Featured Article

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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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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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • 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

  • Tomatoes – Applying Lime

    Q: Can I put dehydrated lime around tomatoes? When? A: I think you mean hydrated lime, calcium hydroxide. It is much different from garden lime, calcium carbonate. I do not recommend using hydrated lime in a garden: it is much...

    READ MORE

  • Sand – Usage Under Soil

    Q: Does sand help a bermuda lawn grow faster? If so, how deep should it be? A: Sand by itself does not help a bermudagrass lawn grow faster. Sand is often used on golf courses to fill divots because the...

    READ MORE

  • Mushrooms – Identification

    Q: I believe I have some morel mushrooms growing in my yard. I have looked morels up online and the pictures look exactly like what is growing. Can you help? A: I am not a mushroom expert so I can’t...

    READ MORE

  • Peonies – Time For Planting

    Q: I have just received two peonies. Everything I read says fall is the best time to plant them. Can I store the tubers until this fall? A: No, no: you should plant them now. Fall is designated the “best”...

    READ MORE

  • Briars – Removing

    Q: Our property was hit by a tornado four years ago. We lost big trees that shaded a creek; now there are lots of briars there. How can I eliminate them? A: You probably have wild blackberry or smilax plants....

    READ MORE

  • Armadillo – Holes In Yard

    Q: Something is digging big holes in my yard and today I found trench-like horizontal holes around the front foundation. Could it be an armadillo? A: It sure sounds like an armadillo! In their search for grubs and insects to...

    READ MORE

  • Sandy Soil – Adding Color

    Q: I have moved near Savannah. Our house doesn’t have much color in the landscape. There is a lot of sand in the soil here. What plants would you suggest for color? A: I’m terrible at landscape design and I...

    READ MORE

  • Pyracantha – Pruning

    Q: I have a pyracantha growing beside my house. You’ve really got to love gardening to prune one, as you will have to endure getting stuck by its thorns. Is there a better way? A: I generally tell folks that...

    READ MORE

  • Cranberries – Growing Conditions

    Q: Did I hear you say on radio that cranberries can be grown in Georgia? A: No, it’s way to hot here for cranberries to prosper. They require cool summers and cold winters plus lots of water around the roots....

    READ MORE

  • Snakes – On Doorstep

    Q: We keep seeing snakes on our doorsteps. What is the best product to try to rid ourselves of them coming in the house? A: They are just using it for a “warming up” spot before leaving to catch mice...

    READ MORE

  • Waxwings – Flying Into Buildings

    Q: I’ve seen several dead cedar waxwings at the entrance to my office. What do you think is killing them? A: In spring, waxwings sometimes eat too many over-ripe berries from nandina, hawthorn, and pyracantha. As a fruit-loving bird, they...

    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

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

Tomatoes – Applying Lime

Q: Can I put dehydrated lime around tomatoes? When? A: I think you mean hydrated lime, calcium hydroxide. It is much different from garden lime, calcium carbonate. I do not recommend using hydrated lime in a garden: it is much...

READ MORE

Sand – Usage Under Soil

Q: Does sand help a bermuda lawn grow faster? If so, how deep should it be? A: Sand by itself does not help a bermudagrass lawn grow faster. Sand is often used on golf courses to fill divots because the...

READ MORE

Mushrooms – Identification

Q: I believe I have some morel mushrooms growing in my yard. I have looked morels up online and the pictures look exactly like what is growing. Can you help? A: I am not a mushroom expert so I can’t...

READ MORE

Peonies – Time For Planting

Q: I have just received two peonies. Everything I read says fall is the best time to plant them. Can I store the tubers until this fall? A: No, no: you should plant them now. Fall is designated the “best”...

READ MORE

Briars – Removing

Q: Our property was hit by a tornado four years ago. We lost big trees that shaded a creek; now there are lots of briars there. How can I eliminate them? A: You probably have wild blackberry or smilax plants....

READ MORE

Armadillo – Holes In Yard

Q: Something is digging big holes in my yard and today I found trench-like horizontal holes around the front foundation. Could it be an armadillo? A: It sure sounds like an armadillo! In their search for grubs and insects to...

READ MORE

Sandy Soil – Adding Color

Q: I have moved near Savannah. Our house doesn’t have much color in the landscape. There is a lot of sand in the soil here. What plants would you suggest for color? A: I’m terrible at landscape design and I...

READ MORE

Pyracantha – Pruning

Q: I have a pyracantha growing beside my house. You’ve really got to love gardening to prune one, as you will have to endure getting stuck by its thorns. Is there a better way? A: I generally tell folks that...

READ MORE

Cranberries – Growing Conditions

Q: Did I hear you say on radio that cranberries can be grown in Georgia? A: No, it’s way to hot here for cranberries to prosper. They require cool summers and cold winters plus lots of water around the roots....

READ MORE

Snakes – On Doorstep

Q: We keep seeing snakes on our doorsteps. What is the best product to try to rid ourselves of them coming in the house? A: They are just using it for a “warming up” spot before leaving to catch mice...

READ MORE

Waxwings – Flying Into Buildings

Q: I’ve seen several dead cedar waxwings at the entrance to my office. What do you think is killing them? A: In spring, waxwings sometimes eat too many over-ripe berries from nandina, hawthorn, and pyracantha. As a fruit-loving bird, they...

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