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
  • Perennials – Seed meal

    Q: I am going to feed my perennials and shrubs with cotton seed meal this spring. Is it too early to begin? A: One of the great things about using organic fertilizers like cottonseed meal, composted hen manure, blood meal,...

    READ MORE

  • Pine straw – Weed control

    Q: We have a large area covered in pine straw. Roundup is fine for spot killing the weeds but what do you recommend to lay down for more control of weeds? A: If there are trees or shrubs in the...

    READ MORE

  • Fertilizing – Drought

    Q: Should we skip fertilizing our lawn this year since we are likely to continue our drought conditions? A: Don’t skip the lawn feeding. I am certain that rain will come this spring. All you have to do is time...

    READ MORE

  • Eagle Scout – Historical trees

    Q: My nephew’s Eagle Scout project is to find trees with historical significance during the colonial period. He is having difficulty finding information on these trees in Georgia. A: Since Georgia had few cities in colonial times, few trees from...

    READ MORE

  • Heater malfunction – Cleaning plants

    Q: We had a kerosene heater malfunction in our greenhouse. Soot covers the plants. What is the safest way to clean them? A: I’d use soap (not a detergent) on your plant leaves. Soaps include Ivory bar soap and castille...

    READ MORE

  • Boric Acid – Rescue

    Q: My husband put several tablespoonfuls of boric acid on my crown of thorns and a gardenia, trying to kill ants. Now these two houseplants are suffering greatly. Is there anything I can do to rescue them? A: Boron is...

    READ MORE

  • Bathwater – Plant coloring

    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

  • Fleas – Control

    Q: I went into the dirt-floored utility room under my house and came out covered with fleas. I don’t have a dog or cat, so how did they get there and how can I control them? A: Dogs and cats...

    READ MORE

  • Ants – Grass growth

    Q: I have noticed in my thin Bermuda lawn that whenever I kill a fire ant mound the grass grows up on the ant site with a vengeance. Do the ants secrete something? My wife thinks it is because ants...

    READ MORE

  • Invisible seeds – Planting

    Q: What is the best method for planting almost invisible seeds? I bought corkscrew plant seeds and I would like to get as many plants as possible from the package of 25 minuscule seeds. A: There are a couple of...

    READ MORE

  • Rain barrels – Soaker hose

    Q: We invested in some rain barrels after the recent drought. They are inconveniently located on the low side of the house. Is there a reasonably priced pump I can use with a soaker hose? A: Frank Henning, University of...

    READ MORE

  • Yoshino Cherry – Edible

    Q: Is the fruit of ‘Yoshino’ cherry edible? My five-year old tree produced fruit for the first time this year. A: ‘Yoshino’ fruits are edible, but only birds and small animals enjoy consuming them. The pit (seed) is huge in...

    READ MORE

  • 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...

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  • 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

  • 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

Perennials – Seed meal

Q: I am going to feed my perennials and shrubs with cotton seed meal this spring. Is it too early to begin? A: One of the great things about using organic fertilizers like cottonseed meal, composted hen manure, blood meal,...

READ MORE

Pine straw – Weed control

Q: We have a large area covered in pine straw. Roundup is fine for spot killing the weeds but what do you recommend to lay down for more control of weeds? A: If there are trees or shrubs in the...

READ MORE

Fertilizing – Drought

Q: Should we skip fertilizing our lawn this year since we are likely to continue our drought conditions? A: Don’t skip the lawn feeding. I am certain that rain will come this spring. All you have to do is time...

READ MORE

Eagle Scout – Historical trees

Q: My nephew’s Eagle Scout project is to find trees with historical significance during the colonial period. He is having difficulty finding information on these trees in Georgia. A: Since Georgia had few cities in colonial times, few trees from...

READ MORE

Heater malfunction – Cleaning plants

Q: We had a kerosene heater malfunction in our greenhouse. Soot covers the plants. What is the safest way to clean them? A: I’d use soap (not a detergent) on your plant leaves. Soaps include Ivory bar soap and castille...

READ MORE

Boric Acid – Rescue

Q: My husband put several tablespoonfuls of boric acid on my crown of thorns and a gardenia, trying to kill ants. Now these two houseplants are suffering greatly. Is there anything I can do to rescue them? A: Boron is...

READ MORE

Bathwater – Plant coloring

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

Fleas – Control

Q: I went into the dirt-floored utility room under my house and came out covered with fleas. I don’t have a dog or cat, so how did they get there and how can I control them? A: Dogs and cats...

READ MORE

Ants – Grass growth

Q: I have noticed in my thin Bermuda lawn that whenever I kill a fire ant mound the grass grows up on the ant site with a vengeance. Do the ants secrete something? My wife thinks it is because ants...

READ MORE

Invisible seeds – Planting

Q: What is the best method for planting almost invisible seeds? I bought corkscrew plant seeds and I would like to get as many plants as possible from the package of 25 minuscule seeds. A: There are a couple of...

READ MORE

Rain barrels – Soaker hose

Q: We invested in some rain barrels after the recent drought. They are inconveniently located on the low side of the house. Is there a reasonably priced pump I can use with a soaker hose? A: Frank Henning, University of...

READ MORE

Yoshino Cherry – Edible

Q: Is the fruit of ‘Yoshino’ cherry edible? My five-year old tree produced fruit for the first time this year. A: ‘Yoshino’ fruits are edible, but only birds and small animals enjoy consuming them. The pit (seed) is huge in...

READ MORE

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

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