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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  • Zenith Zoysia sod – Watering

    Q: My landscape company laid 6500 sq. ft. of ‘Zenith’ zoysia sod in early June. The irrigation company then installed a five-zone sprinkler system. The irrigation folks suggested running the zones full blast each day when I can water. My...

    READ MORE

  • Crepemyrtle (River Birch, Maple) – Bark Peeling

    Q: The bark is splitting and falling off our three-year-old crepe myrtle tree. What can I do? A: This is normal, desired behavior for a crapemyrtle. It’s called bark exfoliation. This characteristic comes by way of the crapemyrtle breeding program...

    READ MORE

  • Mosquito problem – Bat houses

    Q: Our condominium complex has a terrible mosquito problem. What do you think of installing purple martin or bat houses. A: Neither bats nor martins control mosquitoes. In the case of martins, the mosquitoes don’t offer enough protein to make...

    READ MORE

  • Crabgrass – Seeds

    Q: I want to grow crabgrass. Yes, crabgrass. A piece of my property has very poor, eroded soil and nothing grows there except crabgrass. Where can I get crabgrass seeds? I know it goes dormant in winter; I simply want...

    READ MORE

  • Soluble Boron – Purchase

    Q: I have read that I can spray boron on my watermelon plants to improve pollination and fruit set. Do you know where I can purchase some water soluble boron? A: Lack of boron can contribute to poor fruit set...

    READ MORE

  • Amaryllis – Trimming

    Q: I have planted amaryllis outdoors. After they’ve finished blooming do I need to cut the stalks down? How far? A: Cut the thick flower stalks down to their base. Leave the amaryllis foliage in place for the rest of...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese beetles – Life cycle

    Q: What’s become of the Japanese beetles? (Not that I miss them, mind you!) So far I’ve not seen any on our roses, magnolia blossoms, plum and cherry trees. Did I do something last year which interrupted their life cycle?...

    READ MORE

  • Crocus bulb – Cooking

    Q: I heard that the very expensive saffron spice is just the stamen of a crocus bulb. Can I collect them from my garden each spring and use them in my cooking or will I poison myself? A: It’s correct...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn – Fertilizer

    Q: Does ‘Meyer’ zoysia get “old” and eventually die? My twenty-year-old lawn has always been lush and green. This year we have more brown patches than we have lawn. Our lawn service fertilizes six times a year. A: Though they...

    READ MORE

  • Birds – Feeding in Summer

    Q: Should we stop feeding the birds for the summer? Shouldn’t they be looking out for themselves now? A: We feed birds for two reasons: to keep them healthy when natural food sources aren’t present and to bring them closer...

    READ MORE

  • Peony plant – Transplanting

    Q: I have four 15-year-old peony plants. Nearby trees are creating too much shade for good blooms. When is the best time to transplant them to a sunnier location? A: Although they are blooming now, peonies are best divided in...

    READ MORE

  • Blackberry leaves – Bug infestation

    Q: I have found strange bugs eating my blackberry leaves. They are tan, about the size of a BB, and are hard shelled. When I touch one it falls off the plant and acts dead. Damaged leaves have notches along...

    READ MORE

  • Mineralized fertilizer – Meaning

    Q: An older gardening friend says we should all be using mineralized fertilizer. No one seems to know what that means. Can you help? A: It’s sort of like my mother’s muscadine hull pie. Thick muscadine skins are sour and...

    READ MORE

  • Groundcovers – Soggy soil

    Q: I’m looking for groundcovers that tolerate soggy soil. A: Several spreading plants grow reasonably well in wet soil. Creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’), variegated Japanese sedge (Carex morrowii ‘Variegata’), sweet flag (Acorus gramineus ), and bugleweed (Ajuga reptans )...

    READ MORE

  • Destroying weeds – Soil benefits

    Q: I want to plant in an area that’s full of weeds. Would it be better for the soil to cut the tall grass down, wait two days and till it under or spray Roundup on it, wait a while...

    READ MORE

  • Lawnmower – Donation

    Q: My husband and I recently purchased a new lawnmower. We would like to donate our old electric mower to charity. Can you suggest an organization? A: What generosity! The Atlanta Tool Bank (www.toolbank.org) has 200 organizations that depend on...

    READ MORE

  • Plum tree – Saving bark

    Q: Our nine-month-old boxer puppy chewed all of the bark off our plum tree. Is there anything we can do to save this tree? A: I don’t have good news. If the bark has been removed completely around the trunk,...

    READ MORE

  • Rosemary – Pruning

    Q: When is a good time to prune rosemary? How much? A: You can prune just about any time but early April would be “best”. Try to leave a few inches of greenery on each stem you shorten. If you...

    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

Zenith Zoysia sod – Watering

Q: My landscape company laid 6500 sq. ft. of ‘Zenith’ zoysia sod in early June. The irrigation company then installed a five-zone sprinkler system. The irrigation folks suggested running the zones full blast each day when I can water. My...

READ MORE

Crepemyrtle (River Birch, Maple) – Bark Peeling

Q: The bark is splitting and falling off our three-year-old crepe myrtle tree. What can I do? A: This is normal, desired behavior for a crapemyrtle. It’s called bark exfoliation. This characteristic comes by way of the crapemyrtle breeding program...

READ MORE

Mosquito problem – Bat houses

Q: Our condominium complex has a terrible mosquito problem. What do you think of installing purple martin or bat houses. A: Neither bats nor martins control mosquitoes. In the case of martins, the mosquitoes don’t offer enough protein to make...

READ MORE

Crabgrass – Seeds

Q: I want to grow crabgrass. Yes, crabgrass. A piece of my property has very poor, eroded soil and nothing grows there except crabgrass. Where can I get crabgrass seeds? I know it goes dormant in winter; I simply want...

READ MORE

Soluble Boron – Purchase

Q: I have read that I can spray boron on my watermelon plants to improve pollination and fruit set. Do you know where I can purchase some water soluble boron? A: Lack of boron can contribute to poor fruit set...

READ MORE

Amaryllis – Trimming

Q: I have planted amaryllis outdoors. After they’ve finished blooming do I need to cut the stalks down? How far? A: Cut the thick flower stalks down to their base. Leave the amaryllis foliage in place for the rest of...

READ MORE

Japanese beetles – Life cycle

Q: What’s become of the Japanese beetles? (Not that I miss them, mind you!) So far I’ve not seen any on our roses, magnolia blossoms, plum and cherry trees. Did I do something last year which interrupted their life cycle?...

READ MORE

Crocus bulb – Cooking

Q: I heard that the very expensive saffron spice is just the stamen of a crocus bulb. Can I collect them from my garden each spring and use them in my cooking or will I poison myself? A: It’s correct...

READ MORE

Lawn – Fertilizer

Q: Does ‘Meyer’ zoysia get “old” and eventually die? My twenty-year-old lawn has always been lush and green. This year we have more brown patches than we have lawn. Our lawn service fertilizes six times a year. A: Though they...

READ MORE

Birds – Feeding in Summer

Q: Should we stop feeding the birds for the summer? Shouldn’t they be looking out for themselves now? A: We feed birds for two reasons: to keep them healthy when natural food sources aren’t present and to bring them closer...

READ MORE

Peony plant – Transplanting

Q: I have four 15-year-old peony plants. Nearby trees are creating too much shade for good blooms. When is the best time to transplant them to a sunnier location? A: Although they are blooming now, peonies are best divided in...

READ MORE

Blackberry leaves – Bug infestation

Q: I have found strange bugs eating my blackberry leaves. They are tan, about the size of a BB, and are hard shelled. When I touch one it falls off the plant and acts dead. Damaged leaves have notches along...

READ MORE

Mineralized fertilizer – Meaning

Q: An older gardening friend says we should all be using mineralized fertilizer. No one seems to know what that means. Can you help? A: It’s sort of like my mother’s muscadine hull pie. Thick muscadine skins are sour and...

READ MORE

Groundcovers – Soggy soil

Q: I’m looking for groundcovers that tolerate soggy soil. A: Several spreading plants grow reasonably well in wet soil. Creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’), variegated Japanese sedge (Carex morrowii ‘Variegata’), sweet flag (Acorus gramineus ), and bugleweed (Ajuga reptans )...

READ MORE

Destroying weeds – Soil benefits

Q: I want to plant in an area that’s full of weeds. Would it be better for the soil to cut the tall grass down, wait two days and till it under or spray Roundup on it, wait a while...

READ MORE

Lawnmower – Donation

Q: My husband and I recently purchased a new lawnmower. We would like to donate our old electric mower to charity. Can you suggest an organization? A: What generosity! The Atlanta Tool Bank (www.toolbank.org) has 200 organizations that depend on...

READ MORE

Plum tree – Saving bark

Q: Our nine-month-old boxer puppy chewed all of the bark off our plum tree. Is there anything we can do to save this tree? A: I don’t have good news. If the bark has been removed completely around the trunk,...

READ MORE

Rosemary – Pruning

Q: When is a good time to prune rosemary? How much? A: You can prune just about any time but early April would be “best”. Try to leave a few inches of greenery on each stem you shorten. If you...

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