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
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Earthstar – Lawn Mushroom

    Q: My granddaughter came across an odd looking, dark brown “bowl” of loose “dust” in my dormant bermuda lawn. I found online that it’s a mushroom labeled Scleroderma geaster. Is this something that will eventually eat up the grass? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Roundup – Use In Cold

    Q: Is it too cold for Roundup to kill the weeds now growing in my flower beds? A: The leaves on the weeds you aim to control should be actively photosynthesizing when glyphosate (Roundup, etc) is applied. That means the...

    READ MORE

  • Horticultural Oil – Usage

    Q: Could you advise me where I can purchase horticultural oil? Or is this something I can make myself? A: Horticultural oil is a specially refined oil that suffocates insects without hurting your plants. I discourage you from making it...

    READ MORE

  • Hawthorn – Cold Weather

    Q: I lost four Indian hawthorns last year to cold weather. I liked them and would like to replace. Any advice? A: Different varieties of Indian hawthorn seem to have different reactions to cold and different susceptibility to leaf spot....

    READ MORE

  • Greenhouse – Lighting

    Q: For Christmas I received a new portable greenhouse. How critical is the placement? A: Generally speaking, more sun is better. You can control how much sunshine and heat gets inside the greenhouse by using shade cloth on top. But...

    READ MORE

  • Spiders – Close To Home

    Q: I found a spider egg sack outside my bedroom window. Should I remove it? A: If the window is within reach outdoors, I’d remove the pouch and place it in a landscape shrub. The spider itself is very likely...

    READ MORE

  • Potato – Soft and Sprouting

    Q: One of my favorite potatoes is Royal Majesty, a purple potato I buy online. I still have a dozen that I haven’t eaten. They are starting to sprout and get soft. Can I save them for seed potatoes? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Fertilizer – Dog Safety

    Q: I have bermuda grass in full sun in my backyard where two big Labs play and tear it up. I really care about my dogs so I do not treat the grass with any fertilizer or weed killer. Would...

    READ MORE

  • Nandina – Berry Color

    Q: I transplanted several runners from a white berried nandina to a different part of my yard. Now that they are maturing, they’re displaying red berries, not white. Can you think of any possible explanation? A: The white (or yellow)-berried...

    READ MORE

  • Mosquito – Winter

    Q: It was 49 degrees outside last week and I swatted a mosquito buzzing me in my living room. Isn’t it a little late for mosquitos around here? A: Mosquitoes take 10 – 15 days of warm temperatures to grow...

    READ MORE

  • Shrubs – Planting In Winter

    Q: I do landscape work and I understand that planting perennials in the fall is best due to soil temperatures and water requirements. What are your thoughts about planting shrubs in winter? It seems to me that as long as...

    READ MORE

  • Tree – Tangerines and Limes?

    Q: A lady told me about being at her mother’s home in south Georgia and seeing tangerines on a tree. Her mother claims that it had previously yielded 250 limes. Can you explain? A: I can think of two (no,...

    READ MORE

  • Kissing Bug – No Danger to Georgians

    Kissing bug has been in the news recently but the insect poses no threat to infect Georgians with Chagas disease. Dr. Nancy Hinkle, UGA insect expert, says Georgia has had kissing bugs since before humans got here. Georgians have not...

    READ MORE

  • Raccoon – Rolling Up Sod

    Q: I live in a rural subdivision in Rockdale County. We back up to the Yellow River, so we see a lot of deer. I had ten pallets of zoysia sod installed in early October. Every day for the last...

    READ MORE

  • Fruit Trees – Sources

    My friend Bill Ford, co-owner of Johnson Nursery in Ellijay, has toddled off into retirement! Now where will I send folks who want to buy the best selections of fruit and nut tree varieties? With Bill’s input, here are some good...

    READ MORE

  • Anole (Lizard) – In the House

    Q: I recently moved back here from Tampa. There, small lizards are found everywhere – they’re as common as squirrels and mosquitos. Here in Atlanta, in all of my life, I have never once seen a lizard inside or outside...

    READ MORE

  • Oak – Losing Bark, Trunk Rotting

    Q: I have a white oak which is losing bark and there’s a white chalky residue present where the bark is falling off. Can you identify the problem and advise a remedy? A: My bet is that water is getting...

    READ MORE

  • Pecan Leaves – Using in a Vegetable Garden

    Q: Are pecan leaves good to mulch a garden? The local Cub Scout pack will be raking leaves at our church and I was planning to put them on our community garden there.  A: It’s well-known that juglone, a chemical...

    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

Earthstar – Lawn Mushroom

Q: My granddaughter came across an odd looking, dark brown “bowl” of loose “dust” in my dormant bermuda lawn. I found online that it’s a mushroom labeled Scleroderma geaster. Is this something that will eventually eat up the grass? A:...

READ MORE

Roundup – Use In Cold

Q: Is it too cold for Roundup to kill the weeds now growing in my flower beds? A: The leaves on the weeds you aim to control should be actively photosynthesizing when glyphosate (Roundup, etc) is applied. That means the...

READ MORE

Horticultural Oil – Usage

Q: Could you advise me where I can purchase horticultural oil? Or is this something I can make myself? A: Horticultural oil is a specially refined oil that suffocates insects without hurting your plants. I discourage you from making it...

READ MORE

Hawthorn – Cold Weather

Q: I lost four Indian hawthorns last year to cold weather. I liked them and would like to replace. Any advice? A: Different varieties of Indian hawthorn seem to have different reactions to cold and different susceptibility to leaf spot....

READ MORE

Greenhouse – Lighting

Q: For Christmas I received a new portable greenhouse. How critical is the placement? A: Generally speaking, more sun is better. You can control how much sunshine and heat gets inside the greenhouse by using shade cloth on top. But...

READ MORE

Spiders – Close To Home

Q: I found a spider egg sack outside my bedroom window. Should I remove it? A: If the window is within reach outdoors, I’d remove the pouch and place it in a landscape shrub. The spider itself is very likely...

READ MORE

Potato – Soft and Sprouting

Q: One of my favorite potatoes is Royal Majesty, a purple potato I buy online. I still have a dozen that I haven’t eaten. They are starting to sprout and get soft. Can I save them for seed potatoes? A:...

READ MORE

Fertilizer – Dog Safety

Q: I have bermuda grass in full sun in my backyard where two big Labs play and tear it up. I really care about my dogs so I do not treat the grass with any fertilizer or weed killer. Would...

READ MORE

Nandina – Berry Color

Q: I transplanted several runners from a white berried nandina to a different part of my yard. Now that they are maturing, they’re displaying red berries, not white. Can you think of any possible explanation? A: The white (or yellow)-berried...

READ MORE

Mosquito – Winter

Q: It was 49 degrees outside last week and I swatted a mosquito buzzing me in my living room. Isn’t it a little late for mosquitos around here? A: Mosquitoes take 10 – 15 days of warm temperatures to grow...

READ MORE

Shrubs – Planting In Winter

Q: I do landscape work and I understand that planting perennials in the fall is best due to soil temperatures and water requirements. What are your thoughts about planting shrubs in winter? It seems to me that as long as...

READ MORE

Tree – Tangerines and Limes?

Q: A lady told me about being at her mother’s home in south Georgia and seeing tangerines on a tree. Her mother claims that it had previously yielded 250 limes. Can you explain? A: I can think of two (no,...

READ MORE

Kissing Bug – No Danger to Georgians

Kissing bug has been in the news recently but the insect poses no threat to infect Georgians with Chagas disease. Dr. Nancy Hinkle, UGA insect expert, says Georgia has had kissing bugs since before humans got here. Georgians have not...

READ MORE

Raccoon – Rolling Up Sod

Q: I live in a rural subdivision in Rockdale County. We back up to the Yellow River, so we see a lot of deer. I had ten pallets of zoysia sod installed in early October. Every day for the last...

READ MORE

Fruit Trees – Sources

My friend Bill Ford, co-owner of Johnson Nursery in Ellijay, has toddled off into retirement! Now where will I send folks who want to buy the best selections of fruit and nut tree varieties? With Bill’s input, here are some good...

READ MORE

Anole (Lizard) – In the House

Q: I recently moved back here from Tampa. There, small lizards are found everywhere – they’re as common as squirrels and mosquitos. Here in Atlanta, in all of my life, I have never once seen a lizard inside or outside...

READ MORE

Oak – Losing Bark, Trunk Rotting

Q: I have a white oak which is losing bark and there’s a white chalky residue present where the bark is falling off. Can you identify the problem and advise a remedy? A: My bet is that water is getting...

READ MORE

Pecan Leaves – Using in a Vegetable Garden

Q: Are pecan leaves good to mulch a garden? The local Cub Scout pack will be raking leaves at our church and I was planning to put them on our community garden there.  A: It’s well-known that juglone, a chemical...

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