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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  • Gazebo – Greenhouse

    Q: I am planning to enclose my portable, aluminum gazebo with 6 mil. plastic and convert it into a greenhouse for the winter. I’ll keep it on my deck, so heat from the house will help keep it warm. Will...

    READ MORE

  • Tomato – Leafminer

    Q: Here are some sad leaves on my tomato. I have TERRIBLE luck with tomatoes here in Savannah! They get every little thing. I try not to use insecticides, but…dang. I await your wisdom, Oh Wise One! A: Leaf miners...

    READ MORE

  • Spiny Orbweaver Spider – Identification

    Q: I almost bumped into this little beast this morning. He is about 3/4-inch across and was in the middle of a large web about 6-feet off the ground in a shady area. He looks like he forgot to take...

    READ MORE

  • Blackberry – Chimera on Leaves

    Q: On a walk near our home we found what appears to be a blackberry bush on which the leaves on one side of a few stems are completely white. Some are half white and half green, including the stems....

    READ MORE

  • Alstromeria (Parrotlily) – Identification

    Q: Please identify this flower for me. Has come up for years by the birdfeeder. Is on a stalk( 3 ft) with very few leaves. Overall the plant since tall and lanky is not attractive but the trumpet shaped flowers...

    READ MORE

  • Buzzard (Vulture) – Eating Foam on Convertible

    Q: A friend is having problems with buzzards. Forty of them gather on her roof each day. They actually got into her garage and pulled the seal off the convertible top on her car. Any comments or suggestions would be...

    READ MORE

  • Ants – Pest control

    Q: I live in a loft in downtown Atlanta, and with the cold weather in recent weeks, I have had an infestation of ants. What do you recommend for ant control? A: Although you can certainly kill ants with a...

    READ MORE

  • Leaves – Burning

    Q: Rather than raking and bagging all of my leaves, is it legal to burn them instead? A: Outdoor burning of yard waste is regulated by the Georgia Forestry Commission and local law. The Forestry Commission typically institutes a “burn...

    READ MORE

  • Macrophyla hortensia hydrangea – Outdoors

    Q: I purchased a “macrophyla hortensia hydrangea” from the grocery store. It is in a pot with a spongy medium. Can this be planted outside now? A: Although florist hydrangea makes a great gift and is attractive for several days,...

    READ MORE

  • Mondo grass – Planting

    Q: We need advice on using dwarf mondo grass in our shady back yard instead of fescue. How far apart should mondo grass be planted ? A: As fate would have it, I’ve been helping a friend plant sprigs of...

    READ MORE

  • Wood Ash – Fertilizer for Houseplant?

    Q: Can I use a teaspoon of wood ash from the fireplace to fertilize my house plants? A: A teaspoon probably wouldn’t hurt anything but ashes don’t contain anything useful to a houseplant. All that ashes are good for is...

    READ MORE

  • Morningglory – Growing on Crapemyrtle

    Q: Last spring I planted morning glory seed heavily at the foot of my trellis. This summer the vines on the trellis were more than two feet thick. There were lots of beautiful flowers and the anoles, skinks, and tree...

    READ MORE

  • Ammonium nitrate – Purchase

    Q: I have a 13 year-old son I’m taking to the deer woods. We planted a no-plow seed mixture in a plot in the woods. The seed instructions say to apply ammonium nitrate when the plants get 3 to 5...

    READ MORE

  • Broom sedge – Disposal

    Q: How do you get rid of broom sedge in the pasture? A: Broomsedge is a perennial grass that self-seeds rapidly when it finds open soil in a pasture. This plant doesn’t invade a pasture, it just takes advantage of...

    READ MORE

  • Pyracantha bush – No seedlings

    Q: I observe a pyracantha bush that is loaded with fruit every year but I never see any seedlings. What gives? A: Pyracantha originated in Asia and is appreciated for the huge number of bright red berries it produces. Cedar...

    READ MORE

  • Flatheaded Borer – Identification

    Q: Look at this worm that we pulled out of a fallen oak we were chopping for firewood. As you can see, they tunnel into the oak, eating with their little pinchers and leave a trail of sawdust-type substance behind....

    READ MORE

  • Loropetalum bush – Pruning

    Q: I planted a loropetalum bush where I should not have, too close to the driveway. Is it OK to prune a loropetalum so that it stays a small bush? A: Loropetalum cultivars range in size from the tree-form ‘Zhuzhou...

    READ MORE

  • Landscape plants – 1800s

    Q: We have a home built in the 1800’s but would like to design with trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants used from 1900 – 1920. Can you give me a list of landscape plants for that period? A: The Cherokee...

    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

Gazebo – Greenhouse

Q: I am planning to enclose my portable, aluminum gazebo with 6 mil. plastic and convert it into a greenhouse for the winter. I’ll keep it on my deck, so heat from the house will help keep it warm. Will...

READ MORE

Tomato – Leafminer

Q: Here are some sad leaves on my tomato. I have TERRIBLE luck with tomatoes here in Savannah! They get every little thing. I try not to use insecticides, but…dang. I await your wisdom, Oh Wise One! A: Leaf miners...

READ MORE

Spiny Orbweaver Spider – Identification

Q: I almost bumped into this little beast this morning. He is about 3/4-inch across and was in the middle of a large web about 6-feet off the ground in a shady area. He looks like he forgot to take...

READ MORE

Blackberry – Chimera on Leaves

Q: On a walk near our home we found what appears to be a blackberry bush on which the leaves on one side of a few stems are completely white. Some are half white and half green, including the stems....

READ MORE

Alstromeria (Parrotlily) – Identification

Q: Please identify this flower for me. Has come up for years by the birdfeeder. Is on a stalk( 3 ft) with very few leaves. Overall the plant since tall and lanky is not attractive but the trumpet shaped flowers...

READ MORE

Buzzard (Vulture) – Eating Foam on Convertible

Q: A friend is having problems with buzzards. Forty of them gather on her roof each day. They actually got into her garage and pulled the seal off the convertible top on her car. Any comments or suggestions would be...

READ MORE

Ants – Pest control

Q: I live in a loft in downtown Atlanta, and with the cold weather in recent weeks, I have had an infestation of ants. What do you recommend for ant control? A: Although you can certainly kill ants with a...

READ MORE

Leaves – Burning

Q: Rather than raking and bagging all of my leaves, is it legal to burn them instead? A: Outdoor burning of yard waste is regulated by the Georgia Forestry Commission and local law. The Forestry Commission typically institutes a “burn...

READ MORE

Macrophyla hortensia hydrangea – Outdoors

Q: I purchased a “macrophyla hortensia hydrangea” from the grocery store. It is in a pot with a spongy medium. Can this be planted outside now? A: Although florist hydrangea makes a great gift and is attractive for several days,...

READ MORE

Mondo grass – Planting

Q: We need advice on using dwarf mondo grass in our shady back yard instead of fescue. How far apart should mondo grass be planted ? A: As fate would have it, I’ve been helping a friend plant sprigs of...

READ MORE

Wood Ash – Fertilizer for Houseplant?

Q: Can I use a teaspoon of wood ash from the fireplace to fertilize my house plants? A: A teaspoon probably wouldn’t hurt anything but ashes don’t contain anything useful to a houseplant. All that ashes are good for is...

READ MORE

Morningglory – Growing on Crapemyrtle

Q: Last spring I planted morning glory seed heavily at the foot of my trellis. This summer the vines on the trellis were more than two feet thick. There were lots of beautiful flowers and the anoles, skinks, and tree...

READ MORE

Ammonium nitrate – Purchase

Q: I have a 13 year-old son I’m taking to the deer woods. We planted a no-plow seed mixture in a plot in the woods. The seed instructions say to apply ammonium nitrate when the plants get 3 to 5...

READ MORE

Broom sedge – Disposal

Q: How do you get rid of broom sedge in the pasture? A: Broomsedge is a perennial grass that self-seeds rapidly when it finds open soil in a pasture. This plant doesn’t invade a pasture, it just takes advantage of...

READ MORE

Pyracantha bush – No seedlings

Q: I observe a pyracantha bush that is loaded with fruit every year but I never see any seedlings. What gives? A: Pyracantha originated in Asia and is appreciated for the huge number of bright red berries it produces. Cedar...

READ MORE

Flatheaded Borer – Identification

Q: Look at this worm that we pulled out of a fallen oak we were chopping for firewood. As you can see, they tunnel into the oak, eating with their little pinchers and leave a trail of sawdust-type substance behind....

READ MORE

Loropetalum bush – Pruning

Q: I planted a loropetalum bush where I should not have, too close to the driveway. Is it OK to prune a loropetalum so that it stays a small bush? A: Loropetalum cultivars range in size from the tree-form ‘Zhuzhou...

READ MORE

Landscape plants – 1800s

Q: We have a home built in the 1800’s but would like to design with trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants used from 1900 – 1920. Can you give me a list of landscape plants for that period? A: The Cherokee...

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