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
  • 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

  • Dogwood – Repairing Damage

    Q: After heavy rain a huge limb fell from a pecan tree on top of a small dogwood splitting it. What do I do now? A: Wow – this is tough to decide. I doubt very much if the split-away...

    READ MORE

  • Lotto Number Plant – Identification

    Q: I bought seeds for a Lotto number plant. I planted it and it produced six numbers on the seed shell it after it sprouted. Currently the vine is about fifteen feet high. Can you identify it? A: It looks...

    READ MORE

  • Azalea – Poorly Watered After Planting

    Q: I have some azalea bushes that are dying in my yard and I don’t know why. Over the last three months, little by little, branches have died. Now, this entire bush is about dead and the others are also...

    READ MORE

  • Grafted Pear – Bears Tiny Fruit

    Q: I have a pear tree that has 3 varieties grafted on it. A few branches produce pear fruit, but this year most of the branches have these little balls. What’s going on? A: The limbs with little fruits are...

    READ MORE

  • Bermuda – Infiltrating Zoysia Lawn

    Q: We have a ninety-five percent zoysia lawn. Some bermuda has infiltrated the zoysia. What is the best way to eliminate the bermuda? A: My neighbor has a thin-bladed zoysia (maybe ‘Emerald’) that has gradually overcome the bermudagrass in his...

    READ MORE

  • Organic Fungicides – List

    It’s hard enough to find a fungicide that work well to control landscape and garden diseases. But what do you do if you want to use an “organic” fungus fighter? Fortunately, there are fungicides in the category that are usually...

    READ MORE

  • Hydrangea – Winter Damage

    Q: We have two very large hydrangeas that are lush and healthy. But we haven’t had many blooms for the last couple of years. What can you suggest to increase blooming?     (written in summer of 2015) A: The...

    READ MORE

  • Spray Guard – Made From Plastic Bottle

    Q: I heard you talking on the radio about a spray guard you made from a plastic bottle. Can you elaborate? A: I needed the guard because I was spraying weeds with herbicide close by my daylily bed. Making it was...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia — Rust

    Q: My sunny zoysia lawn has rust disease now in late July. I’ve treated it with fungicide and fertilized twice but I’m not sure it is getting much better. A: Rust seems to be associated with zoysiagrass more than the...

    READ MORE

  • Squirrel – Albino

    Q: I have an albino squirrel that frequents my yard here in Norcross. I understand from my neighbor that at one time there were two, but now only this one. He comes often and is getting nice and big. A:...

    READ MORE

  • Brown Patch Disease – In Fescue

    Q: I have this condition all over my fescue yard. Could you tell me what it is? A: It’s almost certainly brown patch disease. The circular spots with a green center give it away. Brown patch favors high relative humidity...

    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

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

Dogwood – Repairing Damage

Q: After heavy rain a huge limb fell from a pecan tree on top of a small dogwood splitting it. What do I do now? A: Wow – this is tough to decide. I doubt very much if the split-away...

READ MORE

Lotto Number Plant – Identification

Q: I bought seeds for a Lotto number plant. I planted it and it produced six numbers on the seed shell it after it sprouted. Currently the vine is about fifteen feet high. Can you identify it? A: It looks...

READ MORE

Azalea – Poorly Watered After Planting

Q: I have some azalea bushes that are dying in my yard and I don’t know why. Over the last three months, little by little, branches have died. Now, this entire bush is about dead and the others are also...

READ MORE

Grafted Pear – Bears Tiny Fruit

Q: I have a pear tree that has 3 varieties grafted on it. A few branches produce pear fruit, but this year most of the branches have these little balls. What’s going on? A: The limbs with little fruits are...

READ MORE

Bermuda – Infiltrating Zoysia Lawn

Q: We have a ninety-five percent zoysia lawn. Some bermuda has infiltrated the zoysia. What is the best way to eliminate the bermuda? A: My neighbor has a thin-bladed zoysia (maybe ‘Emerald’) that has gradually overcome the bermudagrass in his...

READ MORE

Organic Fungicides – List

It’s hard enough to find a fungicide that work well to control landscape and garden diseases. But what do you do if you want to use an “organic” fungus fighter? Fortunately, there are fungicides in the category that are usually...

READ MORE

Hydrangea – Winter Damage

Q: We have two very large hydrangeas that are lush and healthy. But we haven’t had many blooms for the last couple of years. What can you suggest to increase blooming?     (written in summer of 2015) A: The...

READ MORE

Spray Guard – Made From Plastic Bottle

Q: I heard you talking on the radio about a spray guard you made from a plastic bottle. Can you elaborate? A: I needed the guard because I was spraying weeds with herbicide close by my daylily bed. Making it was...

READ MORE

Zoysia — Rust

Q: My sunny zoysia lawn has rust disease now in late July. I’ve treated it with fungicide and fertilized twice but I’m not sure it is getting much better. A: Rust seems to be associated with zoysiagrass more than the...

READ MORE

Squirrel – Albino

Q: I have an albino squirrel that frequents my yard here in Norcross. I understand from my neighbor that at one time there were two, but now only this one. He comes often and is getting nice and big. A:...

READ MORE

Brown Patch Disease – In Fescue

Q: I have this condition all over my fescue yard. Could you tell me what it is? A: It’s almost certainly brown patch disease. The circular spots with a green center give it away. Brown patch favors high relative humidity...

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