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...

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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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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...

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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...

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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Insecticidal Soap – Commercial vs Homemade

    Q: I saw in your email garden newsletter that you recommend commercial insecticidal soap, not home-made. Why can’t I make my own stuff? A: I usually hear of people using dish detergent in their insecticide concoctions, which can burn plant...

    READ MORE

  • Olives – Growing from Seed

    Q: I brought back a few dried olives from Israel. I would like to plant them in our back yard. What is the best way to ensure they will grow and how do I care for them? A: Georgia once...

    READ MORE

  • Mysterious Crop Rectangles in Fescue Lawn?

    After spending thirty minutes mending two gashes in a soaker hose, I thought to myself: “I could have been to the store, bought a new one, and been back by the time I spent doing this!” Gardeners make their own...

    READ MORE

  • Potato Bugs – On Tomato

    Q: I am finding these beetles on my tomato plants in Polk County. The leave behind an orange residue when handled. They appear to be eating the leaf edges. What are they? A: You have Colorado potato beetles, also known...

    READ MORE

  • Girdling Tree Roots

    When a root closely circles a tree trunk rather than growing outward, it is called a “girdling root”. The situation usually starts when the tree is young. Somehow a root begins circling the trunk. As it grows larger and the...

    READ MORE

  • Espaliering

    Espaliering is the art of training a plant to grow in a formal pattern, typically in a flat plane. Fans, double cordon, vertical cordon, palmetto, and Belgian Fence are common shapes but there is no reason to limit your imagination...

    READ MORE

  • June Houseplant Tips

    Divide an overgrown Boston fern into quarters; plant two quarters into each of two separate hanging baskets filled with potting soil. The ferns will look great in four weeks and you double your money in only thirty minutes. Spruce up...

    READ MORE

  • June Landscape Tips

    Collect the seeds from foxglove stalks. Scratch the soil around the plant, scatter the seed and cover with a bit of earth. Water occasionally and the seedlings that sprout this year will bloom next year. Clip off all of the...

    READ MORE

  • June Garden Tips

    Like fresh tomatoes but have little space? ‘Patio’ tomatoes grow in a 24-inch pot but give mouth-watering fruit! A half whiskey barrel makes an excellent container for a cherry tomato and three basil plants. Adorn cocktail toast with cheese, a...

    READ MORE

  • June Lawn Tips

    Use a “broad-leaf weed killer” to spot spray violets, wild strawberry, mimosa weed and prostrate spurge in your lawn. Raise the height of your mower by one notch. It will help your lawn grass withstand dry weather. A sharp mower...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn Care Calendar (Calendars) and Factsheets

    Knowing that a piece of paper in your hand is much more helpful than a computer screen in the house, I have compiled basic cultivation information and care calendars for each of the common lawn grasses. You can get and...

    READ MORE

  • Squash/Pumpkin/Cucumber/Watermelon Cross-Pollination – Explanation

    I frequently receive from gardeners pictures of crazy-looking squash, cucumbers and gourds. Typically the plants  sprouted in a compost pile, from discarded fruit of the past year. The gardeners suspect cross-pollination is to blame for the odd shapes and they...

    READ MORE

  • Measuring Light and Shade in the Landscape

    Q: In my work as a landscape designer, I’m challenged by the different kinds of shade on a site. Shade under a maple tree is completely different from shade on the north side of a house. But both are considered...

    READ MORE

  • Rose of Sharon – Bud Drop

    Q: We have a Rose of Sharon bush. Both this year and last, there have been a considerable amount of blooms on the plant that never fully open. They turn yellow and drop. A: In my experience, two things cause...

    READ MORE

  • Blackeyed Pea – Sheller

    Q: Where can I find a tool to zip open blackeyed peas? My Dad took us to the Farmers Market when I was a kid and we bought all kinds of vegetables to blanche and freeze. Dad had a small...

    READ MORE

  • Jatropha – Identification

    Q: Seven years ago my stepmother purchased a hanging basket with a variety of plants. One plant she removed and planted into a pot. It has grown into a tree with some kind of seed pods and pretty pink flowers....

    READ MORE

  • Twining Snoutbean – Identification

    Q: Can you identify this weed? This is in a pasture near Chatsworth, Ga. A: Sharp-eyed native plant identification expert Shannon Pable says it is twining snoutbean, also known as hairy snoutbean, Rhynchosia tomentosa. (Save these names for the next...

    READ MORE

  • Blackberry – Fruit Turning White

    Q: We have a thornless blackberry vine. The fruit has been ripening well up until the last day or so. Several of the drupeletes on particular fruits have all of a sudden begun to turn white. A: It’s both sunscald...

    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

Insecticidal Soap – Commercial vs Homemade

Q: I saw in your email garden newsletter that you recommend commercial insecticidal soap, not home-made. Why can’t I make my own stuff? A: I usually hear of people using dish detergent in their insecticide concoctions, which can burn plant...

READ MORE

Olives – Growing from Seed

Q: I brought back a few dried olives from Israel. I would like to plant them in our back yard. What is the best way to ensure they will grow and how do I care for them? A: Georgia once...

READ MORE

Mysterious Crop Rectangles in Fescue Lawn?

After spending thirty minutes mending two gashes in a soaker hose, I thought to myself: “I could have been to the store, bought a new one, and been back by the time I spent doing this!” Gardeners make their own...

READ MORE

Potato Bugs – On Tomato

Q: I am finding these beetles on my tomato plants in Polk County. The leave behind an orange residue when handled. They appear to be eating the leaf edges. What are they? A: You have Colorado potato beetles, also known...

READ MORE

Girdling Tree Roots

When a root closely circles a tree trunk rather than growing outward, it is called a “girdling root”. The situation usually starts when the tree is young. Somehow a root begins circling the trunk. As it grows larger and the...

READ MORE

Espaliering

Espaliering is the art of training a plant to grow in a formal pattern, typically in a flat plane. Fans, double cordon, vertical cordon, palmetto, and Belgian Fence are common shapes but there is no reason to limit your imagination...

READ MORE

June Houseplant Tips

Divide an overgrown Boston fern into quarters; plant two quarters into each of two separate hanging baskets filled with potting soil. The ferns will look great in four weeks and you double your money in only thirty minutes. Spruce up...

READ MORE

June Landscape Tips

Collect the seeds from foxglove stalks. Scratch the soil around the plant, scatter the seed and cover with a bit of earth. Water occasionally and the seedlings that sprout this year will bloom next year. Clip off all of the...

READ MORE

June Garden Tips

Like fresh tomatoes but have little space? ‘Patio’ tomatoes grow in a 24-inch pot but give mouth-watering fruit! A half whiskey barrel makes an excellent container for a cherry tomato and three basil plants. Adorn cocktail toast with cheese, a...

READ MORE

June Lawn Tips

Use a “broad-leaf weed killer” to spot spray violets, wild strawberry, mimosa weed and prostrate spurge in your lawn. Raise the height of your mower by one notch. It will help your lawn grass withstand dry weather. A sharp mower...

READ MORE

Lawn Care Calendar (Calendars) and Factsheets

Knowing that a piece of paper in your hand is much more helpful than a computer screen in the house, I have compiled basic cultivation information and care calendars for each of the common lawn grasses. You can get and...

READ MORE

Squash/Pumpkin/Cucumber/Watermelon Cross-Pollination – Explanation

I frequently receive from gardeners pictures of crazy-looking squash, cucumbers and gourds. Typically the plants  sprouted in a compost pile, from discarded fruit of the past year. The gardeners suspect cross-pollination is to blame for the odd shapes and they...

READ MORE

Measuring Light and Shade in the Landscape

Q: In my work as a landscape designer, I’m challenged by the different kinds of shade on a site. Shade under a maple tree is completely different from shade on the north side of a house. But both are considered...

READ MORE

Rose of Sharon – Bud Drop

Q: We have a Rose of Sharon bush. Both this year and last, there have been a considerable amount of blooms on the plant that never fully open. They turn yellow and drop. A: In my experience, two things cause...

READ MORE

Blackeyed Pea – Sheller

Q: Where can I find a tool to zip open blackeyed peas? My Dad took us to the Farmers Market when I was a kid and we bought all kinds of vegetables to blanche and freeze. Dad had a small...

READ MORE

Jatropha – Identification

Q: Seven years ago my stepmother purchased a hanging basket with a variety of plants. One plant she removed and planted into a pot. It has grown into a tree with some kind of seed pods and pretty pink flowers....

READ MORE

Twining Snoutbean – Identification

Q: Can you identify this weed? This is in a pasture near Chatsworth, Ga. A: Sharp-eyed native plant identification expert Shannon Pable says it is twining snoutbean, also known as hairy snoutbean, Rhynchosia tomentosa. (Save these names for the next...

READ MORE

Blackberry – Fruit Turning White

Q: We have a thornless blackberry vine. The fruit has been ripening well up until the last day or so. Several of the drupeletes on particular fruits have all of a sudden begun to turn white. A: It’s both sunscald...

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