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
  • Inkberry plants – Purchase

    Q: Where can I purchase male and female inkberry plants? A: Inkberry, Ilex glabra, is a great native holly. Unlike many other hollies, its berries are black. Truthfully, I don’t think there is much bang for the buck from this...

    READ MORE

  • Southern Blight – On Creeping Jenny

    Q: My creeping Jenny is dying before my eyes. I see these tiny little brown beads on the ground and on the leaves. What is this and what can I use to stop it? A: Your creeping Jenny has Southern...

    READ MORE

  • Fall leaves – Natural areas and islands

    Q: Tell me about keeping fall leaves in natural areas and islands from year to year. It is my opinion that the leaves enrich the soil, provide a good mulch and look almost as good as pine straw. Others argue...

    READ MORE

  • Chinda doll – Growth

    Q: I have a four-foot tall China Doll plant. It flourished outside but indoors the leaves are yellow and falling off. A: Although China Doll plant, Radermachera sinica, is sold as a house plant, it can eventually grow to 30...

    READ MORE

  • Deer invasion – Spring leaves

    Q: We love the mountains and woods but we are having a constant problem with deer. They have severely eaten my ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ holly and ligustrums, both of which we were told “Deer do not eat!”. How do I...

    READ MORE

  • Woodpecker – Prevention

    Q: A small woodpecker-type bird is pecking large holes in the synthetic stucco facade of our chimney. What can we do to prevent this? A: Woodpecker “drumming” is common at this time of year. They seem to be making noise...

    READ MORE

  • Camellia – Buds Won’t Open

    Q: Now in December, I have a camellia bush loaded with buds that won’t open. They have looked like they want to open for the last two months. It gets nice filtered sun for several hours a day. A: I...

    READ MORE

  • Badminton – Grass type

    Q: I am putting a badminton court in my backyard. We play serious badminton four times a week for a couple of hours. Is there a grass that can stand that kind of activity? The site receives six hours of...

    READ MORE

  • Camellias – Feeding

    Q: What is the best time to feed camellias? I have several that have been planted for more than fifteen years. A: Camellias need nutrients when their growth starts in early April. You can use granular synthetic fertilizers then; rainfall...

    READ MORE

  • Watering – Yellow leaves

    Q: My family has been “showering with buckets” to collect bathwater for months now. We pour the water around plants in our full sun beds. I’ve begun to notice some plants showing yellowish leaves. A: My guess is that the...

    READ MORE

  • Butterfly Bush – Pruning

    Q: I went to prune my butterfly bushes this past weekend in late February but they have new green leaves. Should I prune them or not? A: Prune them. Butterfly bush makes blooms on the tips of new branches. If...

    READ MORE

  • Horse manure – Flower garden

    Q: I have access to aged horse manure but don’t know how to use it to make a nice flower garden. A: Aged horse manure is a great source of organic humus for your soil. Humus holds nutrients for plant...

    READ MORE

  • Tornado – Saving trees

    Q: Our subdivision got hit by the tornado a few weeks ago. It did considerable damage to the small trees in our yard. What are the chances that they’ll survive and stay healthy if we straighten them up and secure...

    READ MORE

  • Shady area – Grass alternative

    Q: I want an alternative to grass for an area of my lawn that is very shady. I need it to prevent soil erosion. Maybe some type of ivy? A: Don’t plant English ivy! Before you know it this vine...

    READ MORE

  • Burford Hollies – Infestation

    Q: Our dwarf Burford hollies had tons of berries, which the birds dutifully picked off. Now the bush is buzzing. There are hundreds of bees living in it. How long will they be here? A: All of our nectar loving...

    READ MORE

  • Magic lily – Growth sequence

    Q: Five years ago I planted several “Magic Lily” bulbs. Every spring the leaves come up on cue. They die back in the summer, but no flowers come up in fall. What is wrong with this picture? A: Magic Lily,...

    READ MORE

  • Deer – Distraction

    Q: Deer have ruined my garden for the last two years. Would it be wise to put out something to distract the deer, such as a feeder? A: You’d like to think that deer would be polite and avoid your...

    READ MORE

  • Fertilizer – Summer heat

    Q: Information I read says to use a fertilizer analysis with biggest number (nitrogen) first. Why would I not need to use products with second number (phosphorus) higher, so my fescue roots are deeper for the summer heat? A: It’s...

    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

Inkberry plants – Purchase

Q: Where can I purchase male and female inkberry plants? A: Inkberry, Ilex glabra, is a great native holly. Unlike many other hollies, its berries are black. Truthfully, I don’t think there is much bang for the buck from this...

READ MORE

Southern Blight – On Creeping Jenny

Q: My creeping Jenny is dying before my eyes. I see these tiny little brown beads on the ground and on the leaves. What is this and what can I use to stop it? A: Your creeping Jenny has Southern...

READ MORE

Fall leaves – Natural areas and islands

Q: Tell me about keeping fall leaves in natural areas and islands from year to year. It is my opinion that the leaves enrich the soil, provide a good mulch and look almost as good as pine straw. Others argue...

READ MORE

Chinda doll – Growth

Q: I have a four-foot tall China Doll plant. It flourished outside but indoors the leaves are yellow and falling off. A: Although China Doll plant, Radermachera sinica, is sold as a house plant, it can eventually grow to 30...

READ MORE

Deer invasion – Spring leaves

Q: We love the mountains and woods but we are having a constant problem with deer. They have severely eaten my ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ holly and ligustrums, both of which we were told “Deer do not eat!”. How do I...

READ MORE

Woodpecker – Prevention

Q: A small woodpecker-type bird is pecking large holes in the synthetic stucco facade of our chimney. What can we do to prevent this? A: Woodpecker “drumming” is common at this time of year. They seem to be making noise...

READ MORE

Camellia – Buds Won’t Open

Q: Now in December, I have a camellia bush loaded with buds that won’t open. They have looked like they want to open for the last two months. It gets nice filtered sun for several hours a day. A: I...

READ MORE

Badminton – Grass type

Q: I am putting a badminton court in my backyard. We play serious badminton four times a week for a couple of hours. Is there a grass that can stand that kind of activity? The site receives six hours of...

READ MORE

Camellias – Feeding

Q: What is the best time to feed camellias? I have several that have been planted for more than fifteen years. A: Camellias need nutrients when their growth starts in early April. You can use granular synthetic fertilizers then; rainfall...

READ MORE

Watering – Yellow leaves

Q: My family has been “showering with buckets” to collect bathwater for months now. We pour the water around plants in our full sun beds. I’ve begun to notice some plants showing yellowish leaves. A: My guess is that the...

READ MORE

Butterfly Bush – Pruning

Q: I went to prune my butterfly bushes this past weekend in late February but they have new green leaves. Should I prune them or not? A: Prune them. Butterfly bush makes blooms on the tips of new branches. If...

READ MORE

Horse manure – Flower garden

Q: I have access to aged horse manure but don’t know how to use it to make a nice flower garden. A: Aged horse manure is a great source of organic humus for your soil. Humus holds nutrients for plant...

READ MORE

Tornado – Saving trees

Q: Our subdivision got hit by the tornado a few weeks ago. It did considerable damage to the small trees in our yard. What are the chances that they’ll survive and stay healthy if we straighten them up and secure...

READ MORE

Shady area – Grass alternative

Q: I want an alternative to grass for an area of my lawn that is very shady. I need it to prevent soil erosion. Maybe some type of ivy? A: Don’t plant English ivy! Before you know it this vine...

READ MORE

Burford Hollies – Infestation

Q: Our dwarf Burford hollies had tons of berries, which the birds dutifully picked off. Now the bush is buzzing. There are hundreds of bees living in it. How long will they be here? A: All of our nectar loving...

READ MORE

Magic lily – Growth sequence

Q: Five years ago I planted several “Magic Lily” bulbs. Every spring the leaves come up on cue. They die back in the summer, but no flowers come up in fall. What is wrong with this picture? A: Magic Lily,...

READ MORE

Deer – Distraction

Q: Deer have ruined my garden for the last two years. Would it be wise to put out something to distract the deer, such as a feeder? A: You’d like to think that deer would be polite and avoid your...

READ MORE

Fertilizer – Summer heat

Q: Information I read says to use a fertilizer analysis with biggest number (nitrogen) first. Why would I not need to use products with second number (phosphorus) higher, so my fescue roots are deeper for the summer heat? A: It’s...

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