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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  • Thorny plants – Crime deterrent

    Q: What are some of the best thorny plants to grow under windows as a crime deterrent? The house gets full to part sun on all sides. A: Chinese holly, barberry, shrub rose (Knockout, Nearly Wild or rugosa), pyracantha, mahonia,...

    READ MORE

  • Tree replacing – Berries smell

    Q: I want to replace a tree that we had to cut down with a ginkgo. I have heard that either the male or female variety has berries and smells bad A: Female ginkgo trees produce primitive seeds covered by...

    READ MORE

  • Small farming – Project ideas

    Q: I’m on the heart transplant list at Emory – bet you haven’t had too many of us contact you!. When I get out and heal up, I want to do some small farming: animals, orchard, vegetables, etc. on 100...

    READ MORE

  • Neem trees – Growth areas

    Q: I grew up in Gujarat, India, where I played among the surrounding neem trees. They had many uses: a leaf tea comforted rashes, twigs were used for cleaning teeth, smoke from the leaves kept mosquitoes and bugs away. I...

    READ MORE

  • Burlapped ‘Allee’ Elm – Recovery

    Q: We bought a healthy looking balled and burlapped ‘Allee’ Elm from a tree farm. After about two days in the ground the leaves started to wrinkle and turn brown. Do you think it will recover by next spring? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Beautyberry – Poisonous

    Q: Are the berries of the American beautyberry poisonous? Should I plant it in an area restricted from small children? A: I can’t find any mention of them being poisonous. Birds certainly enjoy them each fall. There is a long...

    READ MORE

  • Garden pest – Guide

    Q: I’m searching for a good garden pest management guide, preferably one that includes pictures of the pests and organic pesticides. A: Rodale’s Pest and Disease Problem Solver is quite good. I’m glad you are interested in identifying the insect...

    READ MORE

  • Crapemyrtle – Height

    Q: Are there any crape myrtles that grow no taller than 6 or 7 feet? We are landscaping under power lines but don’t want to commit “crape murder” every year. A: ‘Acoma’ (white), ‘Hopi’ (pink) or ‘Tonto’ (red) crapemyrtles would...

    READ MORE

  • School garden – Rain barrels

    Q: My daughter’s school is trying to establish a community garden. Are rain barrels an option for a school building? A: Rain barrels are perfectly suited for a school once you get permission to cut into the gutters or drain...

    READ MORE

  • Cactus – Bug spray

    Q: I have a cactus in a pot that I will plant in the spring. What do I spray it with before I bring it into the house for the winter to make sure I am not bringing in bugs?...

    READ MORE

  • Boston fern – Naming

    Q: I was winterizing my wife’s Boston ferns and became puzzled. How did a fern that will not survive the weather outdoors in Boston become named after that city? Or was it named after someone named Boston? A: Boston fern,...

    READ MORE

  • Ceramic pot – Fountain

    Q: I have a big ceramic pot that I have made into a fountain. What do I need to do for winter? Is it okay to just keep pumping? A: For most outdoor fountains, it’s best to turn it off...

    READ MORE

  • Termites – Company investigation

    Q: We just moved to Georgia and bought a split level home on concrete slab. We had to have a termite letter on day of closing. The inspector cleared us but later termites were found. Will the state investigate the...

    READ MORE

  • Soil ring – Tree planting

    Q: My wife and I watched your TV show where you discussed the soil ring you make after planting a tree. You said that it should not be left longer than the first year. Why not? A: Tree experts say...

    READ MORE

  • Golf course – Tree planting

    Q: I volunteer for a disc golf course. We would like to plant some trees in the park’s big open fields, a former cow pasture with red clay soil. What trees do well in that environment? A: I think some...

    READ MORE

  • Rescued tomatoes – Ripening

    Q: Now that I have rescued my large green tomatoes from the coming frost, what now? How do I ensure that they will continue to ripen? A: If a tomato has just a bit of pink showing on the blossom...

    READ MORE

  • Azalea – Stem growth

    Q: A friend’s azalea plant has an odd growth on one of the stems. Should the growth be cut off? A: It looks like someone sprayed Roundup too close to the plant. I got a bit reckless with Roundup near...

    READ MORE

  • September bulbs – Early rising

    Q: I planted bulbs in September and they are coming up already: way too early! Should I be concerned about this? A: The bulbs won’t be hurt at all; they will flower normally in spring. Early emergence does use resources...

    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

Thorny plants – Crime deterrent

Q: What are some of the best thorny plants to grow under windows as a crime deterrent? The house gets full to part sun on all sides. A: Chinese holly, barberry, shrub rose (Knockout, Nearly Wild or rugosa), pyracantha, mahonia,...

READ MORE

Tree replacing – Berries smell

Q: I want to replace a tree that we had to cut down with a ginkgo. I have heard that either the male or female variety has berries and smells bad A: Female ginkgo trees produce primitive seeds covered by...

READ MORE

Small farming – Project ideas

Q: I’m on the heart transplant list at Emory – bet you haven’t had too many of us contact you!. When I get out and heal up, I want to do some small farming: animals, orchard, vegetables, etc. on 100...

READ MORE

Neem trees – Growth areas

Q: I grew up in Gujarat, India, where I played among the surrounding neem trees. They had many uses: a leaf tea comforted rashes, twigs were used for cleaning teeth, smoke from the leaves kept mosquitoes and bugs away. I...

READ MORE

Burlapped ‘Allee’ Elm – Recovery

Q: We bought a healthy looking balled and burlapped ‘Allee’ Elm from a tree farm. After about two days in the ground the leaves started to wrinkle and turn brown. Do you think it will recover by next spring? A:...

READ MORE

Beautyberry – Poisonous

Q: Are the berries of the American beautyberry poisonous? Should I plant it in an area restricted from small children? A: I can’t find any mention of them being poisonous. Birds certainly enjoy them each fall. There is a long...

READ MORE

Garden pest – Guide

Q: I’m searching for a good garden pest management guide, preferably one that includes pictures of the pests and organic pesticides. A: Rodale’s Pest and Disease Problem Solver is quite good. I’m glad you are interested in identifying the insect...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – Height

Q: Are there any crape myrtles that grow no taller than 6 or 7 feet? We are landscaping under power lines but don’t want to commit “crape murder” every year. A: ‘Acoma’ (white), ‘Hopi’ (pink) or ‘Tonto’ (red) crapemyrtles would...

READ MORE

School garden – Rain barrels

Q: My daughter’s school is trying to establish a community garden. Are rain barrels an option for a school building? A: Rain barrels are perfectly suited for a school once you get permission to cut into the gutters or drain...

READ MORE

Cactus – Bug spray

Q: I have a cactus in a pot that I will plant in the spring. What do I spray it with before I bring it into the house for the winter to make sure I am not bringing in bugs?...

READ MORE

Boston fern – Naming

Q: I was winterizing my wife’s Boston ferns and became puzzled. How did a fern that will not survive the weather outdoors in Boston become named after that city? Or was it named after someone named Boston? A: Boston fern,...

READ MORE

Ceramic pot – Fountain

Q: I have a big ceramic pot that I have made into a fountain. What do I need to do for winter? Is it okay to just keep pumping? A: For most outdoor fountains, it’s best to turn it off...

READ MORE

Termites – Company investigation

Q: We just moved to Georgia and bought a split level home on concrete slab. We had to have a termite letter on day of closing. The inspector cleared us but later termites were found. Will the state investigate the...

READ MORE

Soil ring – Tree planting

Q: My wife and I watched your TV show where you discussed the soil ring you make after planting a tree. You said that it should not be left longer than the first year. Why not? A: Tree experts say...

READ MORE

Golf course – Tree planting

Q: I volunteer for a disc golf course. We would like to plant some trees in the park’s big open fields, a former cow pasture with red clay soil. What trees do well in that environment? A: I think some...

READ MORE

Rescued tomatoes – Ripening

Q: Now that I have rescued my large green tomatoes from the coming frost, what now? How do I ensure that they will continue to ripen? A: If a tomato has just a bit of pink showing on the blossom...

READ MORE

Azalea – Stem growth

Q: A friend’s azalea plant has an odd growth on one of the stems. Should the growth be cut off? A: It looks like someone sprayed Roundup too close to the plant. I got a bit reckless with Roundup near...

READ MORE

September bulbs – Early rising

Q: I planted bulbs in September and they are coming up already: way too early! Should I be concerned about this? A: The bulbs won’t be hurt at all; they will flower normally in spring. Early emergence does use resources...

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