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
  • 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

  • Tomatoes – For High Heat

    Q: Is there a tomato that tolerates high summer heat better than others? A: It’s true that some of the newer hybrids stop producing (probably due to lack of pollination) at temps above 90 degrees. Cindy Martin at The Tasteful...

    READ MORE

  • Tomato – Fruitworm

    Q: I have several of these on my tomato plants and have no idea what they are. They don’t look like cutworms and they only seem to be eating the leaves. Can you help? A: You have a tomato fruitworm....

    READ MORE

  • New Shrubs/Trees – Watering

    Q: I planted 5 Green Giant arborvitaes in my backyard along a fence to provide a hedge in the future. The space gets full sun. We mixed in soil conditioner with the red clay when planting them. The trees are...

    READ MORE

  • Deodar Cedar – Growing Differently

    Q: I have two deodara cedars that are growing at different rates. Both trees were planted six years ago by a landscape company. The non-growing deodar cedar was dug up and re-planted last fall hoping it would take off like...

    READ MORE

  • Yellowjackets – Traps

    Q: We have lots of yellowjackets on our patio. What is the best trap for them?  A: I have tried the commercial trap with special baits but the most effective traps were inexpensive or home made. I had a thriving...

    READ MORE

  • Rock Eagle Camp Song – “Dem Bones Gonna Rise Again!”

    I worked as a counselor at Rock Eagle 4-H Camp, near Eatonton GA, from 1969 to 1972. Quaint though it seems now, one of our most enjoyable activities was gathering in the dining hall and singing all sorts of doggerel...

    READ MORE

  • Snails – In the Classroom

    When I worked for the UGA Extension folks several years ago, I was a member of the National Science Teachers Association. In an article, they suggested that kids could learn a lot by keeping large snails in the classroom. We...

    READ MORE

  • Crayfish – In the Classroom

    When I worked for the UGA Extension folks several years ago, I was a member of the National Science Teachers Association. Their magazine, Science and Children, contained many good ideas for teaching science to my 4-H Club members. I saved...

    READ MORE

  • Box Turtle (Terrapin) – In the Classroom

    When I worked for the UGA Extension folks several years ago, I was a member of the National Science Teachers Association. Their magazine, Science and Children, contained many good ideas for teaching science to my 4-H Club members. I saved...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese Beetle – Decline in Numbers

    Q: We have always had a problem with Japanese beetles in summer. So far this year (2012), we have not seen any at all. None! What’s up with that? A: Just as the mild winter increased the number of ticks...

    READ MORE

  • Antique Garden Tools

    When a friend pointed out a New York Times article (digital subscription required) about a museum show of antique garden tools, I was intrigued. When I realized that the owner of the tools, Mark Morrison, lived near where I intended...

    READ MORE

  • Dirt Can Make You Happy!

    On my radio show, I exhort listeners to discover the happiness that gardening brings. Little did I know that certain bacteria in the soil are responsible! Following is a blog post by Naomi Sachs, of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network  ...

    READ MORE

  • Hornet Nest – Near Bee Hives

    Q: My husband is a beekeeper. A hornet colony has built a sizable nest on the back of our house. What makes it unique is that the nest is flush on a window and you can see inside the nest....

    READ MORE

  • Tree Roots – Exposed

    Q: Could you please tell me what is going on with my oak tree? The roots are next to a driveway. It’s very interesting looking into all the little cubby holes. Is this normal? A: This looks completely normal to...

    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

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

Tomatoes – For High Heat

Q: Is there a tomato that tolerates high summer heat better than others? A: It’s true that some of the newer hybrids stop producing (probably due to lack of pollination) at temps above 90 degrees. Cindy Martin at The Tasteful...

READ MORE

Tomato – Fruitworm

Q: I have several of these on my tomato plants and have no idea what they are. They don’t look like cutworms and they only seem to be eating the leaves. Can you help? A: You have a tomato fruitworm....

READ MORE

New Shrubs/Trees – Watering

Q: I planted 5 Green Giant arborvitaes in my backyard along a fence to provide a hedge in the future. The space gets full sun. We mixed in soil conditioner with the red clay when planting them. The trees are...

READ MORE

Deodar Cedar – Growing Differently

Q: I have two deodara cedars that are growing at different rates. Both trees were planted six years ago by a landscape company. The non-growing deodar cedar was dug up and re-planted last fall hoping it would take off like...

READ MORE

Yellowjackets – Traps

Q: We have lots of yellowjackets on our patio. What is the best trap for them?  A: I have tried the commercial trap with special baits but the most effective traps were inexpensive or home made. I had a thriving...

READ MORE

Rock Eagle Camp Song – “Dem Bones Gonna Rise Again!”

I worked as a counselor at Rock Eagle 4-H Camp, near Eatonton GA, from 1969 to 1972. Quaint though it seems now, one of our most enjoyable activities was gathering in the dining hall and singing all sorts of doggerel...

READ MORE

Snails – In the Classroom

When I worked for the UGA Extension folks several years ago, I was a member of the National Science Teachers Association. In an article, they suggested that kids could learn a lot by keeping large snails in the classroom. We...

READ MORE

Crayfish – In the Classroom

When I worked for the UGA Extension folks several years ago, I was a member of the National Science Teachers Association. Their magazine, Science and Children, contained many good ideas for teaching science to my 4-H Club members. I saved...

READ MORE

Box Turtle (Terrapin) – In the Classroom

When I worked for the UGA Extension folks several years ago, I was a member of the National Science Teachers Association. Their magazine, Science and Children, contained many good ideas for teaching science to my 4-H Club members. I saved...

READ MORE

Japanese Beetle – Decline in Numbers

Q: We have always had a problem with Japanese beetles in summer. So far this year (2012), we have not seen any at all. None! What’s up with that? A: Just as the mild winter increased the number of ticks...

READ MORE

Antique Garden Tools

When a friend pointed out a New York Times article (digital subscription required) about a museum show of antique garden tools, I was intrigued. When I realized that the owner of the tools, Mark Morrison, lived near where I intended...

READ MORE

Dirt Can Make You Happy!

On my radio show, I exhort listeners to discover the happiness that gardening brings. Little did I know that certain bacteria in the soil are responsible! Following is a blog post by Naomi Sachs, of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network  ...

READ MORE

Hornet Nest – Near Bee Hives

Q: My husband is a beekeeper. A hornet colony has built a sizable nest on the back of our house. What makes it unique is that the nest is flush on a window and you can see inside the nest....

READ MORE

Tree Roots – Exposed

Q: Could you please tell me what is going on with my oak tree? The roots are next to a driveway. It’s very interesting looking into all the little cubby holes. Is this normal? A: This looks completely normal to...

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