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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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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

  • Confederate Jasmine – Pruning

    Q: I made the mistake a few years ago of underestimating the abundant growth of honeysuckle and star jasmine. I planted small plants of each on both sides of a swing. I have tried to trim and control the growth...

    READ MORE

  • Snake – On Hummingbird Feeder

    Q: I was surprised to find this unwelcome visitor on my hummingbird feeder. At least one hummer was, too, when it came face to face with the snake! What kind of snake is it? Was it after the birds? I...

    READ MORE

  • Deer Damage vs Rabbit Damage to Stems

    Q: I have two pots of Gerber daisies in my backyard. One is located right next to my wooden deck and the other is located 15 feet away. I can only enjoy the blooms on the pot that is located...

    READ MORE

  • Black Cherry – Identification

    Q: Can you tell from the pictures attached whether or not this a cherry tree ?? I looked at several pictures on line but the leaves of this tree don’t appear to be exactly like the pictures that I looked...

    READ MORE

  • Dobsonfly (Hellgramite) – Identification

    Q: We found this insect on our property in Dawsonville. Any idea what it could be? A: Nice photo!! It’s a male dobsonfly, an unusual insect found near mountain streams. I can see one in your photo background. I know...

    READ MORE

  • ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea – Container

    Q: I have two Limelight hydrangea trees on my patio that were purchased in April. After a heavy rain, one is drooping severely, like it’s still soaking wet, while the other one looks to be straightening back up. Have the...

    READ MORE

  • Aspirin – To Combat Plant Disease

    Q: You say on your website that aspirin can prevent disease on tomato plants. Where can I find more information about the process? A: Scientists have known for several years that certain compounds can signal a plant to defend itself...

    READ MORE

  • Catalpa Worm – Identification

    Q: The ugly Catalpa tree at our Nearly Native Nursery has always had the fish bait worms. We have several customers who have purchased trees from us but still no worms for them. How do they attract them? A: Catalpa...

    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

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

Confederate Jasmine – Pruning

Q: I made the mistake a few years ago of underestimating the abundant growth of honeysuckle and star jasmine. I planted small plants of each on both sides of a swing. I have tried to trim and control the growth...

READ MORE

Snake – On Hummingbird Feeder

Q: I was surprised to find this unwelcome visitor on my hummingbird feeder. At least one hummer was, too, when it came face to face with the snake! What kind of snake is it? Was it after the birds? I...

READ MORE

Deer Damage vs Rabbit Damage to Stems

Q: I have two pots of Gerber daisies in my backyard. One is located right next to my wooden deck and the other is located 15 feet away. I can only enjoy the blooms on the pot that is located...

READ MORE

Black Cherry – Identification

Q: Can you tell from the pictures attached whether or not this a cherry tree ?? I looked at several pictures on line but the leaves of this tree don’t appear to be exactly like the pictures that I looked...

READ MORE

Dobsonfly (Hellgramite) – Identification

Q: We found this insect on our property in Dawsonville. Any idea what it could be? A: Nice photo!! It’s a male dobsonfly, an unusual insect found near mountain streams. I can see one in your photo background. I know...

READ MORE

‘Limelight’ Hydrangea – Container

Q: I have two Limelight hydrangea trees on my patio that were purchased in April. After a heavy rain, one is drooping severely, like it’s still soaking wet, while the other one looks to be straightening back up. Have the...

READ MORE

Aspirin – To Combat Plant Disease

Q: You say on your website that aspirin can prevent disease on tomato plants. Where can I find more information about the process? A: Scientists have known for several years that certain compounds can signal a plant to defend itself...

READ MORE

Catalpa Worm – Identification

Q: The ugly Catalpa tree at our Nearly Native Nursery has always had the fish bait worms. We have several customers who have purchased trees from us but still no worms for them. How do they attract them? A: Catalpa...

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