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
  • Music Helps Plants Grow – False Science

    One of the myths of gardening is that “music makes plants grow better”. This analysis of the original experiment by a reputable scientist puts the “music-plant collection” to bed: Case Study: The Sound of Music and Plants  Published 30...

    READ MORE

  • Science Project – Quick and Easy

    I’m helping a friend’s daughter with her science project and am relearning the long-forgotten differences between dependent variable, independent variable and control group. If your child announces “My science project is due in two weeks! What can I do that’s...

    READ MORE

  • Cedar-apple Rust – Preventing

    Q: I have cedar-apple rust on an apple tree not far from a cedar tree. If I move the apple to the other side of the yard will it help prevent the disease? A: Cedar-apple rust is a major problem...

    READ MORE

  • Acorns – Heavy Crop in 2011

    Many gardeners have noted a heavier than normal acorn crop in 2011. They report a constant barrage of nuts falling from white oak, water oak and red oak trees. One even carries an umbrella to protect her head while walking...

    READ MORE

  • Crapemyrtle – Planting Seeds

    Q: I would like to learn about identifying, collecting and planting seeds from my crape myrtle. Can you help? A: The seeds are easy to collect and plant. Observe your plant and collect seed capsules when they turn brown. Let...

    READ MORE

  • Planting Pansies

    Few plants create color in a winter landscape better than pansies. Given a mid-October planting, pansies laugh at temperatures in the ‘teens. They are even known to bloom after a winter snowstorm. Growers produce 50 million pansies each year for...

    READ MORE

  • Plants for Low Light

    It’s nice to have plants in every room of your house….but not every room has the light levels necessary for houseplants to be happy. Here are some that survive in even the gloomiest rooms when you put them near a...

    READ MORE

  • Stinkweed – Identification

    Q: This plant came up in a crack in our brick patio. We just let it grow to see what it was. The leaves have a very pungent odor. We have no idea, so can you identify it for us?...

    READ MORE

  • Pre-emergent (Halts, pendimethalin) – Staining Driveway

    Sometimes it just takes a little hands-on research to solve a problem. A member of Hometalk.com asked this question: How can we remove the rust stain from a fertilizer from our concrete driveway and sidewalk? I replied: If the product...

    READ MORE

  • Sweetgrass – Growing

    Q: I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to grow sweetgrass, Hierochloe odorata. I have tried to follow the plant seller’s instructions but have not had any luck. A: There are two kinds of sweetgrass. One, Hierochloe odorata, is native to the Midwest,...

    READ MORE

  • Midges – Clouds of Them

    Q: When I run near the Chattahoochee I often pass through clouds of tiny insects. What are they? A: They’re probably midges. Ohio State University experts describe these swarms of CHIRONOMID MIDGE FLIES (Family Chironomidae)   “The cloud-like clusters of these...

    READ MORE

  • Backyard Pond – Algae (Stocking Rate)

    Q: I have a 500 gallon fish pond with 25 goldfish. It has green algae in it. How can I control the algae? A: I think you have too many fish for the pond….and the presence of green algae confirms...

    READ MORE

  • 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

  • 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

Music Helps Plants Grow – False Science

One of the myths of gardening is that “music makes plants grow better”. This analysis of the original experiment by a reputable scientist puts the “music-plant collection” to bed: Case Study: The Sound of Music and Plants  Published 30...

READ MORE

Science Project – Quick and Easy

I’m helping a friend’s daughter with her science project and am relearning the long-forgotten differences between dependent variable, independent variable and control group. If your child announces “My science project is due in two weeks! What can I do that’s...

READ MORE

Cedar-apple Rust – Preventing

Q: I have cedar-apple rust on an apple tree not far from a cedar tree. If I move the apple to the other side of the yard will it help prevent the disease? A: Cedar-apple rust is a major problem...

READ MORE

Acorns – Heavy Crop in 2011

Many gardeners have noted a heavier than normal acorn crop in 2011. They report a constant barrage of nuts falling from white oak, water oak and red oak trees. One even carries an umbrella to protect her head while walking...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – Planting Seeds

Q: I would like to learn about identifying, collecting and planting seeds from my crape myrtle. Can you help? A: The seeds are easy to collect and plant. Observe your plant and collect seed capsules when they turn brown. Let...

READ MORE

Planting Pansies

Few plants create color in a winter landscape better than pansies. Given a mid-October planting, pansies laugh at temperatures in the ‘teens. They are even known to bloom after a winter snowstorm. Growers produce 50 million pansies each year for...

READ MORE

Plants for Low Light

It’s nice to have plants in every room of your house….but not every room has the light levels necessary for houseplants to be happy. Here are some that survive in even the gloomiest rooms when you put them near a...

READ MORE

Stinkweed – Identification

Q: This plant came up in a crack in our brick patio. We just let it grow to see what it was. The leaves have a very pungent odor. We have no idea, so can you identify it for us?...

READ MORE

Pre-emergent (Halts, pendimethalin) – Staining Driveway

Sometimes it just takes a little hands-on research to solve a problem. A member of Hometalk.com asked this question: How can we remove the rust stain from a fertilizer from our concrete driveway and sidewalk? I replied: If the product...

READ MORE

Sweetgrass – Growing

Q: I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to grow sweetgrass, Hierochloe odorata. I have tried to follow the plant seller’s instructions but have not had any luck. A: There are two kinds of sweetgrass. One, Hierochloe odorata, is native to the Midwest,...

READ MORE

Midges – Clouds of Them

Q: When I run near the Chattahoochee I often pass through clouds of tiny insects. What are they? A: They’re probably midges. Ohio State University experts describe these swarms of CHIRONOMID MIDGE FLIES (Family Chironomidae)   “The cloud-like clusters of these...

READ MORE

Backyard Pond – Algae (Stocking Rate)

Q: I have a 500 gallon fish pond with 25 goldfish. It has green algae in it. How can I control the algae? A: I think you have too many fish for the pond….and the presence of green algae confirms...

READ MORE

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

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