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
  • Fertilizer – Using Sugar?

    Q: I read online that you can use sugar for lawn fertilizer. It said it’s cheaper and is much better than using commercial stuff. What are your thoughts on this? A: Not many garden questions cause me to stare at...

    READ MORE

  • Fertilizer – Chemical Vs. Organic

    Q: What are your thoughts on switching from chemical fertilizers and weed killers to organic products on a lawn? I’d like to hire an organic lawn contractor to do this. A: I think healthy lawns can be managed safely with...

    READ MORE

  • Cucumbers – Crop Boosting

    Q: We’ve grown cucumbers for several years. Some years they were plentiful, but the last couple of seasons have not been productive. Any suggestions on how to have a better crop? A: My bet is that you need better pollination....

    READ MORE

  • Birds – Eating Fescue Seed

    Q: I have fescue grass in my back yard and have had problems getting it to look good. There are bird feeders along the back lawn edge. I wonder if having so many birds in the area might cause problems...

    READ MORE

  • Hosta – Applying Compost

    Q: I have a large hosta bed and I’m ready to put the semi-annual layer of compost on it. It seems like it would be better to work it in a few inches with my hand cultivator, but I’m afraid...

    READ MORE

  • Bermudagrass – Weed Prevention

    Q: I have a puppy and would like to get a lawn maintenance schedule that won’t hurt him. What do you recommend for bermuda grass? A: The best weed control is making the bermuda so vigorous that it out-competes weeds,...

    READ MORE

  • Spelling – Plant Names

    Q: Is the correct spelling for the common summer plant “crepe myrtle” or “crape myrtle”? A: It’s a bit more complicated than you think. Any author attempts to be consistent in spelling and grammar for their work; it would be...

    READ MORE

  • Cedar – Transplanting

    Q: There are numerous cedar trees growing in the forests around me that are accessible for transplanting. Are cedar trees or Leyland cypress better for birds? A: I think red cedar is better for birds by far. The combination of...

    READ MORE

  • Dame’s Rocket – Illegal?

    Q: Is dames rocket an illegal plant for Georgia? I read it is banned from some states due to its invasiveness. A: I don’t know of any plants that are “illegal” in Georgia except marijuana and possibly Oriental poppy. Planting...

    READ MORE

  • Weeds – Periodic Clearing

    Q: I have a bit of acreage and I don’t want to clear all of it, just some weeds and underbrush around my cabin. I want something to make the briars go away, but not destroy the earth. A: In...

    READ MORE

  • Paperwhites – Planting Tips

    Q: I forced some paperwhites this year and left the flowers on the stems until they produced seeds. How should I plant them to get new bulbs? A: I’m guessing you are referring to the green seed pods that formed...

    READ MORE

  • Chickweed – Covering Garden

    Q: When I went out to my vegetable garden area to start planting peas, I found it completely covered with chickweed. What should I do? A: At this point in the spring garden, I think you should pull up as...

    READ MORE

  • Fig Tree – New Growth

    Q: My eight-year old fig tree was damaged by cold last winter. In years before it made tons of figs. We cut back the dead parts but from those big branches grew many shoots growing straight up. Last summer there...

    READ MORE

  • Hydrangea – Transplanting

    Q: I need to transplant a mature hydrangea from my son’s present yard to his new home. I need to dig it up now but cannot replant it for a couple of weeks. A: This should be easy. Soak the...

    READ MORE

  • Dogwoods – Planting Close Together

    Q: I would like to plant dogwoods in memory of a loved one. I would like to plant a white, a pink and a red dogwood together so they fuse into one mass with three colors. Will that work? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Newspaper – Attracting Termites

    Q: What item can be used to block weeds in a flower bed? I have been using newspaper, which works great but I’ve been told it can attract termites. A: The newspaper can attract termites, but so does every limb...

    READ MORE

  • Begonia – Overwintering

    Q: I have overwintered some angel wing begonias. When I move them back outside, do I cut all the old growth off? A: If the existing leaves are not brown, you can leave them on the plant until night temperatures...

    READ MORE

  • Slugs – Eating Leaves

    Q: I have several clay pots that I buried in my flower beds to plant annuals in every year. I have a problem with slugs eating the leaves. If I paint my clay pots with copper spray paint would that...

    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

Fertilizer – Using Sugar?

Q: I read online that you can use sugar for lawn fertilizer. It said it’s cheaper and is much better than using commercial stuff. What are your thoughts on this? A: Not many garden questions cause me to stare at...

READ MORE

Fertilizer – Chemical Vs. Organic

Q: What are your thoughts on switching from chemical fertilizers and weed killers to organic products on a lawn? I’d like to hire an organic lawn contractor to do this. A: I think healthy lawns can be managed safely with...

READ MORE

Cucumbers – Crop Boosting

Q: We’ve grown cucumbers for several years. Some years they were plentiful, but the last couple of seasons have not been productive. Any suggestions on how to have a better crop? A: My bet is that you need better pollination....

READ MORE

Birds – Eating Fescue Seed

Q: I have fescue grass in my back yard and have had problems getting it to look good. There are bird feeders along the back lawn edge. I wonder if having so many birds in the area might cause problems...

READ MORE

Hosta – Applying Compost

Q: I have a large hosta bed and I’m ready to put the semi-annual layer of compost on it. It seems like it would be better to work it in a few inches with my hand cultivator, but I’m afraid...

READ MORE

Bermudagrass – Weed Prevention

Q: I have a puppy and would like to get a lawn maintenance schedule that won’t hurt him. What do you recommend for bermuda grass? A: The best weed control is making the bermuda so vigorous that it out-competes weeds,...

READ MORE

Spelling – Plant Names

Q: Is the correct spelling for the common summer plant “crepe myrtle” or “crape myrtle”? A: It’s a bit more complicated than you think. Any author attempts to be consistent in spelling and grammar for their work; it would be...

READ MORE

Cedar – Transplanting

Q: There are numerous cedar trees growing in the forests around me that are accessible for transplanting. Are cedar trees or Leyland cypress better for birds? A: I think red cedar is better for birds by far. The combination of...

READ MORE

Dame’s Rocket – Illegal?

Q: Is dames rocket an illegal plant for Georgia? I read it is banned from some states due to its invasiveness. A: I don’t know of any plants that are “illegal” in Georgia except marijuana and possibly Oriental poppy. Planting...

READ MORE

Weeds – Periodic Clearing

Q: I have a bit of acreage and I don’t want to clear all of it, just some weeds and underbrush around my cabin. I want something to make the briars go away, but not destroy the earth. A: In...

READ MORE

Paperwhites – Planting Tips

Q: I forced some paperwhites this year and left the flowers on the stems until they produced seeds. How should I plant them to get new bulbs? A: I’m guessing you are referring to the green seed pods that formed...

READ MORE

Chickweed – Covering Garden

Q: When I went out to my vegetable garden area to start planting peas, I found it completely covered with chickweed. What should I do? A: At this point in the spring garden, I think you should pull up as...

READ MORE

Fig Tree – New Growth

Q: My eight-year old fig tree was damaged by cold last winter. In years before it made tons of figs. We cut back the dead parts but from those big branches grew many shoots growing straight up. Last summer there...

READ MORE

Hydrangea – Transplanting

Q: I need to transplant a mature hydrangea from my son’s present yard to his new home. I need to dig it up now but cannot replant it for a couple of weeks. A: This should be easy. Soak the...

READ MORE

Dogwoods – Planting Close Together

Q: I would like to plant dogwoods in memory of a loved one. I would like to plant a white, a pink and a red dogwood together so they fuse into one mass with three colors. Will that work? A:...

READ MORE

Newspaper – Attracting Termites

Q: What item can be used to block weeds in a flower bed? I have been using newspaper, which works great but I’ve been told it can attract termites. A: The newspaper can attract termites, but so does every limb...

READ MORE

Begonia – Overwintering

Q: I have overwintered some angel wing begonias. When I move them back outside, do I cut all the old growth off? A: If the existing leaves are not brown, you can leave them on the plant until night temperatures...

READ MORE

Slugs – Eating Leaves

Q: I have several clay pots that I buried in my flower beds to plant annuals in every year. I have a problem with slugs eating the leaves. If I paint my clay pots with copper spray paint would that...

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