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
  • Magnolia Scale – Controlling

    Q: What is the best treatment for the bugs causing this mold. I am afraid it is killing my magnolias. A: Your magnolia has a severe infestation of one of the several species of scale insects. The motionless insects feed...

    READ MORE

  • Deer Damage to Tree – Repairing?

    Q: This tree is about three years old. A deer scratched off the middle branches with its antlers. Is there anything I can do to encourage new limbs to grow in the middle so it looks like a Christmas tree...

    READ MORE

  • Split Trunk – Will It Heal?

    Q: One of my large flowering cherry trees split down the middle. Can I save it by putting a strap around the tree and pulling it back together? A: Eventually the tree will fail but you might be able to...

    READ MORE

  • Stump Sprouts – Growing

    Q: I had a very old oak tree that got some kind of root disease and it had to be removed. I did not have the stump ground down. It is sprouting baby oak trees along with huge mushrooms. If...

    READ MORE

  • Beer, Detergents for Your Lawn – False Claims

    I have mentioned before my disdain for television hucksters touting lawn care “formulas” made from household products. The presentation is enthusiastic but the recommendations contain only tiny nuggets of scientific truth. It is true that household ammonia contains a small...

    READ MORE

  • Osteospermum (African daisy) – Leaf Damage

    Q: I planted this flower a few weeks ago. Something seems to be eating it. A: Osteospermum (African daisy) is very attractive and has few insect enemies. This looks like moderate feeding damage caused by a leaf-footed bug or a...

    READ MORE

  • Pear Gourd – Identification

    Q: During this past spring, I noticed a plant growing in my front yard. I let it grow and it turned out to be a gourd plant! I continued to let it grow until I harvested the gourds last week....

    READ MORE

  • Lacebark Elm (Chinese Elm) – Identification

    Q: What kind of tree is in these pictures? Are they hardy for north GA? A: A nice looking lacebark elm! It is an excellent tree and would grow well in north Georgia. The mottled bark is particularly attractive. Dr....

    READ MORE

  • Centipedegrass – pH too High

    Q: I have parts of my centipede lawn that are light-colored. I have done a Clemson University soil sample and the soil pH is 6.8. What do you think caused this discoloration? A: I think the problem is that soil...

    READ MORE

  • Pine – Pitch Canker Disease

    Q: I have a strange white substance growing on two trees in my backyard. Can you help me identify it and tell whether it is a hazard to the trees? A: The white stuff is pine rosin (hardened sap) exuding...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn Area – Measuring

    I was speaking to a garden group recently and for a lark, pointed to an attendee and asked “How big is your lawn?” ————————————————————————– Him: “Ah….umm…..I think it’s around 4000 square feet…..but I’ve never measured it.” Me: “So when you...

    READ MORE

  • Dogwood – Leaves Brown

    Q: I planted three 6ft. dogwoods this past June. I know it wasn’t the best time. Planted in the burlap ball, cut top of burlap only, added gravel under and mixed in some potting soil, watered daily throughout June and...

    READ MORE

  • Chinese Chestnut – Growing

    Q: There is a tree up the street that these spiky things came from. What is the name of the tree, and how can I plant one from these acorns? A: They are Chinese chestnut burs. Each one contains 1...

    READ MORE

  • Poultry Litter – Controlling Odor

    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

  • Anole (and snake) – In Camellia

    Q: Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed up to six of these little green anole lizards in my camellia and holly bushes. About dusk, they crawl up the stem and find a leaf and sleep throughout the...

    READ MORE

  • Spreading Elephant Ear – Transplanting

    Q: This elephant ear started about seven years ago from a shriveled up bulb found in a work bench area. It has gotten so big I need to know the easiest way to transplant some of it to different areas...

    READ MORE

  • Flowering Cherry – Limb Rot

    Q: My Kwanzan cherry tree has splitting bark then the limb dies. No visible pests. What is your opinion? A: I see two smoking guns. In the first picture there is a hole that looks like it was formed from...

    READ MORE

  • Maple Tree – Planted Too Deep

    Q: Near the ground on a young maple tree trunk there is an amorphous black shape. It looks like soot. This tree is one of a pair and is not as green or as large as the other that was...

    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

Magnolia Scale – Controlling

Q: What is the best treatment for the bugs causing this mold. I am afraid it is killing my magnolias. A: Your magnolia has a severe infestation of one of the several species of scale insects. The motionless insects feed...

READ MORE

Deer Damage to Tree – Repairing?

Q: This tree is about three years old. A deer scratched off the middle branches with its antlers. Is there anything I can do to encourage new limbs to grow in the middle so it looks like a Christmas tree...

READ MORE

Split Trunk – Will It Heal?

Q: One of my large flowering cherry trees split down the middle. Can I save it by putting a strap around the tree and pulling it back together? A: Eventually the tree will fail but you might be able to...

READ MORE

Stump Sprouts – Growing

Q: I had a very old oak tree that got some kind of root disease and it had to be removed. I did not have the stump ground down. It is sprouting baby oak trees along with huge mushrooms. If...

READ MORE

Beer, Detergents for Your Lawn – False Claims

I have mentioned before my disdain for television hucksters touting lawn care “formulas” made from household products. The presentation is enthusiastic but the recommendations contain only tiny nuggets of scientific truth. It is true that household ammonia contains a small...

READ MORE

Osteospermum (African daisy) – Leaf Damage

Q: I planted this flower a few weeks ago. Something seems to be eating it. A: Osteospermum (African daisy) is very attractive and has few insect enemies. This looks like moderate feeding damage caused by a leaf-footed bug or a...

READ MORE

Pear Gourd – Identification

Q: During this past spring, I noticed a plant growing in my front yard. I let it grow and it turned out to be a gourd plant! I continued to let it grow until I harvested the gourds last week....

READ MORE

Lacebark Elm (Chinese Elm) – Identification

Q: What kind of tree is in these pictures? Are they hardy for north GA? A: A nice looking lacebark elm! It is an excellent tree and would grow well in north Georgia. The mottled bark is particularly attractive. Dr....

READ MORE

Centipedegrass – pH too High

Q: I have parts of my centipede lawn that are light-colored. I have done a Clemson University soil sample and the soil pH is 6.8. What do you think caused this discoloration? A: I think the problem is that soil...

READ MORE

Pine – Pitch Canker Disease

Q: I have a strange white substance growing on two trees in my backyard. Can you help me identify it and tell whether it is a hazard to the trees? A: The white stuff is pine rosin (hardened sap) exuding...

READ MORE

Lawn Area – Measuring

I was speaking to a garden group recently and for a lark, pointed to an attendee and asked “How big is your lawn?” ————————————————————————– Him: “Ah….umm…..I think it’s around 4000 square feet…..but I’ve never measured it.” Me: “So when you...

READ MORE

Dogwood – Leaves Brown

Q: I planted three 6ft. dogwoods this past June. I know it wasn’t the best time. Planted in the burlap ball, cut top of burlap only, added gravel under and mixed in some potting soil, watered daily throughout June and...

READ MORE

Chinese Chestnut – Growing

Q: There is a tree up the street that these spiky things came from. What is the name of the tree, and how can I plant one from these acorns? A: They are Chinese chestnut burs. Each one contains 1...

READ MORE

Poultry Litter – Controlling Odor

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

Anole (and snake) – In Camellia

Q: Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed up to six of these little green anole lizards in my camellia and holly bushes. About dusk, they crawl up the stem and find a leaf and sleep throughout the...

READ MORE

Spreading Elephant Ear – Transplanting

Q: This elephant ear started about seven years ago from a shriveled up bulb found in a work bench area. It has gotten so big I need to know the easiest way to transplant some of it to different areas...

READ MORE

Flowering Cherry – Limb Rot

Q: My Kwanzan cherry tree has splitting bark then the limb dies. No visible pests. What is your opinion? A: I see two smoking guns. In the first picture there is a hole that looks like it was formed from...

READ MORE

Maple Tree – Planted Too Deep

Q: Near the ground on a young maple tree trunk there is an amorphous black shape. It looks like soot. This tree is one of a pair and is not as green or as large as the other that was...

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