Featured Article

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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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 unless it is severely pruned. Crapemyrtles do not HAVE TO...

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, then choose your method of weed control. Remember: healthy, vigorous...

READ MORE

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Azaleas – Blooming

    Q: I am curious as to why azaleas bloom so profusely and with such vibrant colors when there is no apparent resultant benefit of seed production? A: Native plant expert Theresa Schrum says many of the cultivated azaleas that you...

    READ MORE

  • River birch – Concrete

    Q: We are considering planting a river birch tree seven feet from a driveway. I have been warned that these trees have roots that can ruin concrete. We were told by an inspector that we have an underground stream running...

    READ MORE

  • David viburnum – Brown spotsI

    Q: I have a beautiful David viburnum and it has several branches with all the leaves brown and more with brown spots. What’s happening? A: Although I once recommended it, I have lost confidence in this shrub, Viburnum davidii, for...

    READ MORE

  • Fescue – No Weed Killer Before Seeding

    Q: Is it OK to put out Weed B Gon to kill weeds before I plant fescue seed? A: No – it’s not OK. Weed expert Dr Mark Czarnota says “This class of herbicide has preemergence activity on most plants...

    READ MORE

  • Weed killers – Vinegar

    Q: You always recommend the popular brand name weed killers but these are expensive to use. Vinegar will kill weeds and is only $2.00 a gallon. Is there some reason it should not be used? A: I sometimes recommend brand...

    READ MORE

  • Blue junipers – Pruning

    Q: Please tell me when and how to prune blue junipers. We have some that are getting too big. A: The best time to prune junipers is right after new growth begins, probably in mid- to late April. Plan your...

    READ MORE

  • Compost tumbler – Instructions

    Q: I bought a compost tumbler last summer. I balanced the amount of green and brown matter I put in and I turn the tumbler a couple times a week. Now it is three-quarters full but nothing seems to be...

    READ MORE

  • Tree – Memorable

    Q: We’d like to plant a tree in honor and memory of a beloved family dog. I want to place a permanent marker of some sort beneath the tree. Do you have any suggestions about how to do this? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Roly-poly (sowbug, pillbug) – Overabundance

    Q: Are an overabundance of roly-poly bugs a problem? A: These shrimp-kin are not usually a problem except when very young seedlings or transplants are present. They will chew on the stems and consume enough leaves to kill the plants....

    READ MORE

  • Black currant – Variety

    Q: I would like to grow black currant bushes. Are there any varieties which can be grown in GA? A: Unfortunately, our summers are much too hot for currants. The only place I would try to grow them is in...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia – Overseed

    Q: My turf care company told me that I need to overseed the thin zoysia in my shady back yard with zoysiagrass seed. Does this make sense? A: If the thin areas are bare enough that you won’t worry about...

    READ MORE

  • Golf course – Green grass

    Q: How does a golf course with bermuda or bentgrass greens keep them green in the winter? A: Bermudagrass is normally brown in winter so golf courses overseed with ryegrass in September. The ryegrass is green all winter, keeping the...

    READ MORE

  • Compost pile – Grass clippings

    Q: I have a compost pile that is heating up very nicely. Should I be concerned with using grass clippings that may contain weed seeds? A: If the pile gets hot enough (140 degrees for 3 days) you’ll kill the...

    READ MORE

  • Standing water – Evergreen

    Q: I have area where water stands after we get rain. I’ve had Leyland cypress there but they are dying because of wet feet. I need an evergreen plant for screening that’s six feet tall. A: The following shrubs can...

    READ MORE

  • Snakes – Protection

    Q: Last summer, my lawn care crew killed a copperhead snake in the ivy behind my house. There is a creek nearby. I’ve heard that spreading lime or mothballs in the ivy would deter the snakes. Do either of these...

    READ MORE

  • Willows – Health

    Q: I have two four-year old willow oaks in my backyard. One is much fuller and its leaves look healthier than the other. I might have planted the one that looks less healthy too low in the ground? If this...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia – Planting

    Q: I’ve got a back yard that is two-thirds zoysia and one-third weeds. I would like to plug pieces of the existing zoysia into the non-zoysia areas. When is the best time of year to do this? A: Mid-May through...

    READ MORE

  • Peach tree – Planting

    Q: We recently bought a peach tree in a pot. It has already started fruiting. Would it be better to wait until after it produces its fruit to plant it or should we plant it in the ground? 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 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

Azaleas – Blooming

Q: I am curious as to why azaleas bloom so profusely and with such vibrant colors when there is no apparent resultant benefit of seed production? A: Native plant expert Theresa Schrum says many of the cultivated azaleas that you...

READ MORE

River birch – Concrete

Q: We are considering planting a river birch tree seven feet from a driveway. I have been warned that these trees have roots that can ruin concrete. We were told by an inspector that we have an underground stream running...

READ MORE

David viburnum – Brown spotsI

Q: I have a beautiful David viburnum and it has several branches with all the leaves brown and more with brown spots. What’s happening? A: Although I once recommended it, I have lost confidence in this shrub, Viburnum davidii, for...

READ MORE

Fescue – No Weed Killer Before Seeding

Q: Is it OK to put out Weed B Gon to kill weeds before I plant fescue seed? A: No – it’s not OK. Weed expert Dr Mark Czarnota says “This class of herbicide has preemergence activity on most plants...

READ MORE

Weed killers – Vinegar

Q: You always recommend the popular brand name weed killers but these are expensive to use. Vinegar will kill weeds and is only $2.00 a gallon. Is there some reason it should not be used? A: I sometimes recommend brand...

READ MORE

Blue junipers – Pruning

Q: Please tell me when and how to prune blue junipers. We have some that are getting too big. A: The best time to prune junipers is right after new growth begins, probably in mid- to late April. Plan your...

READ MORE

Compost tumbler – Instructions

Q: I bought a compost tumbler last summer. I balanced the amount of green and brown matter I put in and I turn the tumbler a couple times a week. Now it is three-quarters full but nothing seems to be...

READ MORE

Tree – Memorable

Q: We’d like to plant a tree in honor and memory of a beloved family dog. I want to place a permanent marker of some sort beneath the tree. Do you have any suggestions about how to do this? A:...

READ MORE

Roly-poly (sowbug, pillbug) – Overabundance

Q: Are an overabundance of roly-poly bugs a problem? A: These shrimp-kin are not usually a problem except when very young seedlings or transplants are present. They will chew on the stems and consume enough leaves to kill the plants....

READ MORE

Black currant – Variety

Q: I would like to grow black currant bushes. Are there any varieties which can be grown in GA? A: Unfortunately, our summers are much too hot for currants. The only place I would try to grow them is in...

READ MORE

Zoysia – Overseed

Q: My turf care company told me that I need to overseed the thin zoysia in my shady back yard with zoysiagrass seed. Does this make sense? A: If the thin areas are bare enough that you won’t worry about...

READ MORE

Golf course – Green grass

Q: How does a golf course with bermuda or bentgrass greens keep them green in the winter? A: Bermudagrass is normally brown in winter so golf courses overseed with ryegrass in September. The ryegrass is green all winter, keeping the...

READ MORE

Compost pile – Grass clippings

Q: I have a compost pile that is heating up very nicely. Should I be concerned with using grass clippings that may contain weed seeds? A: If the pile gets hot enough (140 degrees for 3 days) you’ll kill the...

READ MORE

Standing water – Evergreen

Q: I have area where water stands after we get rain. I’ve had Leyland cypress there but they are dying because of wet feet. I need an evergreen plant for screening that’s six feet tall. A: The following shrubs can...

READ MORE

Snakes – Protection

Q: Last summer, my lawn care crew killed a copperhead snake in the ivy behind my house. There is a creek nearby. I’ve heard that spreading lime or mothballs in the ivy would deter the snakes. Do either of these...

READ MORE

Willows – Health

Q: I have two four-year old willow oaks in my backyard. One is much fuller and its leaves look healthier than the other. I might have planted the one that looks less healthy too low in the ground? If this...

READ MORE

Zoysia – Planting

Q: I’ve got a back yard that is two-thirds zoysia and one-third weeds. I would like to plug pieces of the existing zoysia into the non-zoysia areas. When is the best time of year to do this? A: Mid-May through...

READ MORE

Peach tree – Planting

Q: We recently bought a peach tree in a pot. It has already started fruiting. Would it be better to wait until after it produces its fruit to plant it or should we plant it in the ground? 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 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