Featured Article

Upcoming Trips to Ireland and Cuba – 2014

I get real pleasure from travelling with folks who like to see the world. Going to Callaway Gardens was a real trip when I was a kid! Now I get to see the corners of the globe with gardeners (and spouses!) on trips I plan and host each year. We’re...

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UGA Vegetable Gardening Publications

With food prices high, folks have been thinking about growing some of their own food. Food gardening is not hard and it doesn’t have to take much room in your landscape. You can even do it in containers! These gardening publications are available on the Internet or ask for a...

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Roundup – Using on Winter Weeds

It is tempting to spray glyphosate (click for sources) on green winter weeds when your lawn grass is brown and dormant. However, bermudagrass is the only turfgrass on which I’d recommend this practice – - and with much caution. The bermudagrass must be completely dormant. Get on your hands and...

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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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Buy Garden Books!

As you probably know, I am the author or co-author of several books about gardening in Georgia.  If you’d like to get one of my books for yourself or to give as a gift, click the link below. I’ll get the order immediately and will inscribe it as you wish...

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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Deer Repellents – Scientific Research

    There are many repellents for deer; some are sold commercially and some are concocted by homeowners. I found two articles that actually used the scientific process to evaluate deer repellents. Reducing Deer Damage Comparative Analysis of Deer...

    READ MORE

  • No BS! Free HS! – Getting Horse Manure for your Garden

    Gardeners have used animal manure for thousands of years to add nutrients and organic matter to their gardens. In metro Atlanta, it has become harder and harder to find a stable because owners have had to move as their land...

    READ MORE

  • Plant Hoppers (Planthoppers) – Roosting on Stems

    The fuzzy white powder covering the upper stems of hosta, azalea and many other landscape plants looks just like a fungus. Powdery mildew has disfigured the leaves of crape myrtles and dogwoods for weeks, so this white powdery stuff must...

    READ MORE

  • Sweet Flag (Acorus) – Scale

    Former Extension agent Christi Heidt reports an unusual problem: scale insects on acorus (variegated sweet flag). As far as I can tell, this has never been reported before. Here are her comments: “I was really surprised about the acorus. I...

    READ MORE

  • Saddleback Caterpillars

    Saddleback caterpillars are one to one and a half inches long. They are distinguished by the large brown spot or “saddle” in the center of their back. Stiff, white hairs cover the sides and both ends of their body. These...

    READ MORE

  • Pine Beetles – Diagnosis and Control

    Several kinds of beetles ferociously attack drought-weakened pine trees in summer. The Southern pine beetle is the most feared. In September, homeowners typically notice a brown-needled tree, distinct among the other green pines around. By the time the tree is...

    READ MORE

  • Pansies -Something Eating Leaves

    A skill that gardeners could practice more often is observational horticulture. Sometimes you learn more from just looking around than you do from a book. Last week I noticed that my early-planted pansies were severely chewed-upon. Initially, I suspected chipmunk...

    READ MORE

  • White Grub – Control

    It’s common to find one or two “C-shaped” white grubs when you dig the soil in spring and early summer. A grub is the immature form of a beetle. Some grubs develop into Japanese beetles, some turn into the brown...

    READ MORE

  • Ground bee

    One of the benefits of experience is knowing when something isn’t a big deal and, conversely, when something happens that could be worrisome. When I saw small mounds of clay, with hovering bees nearby, in my lawn this afternoon I...

    READ MORE

  • Flea – General Control

    Great fleas have little fleas Upon their backs to bite ‘em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, And so ad infinitum, And the great fleas themselves, in turn, Have greater fleas to go on, While these again have greater still,...

    READ MORE

  • Scale

    Scale insects range from pinhead size to a quarter-inch in diameter. In general, they are easy to scrape from a twig or leaf. Many exude a reddish liquid when squeezed. Scale often release a sweet liquid (honeydew) that attracts ants...

    READ MORE

  • Southern Pine Beetle

    When I was a boy, one of my favorite pastimes was to stack up several soup cans, walk a few paces away, then throw rocks at the tower of cans until they tumbled down. I was convinced that if I...

    READ MORE

  • Fire Ant – Control

    Fire ants can be a real problem in home lawns. While they do not directly affect the grass, they can cause damage to mowers and other maintenance equipment. They also sting people and pets, making the lawn an uninhabitable area....

    READ MORE

  • Carpenter Bee – Identification

    S. M. e-mailed to ask what is the difference between a carpenter bee and a bumble bee. Since I am not a trained entomologist, I called Dr. Paul Guillebeau to find out. “Just look at their rear end,” he advised....

    READ MORE

  • Ticks

    The sight of a mosquito on your skin is annoying but not alarming. A quick slap and the bloodsucker is bound for parts unknown. You return to your gardening or sunbathing. But the sight of a tick on your body...

    READ MORE

  • Screech Owl Box

    Owls are excellent predators in a small landscape. They capture voles, mice and small snakes. It’s easy to build a box for a screech owl family. Make it 8″ by 10″ by 15″ tall with a 3″ hole. Hang 15...

    READ MORE

  • Yellow Jacket – Control With Glass Bowl

    Yellow jackets can be a real pest in late summer and fall. They swarm out of the nest at the slightest provocation, looking to punish whomever disturbed them. Want to know what works to kill a nest? We do too!...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn Insects – Soap Flush

    Lawn insects can be hard to find, especially when young. One way to detect them is to use a soap flush. Mix 4 tablespoons of dish detergent in a 2 gallon bucket. Pour the mixture over a six square foot...

    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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES

Deer Repellents – Scientific Research

There are many repellents for deer; some are sold commercially and some are concocted by homeowners. I found two articles that actually used the scientific process to evaluate deer repellents. Reducing Deer Damage Comparative Analysis of Deer...

READ MORE

No BS! Free HS! – Getting Horse Manure for your Garden

Gardeners have used animal manure for thousands of years to add nutrients and organic matter to their gardens. In metro Atlanta, it has become harder and harder to find a stable because owners have had to move as their land...

READ MORE

Plant Hoppers (Planthoppers) – Roosting on Stems

The fuzzy white powder covering the upper stems of hosta, azalea and many other landscape plants looks just like a fungus. Powdery mildew has disfigured the leaves of crape myrtles and dogwoods for weeks, so this white powdery stuff must...

READ MORE

Sweet Flag (Acorus) – Scale

Former Extension agent Christi Heidt reports an unusual problem: scale insects on acorus (variegated sweet flag). As far as I can tell, this has never been reported before. Here are her comments: “I was really surprised about the acorus. I...

READ MORE

Saddleback Caterpillars

Saddleback caterpillars are one to one and a half inches long. They are distinguished by the large brown spot or “saddle” in the center of their back. Stiff, white hairs cover the sides and both ends of their body. These...

READ MORE

Pine Beetles – Diagnosis and Control

Several kinds of beetles ferociously attack drought-weakened pine trees in summer. The Southern pine beetle is the most feared. In September, homeowners typically notice a brown-needled tree, distinct among the other green pines around. By the time the tree is...

READ MORE

Pansies -Something Eating Leaves

A skill that gardeners could practice more often is observational horticulture. Sometimes you learn more from just looking around than you do from a book. Last week I noticed that my early-planted pansies were severely chewed-upon. Initially, I suspected chipmunk...

READ MORE

White Grub – Control

It’s common to find one or two “C-shaped” white grubs when you dig the soil in spring and early summer. A grub is the immature form of a beetle. Some grubs develop into Japanese beetles, some turn into the brown...

READ MORE

Ground bee

One of the benefits of experience is knowing when something isn’t a big deal and, conversely, when something happens that could be worrisome. When I saw small mounds of clay, with hovering bees nearby, in my lawn this afternoon I...

READ MORE

Flea – General Control

Great fleas have little fleas Upon their backs to bite ‘em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, And so ad infinitum, And the great fleas themselves, in turn, Have greater fleas to go on, While these again have greater still,...

READ MORE

Scale

Scale insects range from pinhead size to a quarter-inch in diameter. In general, they are easy to scrape from a twig or leaf. Many exude a reddish liquid when squeezed. Scale often release a sweet liquid (honeydew) that attracts ants...

READ MORE

Southern Pine Beetle

When I was a boy, one of my favorite pastimes was to stack up several soup cans, walk a few paces away, then throw rocks at the tower of cans until they tumbled down. I was convinced that if I...

READ MORE

Fire Ant – Control

Fire ants can be a real problem in home lawns. While they do not directly affect the grass, they can cause damage to mowers and other maintenance equipment. They also sting people and pets, making the lawn an uninhabitable area....

READ MORE

Carpenter Bee – Identification

S. M. e-mailed to ask what is the difference between a carpenter bee and a bumble bee. Since I am not a trained entomologist, I called Dr. Paul Guillebeau to find out. “Just look at their rear end,” he advised....

READ MORE

Ticks

The sight of a mosquito on your skin is annoying but not alarming. A quick slap and the bloodsucker is bound for parts unknown. You return to your gardening or sunbathing. But the sight of a tick on your body...

READ MORE

Screech Owl Box

Owls are excellent predators in a small landscape. They capture voles, mice and small snakes. It’s easy to build a box for a screech owl family. Make it 8″ by 10″ by 15″ tall with a 3″ hole. Hang 15...

READ MORE

Yellow Jacket – Control With Glass Bowl

Yellow jackets can be a real pest in late summer and fall. They swarm out of the nest at the slightest provocation, looking to punish whomever disturbed them. Want to know what works to kill a nest? We do too!...

READ MORE

Lawn Insects – Soap Flush

Lawn insects can be hard to find, especially when young. One way to detect them is to use a soap flush. Mix 4 tablespoons of dish detergent in a 2 gallon bucket. Pour the mixture over a six square foot...

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 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

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

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

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

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

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