Featured Article

Trip to England – 2017

It’s decided! I have always wanted to visit the Cotswolds in England. I’ve been to London, but when I was there, everyone said “Yes, the gardens here are outstanding but if you REALLY want to see the prettiest part of our country, don’t miss the Cotswolds!” So I’m going….and I’d...

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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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  • Crabgrass – Mythic Formula

    Q: I have been told that you have a formula of Miller beer, Tide detergent and something else to get rid of crabgrass. What was the last ingredient? A: This supposed lawn tonic recipe and its variants have been passed...

    READ MORE

  • Fescue – Shade

    Q: In shady areas is it okay to plant a blend of fescue and other grasses? A: You can certainly plant a “shade loving” fescue blend. Most of the shade mixes have a combination of bluegrass, ryegrass, red fescue and...

    READ MORE

  • Water Oak – Proximal Planting

    Q: We will be planting 4 or 5 water oak trees in a straight line in an old pasture. How far apart should we plant them so they grow to their full potential? A: The rule of thumb for spacing...

    READ MORE

  • Herbicide – In Mulch

    Q: Is it safe to use hay, as mulch and in a compost pile, that has been treated using 2-4-D? A: I don’t think I can say that it’s “safe” in all situations. The weed killer 2,4-D has a half-life...

    READ MORE

  • Pears – Replacing With Serviceberry

    Q: I want to replace four ‘Bradford’ pears with native serviceberry trees. Is there a certain variety I should look for? A: There are several species and hybrids of serviceberry that grow very well here. I love the plant’s springtime...

    READ MORE

  • Leaves – Removal After Seeding

    Q: What’s the best way to remove leaves from a newly seeded lawn? Is it best done with a rake or with a blower or grind them up with the lawnmower? A: It’s best to shred them with a mower....

    READ MORE

  • Houseplants – Cleaning

    Q: What is the best solution for cleaning houseplants that have been outside all summer? A: Patio plants frequently become dusty after a summer outdoors. They will look fresher if you clean them up a bit. Find an old cotton...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia – Seeding Fescue

    Q: Can I overseed my zoysia back yard with creeping red fescue to keep it green this winter? A: I’m doubtful you’ll get the results you want. In order for creeping red fescue to germinate it needs close contact with...

    READ MORE

  • Vines – Privacy Barrier

    Q: I want to know how to transplant and grow kudzu vine. I would like to plant it onto a barbed wire fence line to form a privacy barrier. A: In the early 1900’s my grandfather Walter Cowart actively promoted...

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  • Kiwi – Yellow Leaves

    Q: We planted two kiwi plants at opposite corners of our pergola and they have succeeded in sending vines up and starting to cover it. But we are now noticing that the plant’s leaves are turning yellow and falling off....

    READ MORE

  • Trees – Fertilizing Time

    Q: Is this a good time to fertilize six-month old dogwood and redbud trees? A: No. My general recommendation is to fertilize plants in early spring, before green growth begins. I think organic, slow-release fertilizers (Holly-Tone, Milorganite, E. B. Stone)...

    READ MORE

  • Grass – Full Sun, No Water

    Q: What is the best grass to plant on a grave in northwest Georgia? I do not want to use gravel. It is in full sun with no water. A: I think bermudagrass has the best chance of succeeding but...

    READ MORE

  • Potting Soil – Growing Mushrooms

    Q: One of my potted plumerias has dime-size red mushrooms on the soil. The plant has been on the decline for the past couple weeks. Is there anything I can do to get rid of mushrooms? A: In my experience,...

    READ MORE

  • Retaining Wall – Disintegrating Ties

    Q: I need guidance on repairing a railroad tie retaining wall. Some of the ties are disintegrating. The wall is around twenty years old. A: I’ve heard landscapers say that repairing failing railroad tie walls was their main source of...

    READ MORE

  • Pre-emergent – Overapplication

    Q: I have a bad feeling that putting down pre-emergent on landscape beds every six weeks is not working. Should I step it up to once a month? A: Weed preventer products are very good at controlling weeds that come...

    READ MORE

  • Fig – No Fruit

    Q: I gave my fig tree a major pruning two years ago. This is the second season that I had no ripe figs but plenty of green ones that never matured. Can I do anything to encourage ripe figs next...

    READ MORE

  • Chicken Manure – Why Use It?

    Q: In my county farmers put chicken manure on their pastures. Why do they do this? It really smells! A: Farmers put chicken litter on pastures instead of having to buy and apply commercial fertilizer. Chicken litter is a good...

    READ MORE

  • Winter – Late Planting

    Q: I have a major landscaping project this fall and am wondering how late I can go in Atlanta before the soil gets too cold to encourage root growth. A: There is really no hard and fast rule. While plant...

    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

Crabgrass – Mythic Formula

Q: I have been told that you have a formula of Miller beer, Tide detergent and something else to get rid of crabgrass. What was the last ingredient? A: This supposed lawn tonic recipe and its variants have been passed...

READ MORE

Fescue – Shade

Q: In shady areas is it okay to plant a blend of fescue and other grasses? A: You can certainly plant a “shade loving” fescue blend. Most of the shade mixes have a combination of bluegrass, ryegrass, red fescue and...

READ MORE

Water Oak – Proximal Planting

Q: We will be planting 4 or 5 water oak trees in a straight line in an old pasture. How far apart should we plant them so they grow to their full potential? A: The rule of thumb for spacing...

READ MORE

Herbicide – In Mulch

Q: Is it safe to use hay, as mulch and in a compost pile, that has been treated using 2-4-D? A: I don’t think I can say that it’s “safe” in all situations. The weed killer 2,4-D has a half-life...

READ MORE

Pears – Replacing With Serviceberry

Q: I want to replace four ‘Bradford’ pears with native serviceberry trees. Is there a certain variety I should look for? A: There are several species and hybrids of serviceberry that grow very well here. I love the plant’s springtime...

READ MORE

Leaves – Removal After Seeding

Q: What’s the best way to remove leaves from a newly seeded lawn? Is it best done with a rake or with a blower or grind them up with the lawnmower? A: It’s best to shred them with a mower....

READ MORE

Houseplants – Cleaning

Q: What is the best solution for cleaning houseplants that have been outside all summer? A: Patio plants frequently become dusty after a summer outdoors. They will look fresher if you clean them up a bit. Find an old cotton...

READ MORE

Zoysia – Seeding Fescue

Q: Can I overseed my zoysia back yard with creeping red fescue to keep it green this winter? A: I’m doubtful you’ll get the results you want. In order for creeping red fescue to germinate it needs close contact with...

READ MORE

Vines – Privacy Barrier

Q: I want to know how to transplant and grow kudzu vine. I would like to plant it onto a barbed wire fence line to form a privacy barrier. A: In the early 1900’s my grandfather Walter Cowart actively promoted...

READ MORE

Kiwi – Yellow Leaves

Q: We planted two kiwi plants at opposite corners of our pergola and they have succeeded in sending vines up and starting to cover it. But we are now noticing that the plant’s leaves are turning yellow and falling off....

READ MORE

Trees – Fertilizing Time

Q: Is this a good time to fertilize six-month old dogwood and redbud trees? A: No. My general recommendation is to fertilize plants in early spring, before green growth begins. I think organic, slow-release fertilizers (Holly-Tone, Milorganite, E. B. Stone)...

READ MORE

Grass – Full Sun, No Water

Q: What is the best grass to plant on a grave in northwest Georgia? I do not want to use gravel. It is in full sun with no water. A: I think bermudagrass has the best chance of succeeding but...

READ MORE

Potting Soil – Growing Mushrooms

Q: One of my potted plumerias has dime-size red mushrooms on the soil. The plant has been on the decline for the past couple weeks. Is there anything I can do to get rid of mushrooms? A: In my experience,...

READ MORE

Retaining Wall – Disintegrating Ties

Q: I need guidance on repairing a railroad tie retaining wall. Some of the ties are disintegrating. The wall is around twenty years old. A: I’ve heard landscapers say that repairing failing railroad tie walls was their main source of...

READ MORE

Pre-emergent – Overapplication

Q: I have a bad feeling that putting down pre-emergent on landscape beds every six weeks is not working. Should I step it up to once a month? A: Weed preventer products are very good at controlling weeds that come...

READ MORE

Fig – No Fruit

Q: I gave my fig tree a major pruning two years ago. This is the second season that I had no ripe figs but plenty of green ones that never matured. Can I do anything to encourage ripe figs next...

READ MORE

Chicken Manure – Why Use It?

Q: In my county farmers put chicken manure on their pastures. Why do they do this? It really smells! A: Farmers put chicken litter on pastures instead of having to buy and apply commercial fertilizer. Chicken litter is a good...

READ MORE

Winter – Late Planting

Q: I have a major landscaping project this fall and am wondering how late I can go in Atlanta before the soil gets too cold to encourage root growth. A: There is really no hard and fast rule. While plant...

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