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
  • Blooming – Good Conditions

    Q: We own property in Suches. This spring we have mountain laurel, flame azalea, Carolina allspice, fox grapes, and lady slippers blooming in profusion. They have never bloomed in the five years we have owned this property. Why? A: I...

    READ MORE

  • Deadheading – Purpose and Practice

    Q: I was always taught that if you want your petunias and geraniums to continue full blooming, you should remove the wilted flowers regularly. A friend told me recently that this is not true. Can you settle our little dispute?...

    READ MORE

  • Liriope – Dog Damage

    Q: A neighbor’s dog has made repeated visits to my lawn and has killed the border of liriope. How can that soil be reconditioned so that I can replant with grass or replace the liriope? A: There’s nothing particularly dangerous...

    READ MORE

  • Oak – Frost Bitten Leaves

    Q: Our ancient oak has not leafed out like normal. About half of the lower leaves look like they are burned or frost bit. None of our other oaks look like this. A: You need a visit from a consulting...

    READ MORE

  • Centipede Grass – Seeding Tips

    Q: We have centipede grass with some bare areas. We are considering planting centipede seed. Should we put the seed down before or after aerating? A: I think it works best to do it after the aeration. Scatter 1/4 pound...

    READ MORE

  • Compost – Fire Ants

    Q: Fire ants have invaded our compost bin. What do we do? A: Just turn the compost with a pitchfork. The ants will likely move due to colony disruption. Or you can just spread the compost in your landscape. You...

    READ MORE

  • Soil – Too Wet

    Q: Can you recommend plants that will grow in extremely wet conditions? The water table in my back yard is about an inch below the surface. Can I just plant bunches of stuff there to sop up all the water?...

    READ MORE

  • Peach – Planting Tips

    Q: I am completely new to gardening. We purchased a Bonfire peach tree in a pot. Can I plant this tree in the ground? A: Yes, plant it; the peach will be lots happier in the ground. Use a shovel...

    READ MORE

  • Crabgrass – Removal Methods

    Q: I have been having an issue with crabgrass in my vegetable garden. Can you recommend any tricks that can help me win this fight? A: Since crabgrass is an annual, killing the top will kill the whole plant. Consider...

    READ MORE

  • Collards – Bolting

    Q: On Good Friday, I planted collard plants. I have just noticed they are going to seed. What have I done wrong? A: Bolting (producing flowers rather than more leaves) is usually caused by fluctuations in air temperature when a...

    READ MORE

  • Sweetshrub – No Sent

    Q: My sweetshrub’s flowers have absolutely NO scent! What’s wrong with it? A: I’ve never smelled one with an appreciable scent. Maybe our noses are impaired? The yellow-flowered variety ‘Athens’ is said to be reliably fragrant. I enjoy the pretty...

    READ MORE

  • Elderberries – Identification

    Q: Do we have wild elderberries around here? I’d like to harvest the berries to make something edible. More importantly, how do I identify the blooming plant? A: You have a great local resource: the Georgia Native Plant Society (www.gnps.org)....

    READ MORE

  • Squash – Preventing Vines

    Q: On a recent radio show you talked about placing cheesecloth over squash plants until flowers appear to keep squash vine borers at bay. Where can I buy cheesecloth big enough to cover the plants? A: I was wrong to...

    READ MORE

  • Hydrangeas – Mysterious Boring

    Q: For a number of years I’ve had a problem with some sort of borer getting into the stems of my hydrangeas. What can I do to get rid of them? A: There are any number of cane boring insect...

    READ MORE

  • Roses – Sawflies

    Q: Will neem oil work to kill sawflies on my roses? A: Sawfly larvae can quickly riddle a rose leaf. The “worms” chew the leaves and leave characteristic holes. Neem oil, spinosad and insecticidal soap are all good organic means...

    READ MORE

  • Tree – Mushrooms on Trunk

    Q:This recently started growing on my pecan tree. It is getting larger and multiplying. The tree did have leaves on it this summer but I do not remember if it had pecans. What is this and is it going to...

    READ MORE

  • Bababerry Raspberry – Evaluation

    Q: I read Bababerry raspberry is supposed to be more heat tolerant because they fruit later after summer heat has gone down somewhat. I believe they were bred in Southern California. Well, only two of the five plants I planted...

    READ MORE

  • Onions – Flowering

    Q: I have purple onions in my garden. Is there an issue if the onion sends up a flower before the bulbs fully develop? Should I cut off the flower head? A: Once an onion has begun the flowering process,...

    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

Blooming – Good Conditions

Q: We own property in Suches. This spring we have mountain laurel, flame azalea, Carolina allspice, fox grapes, and lady slippers blooming in profusion. They have never bloomed in the five years we have owned this property. Why? A: I...

READ MORE

Deadheading – Purpose and Practice

Q: I was always taught that if you want your petunias and geraniums to continue full blooming, you should remove the wilted flowers regularly. A friend told me recently that this is not true. Can you settle our little dispute?...

READ MORE

Liriope – Dog Damage

Q: A neighbor’s dog has made repeated visits to my lawn and has killed the border of liriope. How can that soil be reconditioned so that I can replant with grass or replace the liriope? A: There’s nothing particularly dangerous...

READ MORE

Oak – Frost Bitten Leaves

Q: Our ancient oak has not leafed out like normal. About half of the lower leaves look like they are burned or frost bit. None of our other oaks look like this. A: You need a visit from a consulting...

READ MORE

Centipede Grass – Seeding Tips

Q: We have centipede grass with some bare areas. We are considering planting centipede seed. Should we put the seed down before or after aerating? A: I think it works best to do it after the aeration. Scatter 1/4 pound...

READ MORE

Compost – Fire Ants

Q: Fire ants have invaded our compost bin. What do we do? A: Just turn the compost with a pitchfork. The ants will likely move due to colony disruption. Or you can just spread the compost in your landscape. You...

READ MORE

Soil – Too Wet

Q: Can you recommend plants that will grow in extremely wet conditions? The water table in my back yard is about an inch below the surface. Can I just plant bunches of stuff there to sop up all the water?...

READ MORE

Peach – Planting Tips

Q: I am completely new to gardening. We purchased a Bonfire peach tree in a pot. Can I plant this tree in the ground? A: Yes, plant it; the peach will be lots happier in the ground. Use a shovel...

READ MORE

Crabgrass – Removal Methods

Q: I have been having an issue with crabgrass in my vegetable garden. Can you recommend any tricks that can help me win this fight? A: Since crabgrass is an annual, killing the top will kill the whole plant. Consider...

READ MORE

Collards – Bolting

Q: On Good Friday, I planted collard plants. I have just noticed they are going to seed. What have I done wrong? A: Bolting (producing flowers rather than more leaves) is usually caused by fluctuations in air temperature when a...

READ MORE

Sweetshrub – No Sent

Q: My sweetshrub’s flowers have absolutely NO scent! What’s wrong with it? A: I’ve never smelled one with an appreciable scent. Maybe our noses are impaired? The yellow-flowered variety ‘Athens’ is said to be reliably fragrant. I enjoy the pretty...

READ MORE

Elderberries – Identification

Q: Do we have wild elderberries around here? I’d like to harvest the berries to make something edible. More importantly, how do I identify the blooming plant? A: You have a great local resource: the Georgia Native Plant Society (www.gnps.org)....

READ MORE

Squash – Preventing Vines

Q: On a recent radio show you talked about placing cheesecloth over squash plants until flowers appear to keep squash vine borers at bay. Where can I buy cheesecloth big enough to cover the plants? A: I was wrong to...

READ MORE

Hydrangeas – Mysterious Boring

Q: For a number of years I’ve had a problem with some sort of borer getting into the stems of my hydrangeas. What can I do to get rid of them? A: There are any number of cane boring insect...

READ MORE

Roses – Sawflies

Q: Will neem oil work to kill sawflies on my roses? A: Sawfly larvae can quickly riddle a rose leaf. The “worms” chew the leaves and leave characteristic holes. Neem oil, spinosad and insecticidal soap are all good organic means...

READ MORE

Tree – Mushrooms on Trunk

Q:This recently started growing on my pecan tree. It is getting larger and multiplying. The tree did have leaves on it this summer but I do not remember if it had pecans. What is this and is it going to...

READ MORE

Bababerry Raspberry – Evaluation

Q: I read Bababerry raspberry is supposed to be more heat tolerant because they fruit later after summer heat has gone down somewhat. I believe they were bred in Southern California. Well, only two of the five plants I planted...

READ MORE

Onions – Flowering

Q: I have purple onions in my garden. Is there an issue if the onion sends up a flower before the bulbs fully develop? Should I cut off the flower head? A: Once an onion has begun the flowering process,...

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