Featured Article

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

Hydrangea Summer Pruning – Step by Step

The recent summer rains filled the leaves and roots of my hydrangeas with water, making them strong. Now that the flowers have faded in late June I can prune them to the size I want for next year. Look at the photos below to see before and after shots. I...

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 and the other seasons as well? Can you give me...

READ MORE

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Sago Palm – Nutrient Deficiency

    Q: My 6-year-old potted sago palm has been very hardy, but the new leaves and some of the old ones are turning yellow. Is the plant dying? I have never fertilized the plant and take it into the garage in...

    READ MORE

  • Rose – Cane Borer

    Q: I am having trouble with my Knockout Roses. I have had these plants for quite a few years. Last year I lost two plants and was not able to see any reason why. They just began to turn yellow...

    READ MORE

  • Night Blooming Cereus – Propagate

    Q: We wonder if you could help us with our cactus.We have had it for 20 years and it is getting too tall for our house. (seven feet) We take it out in the summer and take it in during...

    READ MORE

  • Animal, Reptile, Bird and Insect – Books for Identification

    I love getting emailed photos of plants and creatures that need identifying. Although I may not be able to ID them at first glance, I can usually find something interesting in one of my reference books. One of my favorite...

    READ MORE

  • Emerald Zoysia – Shade Tolerance

    Q: I had Emerald zoysia installed in the spring, with great attention to soil prep beforehand. I’ve noticed that it seems weaker in shady spots than my neighbor’s Emerald zoysia. Any guesses why? A: I think there are two possibilities....

    READ MORE

  • Camellia (and other shrubs) – Propagating Step by Step

    This is my step-by-step process of propagating camellia cuttings. The same method works for roses, gardenia, azalea and other woody broadleafed...

    READ MORE

  • Flowers for Drying

    Harvest when the flowers are not fully open and in good condition. Don’t wait too long, because flowers too far along will not dry satisfactorily. Select flowers or seed pods that are as close to perfect looking as possible because...

    READ MORE

  • Aerator – Hand-powered

    Q: I’ve seen hand aerators that you can step on to aerate your lawn. I’d like some exercise and avoid the expense of renting an aerator.  How long would it take to cover a half acre? A: Let me break out...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese Knotweed (Mexican Bamboo) – Identification

    Q: There was no sign of this plant in Jan or Feb. Now it has been identified as Japanese Knotweed. It is on virtually every invasive species list in North America. It will soon be history in my yard! A:...

    READ MORE

  • Camellia – Oedema (Edema)

    Q: My camellias were planted in June and get afternoon sun for 2-3 hours. I have watered them on a regular basis during the summer as with the other plants that were planted. I’ve not fertilized them. What is going...

    READ MORE

  • Hosta – Stem Rot

    Q: I found this nasty disease on one of my hosta plants – apparently petiole rot. It seems odd to have this in summer drought conditions and (so far) only on one plant out of many, many hosta in my...

    READ MORE

  • Potter Wasp – Identification

    Q: This thing was on a branch of my Russian sage. It looks like a miniature vase/urn made of red clay. I could see there was something inside it and I suspected it was a larva/caterpillar/ whatever but, to my...

    READ MORE

  • Hummingbird – White

    Q: I wanted to share photos of a white hummingbird spotted at our feeder last night in Lawrenceville. I’ve never seen one before. Are they common? What is their official name? A: Several species of hummingbird live in Georgia part-time...

    READ MORE

  • Ferns – Deer-resistant

    Q: I am looking for ferns that are full sun tolerant and deer resistant. A: Deer don’t much care for ferns in general. I find Southern shield fern, Thelypteris kunthii, easy to grow in full sun if I water when...

    READ MORE

  • Muscadine and Scuppernong – Propagating

    Q: My grandfather passed away and he had a scuppernong, which he called a Scup Nuts Vine. Can you give me instructions on how to propagate it so I can save this sentimental plant? A: Muscadine and scuppernong vines are...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn Zombies – Control

    Q: I caught your radio advice to control zombies in a lawn by pitching them headfirst into a wood chipper. Is there an organic option for control? A: My radio staff members, Ashley Frasca and Scott Maxim, are crack zombie...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese Maple – Growing a Vigorous Green Top

    Q: My Japanese maple started growing in a different direction. It took me a while to actually go close and see that I think there is a graft and now it’s like I have two different trees. Should I cut...

    READ MORE

  • Leyland Cypress – Seed Cones

    Q: I have some young Leyland cypresses. One of them has clusters of what look like small green spiked balls. Is this a gall? A: Ah ha! They’re just the seed cones of Leyland cypress. If you carefully slice into...

    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 Pre-emergent Herbicide

    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

Sago Palm – Nutrient Deficiency

Q: My 6-year-old potted sago palm has been very hardy, but the new leaves and some of the old ones are turning yellow. Is the plant dying? I have never fertilized the plant and take it into the garage in...

READ MORE

Rose – Cane Borer

Q: I am having trouble with my Knockout Roses. I have had these plants for quite a few years. Last year I lost two plants and was not able to see any reason why. They just began to turn yellow...

READ MORE

Night Blooming Cereus – Propagate

Q: We wonder if you could help us with our cactus.We have had it for 20 years and it is getting too tall for our house. (seven feet) We take it out in the summer and take it in during...

READ MORE

Animal, Reptile, Bird and Insect – Books for Identification

I love getting emailed photos of plants and creatures that need identifying. Although I may not be able to ID them at first glance, I can usually find something interesting in one of my reference books. One of my favorite...

READ MORE

Emerald Zoysia – Shade Tolerance

Q: I had Emerald zoysia installed in the spring, with great attention to soil prep beforehand. I’ve noticed that it seems weaker in shady spots than my neighbor’s Emerald zoysia. Any guesses why? A: I think there are two possibilities....

READ MORE

Camellia (and other shrubs) – Propagating Step by Step

This is my step-by-step process of propagating camellia cuttings. The same method works for roses, gardenia, azalea and other woody broadleafed...

READ MORE

Flowers for Drying

Harvest when the flowers are not fully open and in good condition. Don’t wait too long, because flowers too far along will not dry satisfactorily. Select flowers or seed pods that are as close to perfect looking as possible because...

READ MORE

Aerator – Hand-powered

Q: I’ve seen hand aerators that you can step on to aerate your lawn. I’d like some exercise and avoid the expense of renting an aerator.  How long would it take to cover a half acre? A: Let me break out...

READ MORE

Japanese Knotweed (Mexican Bamboo) – Identification

Q: There was no sign of this plant in Jan or Feb. Now it has been identified as Japanese Knotweed. It is on virtually every invasive species list in North America. It will soon be history in my yard! A:...

READ MORE

Camellia – Oedema (Edema)

Q: My camellias were planted in June and get afternoon sun for 2-3 hours. I have watered them on a regular basis during the summer as with the other plants that were planted. I’ve not fertilized them. What is going...

READ MORE

Hosta – Stem Rot

Q: I found this nasty disease on one of my hosta plants – apparently petiole rot. It seems odd to have this in summer drought conditions and (so far) only on one plant out of many, many hosta in my...

READ MORE

Potter Wasp – Identification

Q: This thing was on a branch of my Russian sage. It looks like a miniature vase/urn made of red clay. I could see there was something inside it and I suspected it was a larva/caterpillar/ whatever but, to my...

READ MORE

Hummingbird – White

Q: I wanted to share photos of a white hummingbird spotted at our feeder last night in Lawrenceville. I’ve never seen one before. Are they common? What is their official name? A: Several species of hummingbird live in Georgia part-time...

READ MORE

Ferns – Deer-resistant

Q: I am looking for ferns that are full sun tolerant and deer resistant. A: Deer don’t much care for ferns in general. I find Southern shield fern, Thelypteris kunthii, easy to grow in full sun if I water when...

READ MORE

Muscadine and Scuppernong – Propagating

Q: My grandfather passed away and he had a scuppernong, which he called a Scup Nuts Vine. Can you give me instructions on how to propagate it so I can save this sentimental plant? A: Muscadine and scuppernong vines are...

READ MORE

Lawn Zombies – Control

Q: I caught your radio advice to control zombies in a lawn by pitching them headfirst into a wood chipper. Is there an organic option for control? A: My radio staff members, Ashley Frasca and Scott Maxim, are crack zombie...

READ MORE

Japanese Maple – Growing a Vigorous Green Top

Q: My Japanese maple started growing in a different direction. It took me a while to actually go close and see that I think there is a graft and now it’s like I have two different trees. Should I cut...

READ MORE

Leyland Cypress – Seed Cones

Q: I have some young Leyland cypresses. One of them has clusters of what look like small green spiked balls. Is this a gall? A: Ah ha! They’re just the seed cones of Leyland cypress. If you carefully slice into...

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 Pre-emergent Herbicide

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