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
  • Yew – Pruning

    Q: What is the proper way to prune our yews? A: Yew is one of the few conifers that will sprout vigorously from the bare limbs and trunk when cut back hard. That said, yours don’t look like they need...

    READ MORE

  • Sago Palm – Small Greenhouse for Winter Protection

    Q: I have had a sago palm for seven years. We got tired of dragging it inside every winter so we planted it near our pool. I was worried about the cold weather, so I want to show you the...

    READ MORE

  • Trees – For Bees

    Q: I want to learn more about the relationship between bees and trees. Can you recommend trees that are important to bees? A: There are a wealth of trees that bees love for nectar. My Dad would take his hives...

    READ MORE

  • Pothos – Leaf Spot

    Q: My pothos seems to be healthy, with lots of new growth near pot and on ends. It’s growing very rapidly. But leaves are spotting in the middle. This is not an exterior window. Why only the middle ? You...

    READ MORE

  • Buffalonut – Identified

    Q: Could you please tell me what these are? I found them on a walk in the North Georgia mountains and was wondering if they were poisonous to feed to a squirrel. A: Shannon Pable, expert on all plants native,...

    READ MORE

  • Spring (for water) – Cleaning and Decontaminating

    Q: We have a spring on our property that is overgrown with trees and brush. It has always run even during drought. How do we clean it? My grandparents had one instead of a well and it was lined with...

    READ MORE

  • Blueberry – Pallidum – Identified

    Q: I can’t figure out what these plants are. The nursery knew it was some type of blueberry, but they weren’t sure. I would like to know a little more so I can figure out what they like and if...

    READ MORE

  • Cottony Camellia Scale – On Holly

    Q: I was trimming up one of my holly plants and noticed these furry white blobs on the underside of some of the leaves. Can you tell me what it is and or if it is harmful to the plant?...

    READ MORE

  • Mondo Grass – Making a Lawn

    Q: I have heard you talk about how hard it is to grow grass in deep shade. On a recent garden tour, one gardener had a spectacular “lawn” of mondo grass. The gardener said that she sprigged the yard with...

    READ MORE

  • Hosta – Hail Damage vs Slug Damage

    Q: Can you identify what is causing the damage to my hostas? I just noticed it today and we had a small hail storm yesterday. But could slugs have caused the damage? A: It’s definitely hail damage. Slugs eat the...

    READ MORE

  • Oak Tree – Leaf Tufts Falling

    Q: I read about the oak moth that eats oak leaves and I wondered if that’s what’s going on with my two trees. They are dropping clumps of leaves like crazy. I’d love to get back to gardening instead of...

    READ MORE

  • Mock Strawberry – Edible?

    Q: Are these edible strawberries? They are growing in the shady parts of my yard. The fruit is very small. A: Mock strawberry is a non-native weed only slightly related to “real” strawberry. It’s flowers are yellow while those of...

    READ MORE

  • Squirrel – Damage to Bird Feeder

    Q: Two of my bird feeders have been destroyed. I thought they were squirrel proof. Can a squirrel do this type of damage or could it be a deer? A: Definitely squirrel damage. They will chew through anything plastic near...

    READ MORE

  • Centipede Lawn – Compaction Damage

    Q: I am having an unusual problem with my centipede lawn. Our lawn was planted in the spring of 2008. It appears to be healthy. But purple streaks begin to appear a few days after I mow. The streaks are...

    READ MORE

  • Wheat Straw – Garden Mulch

    Q: I am a greenhorn gardener with a quick question about mulch. Is it ok to use wheat straw in my vegetable garden? A: Wheat straw is an excellent mulch. I use it myself to attract harmless spiders because they...

    READ MORE

  • Poplar Weevil – Identification

    Q: What’s wrong with my poplar tree? I just noticed this damage covering my leaves. A: It’s damage from the poplar weevil, a small “snout beetle” that feeds on poplar and sassafras leaves. The population varies greatly from year to...

    READ MORE

  • Seed Starting – Under Lights

    Q: I have a rack with grow lights. I would like to plants seeds so I can grown my own flowers and then put outside. What type of potting soil should I use? This grow light is down in my...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia – Thin Due to Cold Spring

    Q: My Zeon zoysia lawn sod was put down in August. I did it using the recommendations from your web site. The grass is not coming back this spring, even though I’m watering it. Do you have any recommendations? A:...

    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

Yew – Pruning

Q: What is the proper way to prune our yews? A: Yew is one of the few conifers that will sprout vigorously from the bare limbs and trunk when cut back hard. That said, yours don’t look like they need...

READ MORE

Sago Palm – Small Greenhouse for Winter Protection

Q: I have had a sago palm for seven years. We got tired of dragging it inside every winter so we planted it near our pool. I was worried about the cold weather, so I want to show you the...

READ MORE

Trees – For Bees

Q: I want to learn more about the relationship between bees and trees. Can you recommend trees that are important to bees? A: There are a wealth of trees that bees love for nectar. My Dad would take his hives...

READ MORE

Pothos – Leaf Spot

Q: My pothos seems to be healthy, with lots of new growth near pot and on ends. It’s growing very rapidly. But leaves are spotting in the middle. This is not an exterior window. Why only the middle ? You...

READ MORE

Buffalonut – Identified

Q: Could you please tell me what these are? I found them on a walk in the North Georgia mountains and was wondering if they were poisonous to feed to a squirrel. A: Shannon Pable, expert on all plants native,...

READ MORE

Spring (for water) – Cleaning and Decontaminating

Q: We have a spring on our property that is overgrown with trees and brush. It has always run even during drought. How do we clean it? My grandparents had one instead of a well and it was lined with...

READ MORE

Blueberry – Pallidum – Identified

Q: I can’t figure out what these plants are. The nursery knew it was some type of blueberry, but they weren’t sure. I would like to know a little more so I can figure out what they like and if...

READ MORE

Cottony Camellia Scale – On Holly

Q: I was trimming up one of my holly plants and noticed these furry white blobs on the underside of some of the leaves. Can you tell me what it is and or if it is harmful to the plant?...

READ MORE

Mondo Grass – Making a Lawn

Q: I have heard you talk about how hard it is to grow grass in deep shade. On a recent garden tour, one gardener had a spectacular “lawn” of mondo grass. The gardener said that she sprigged the yard with...

READ MORE

Hosta – Hail Damage vs Slug Damage

Q: Can you identify what is causing the damage to my hostas? I just noticed it today and we had a small hail storm yesterday. But could slugs have caused the damage? A: It’s definitely hail damage. Slugs eat the...

READ MORE

Oak Tree – Leaf Tufts Falling

Q: I read about the oak moth that eats oak leaves and I wondered if that’s what’s going on with my two trees. They are dropping clumps of leaves like crazy. I’d love to get back to gardening instead of...

READ MORE

Mock Strawberry – Edible?

Q: Are these edible strawberries? They are growing in the shady parts of my yard. The fruit is very small. A: Mock strawberry is a non-native weed only slightly related to “real” strawberry. It’s flowers are yellow while those of...

READ MORE

Squirrel – Damage to Bird Feeder

Q: Two of my bird feeders have been destroyed. I thought they were squirrel proof. Can a squirrel do this type of damage or could it be a deer? A: Definitely squirrel damage. They will chew through anything plastic near...

READ MORE

Centipede Lawn – Compaction Damage

Q: I am having an unusual problem with my centipede lawn. Our lawn was planted in the spring of 2008. It appears to be healthy. But purple streaks begin to appear a few days after I mow. The streaks are...

READ MORE

Wheat Straw – Garden Mulch

Q: I am a greenhorn gardener with a quick question about mulch. Is it ok to use wheat straw in my vegetable garden? A: Wheat straw is an excellent mulch. I use it myself to attract harmless spiders because they...

READ MORE

Poplar Weevil – Identification

Q: What’s wrong with my poplar tree? I just noticed this damage covering my leaves. A: It’s damage from the poplar weevil, a small “snout beetle” that feeds on poplar and sassafras leaves. The population varies greatly from year to...

READ MORE

Seed Starting – Under Lights

Q: I have a rack with grow lights. I would like to plants seeds so I can grown my own flowers and then put outside. What type of potting soil should I use? This grow light is down in my...

READ MORE

Zoysia – Thin Due to Cold Spring

Q: My Zeon zoysia lawn sod was put down in August. I did it using the recommendations from your web site. The grass is not coming back this spring, even though I’m watering it. Do you have any recommendations? A:...

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