Featured Article

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 unless it is severely pruned. Crapemyrtles do not HAVE TO...

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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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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Landscape – Drainage Problems

    There are a number of indicators which may help you identify current or potential drainage and water problems around your yard or home. The Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association (MALTA) used some tips I compiled and added the expertise...

    READ MORE

  • Landscape – Choosing Healthy Plants

    I’ve mentioned before all the advantages of planting in fall: cooler temperatures, better establishment, bargains at the garden center. Even so, it makes no sense to waste your money on a sick or inappropriate plant. As you shop, be sure...

    READ MORE

  • Invasive Plants – Cautions About Mimosa

    Several plants that were once considered ornamental have escaped and caused great problems in Georgia landscapes. Kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, bamboo, privet and English ivy are all so aggressive that they crowd out everything in their path. When Theresa Schrum mentioned...

    READ MORE

  • Invasive Plants

    When I was a kid, I loved melting plastic toy soldiers. I’d climb into the loft of our garage and position myself by an open window. Setting a match flame to the head of a defenseless infantryman, I would thrill...

    READ MORE

  • Gardening – Using a PDA

    NOTE: this was written for the AJC in 2003, way before smartphones and their apps. It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come in just a few years! My wife’s garden club came to visit our house last week. We...

    READ MORE

  • Garden Catalogs – Rating

    Catalogs offering garden plants for sale have been around for hundreds of years. My guess is that ever since the first one came off the press, gardeners have wondered which ones could be trusted and which ones were frauds. As...

    READ MORE

  • Galls

    S.N. recently described for me a strange sight: “For the past two springs, we have found small red or reddish-brown mounds attached to our Chinese witchhazel shrub leaves. Could this be associated with lady bugs or praying mantids? If they’re...

    READ MORE

  • Disease Control – Fungicides

    A friend of mine recently told me about his drugstore bill. “It takes more than $100.00 per month to control my high blood pressure and cholesterol!” he complained. “I guess those hamburgers we enjoyed in college weren’t so good for...

    READ MORE

  • Cold Damage

    This article on cold damage was originally written in March, 2002 but the details it provides are accurate for any winter. Last night, the WEATHER.COM Web site was predicting 19 degrees at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning in my neighborhood. As...

    READ MORE

  • Buying Plants – Research Before Purchasing

    My old friend Von Woods sent me a question a few weeks ago that made me do a little research. “Do you have a list of dogwoods that are disease resistant?” he wrote, “I’ve heard that a new fungus is...

    READ MORE

  • Banana – Overwintering

    Given a mild winter and a sheltered location banana trees occasionally survive Atlanta winters untended. More often, the stem and roots turn to mush by spring. Gardeners who like the tropical look bananas afford but who don’t like the cost...

    READ MORE

  • Viburnum – Pollination

    Although hollies are better-known for their berries, viburnum shrubs can also have striking fruit each fall. Two of the best fruiting viburnums are tea viburnum, Viburnum setigerum and Linden viburnum, Viburnum dilatatum. Just as with hollies, good pollination produces best...

    READ MORE

  • Viburnum – Distinguishing Snowball-type

    As if gardeners didn’t have enough confusion sorting out plants which are not roses, but have rose in their name (rose of Sharon, rose moss, Confederate rose, etc), we also must distinguish between “snowball” viburnums. Chinese snowball viburnum is Viburnum...

    READ MORE

  • Shrubs – Protection in Winter

    My thoughts on the various alternatives when attempting to protect shrubs from winter cold: BLACK PLASTIC Though it seems counterintuitive, black plastic is a better covering for plants than clear plastic. The object of covering a plant at all is...

    READ MORE

  • Shrubs – No Flowers

    I visited the proud parents of a new baby last week and was allowed to hold the young beauty in my arms. Just fed, she gradually slipped into sleep as the adults talked and marveled at her perfect fingers. I...

    READ MORE

  • Shrub Propagation – Soil Layering

    Summer is a great time to propagate favorite shrubs by rooting stems underground. This is one of the simplest ways to multiply a shrub and it is fast and efficient. Start by looking for long shoots which can be bent...

    READ MORE

  • Shrub – Transplanting

    Back during the summer, my wife and I threw a big party to celebrate the end of remodeling our kitchen and sunroom. In honor of the occasion, I invited two people who knew my house “way back when”. Dottie Myers,...

    READ MORE

  • Shrub – Pruning

    As spring approaches, the first yellow blooms on forsythia plants remind some gardeners that they have once again put off pruning until the last minute. Plants are pruned for different reasons. Shrub roses need pruning annually, to make the new...

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Landscape – Drainage Problems

There are a number of indicators which may help you identify current or potential drainage and water problems around your yard or home. The Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association (MALTA) used some tips I compiled and added the expertise...

READ MORE

Landscape – Choosing Healthy Plants

I’ve mentioned before all the advantages of planting in fall: cooler temperatures, better establishment, bargains at the garden center. Even so, it makes no sense to waste your money on a sick or inappropriate plant. As you shop, be sure...

READ MORE

Invasive Plants – Cautions About Mimosa

Several plants that were once considered ornamental have escaped and caused great problems in Georgia landscapes. Kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, bamboo, privet and English ivy are all so aggressive that they crowd out everything in their path. When Theresa Schrum mentioned...

READ MORE

Invasive Plants

When I was a kid, I loved melting plastic toy soldiers. I’d climb into the loft of our garage and position myself by an open window. Setting a match flame to the head of a defenseless infantryman, I would thrill...

READ MORE

Gardening – Using a PDA

NOTE: this was written for the AJC in 2003, way before smartphones and their apps. It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come in just a few years! My wife’s garden club came to visit our house last week. We...

READ MORE

Garden Catalogs – Rating

Catalogs offering garden plants for sale have been around for hundreds of years. My guess is that ever since the first one came off the press, gardeners have wondered which ones could be trusted and which ones were frauds. As...

READ MORE

Galls

S.N. recently described for me a strange sight: “For the past two springs, we have found small red or reddish-brown mounds attached to our Chinese witchhazel shrub leaves. Could this be associated with lady bugs or praying mantids? If they’re...

READ MORE

Disease Control – Fungicides

A friend of mine recently told me about his drugstore bill. “It takes more than $100.00 per month to control my high blood pressure and cholesterol!” he complained. “I guess those hamburgers we enjoyed in college weren’t so good for...

READ MORE

Cold Damage

This article on cold damage was originally written in March, 2002 but the details it provides are accurate for any winter. Last night, the WEATHER.COM Web site was predicting 19 degrees at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning in my neighborhood. As...

READ MORE

Buying Plants – Research Before Purchasing

My old friend Von Woods sent me a question a few weeks ago that made me do a little research. “Do you have a list of dogwoods that are disease resistant?” he wrote, “I’ve heard that a new fungus is...

READ MORE

Banana – Overwintering

Given a mild winter and a sheltered location banana trees occasionally survive Atlanta winters untended. More often, the stem and roots turn to mush by spring. Gardeners who like the tropical look bananas afford but who don’t like the cost...

READ MORE

Viburnum – Pollination

Although hollies are better-known for their berries, viburnum shrubs can also have striking fruit each fall. Two of the best fruiting viburnums are tea viburnum, Viburnum setigerum and Linden viburnum, Viburnum dilatatum. Just as with hollies, good pollination produces best...

READ MORE

Viburnum – Distinguishing Snowball-type

As if gardeners didn’t have enough confusion sorting out plants which are not roses, but have rose in their name (rose of Sharon, rose moss, Confederate rose, etc), we also must distinguish between “snowball” viburnums. Chinese snowball viburnum is Viburnum...

READ MORE

Shrubs – Protection in Winter

My thoughts on the various alternatives when attempting to protect shrubs from winter cold: BLACK PLASTIC Though it seems counterintuitive, black plastic is a better covering for plants than clear plastic. The object of covering a plant at all is...

READ MORE

Shrubs – No Flowers

I visited the proud parents of a new baby last week and was allowed to hold the young beauty in my arms. Just fed, she gradually slipped into sleep as the adults talked and marveled at her perfect fingers. I...

READ MORE

Shrub Propagation – Soil Layering

Summer is a great time to propagate favorite shrubs by rooting stems underground. This is one of the simplest ways to multiply a shrub and it is fast and efficient. Start by looking for long shoots which can be bent...

READ MORE

Shrub – Transplanting

Back during the summer, my wife and I threw a big party to celebrate the end of remodeling our kitchen and sunroom. In honor of the occasion, I invited two people who knew my house “way back when”. Dottie Myers,...

READ MORE

Shrub – Pruning

As spring approaches, the first yellow blooms on forsythia plants remind some gardeners that they have once again put off pruning until the last minute. Plants are pruned for different reasons. Shrub roses need pruning annually, to make the new...

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

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

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

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