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
  • 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

  • Ficus and schefflera trees – Repotting

    Q: I have six-year old, very large potted ficus and schefflera trees, about nine feet tall. I’m sure fertilizer salts have built up in the soil. I know that the best thing to do would be to repot them with...

    READ MORE

  • Potting soils – Saturation

    Q: When I use some potting soils for the first time they are very dry in the bag. Water runs off it like plastic and doesn’t soak in. Why does it do that and how do I get it saturated?...

    READ MORE

  • Phalaenopsis orchid – Growth

    Q: After my phalaenopsis orchid bloomed I cut the dead flowers off at the bottom of the last bloom. Now I have two leaves growing where I cut the flowers off. How can I remove the new growth and keep...

    READ MORE

  • Indoor palm – Spider mites

    Q: I received an indoor palm as a housewarming gift. The leaves have started browning and it appears to have cobwebs in between some of the fronds. Could this be spider mites? A: Palms are famous for getting spider mites...

    READ MORE

  • Dryer lint – Birds

    Q: When do we start putting out dryer lint for our birds? I have been collecting it for months. Back in Texas I put it on the shrubbery and in one half hour it was gone. A: Dryer lint is...

    READ MORE

  • Boxwoods – Sprouting

    Q: I have boxwoods that have gotten out of hand. If I cut them back drastically will they sprout back from the stubs that are left? A: Unlike holly, boxwood is slow to respond when pruned severely. For a big...

    READ MORE

  • Cherry Tree – Pruning

    Q: I have a ‘Snow Fountain’ weeping cherry tree. I’ve noticed a lot of the limbs reach the ground; some even stretch out on the ground. How should it be pruned? A: ‘Snow Fountain’ cherry is a beautiful small tree...

    READ MORE

  • SunLite potatoes – Growth

    Q: I’ve read about low carb “SunLite” potatoes grown in Florida. Is this something that a home gardener could raise in north Georgia? A: Low-carb potatoes are a bit of marketing legerdemain. Vegetable expert George Boyhan says most potatoes have...

    READ MORE

  • Willows – Planting outdoors

    Q: I have some willows that have rooted in water and are beginning to sprout. When may I plant them outdoors? A: Wait until the roots are four inches long. At that time, gently transplant the sprouted cuttings into gallon...

    READ MORE

  • Milorganite – Deer

    Q: I have heard that Milorganite is good for keeping deer away from gardens. We have two acres which are “salad bars” for deer. Any advice? A: Many things are reputed to repel deer: hair, coyote urine, soap, etc. In...

    READ MORE

  • Drought – Supplemental watering

    Q: You recently wrote that even with our drought, supplemental watering isn’t generally needed in the winter. What are some guidelines as to when I should re-start watering my camellias and azaleas? A: Water loss from the soil is caused...

    READ MORE

  • Daphnes – Layer branches

    Q: I’m growing daphnes. While educating myself, I ran across this statement: “One can layer branches of daphne in the spring.” Would you explain what they mean by “layer branches” ? A: “Layering” a branch means to help it form...

    READ MORE

  • Cool weather grass – Horses

    Q: Can you suggest a cool weather grass for horses? I know Kentucky 31 is available but I’m wondering if there is something better that will tolerate the heat and drought. A: Fescue is usually the best choice for cool...

    READ MORE

  • Nandina – Pruning

    Q: Is it safe to prune my nandina now? I don’t want to affect the berries later this year. A: March is the very best time to prune common nandina. Cut a third of the canes at 12 inches high,...

    READ MORE

  • Crapemyrtle – Transplanting

    Q: I have new crepe myrtles that have sprouted up a few feet from the main tree. How do I transplant them to other areas of my yard? A: I think you’ll find that the new sprouts are attached to...

    READ MORE

  • Sunflowers – Black oil seeds

    Q: I want to plant sunflowers in a pasture. Will normal black oil seeds that you buy for bird feed sprout? A: They sprout like crazy under my birdfeeder so I don’t see why they wouldn’t do well for your...

    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

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

Ficus and schefflera trees – Repotting

Q: I have six-year old, very large potted ficus and schefflera trees, about nine feet tall. I’m sure fertilizer salts have built up in the soil. I know that the best thing to do would be to repot them with...

READ MORE

Potting soils – Saturation

Q: When I use some potting soils for the first time they are very dry in the bag. Water runs off it like plastic and doesn’t soak in. Why does it do that and how do I get it saturated?...

READ MORE

Phalaenopsis orchid – Growth

Q: After my phalaenopsis orchid bloomed I cut the dead flowers off at the bottom of the last bloom. Now I have two leaves growing where I cut the flowers off. How can I remove the new growth and keep...

READ MORE

Indoor palm – Spider mites

Q: I received an indoor palm as a housewarming gift. The leaves have started browning and it appears to have cobwebs in between some of the fronds. Could this be spider mites? A: Palms are famous for getting spider mites...

READ MORE

Dryer lint – Birds

Q: When do we start putting out dryer lint for our birds? I have been collecting it for months. Back in Texas I put it on the shrubbery and in one half hour it was gone. A: Dryer lint is...

READ MORE

Boxwoods – Sprouting

Q: I have boxwoods that have gotten out of hand. If I cut them back drastically will they sprout back from the stubs that are left? A: Unlike holly, boxwood is slow to respond when pruned severely. For a big...

READ MORE

Cherry Tree – Pruning

Q: I have a ‘Snow Fountain’ weeping cherry tree. I’ve noticed a lot of the limbs reach the ground; some even stretch out on the ground. How should it be pruned? A: ‘Snow Fountain’ cherry is a beautiful small tree...

READ MORE

SunLite potatoes – Growth

Q: I’ve read about low carb “SunLite” potatoes grown in Florida. Is this something that a home gardener could raise in north Georgia? A: Low-carb potatoes are a bit of marketing legerdemain. Vegetable expert George Boyhan says most potatoes have...

READ MORE

Willows – Planting outdoors

Q: I have some willows that have rooted in water and are beginning to sprout. When may I plant them outdoors? A: Wait until the roots are four inches long. At that time, gently transplant the sprouted cuttings into gallon...

READ MORE

Milorganite – Deer

Q: I have heard that Milorganite is good for keeping deer away from gardens. We have two acres which are “salad bars” for deer. Any advice? A: Many things are reputed to repel deer: hair, coyote urine, soap, etc. In...

READ MORE

Drought – Supplemental watering

Q: You recently wrote that even with our drought, supplemental watering isn’t generally needed in the winter. What are some guidelines as to when I should re-start watering my camellias and azaleas? A: Water loss from the soil is caused...

READ MORE

Daphnes – Layer branches

Q: I’m growing daphnes. While educating myself, I ran across this statement: “One can layer branches of daphne in the spring.” Would you explain what they mean by “layer branches” ? A: “Layering” a branch means to help it form...

READ MORE

Cool weather grass – Horses

Q: Can you suggest a cool weather grass for horses? I know Kentucky 31 is available but I’m wondering if there is something better that will tolerate the heat and drought. A: Fescue is usually the best choice for cool...

READ MORE

Nandina – Pruning

Q: Is it safe to prune my nandina now? I don’t want to affect the berries later this year. A: March is the very best time to prune common nandina. Cut a third of the canes at 12 inches high,...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – Transplanting

Q: I have new crepe myrtles that have sprouted up a few feet from the main tree. How do I transplant them to other areas of my yard? A: I think you’ll find that the new sprouts are attached to...

READ MORE

Sunflowers – Black oil seeds

Q: I want to plant sunflowers in a pasture. Will normal black oil seeds that you buy for bird feed sprout? A: They sprout like crazy under my birdfeeder so I don’t see why they wouldn’t do well for your...

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