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
  • Wild Strawberry – Edible or Not

    Q: Are wild strawberries edible? A: If you’re referring to the lawn weed we commonly call wild strawberry, Potentilla indica, the fruits are edible but they have no taste I can discern. Another name for this plant is Indian mock...

    READ MORE

  • Pruning Tomato Limbs on the Ground

    Q: Does it hurt to cut off lower limbs of tomato plants that are on the ground? A: It’s no problem at all and you may avoid disease problems by doing so. Early blight is a common tomato disease that...

    READ MORE

  • Plant Names – Crapemyrtle

    Q: I noticed in a recent column that you spelled the name of a particular Southern plant “crapemyrtle”, not “crepe myrtle” or “crape myrtle”. I thought the name was two words. A: Every garden writer tries to be consistent in...

    READ MORE

  • Peonies – Transplanting

    Q: My peonies have outgrown the place where I planted them. I would love to transplant them now but everything I have read says to wait until Oct. A: If the clump is so big that it needs dividing, I’d...

    READ MORE

  • Oak Tree – Bark Shedding

    Q: In the last few weeks, we have noticed that oak trees are shedding their bark profusely. The bark is simply falling off the trees in bits and pieces. What is happening to our wonderful trees? A: There are two...

    READ MORE

  • Soil Testing – When to retest

    Q: I had my soil tested last fall and the report said that my soil was deficient in phosphorus and potassium. I used 10-10-10 for the first fertilization. When should I retest? A: It takes a while for nutrients to...

    READ MORE

  • Bamboo Removal

    Q: We would like to get rid of bamboo in our yard. The previous owners planted the bamboo as a privacy screen. Can we dig it out? A: You can control it by digging but it will be a miserable...

    READ MORE

  • New Garden – Planting in Georgia

    Q: We have moved back to Georgia and are planting a new garden. I need help with the layout for a 30 foot x 50 foot garden. A: Planting a new garden is an enjoyable adventure but it’s easy to...

    READ MORE

  • Branch Spreaders on a Mountain Ash

    Q: What is your opinion about using branch spreaders to increase the crotch angle between the trunk and branches that are growing more upright than horizontal on a mountain ash tree? Is it a good idea or just a waste...

    READ MORE

  • Confederate Jasmine Vines – Growth in Containers

    Q: We want to use Confederate jasmine vines to grow up and trail over our garage doors. Can we successfully grow them in pots? A: Confederate jasmine can be quite robust so I’d opt for the biggest container you can...

    READ MORE

  • Citronella Plants – Do not repel mosquitoes

    Q: How many citronella plants are needed for maximum mosquito protection in a backyard? A: Despite the claims, citronella plants do not repel mosquitoes. Citronella grass, Cymbopogon nardus, and citrosa (scented geranium) contain citronella oil, which does repel mosquitoes. However,...

    READ MORE

  • Liriope – Pruning

    Q: The liriope our subdivision entrance has not been cut back and looks tattered. Is May too late in the year to prune it back? A: I wouldn’t mow it down now but if it’s not a terribly big patch...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese Maple – Small Root Ball

    Q: I planted a scrawny Japanese maple two years ago, digging a hole only a little bigger that the root ball. Now I’m worried it will not grow well due to the hard soil around the roots. Any options? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Crapemyrtle – Fragrance

    Q: Are there any fragrant varieties of crepe myrtles? A: NOTE: THIS IS MY ORIGINAL ANSWER…BUT I’M WRONG…SEE BELOW Some gardeners claim to detect a faint scent (‘Apalachee’ and ‘Near East’ are said to have a pleasing fragrance) but I...

    READ MORE

  • 10-10-10 Fertilizer – Tomatoe Planting

    Q: If using 10-10-10 fertilizer, what is the correct amount to use when planting a tomato? A: You don’t need much, perhaps a teaspoon of 10-10-10 at planting. When the plant starts setting fruit, apply three Tbsp. per plant. Repeat...

    READ MORE

  • Floating Row Cover – Where to buy

    Q: Where can I buy the floating row cover for vine borer moth prevention? A: Call your local nursery; I’ve seen it recently at several of them. Also called “freeze cloth”, this lightweight material can be draped over young squash...

    READ MORE

  • Giant Pumpkins – Tips for Growth

    Q: Do you have any tips for growing giant pumpkins? A friend sent me and other people packets of his giant pumpkin seeds as a Christmas gift. We are all going to compete and decide the winner at year’s end....

    READ MORE

  • Recent Tornado Damage – Pine Trees

    Q: My brother’s home had many pine trees around it that were snapped at varying heights by the recent tornadoes. Will these trees have to be taken down or is there any way they can survive? A: They will have...

    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

Wild Strawberry – Edible or Not

Q: Are wild strawberries edible? A: If you’re referring to the lawn weed we commonly call wild strawberry, Potentilla indica, the fruits are edible but they have no taste I can discern. Another name for this plant is Indian mock...

READ MORE

Pruning Tomato Limbs on the Ground

Q: Does it hurt to cut off lower limbs of tomato plants that are on the ground? A: It’s no problem at all and you may avoid disease problems by doing so. Early blight is a common tomato disease that...

READ MORE

Plant Names – Crapemyrtle

Q: I noticed in a recent column that you spelled the name of a particular Southern plant “crapemyrtle”, not “crepe myrtle” or “crape myrtle”. I thought the name was two words. A: Every garden writer tries to be consistent in...

READ MORE

Peonies – Transplanting

Q: My peonies have outgrown the place where I planted them. I would love to transplant them now but everything I have read says to wait until Oct. A: If the clump is so big that it needs dividing, I’d...

READ MORE

Oak Tree – Bark Shedding

Q: In the last few weeks, we have noticed that oak trees are shedding their bark profusely. The bark is simply falling off the trees in bits and pieces. What is happening to our wonderful trees? A: There are two...

READ MORE

Soil Testing – When to retest

Q: I had my soil tested last fall and the report said that my soil was deficient in phosphorus and potassium. I used 10-10-10 for the first fertilization. When should I retest? A: It takes a while for nutrients to...

READ MORE

Bamboo Removal

Q: We would like to get rid of bamboo in our yard. The previous owners planted the bamboo as a privacy screen. Can we dig it out? A: You can control it by digging but it will be a miserable...

READ MORE

New Garden – Planting in Georgia

Q: We have moved back to Georgia and are planting a new garden. I need help with the layout for a 30 foot x 50 foot garden. A: Planting a new garden is an enjoyable adventure but it’s easy to...

READ MORE

Branch Spreaders on a Mountain Ash

Q: What is your opinion about using branch spreaders to increase the crotch angle between the trunk and branches that are growing more upright than horizontal on a mountain ash tree? Is it a good idea or just a waste...

READ MORE

Confederate Jasmine Vines – Growth in Containers

Q: We want to use Confederate jasmine vines to grow up and trail over our garage doors. Can we successfully grow them in pots? A: Confederate jasmine can be quite robust so I’d opt for the biggest container you can...

READ MORE

Citronella Plants – Do not repel mosquitoes

Q: How many citronella plants are needed for maximum mosquito protection in a backyard? A: Despite the claims, citronella plants do not repel mosquitoes. Citronella grass, Cymbopogon nardus, and citrosa (scented geranium) contain citronella oil, which does repel mosquitoes. However,...

READ MORE

Liriope – Pruning

Q: The liriope our subdivision entrance has not been cut back and looks tattered. Is May too late in the year to prune it back? A: I wouldn’t mow it down now but if it’s not a terribly big patch...

READ MORE

Japanese Maple – Small Root Ball

Q: I planted a scrawny Japanese maple two years ago, digging a hole only a little bigger that the root ball. Now I’m worried it will not grow well due to the hard soil around the roots. Any options? A:...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – Fragrance

Q: Are there any fragrant varieties of crepe myrtles? A: NOTE: THIS IS MY ORIGINAL ANSWER…BUT I’M WRONG…SEE BELOW Some gardeners claim to detect a faint scent (‘Apalachee’ and ‘Near East’ are said to have a pleasing fragrance) but I...

READ MORE

10-10-10 Fertilizer – Tomatoe Planting

Q: If using 10-10-10 fertilizer, what is the correct amount to use when planting a tomato? A: You don’t need much, perhaps a teaspoon of 10-10-10 at planting. When the plant starts setting fruit, apply three Tbsp. per plant. Repeat...

READ MORE

Floating Row Cover – Where to buy

Q: Where can I buy the floating row cover for vine borer moth prevention? A: Call your local nursery; I’ve seen it recently at several of them. Also called “freeze cloth”, this lightweight material can be draped over young squash...

READ MORE

Giant Pumpkins – Tips for Growth

Q: Do you have any tips for growing giant pumpkins? A friend sent me and other people packets of his giant pumpkin seeds as a Christmas gift. We are all going to compete and decide the winner at year’s end....

READ MORE

Recent Tornado Damage – Pine Trees

Q: My brother’s home had many pine trees around it that were snapped at varying heights by the recent tornadoes. Will these trees have to be taken down or is there any way they can survive? A: They will have...

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