden. Can you help? A: Your distinctly red-headed creature is a bean leaf roller caterpillar. Its parent is a long-tailed skipper butterfly. I’m sure...

    READ MORE

  • Italian Stone Pine – Juvenile Foliage and Mature Foliage

    Q: What is happening to my little Christmas tree? It came from a big box gardening store. Over the summer the branches have sprouted long needles from the short needle branches. Can you suggest what has happened? A: I’m not...

    READ MORE

  • Kudzu – Recipes

    Kudzu is the vine that tried to eat the South. The newly introduced kudzu bug is attempting to consume this fast growing vine; why not do your part and eat some kudzu too? I found several recipes that seem easy...

    READ MORE

  • Runoff From Neighbor – OK to Dam?

    Q: My neighbor has a bunch of gutter pipes that empty water near my property line. The water erodes around my flower beds. He refuses to do anything about it. Can I just build a dam to keep his water...

    READ MORE

  • Winterizer – When is Best to Apply?

    Q: We were taught in my agronomy classes that it’s best to stop applying nitrogen to warm-season turf when the end of summer approaches. I have heard golf superintendents say that is not true. What is your opinion on when...

    READ MORE

  • Ruellia (Mexican Petunia) – Invasive?

    Q: I’m considering planting Mexican petunia by my mailbox. However, I am reading where it can be very invasive and do not want it to overrun the azalea and hostas I have in there now. What are your thoughts? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Kudzu as a Farm Crop – USDA Farmers Bulletin No. 1923

    I recently found a faded copy of Kudzu as a Farm Crop in my “way back” files. Asking around, the Gwinnett Extension office had a better copy. This brought back further memories of my grandfather, Walter Cowart, who was a...

    READ MORE

  • I Need Your Advice

    As many of you know, I write a weekly column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, covering topical garden questions and answers. As many of you also know, the newspaper is not distributed outside the metro Atlanta area. I’m considering doing a...

    READ MORE

  • Self-Watering Planter

    I have really appreciated my Really Raised Bed for starting transplants and nurturing tender plants I get in the mail. But these beds must be watered frequently to keep the soil from drying out. Seeing several self-watering gardens on YouTube,...

    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

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES

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

Tomato – Cracking Fruit

Q: I have a cherry tomatoes plant that about 80% of the fruit has cracks. Anything I can do ? A: Fruit cracking is usually caused by hot dry weather followed by heavy rain or irrigation. The skin gets hard...

READ MORE

Pre-emergent – When To Apply

Many garden tasks can be done almost any time. I’ve transplanted shrubs in July and in December and had success. I fertilize my St. Augustine lawn three times a year but I don’t do it on exact, specific dates. On...

READ MORE

Possum Grape – Identification

Q: This plant grows by our lake and has three colors of berries in September. What is it? A: It’s possum grape, Ampelopsis cordata. It’s cousin, porcelain vine, Ampelopsis brevipendiculata maximowiczii, has the same sort of fruit. Birds and other...

READ MORE

Skiff Moth Caterpillar – Identification

Q: This green critter was found on a Japanese maple tree leaf. It is 1/2″ long and 3/8″ wide and 3/8″ high at the tallest point. The two dark brown “balls” are some of the excrement of this bug. Underneath...

READ MORE

Bean Leaf Roller – Identification

Q: Attached is a picture of a pest I found on my lima beans in the garden. Can you help? A: Your distinctly red-headed creature is a bean leaf roller caterpillar. Its parent is a long-tailed skipper butterfly. I’m sure...

READ MORE

Italian Stone Pine – Juvenile Foliage and Mature Foliage

Q: What is happening to my little Christmas tree? It came from a big box gardening store. Over the summer the branches have sprouted long needles from the short needle branches. Can you suggest what has happened? A: I’m not...

READ MORE

Kudzu – Recipes

Kudzu is the vine that tried to eat the South. The newly introduced kudzu bug is attempting to consume this fast growing vine; why not do your part and eat some kudzu too? I found several recipes that seem easy...

READ MORE

Runoff From Neighbor – OK to Dam?

Q: My neighbor has a bunch of gutter pipes that empty water near my property line. The water erodes around my flower beds. He refuses to do anything about it. Can I just build a dam to keep his water...

READ MORE

Winterizer – When is Best to Apply?

Q: We were taught in my agronomy classes that it’s best to stop applying nitrogen to warm-season turf when the end of summer approaches. I have heard golf superintendents say that is not true. What is your opinion on when...

READ MORE

Ruellia (Mexican Petunia) – Invasive?

Q: I’m considering planting Mexican petunia by my mailbox. However, I am reading where it can be very invasive and do not want it to overrun the azalea and hostas I have in there now. What are your thoughts? A:...

READ MORE

Kudzu as a Farm Crop – USDA Farmers Bulletin No. 1923

I recently found a faded copy of Kudzu as a Farm Crop in my “way back” files. Asking around, the Gwinnett Extension office had a better copy. This brought back further memories of my grandfather, Walter Cowart, who was a...

READ MORE

I Need Your Advice

As many of you know, I write a weekly column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, covering topical garden questions and answers. As many of you also know, the newspaper is not distributed outside the metro Atlanta area. I’m considering doing a...

READ MORE

Self-Watering Planter

I have really appreciated my Really Raised Bed for starting transplants and nurturing tender plants I get in the mail. But these beds must be watered frequently to keep the soil from drying out. Seeing several self-watering gardens on YouTube,...

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