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
  • Bacterial Leaf Scorch – On Oak

    Q: My oak is turning brown and dropping leaves earlier than normal (late September). What could cause this beside drought? A: Art Morrist, a certified Arborist with Bartlett Tree Experts, says: “It’s possible that late-season browning on oaks could be...

    READ MORE

  • Costa Rica Trip – 2012

    I had a great time with a group of 38 folks, including gardeners, spouses and friends, on a trip to Costa Rica in January 2012. We visited gardens, rode zip lines, stayed in fabulous hotels and saw innumerable bromeliads and...

    READ MORE

  • Hebe – Growing in Georgia

    Q: I saw a plant in Germany which I would like to grow here. The label from the plant named it “Hebe buxifolia”. Is it locally available? A: Hebe is native to New Zealand, where it is grown as an...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese Beetle – Plants Resistant to Them

    Q: Are there any plants that Japanese beetles DON’T eat? A: Sure – I never see them on pine, lamb’s ear, lantana or holly! On the other hand, the list of plants they DO eat is quite long. Here’s a...

    READ MORE

  • Lawns – Planting from Seed

    If you have a lawn, you want it to look nice….but you also don’t want to spend a fortune getting it established. For this reason, many homeowners decide to plant a lawn from seed. The process is do-able by one...

    READ MORE

  • Sugarcane – In Georgia

    Q: Can I grow sugarcane in Georgia? A: My Dad tried to grow it in Fayette county one year. It grew tall but wasn’t very sweet…..my guess is there were not enough sunshine or hot days. It needs a LONG...

    READ MORE

  • Daylily – Dividing

    Few garden tasks are as enjoyable as dividing overgrown flowering plants. Where once there was a single clump, you might have the potential for a half-dozen. Daylilies are among the easiest to divide. Simply slide the point of you shovel...

    READ MORE

  • Sumac Gall – Identification

    Q: I noticed a “gall” on a sumac sapling today. As I looked closer, I saw that several branches (leaflet clusters) had a number of the things on them, and the leaves were turning yellow and then red. I pulled...

    READ MORE

  • Puss Caterpillar – Identification

    Q: These critters are on my Japanese maple and English laurel. They are not bagworms but what are they? A: Don’t touch them!! They are puss caterpillars, Megalopyge opercularis. What looks like soft hair actually covers a mass of poison-tipped...

    READ MORE

  • Kudzu Bug – On Fig

    Q: I found hundreds of these insects on my fig. Are they the kudzu bugs discovered in 2009? A: You are exactly correct – you have a great memory! The bug is the globular stinkbug (aka kudzu bug),  Megacopta cribraria....

    READ MORE

  • The Bugs Above Us

    When I see a bee or beetle in my garden, I rarely think deeply about how they got there. They just flew in from my neighbor’s garden or from another spot in my yard, right? They never got higher than...

    READ MORE

  • Caterpillar – Droppings Under Tree

    Q: On the sidewalk under a pecan tree every morning I sweep away what looks like one-eightth inch diameter seeds. There is a seam in the middle. What could they be? A: They are likely the droppings from caterpillars who...

    READ MORE

  • Fescue – Summer Decline

    Fescue lawns can look devastated in the summer. I often see brown, lifeless patches in front of homes across the region. While extreme summer daytime heat is partly to blame, a less noticed factor is also at play: high night...

    READ MORE

  • How To Get Previous Issues of Georgia Gardener Newsletter

    The Georgia Gardener Newsletter is e-mailed every two weeks. Click here to sign up. Selected previous issues are archived below: May 26 Watering rules Copperhead snake Cottony scale Bamboo escapee Butterfly milkweed Sourwood tree Apr. 14 Butterfly plants Zoysia seedheads...

    READ MORE

  • Robotic Lawnmower (LawnBott)

    Recently the nice folks at Kyodo America loaned me a robotic lawnmower, a LawnBott, to use on my lawn. In a word, it is fantastic! A small wire is buried around the perimeter of the lawn. When the mower begins...

    READ MORE

  • Deadheading

    Since a plant’s goal is simply to reproduce itself, once it has produced mature flowers, it will often stop producing any more. You can eliminate the signals telling the plant to stop flowering by regularly removing faded flowers. Petunias, cosmos,...

    READ MORE

  • Sumac – Leaf Galls

    Q: Please help me identify this tree/shrub/plant that we have allowed to grow on our property. This year it has produced a fruit or seed pod. A: Naturalist Shannon Pable says you have a sumac shrub with leaf galls. It’s...

    READ MORE

  • Cypress Vine – Not Blooming

    Q: In the past I have collected cypress vine seeds and re- planted each year to have beautiful vines and flowers. This year I wanted to planter boxes and plant so they would grow up a spot where I had...

    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

Bacterial Leaf Scorch – On Oak

Q: My oak is turning brown and dropping leaves earlier than normal (late September). What could cause this beside drought? A: Art Morrist, a certified Arborist with Bartlett Tree Experts, says: “It’s possible that late-season browning on oaks could be...

READ MORE

Costa Rica Trip – 2012

I had a great time with a group of 38 folks, including gardeners, spouses and friends, on a trip to Costa Rica in January 2012. We visited gardens, rode zip lines, stayed in fabulous hotels and saw innumerable bromeliads and...

READ MORE

Hebe – Growing in Georgia

Q: I saw a plant in Germany which I would like to grow here. The label from the plant named it “Hebe buxifolia”. Is it locally available? A: Hebe is native to New Zealand, where it is grown as an...

READ MORE

Japanese Beetle – Plants Resistant to Them

Q: Are there any plants that Japanese beetles DON’T eat? A: Sure – I never see them on pine, lamb’s ear, lantana or holly! On the other hand, the list of plants they DO eat is quite long. Here’s a...

READ MORE

Lawns – Planting from Seed

If you have a lawn, you want it to look nice….but you also don’t want to spend a fortune getting it established. For this reason, many homeowners decide to plant a lawn from seed. The process is do-able by one...

READ MORE

Sugarcane – In Georgia

Q: Can I grow sugarcane in Georgia? A: My Dad tried to grow it in Fayette county one year. It grew tall but wasn’t very sweet…..my guess is there were not enough sunshine or hot days. It needs a LONG...

READ MORE

Daylily – Dividing

Few garden tasks are as enjoyable as dividing overgrown flowering plants. Where once there was a single clump, you might have the potential for a half-dozen. Daylilies are among the easiest to divide. Simply slide the point of you shovel...

READ MORE

Sumac Gall – Identification

Q: I noticed a “gall” on a sumac sapling today. As I looked closer, I saw that several branches (leaflet clusters) had a number of the things on them, and the leaves were turning yellow and then red. I pulled...

READ MORE

Puss Caterpillar – Identification

Q: These critters are on my Japanese maple and English laurel. They are not bagworms but what are they? A: Don’t touch them!! They are puss caterpillars, Megalopyge opercularis. What looks like soft hair actually covers a mass of poison-tipped...

READ MORE

Kudzu Bug – On Fig

Q: I found hundreds of these insects on my fig. Are they the kudzu bugs discovered in 2009? A: You are exactly correct – you have a great memory! The bug is the globular stinkbug (aka kudzu bug),  Megacopta cribraria....

READ MORE

The Bugs Above Us

When I see a bee or beetle in my garden, I rarely think deeply about how they got there. They just flew in from my neighbor’s garden or from another spot in my yard, right? They never got higher than...

READ MORE

Caterpillar – Droppings Under Tree

Q: On the sidewalk under a pecan tree every morning I sweep away what looks like one-eightth inch diameter seeds. There is a seam in the middle. What could they be? A: They are likely the droppings from caterpillars who...

READ MORE

Fescue – Summer Decline

Fescue lawns can look devastated in the summer. I often see brown, lifeless patches in front of homes across the region. While extreme summer daytime heat is partly to blame, a less noticed factor is also at play: high night...

READ MORE

How To Get Previous Issues of Georgia Gardener Newsletter

The Georgia Gardener Newsletter is e-mailed every two weeks. Click here to sign up. Selected previous issues are archived below: May 26 Watering rules Copperhead snake Cottony scale Bamboo escapee Butterfly milkweed Sourwood tree Apr. 14 Butterfly plants Zoysia seedheads...

READ MORE

Robotic Lawnmower (LawnBott)

Recently the nice folks at Kyodo America loaned me a robotic lawnmower, a LawnBott, to use on my lawn. In a word, it is fantastic! A small wire is buried around the perimeter of the lawn. When the mower begins...

READ MORE

Deadheading

Since a plant’s goal is simply to reproduce itself, once it has produced mature flowers, it will often stop producing any more. You can eliminate the signals telling the plant to stop flowering by regularly removing faded flowers. Petunias, cosmos,...

READ MORE

Sumac – Leaf Galls

Q: Please help me identify this tree/shrub/plant that we have allowed to grow on our property. This year it has produced a fruit or seed pod. A: Naturalist Shannon Pable says you have a sumac shrub with leaf galls. It’s...

READ MORE

Cypress Vine – Not Blooming

Q: In the past I have collected cypress vine seeds and re- planted each year to have beautiful vines and flowers. This year I wanted to planter boxes and plant so they would grow up a spot where I had...

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