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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  • RECENT ARTICLES
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  • Pear Trees – No Fruit

    Q: We planted pear trees four years ago; they have yet to bloom. They grow and leaf out each year, but no fruit. What are we doing wrong? Any ideas. A: Sometimes plants behave in ways that are inscrutable to...

    READ MORE

  • Blueberries – Smaller Fruit

    Q: We are harvesting wonderful blueberries from our plants. But I have noticed that the first berries are very large and the later ones are smaller. Also the newer leaves are a light green with dark green veins. Is there...

    READ MORE

  • Centipedegrass – Height Matters

    Q: I have centipede grass in my front yard. It gets full sun almost all day long. Now two-thirds of my yard appears dead except for an invasion of clover. Is there something special I should have done? A: The...

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  • Roses – Different Colored Blooms

    Q: We have fifteen carpet roses which have bloomed dark red for six years. This year three of them have pink blooms. All were pruned the same in the fall and fertilized the same in the spring. Why did the...

    READ MORE

  • Virginia Creeper – Possible Rash

    Q: Is Virginia creeper poisonous like poison ivy? Does it have an oil that causes a rash? A: To my knowledge, Virginia creeper does not commonly cause a skin reaction. I’ve pulled it by the bushel basket and never had...

    READ MORE

  • Mothballs – Squirrel Repellant

    Q: Will mothballs hurt the soil in my pots if I use them as squirrel retardant? A: It is possible the mothballs could contaminate the soil if water flows over them and the chemicals are dissolved into the soil. As...

    READ MORE

  • Weeping Willow – No Leaves

    Q: I planted a weeping willow tree twelve years ago. It has no leaves this year. The branches are still flexible but I really don’t want to lose the tree. A: If there are no leaves, I’m sad to say...

    READ MORE

  • Flowers – Bright Compliments

    Q: I am in the process of developing an iris bed but I don’t want to have a solid stand of green leaves after the iris blooms. What are some complementary flowering plants I can mix in that will give...

    READ MORE

  • Sod – Farming Practices

    Q: You say on your website that St. Augustinegrass seed can’t be bought because the plant is finicky about producing viable seed. If that is the case, how do sod farmers grow it? A: On a sod farm, St. Augustinegrass...

    READ MORE

  • Newspaper – Mulching Tips

    Q: We have ten mature blueberry bushes and have just gotten all the spring weeding done. Can we use newspapers as a mulch? A: Newspaper makes a fine mulch. Stack 5 – 10 sheets on top of each other and...

    READ MORE

  • Bees – In The Ground

    Q: There is a bank of red dirt near my barn. There are hundreds of holes in the bank with bees coming in and out. They look like honey bees but smaller. A: You have a colony of mining bees....

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  • Azaleas – Pruning

    Q: Is it too late to prune azaleas? You’ve said now is the time. Just wondering when “now” becomes “too late”. A: It’s too late when the plants start making flower buds on branch tips. I think you’re safe to...

    READ MORE

  • Cherry – Sprouting Roots

    Q: Underneath our large flowering cherry lots of shoots sprout up from exposed roots. How can we control these long term? I’ve heard you can stop it by spraying the cut off roots with diesel fuel. A: No diesel! You’ll...

    READ MORE

  • Pumpkin Sprouts – Thinning

    Q: I am growing pumpkins this year for the first time. Right now my pumpkin sprouts look great Each hill has three to five plants coming up. Do I need to thin them ? A: Yes, thin the seedlings so...

    READ MORE

  • 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

  • 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

Pear Trees – No Fruit

Q: We planted pear trees four years ago; they have yet to bloom. They grow and leaf out each year, but no fruit. What are we doing wrong? Any ideas. A: Sometimes plants behave in ways that are inscrutable to...

READ MORE

Blueberries – Smaller Fruit

Q: We are harvesting wonderful blueberries from our plants. But I have noticed that the first berries are very large and the later ones are smaller. Also the newer leaves are a light green with dark green veins. Is there...

READ MORE

Centipedegrass – Height Matters

Q: I have centipede grass in my front yard. It gets full sun almost all day long. Now two-thirds of my yard appears dead except for an invasion of clover. Is there something special I should have done? A: The...

READ MORE

Roses – Different Colored Blooms

Q: We have fifteen carpet roses which have bloomed dark red for six years. This year three of them have pink blooms. All were pruned the same in the fall and fertilized the same in the spring. Why did the...

READ MORE

Virginia Creeper – Possible Rash

Q: Is Virginia creeper poisonous like poison ivy? Does it have an oil that causes a rash? A: To my knowledge, Virginia creeper does not commonly cause a skin reaction. I’ve pulled it by the bushel basket and never had...

READ MORE

Mothballs – Squirrel Repellant

Q: Will mothballs hurt the soil in my pots if I use them as squirrel retardant? A: It is possible the mothballs could contaminate the soil if water flows over them and the chemicals are dissolved into the soil. As...

READ MORE

Weeping Willow – No Leaves

Q: I planted a weeping willow tree twelve years ago. It has no leaves this year. The branches are still flexible but I really don’t want to lose the tree. A: If there are no leaves, I’m sad to say...

READ MORE

Flowers – Bright Compliments

Q: I am in the process of developing an iris bed but I don’t want to have a solid stand of green leaves after the iris blooms. What are some complementary flowering plants I can mix in that will give...

READ MORE

Sod – Farming Practices

Q: You say on your website that St. Augustinegrass seed can’t be bought because the plant is finicky about producing viable seed. If that is the case, how do sod farmers grow it? A: On a sod farm, St. Augustinegrass...

READ MORE

Newspaper – Mulching Tips

Q: We have ten mature blueberry bushes and have just gotten all the spring weeding done. Can we use newspapers as a mulch? A: Newspaper makes a fine mulch. Stack 5 – 10 sheets on top of each other and...

READ MORE

Bees – In The Ground

Q: There is a bank of red dirt near my barn. There are hundreds of holes in the bank with bees coming in and out. They look like honey bees but smaller. A: You have a colony of mining bees....

READ MORE

Azaleas – Pruning

Q: Is it too late to prune azaleas? You’ve said now is the time. Just wondering when “now” becomes “too late”. A: It’s too late when the plants start making flower buds on branch tips. I think you’re safe to...

READ MORE

Cherry – Sprouting Roots

Q: Underneath our large flowering cherry lots of shoots sprout up from exposed roots. How can we control these long term? I’ve heard you can stop it by spraying the cut off roots with diesel fuel. A: No diesel! You’ll...

READ MORE

Pumpkin Sprouts – Thinning

Q: I am growing pumpkins this year for the first time. Right now my pumpkin sprouts look great Each hill has three to five plants coming up. Do I need to thin them ? A: Yes, thin the seedlings so...

READ MORE

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

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