Featured Article

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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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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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Fescue – Killing Weeds

    Q: I’ve put down crabgrass killer on my fescue lawn and the weeds are browning nicely. Should I pull the weed remnants out before I reseed this fall? A: Pulling up the remnants of crabgrass is pleasurable due to the...

    READ MORE

  • Muscadines – Planting/Propagating

    Q: While jogging I came upon dozens of muscadines on the road. What I need to do to get vines from the seed? A: Propagating muscadines from seed is a long, slow process. You can plant collected seed in loose...

    READ MORE

  • Spider – Black and Yellow

    Q: A beautiful large black-and-yellow spider fashioned its web just outside our front door. I call it a zipper spider because of the zipper thing in the center. What is it actually? A: It’s an argiope, also known as a...

    READ MORE

  • Iris – Replanted Roots

    Q: I dug my iris up and replanted several roots in another location at the end of July. The green leaves are coming up now. What I should do so they will bloom in the spring and not now. A:...

    READ MORE

  • Tulip – Planting Bulbs

    Q: I brought some tulip bulbs from Nebraska. When should I plant them? A: It’s best to plant bulbs when soil temperatures are 60 degrees and heading lower. That is usually in October. If you plant them now, you’ll get...

    READ MORE

  • Lawns – From Scratch

    Q: Your website says that May or June is best for establishing a lawn from scratch using centipede or zoysia seed. What would be the odds for success doing it this fall? A: Both centipedegrass and zoysiagrass seeds require a...

    READ MORE

  • Christmas Tree – Insects Crawling from It

    Q: We have bugs coming from our Christmas tree. They crawl onto floor and then die. Any way to stop them from coming out of the tree?  A: They are probably aphids. Christmas tree growers do a great job controlling...

    READ MORE

  • Bermuda – Aeration

    Q: I have a new bermuda lawn. My lawn maintenance company wants to aerate it. Is it too late to aerate a lawn that was planted in April? A: I think the best time to aerate bermudagrass is in May,...

    READ MORE

  • Azalea and Hydrangea – Pruning

    Q: Please let me know the latest I can severely trim azaleas and hydrangeas without killing them during the winter. A: It will be problematic to prune either one right now. Azaleas have just about finished making next spring’s flower...

    READ MORE

  • Oak – Uprooted

    Q: Our neighbor’s large oak tree fell over and uprooted during a violent rainstorm while they were out of town. How common is it for an apparently healthy large tree to fall over? A: It’s a truism that well-anchored trees...

    READ MORE

  • Tree Limb – Holding Water

    Q: My neighbor’s tree holds water in a limb crotch. Should she drill a hole so the water can drain? A: Tree experts agree that drilling a drainage hole is a bad idea. The tree is able to “wall off...

    READ MORE

  • Soil – Restoring Health

    Q: On my new property I want to get the soil as healthy as I can before planting anything. Is it beneficial to apply mycorrhizal fungi? I want to restore the native microbiome. A: Mycorrhizae are helpful soil fungi that...

    READ MORE

  • Lilac – Brown Spots

    Q: What is the best way to care for a lilac bush? The leaves have brown spots now. A: Lilacs can be affected by several leaf spot diseases but they don’t seem to be fatal if the plant is kept...

    READ MORE

  • Maple – Killing Roots

    Q: Is there a product that will kill a big maple tree and its roots? The roots are ruining my walkway. A: Once you cut down the tree, roots won’t continue getting bigger or elongating. But they may send up...

    READ MORE

  • Fertilizer – Veggie Garden

    Q: We recently had a University soil test done for our veggie garden and they recommended 15-0-15 fertilizer. I found it, but only labeled for use on lawns. Is it okay for a vegetable garden? A: It’s tough for the...

    READ MORE

  • Birch Chips – Usage

    Q: We had a huge river birch removed so now we have a huge pile of wood chips from the stump grinding. Can that be used in our yard for anything? Will it attract termites? A: Yes, you can use...

    READ MORE

  • Red Maple – For Shade

    Q: Would an Empress tree be good to make shade for my grandchildren while playing outside? Is there another tree you would recommend? A: Empress tree a.k.a. Princess tree, Paulownia tomentosa, is too coarse and weak-wooded to be a good...

    READ MORE

  • Bermuda – Optimal Watering

    Q: A simple question: what is the best time of the day to water an established bermuda lawn? A: The answer is unequivocal: lawn watering is best done in the morning. This allows two things to happen: the grass blades...

    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

Fescue – Killing Weeds

Q: I’ve put down crabgrass killer on my fescue lawn and the weeds are browning nicely. Should I pull the weed remnants out before I reseed this fall? A: Pulling up the remnants of crabgrass is pleasurable due to the...

READ MORE

Muscadines – Planting/Propagating

Q: While jogging I came upon dozens of muscadines on the road. What I need to do to get vines from the seed? A: Propagating muscadines from seed is a long, slow process. You can plant collected seed in loose...

READ MORE

Spider – Black and Yellow

Q: A beautiful large black-and-yellow spider fashioned its web just outside our front door. I call it a zipper spider because of the zipper thing in the center. What is it actually? A: It’s an argiope, also known as a...

READ MORE

Iris – Replanted Roots

Q: I dug my iris up and replanted several roots in another location at the end of July. The green leaves are coming up now. What I should do so they will bloom in the spring and not now. A:...

READ MORE

Tulip – Planting Bulbs

Q: I brought some tulip bulbs from Nebraska. When should I plant them? A: It’s best to plant bulbs when soil temperatures are 60 degrees and heading lower. That is usually in October. If you plant them now, you’ll get...

READ MORE

Lawns – From Scratch

Q: Your website says that May or June is best for establishing a lawn from scratch using centipede or zoysia seed. What would be the odds for success doing it this fall? A: Both centipedegrass and zoysiagrass seeds require a...

READ MORE

Christmas Tree – Insects Crawling from It

Q: We have bugs coming from our Christmas tree. They crawl onto floor and then die. Any way to stop them from coming out of the tree?  A: They are probably aphids. Christmas tree growers do a great job controlling...

READ MORE

Bermuda – Aeration

Q: I have a new bermuda lawn. My lawn maintenance company wants to aerate it. Is it too late to aerate a lawn that was planted in April? A: I think the best time to aerate bermudagrass is in May,...

READ MORE

Azalea and Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: Please let me know the latest I can severely trim azaleas and hydrangeas without killing them during the winter. A: It will be problematic to prune either one right now. Azaleas have just about finished making next spring’s flower...

READ MORE

Oak – Uprooted

Q: Our neighbor’s large oak tree fell over and uprooted during a violent rainstorm while they were out of town. How common is it for an apparently healthy large tree to fall over? A: It’s a truism that well-anchored trees...

READ MORE

Tree Limb – Holding Water

Q: My neighbor’s tree holds water in a limb crotch. Should she drill a hole so the water can drain? A: Tree experts agree that drilling a drainage hole is a bad idea. The tree is able to “wall off...

READ MORE

Soil – Restoring Health

Q: On my new property I want to get the soil as healthy as I can before planting anything. Is it beneficial to apply mycorrhizal fungi? I want to restore the native microbiome. A: Mycorrhizae are helpful soil fungi that...

READ MORE

Lilac – Brown Spots

Q: What is the best way to care for a lilac bush? The leaves have brown spots now. A: Lilacs can be affected by several leaf spot diseases but they don’t seem to be fatal if the plant is kept...

READ MORE

Maple – Killing Roots

Q: Is there a product that will kill a big maple tree and its roots? The roots are ruining my walkway. A: Once you cut down the tree, roots won’t continue getting bigger or elongating. But they may send up...

READ MORE

Fertilizer – Veggie Garden

Q: We recently had a University soil test done for our veggie garden and they recommended 15-0-15 fertilizer. I found it, but only labeled for use on lawns. Is it okay for a vegetable garden? A: It’s tough for the...

READ MORE

Birch Chips – Usage

Q: We had a huge river birch removed so now we have a huge pile of wood chips from the stump grinding. Can that be used in our yard for anything? Will it attract termites? A: Yes, you can use...

READ MORE

Red Maple – For Shade

Q: Would an Empress tree be good to make shade for my grandchildren while playing outside? Is there another tree you would recommend? A: Empress tree a.k.a. Princess tree, Paulownia tomentosa, is too coarse and weak-wooded to be a good...

READ MORE

Bermuda – Optimal Watering

Q: A simple question: what is the best time of the day to water an established bermuda lawn? A: The answer is unequivocal: lawn watering is best done in the morning. This allows two things to happen: the grass blades...

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