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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Squash and zucchini – Pulling off

    Q: I am growing squash and zucchini. I have two large yellow squash that are slightly green on the end and I am not sure when to pull them off. A: You can pick yellow squash and zucchini at any...

    READ MORE

  • Sweetgums – Shrub

    Q: I had a sweetgum tree growing underneath my power lines. The electric company came and cut it down. I have been trimming the stump sprouts like a shrub and it looks nice. Is there any reason that I can’t...

    READ MORE

  • Dogwoods – Climate change

    Q: I have a dogwood with great sentimental value. My husband’s job is transferring us to Tampa. Do dogwoods do well in that climate? Is it possible to dig my tree up and replant down there? A: I’m not sure...

    READ MORE

  • Camellias – Pruning

    Q: I need some information on pruning camellias at this time of year. A: Flower buds have already formed on camellia branch tips. If you want flowers next season, prune lightly now, trying to remove only the longest branches but...

    READ MORE

  • Horse Manure – Fertilizer

    Q: I have an unlimited supply of horse manure. Can I use this as mulch/fertilizer around my bushes and trees without hurting them? A: If the manure has been composted long enough that it doesn’t smell like ammonia and the...

    READ MORE

  • Roses – virus

    Q: I have nearly two hundred roses. Recently I’ve noticed several plants with bizarre buds/leaves/stems. I am convinced that I’m dealing with rose rosette virus. One plant looks like it came from outer space; the thorns are truly like shark’s...

    READ MORE

  • Horticulturist – Alpharetta school

    Q: I am a thirty eight year old medical sales professional and want to pursue a career in horticulture. Can you recommend a school in Alpharetta or nearby where I can obtain the credentials as a qualified horticulturist? A: The...

    READ MORE

  • Peace lily – Possible divide

    Q: Is it possible to divide a peace lily? A: Sure, it’s a perfect project to keep you indoors out of the heat! Spread newspaper on your kitchen table and pull the plant out of the pot. You’ll notice that...

    READ MORE

  • Hornworms – Garden tomatoes

    Q: Last year I had a problem with hornworms on my garden tomatoes. This year I planted tomatoes in containers on my very high deck, using store-bought potting soil. The hornworms are terrible still! Where did they come from? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Charcoal dust – Garden use

    Q: Does charcoal dust from my grill have any use in the garden? A: No. Discard it safely after it has...

    READ MORE

  • Brown porch beetle – Identification

    Q: On your website you mention a brown beetle that “swarms around porch lights at night”. I have so many I can barely open my back door. I would like to know what they are and how to get rid...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia – Leaving Unmowed

    Q: I would like to improve my carbon footprint by not using a gas powered mower and letting my zoysia just grow. It has already gone to seed and still looks good. What damage am I doing to the grass?...

    READ MORE

  • Purple-leaf plums – Edible

    Q: My old purple-leaf plum trees unexpectedly have lots of red skinned fruit on them. Since it’s fashionable to grow edibles in our landscape, how I can tell whether these plums are edible for humans (I don’t want to be...

    READ MORE

  • Rabbiteye blueberry – Pruning

    Q: My parents have three five-year-old rabbiteye blueberry bushes. A huge tree that landed right on top of them a few weeks ago. The blueberries are crushed but seem to have survived. Should I prune now or wait? A: As...

    READ MORE

  • Perennial bed – Improved soil

    Q: I had professional landscaping done in my back yard late last fall. Included was a perennial bed that was supposed to be tilled and the soil amended properly. The center of the bed appears OK, but the edge still...

    READ MORE

  • Maple Tree – Survival

    Q: Landscapers planted a tall maple tree by our community mailbox area, then covered under it with pine straw. I am watering the tree every other day to help it survive. What should I do now? Fertilize? A: Watering every...

    READ MORE

  • Blackberry vines – Weeds

    Q: I have planted several blackberry vines. Now sprouts are popping up all over the yard. They look like blackberries but the more they grow the less they seem to be. How can I identify what is the real blackberry...

    READ MORE

  • Four O’clock Plant – Control

    Q: What is the best method to remove four o’clocks. My ex-wife thought it would be a grand idea to have them around. Five years later they are taking over everywhere! When should I dig the tubers? Or is there...

    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

Squash and zucchini – Pulling off

Q: I am growing squash and zucchini. I have two large yellow squash that are slightly green on the end and I am not sure when to pull them off. A: You can pick yellow squash and zucchini at any...

READ MORE

Sweetgums – Shrub

Q: I had a sweetgum tree growing underneath my power lines. The electric company came and cut it down. I have been trimming the stump sprouts like a shrub and it looks nice. Is there any reason that I can’t...

READ MORE

Dogwoods – Climate change

Q: I have a dogwood with great sentimental value. My husband’s job is transferring us to Tampa. Do dogwoods do well in that climate? Is it possible to dig my tree up and replant down there? A: I’m not sure...

READ MORE

Camellias – Pruning

Q: I need some information on pruning camellias at this time of year. A: Flower buds have already formed on camellia branch tips. If you want flowers next season, prune lightly now, trying to remove only the longest branches but...

READ MORE

Horse Manure – Fertilizer

Q: I have an unlimited supply of horse manure. Can I use this as mulch/fertilizer around my bushes and trees without hurting them? A: If the manure has been composted long enough that it doesn’t smell like ammonia and the...

READ MORE

Roses – virus

Q: I have nearly two hundred roses. Recently I’ve noticed several plants with bizarre buds/leaves/stems. I am convinced that I’m dealing with rose rosette virus. One plant looks like it came from outer space; the thorns are truly like shark’s...

READ MORE

Horticulturist – Alpharetta school

Q: I am a thirty eight year old medical sales professional and want to pursue a career in horticulture. Can you recommend a school in Alpharetta or nearby where I can obtain the credentials as a qualified horticulturist? A: The...

READ MORE

Peace lily – Possible divide

Q: Is it possible to divide a peace lily? A: Sure, it’s a perfect project to keep you indoors out of the heat! Spread newspaper on your kitchen table and pull the plant out of the pot. You’ll notice that...

READ MORE

Hornworms – Garden tomatoes

Q: Last year I had a problem with hornworms on my garden tomatoes. This year I planted tomatoes in containers on my very high deck, using store-bought potting soil. The hornworms are terrible still! Where did they come from? A:...

READ MORE

Charcoal dust – Garden use

Q: Does charcoal dust from my grill have any use in the garden? A: No. Discard it safely after it has...

READ MORE

Brown porch beetle – Identification

Q: On your website you mention a brown beetle that “swarms around porch lights at night”. I have so many I can barely open my back door. I would like to know what they are and how to get rid...

READ MORE

Zoysia – Leaving Unmowed

Q: I would like to improve my carbon footprint by not using a gas powered mower and letting my zoysia just grow. It has already gone to seed and still looks good. What damage am I doing to the grass?...

READ MORE

Purple-leaf plums – Edible

Q: My old purple-leaf plum trees unexpectedly have lots of red skinned fruit on them. Since it’s fashionable to grow edibles in our landscape, how I can tell whether these plums are edible for humans (I don’t want to be...

READ MORE

Rabbiteye blueberry – Pruning

Q: My parents have three five-year-old rabbiteye blueberry bushes. A huge tree that landed right on top of them a few weeks ago. The blueberries are crushed but seem to have survived. Should I prune now or wait? A: As...

READ MORE

Perennial bed – Improved soil

Q: I had professional landscaping done in my back yard late last fall. Included was a perennial bed that was supposed to be tilled and the soil amended properly. The center of the bed appears OK, but the edge still...

READ MORE

Maple Tree – Survival

Q: Landscapers planted a tall maple tree by our community mailbox area, then covered under it with pine straw. I am watering the tree every other day to help it survive. What should I do now? Fertilize? A: Watering every...

READ MORE

Blackberry vines – Weeds

Q: I have planted several blackberry vines. Now sprouts are popping up all over the yard. They look like blackberries but the more they grow the less they seem to be. How can I identify what is the real blackberry...

READ MORE

Four O’clock Plant – Control

Q: What is the best method to remove four o’clocks. My ex-wife thought it would be a grand idea to have them around. Five years later they are taking over everywhere! When should I dig the tubers? Or is there...

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