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
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  • Plants for Screening

    When I was a kid, we had no need for screen plants around our house. Our rural neighbors were a minimum of one hundred yards away in every direction. If they chose to put their truck up on cinderblocks in...

    READ MORE

  • Flowers for Damp Soil

    Special note about coastal plants and plants for wet/damp areas in gardens: Only regionally native plants should be used along beaches, coastal and savannah restoration areas. For home gardens with wet/damp areas, non-native plants that are not invasive are suitable....

    READ MORE

  • Trees for Damp Soil

    Special note about coastal plants and plants for wet/damp areas in gardens: Only regionally native plants should be used along beaches, coastal and savannah restoration areas. For gardens with wet/damp areas, non-native plants that are not invasive are suitable. However,...

    READ MORE

  • Plants with Colorful Fall Foliage

    TREES American beech    Fagus grandifolia    Full sun -half sun Ash    Fraxinus    Full sunBald cypress    Taxodium distichum    Full sunBeech    Fagus    Full sun -half sunBirch    Betula    Full sun Black cherry    Prunus serotina    Full sunBlack gum    Nyssa sylvatica    Full sun -half sunBlack locust    Robinia pseudoacacia    Full sunCallery pear    Pyrus calleryana    Full sunCarolina Silverbell    Halesia Carolina    Half sun Chinese pistache Pistacia chinensis    Full sunChinese quince    Pseudocydonia...

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  • Plants for Septic Fields

    With the tremendous growth Atlanta has experienced comes hundreds of new homes each month. Each home must have provisions for disposing of its waste water. Most homes are connected to a sanitary sewer provided by the municipality in which you...

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  • Trees – Fast Growing

    When you need shade in your landscape, it is not an option to wait very long. You want a tree to grow fast enough so that you can enjoy its shade in just a few years. The Georgia Extension Service...

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  • Groundcovers for a Hill

    Finding the right groundcover to plant on a hill is a common problem. Here is a typical question: “My hill is about 200 feet wide and it extends back 5 feet. This is in full sun and it will have...

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  • Tropical Plants for Pool Area

    Tropical plants look great around a pool. Look for plants that have big leaves and lots of flowers or colorful foliage. Here are some candidates that come to mind: Trees: Big-leaf magnoliaCucumber magnoliaSweet-bay magnolia Shrubs: Swamp hibiscus (mallow)Scarlet hibiscusConfederate roseTropical...

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  • Gold Medal Plant Summary 1994 – 2016

    The Gold Medal Plant Committee is a non-profit organization comprised of nurserymen, flower growers, garden center retailers, landscape professionals, county Extension agents and faculty from the University of Georgia. Their goal is: To promote the production, sale and use of...

    READ MORE

  • Plants That Move

    I was recently asked by a writer for a list of plants that have a suggestion of movement in their name. I posed the question to my Florida Extension colleagues who help me with “Your Southern Garden”. Over dinner at...

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  • Shrubs for Damp Soil

    Special note about coastal plants and plants for wet/damp areas in gardens: Only regionally native plants should be used along beaches, coastal and savannah restoration areas. For gardens with wet/damp areas, non-native plants that are not invasive are suitable. However,...

    READ MORE

  • Pokeweed (Poke Sallet) – Don’t Eat It

    DON’T EAT POKE SALAD Auburn, June 18, 2002—Pokeweed is probably the best known and most widely used wild vegetable in America and Europe. However, a food scientist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System says no part of this plant should...

    READ MORE

  • English Ivy – Dermatitis

    My son recently spent a day helping a neighbor clear English ivy from their landscape. He woke on the following day with itchy, spreading blisters on his arm. He says he saw no poison ivy in the English ivy patch…so...

    READ MORE

  • English Ivy – Control

    I accompanied my son’s class on an overnight Environmental Education trip to Rock Eagle one year. One of his classmates was a great source of fascination to me. Whenever I stood next to him he was a model of decorum:...

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  • Lichen Quiz

    PETER RABBIT? Here is a quick trivia question: What do Peter Rabbit, canaries and moose have to do with lichens? It turns out that Beatrix Potter, the author of the Peter Rabbit tales, was also a respected biologist. She was...

    READ MORE

  • Lichens

    Every kid (and most adults) can remember being falsely blamed simply because they were standing nearby when an accident happened. Although accidents do seem to happen more often when kids are present, it’s erroneous to assume that they are the...

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  • Smilax ID and Control

    It has wicked thorns, it laughs at herbicides and it always seems to come back, no matter how much you pull it out of your shrubs each spring. Nobody smiles when smilax vine appears The pest is smilax (deer thorn,...

    READ MORE

  • Wisteria – Control

    Its flowers are gorgeous but the nature of a wisteria vine is to conquer everything around it. Cascades of lavender or white blooms announce that the vine has woken up after a winter nap and is poised to start climbing...

    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

Plants for Screening

When I was a kid, we had no need for screen plants around our house. Our rural neighbors were a minimum of one hundred yards away in every direction. If they chose to put their truck up on cinderblocks in...

READ MORE

Flowers for Damp Soil

Special note about coastal plants and plants for wet/damp areas in gardens: Only regionally native plants should be used along beaches, coastal and savannah restoration areas. For home gardens with wet/damp areas, non-native plants that are not invasive are suitable....

READ MORE

Trees for Damp Soil

Special note about coastal plants and plants for wet/damp areas in gardens: Only regionally native plants should be used along beaches, coastal and savannah restoration areas. For gardens with wet/damp areas, non-native plants that are not invasive are suitable. However,...

READ MORE

Plants with Colorful Fall Foliage

TREES American beech    Fagus grandifolia    Full sun -half sun Ash    Fraxinus    Full sunBald cypress    Taxodium distichum    Full sunBeech    Fagus    Full sun -half sunBirch    Betula    Full sun Black cherry    Prunus serotina    Full sunBlack gum    Nyssa sylvatica    Full sun -half sunBlack locust    Robinia pseudoacacia    Full sunCallery pear    Pyrus calleryana    Full sunCarolina Silverbell    Halesia Carolina    Half sun Chinese pistache Pistacia chinensis    Full sunChinese quince    Pseudocydonia...

READ MORE

Plants for Septic Fields

With the tremendous growth Atlanta has experienced comes hundreds of new homes each month. Each home must have provisions for disposing of its waste water. Most homes are connected to a sanitary sewer provided by the municipality in which you...

READ MORE

Trees – Fast Growing

When you need shade in your landscape, it is not an option to wait very long. You want a tree to grow fast enough so that you can enjoy its shade in just a few years. The Georgia Extension Service...

READ MORE

Groundcovers for a Hill

Finding the right groundcover to plant on a hill is a common problem. Here is a typical question: “My hill is about 200 feet wide and it extends back 5 feet. This is in full sun and it will have...

READ MORE

Tropical Plants for Pool Area

Tropical plants look great around a pool. Look for plants that have big leaves and lots of flowers or colorful foliage. Here are some candidates that come to mind: Trees: Big-leaf magnoliaCucumber magnoliaSweet-bay magnolia Shrubs: Swamp hibiscus (mallow)Scarlet hibiscusConfederate roseTropical...

READ MORE

Gold Medal Plant Summary 1994 – 2016

The Gold Medal Plant Committee is a non-profit organization comprised of nurserymen, flower growers, garden center retailers, landscape professionals, county Extension agents and faculty from the University of Georgia. Their goal is: To promote the production, sale and use of...

READ MORE

Plants That Move

I was recently asked by a writer for a list of plants that have a suggestion of movement in their name. I posed the question to my Florida Extension colleagues who help me with “Your Southern Garden”. Over dinner at...

READ MORE

Shrubs for Damp Soil

Special note about coastal plants and plants for wet/damp areas in gardens: Only regionally native plants should be used along beaches, coastal and savannah restoration areas. For gardens with wet/damp areas, non-native plants that are not invasive are suitable. However,...

READ MORE

Pokeweed (Poke Sallet) – Don’t Eat It

DON’T EAT POKE SALAD Auburn, June 18, 2002—Pokeweed is probably the best known and most widely used wild vegetable in America and Europe. However, a food scientist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System says no part of this plant should...

READ MORE

English Ivy – Dermatitis

My son recently spent a day helping a neighbor clear English ivy from their landscape. He woke on the following day with itchy, spreading blisters on his arm. He says he saw no poison ivy in the English ivy patch…so...

READ MORE

English Ivy – Control

I accompanied my son’s class on an overnight Environmental Education trip to Rock Eagle one year. One of his classmates was a great source of fascination to me. Whenever I stood next to him he was a model of decorum:...

READ MORE

Lichen Quiz

PETER RABBIT? Here is a quick trivia question: What do Peter Rabbit, canaries and moose have to do with lichens? It turns out that Beatrix Potter, the author of the Peter Rabbit tales, was also a respected biologist. She was...

READ MORE

Lichens

Every kid (and most adults) can remember being falsely blamed simply because they were standing nearby when an accident happened. Although accidents do seem to happen more often when kids are present, it’s erroneous to assume that they are the...

READ MORE

Smilax ID and Control

It has wicked thorns, it laughs at herbicides and it always seems to come back, no matter how much you pull it out of your shrubs each spring. Nobody smiles when smilax vine appears The pest is smilax (deer thorn,...

READ MORE

Wisteria – Control

Its flowers are gorgeous but the nature of a wisteria vine is to conquer everything around it. Cascades of lavender or white blooms announce that the vine has woken up after a winter nap and is poised to start climbing...

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