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
  • Light Fly – Identification

    Q: What is this insect? It is on the outside of my window. It looks as if it may have a stinger but I have never seen anything like it. A: Dr. Cecil Smith, Collection Manager at the Georgia Museum...

    READ MORE

  • Catesby’s Trillium – Identification

    Q: We found this in the woods behind our home. Can you identify it? A: Catesby’s trillium and must be a fairly old plant as they usually only put out one stalk with a flower and leaves. –Theresa Schrum Nodding...

    READ MORE

  • Purple Vetch – Identification

    Q: Can you identify this hideous weed that has invaded my garden? Any help that you can provide to identify it and eliminate this evil scourge would be very helpful. A: It’s purple vetch, Vicia americana. This legume has been...

    READ MORE

  • Gardening in Tires

    Q: I was inspired this year by ECHO (Educational Concerns for Haiti Organization) Farms in Florida to do a tire garden! They are doing great things for global farming! With tires there is always a fine line between usefulness and...

    READ MORE

  • Hairy Vetch – Sources

    Q: I’m looking for some hairy vetch seed. I’ve called all over Atlanta but no one has any for sale. A: Hairy vetch is used for a ground cover on steep banks and as a winter cover on gardens. One...

    READ MORE

  • Peach – Japanese Beetle Control

    Q: We have a peach tree that was covered in beautiful blooms. However, when the peaches ripen Japanese beetles cover each peach. I don’t like using insecticides but what can I do? A: This is why peaches are so hard...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn – Which Fertilizer to Use

    Q: How do I know which is the best fertilizer for my lawn? A: A confusing array of fertilizer brands awaits homeowners at the garden center. Fortunately, grass cannot read the advertisements! Fertilizer bags with similar nutrient numbers will perform...

    READ MORE

  • Leyland Cypress – Too Close to Patio

    Q: I live in an in-fill community with our patio’s facing the back of another small community. The homes are seven years old. During construction the builders planted Leyland cypress along the common property line, for privacy. The trees are...

    READ MORE

  • Rose – Black Spot Canker on Stem

    Q: Can you tell me what is causing the brown spots on my Knockout rose stalks? A: At first I thought it was rose cane canker but pathologist Jean Williams-Woodward says: “Cytospora canker tends to have a tanner center and...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia Lawn Care

    Q: I have a large zoysia lawn. I’m looking for the best type of pre-emerge to put down now. Is 5-10-15 the way to go? A: I am totally against fertilizing zoysia, bermuda, centipede or St. Augustine lawns when they...

    READ MORE

  • Crape Myrtles – Protection

    Q: At the end of last summer, we noticed our crape myrtles were covered with a black soot-like powder. It even discolored the pinestraw beneath. When we pruned back the trees recently we still noticed it. How should we treat?...

    READ MORE

  • Granite and Sludge – Filling Low Spots and Tire Trenches

    Q: I recently had a water well drilled in a pine island. Now I need to remove the granite sand and sludge. Can this material be used to fill low spots and truck tire trenches? A: I don’t believe there...

    READ MORE

  • Dirt Sterilization

    Q: I want to use rich soil from my Dad’s old cow lot in my small garden. I’m worried about weeds in it. Can I sterilize the dirt somehow? A: You can’t sterilize the dirt but there is another way...

    READ MORE

  • Blackberris – Harmless Herbicide

    Q: We have a couple of rows of thornless blackberries on our farm. Thick grass grows all around the canes. Is there an herbicide that will get rid of grass but would not harm the plants? A: No herbicide will...

    READ MORE

  • Palm Trees – Growing in Georgia

    Q: I have noticed palm trees planted around lake homes and hotels in my area. I want to have a tropical garden around my screened porch. What palms are they using? A: Needle palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix and windmill palm, Trachycarpus...

    READ MORE

  • Fire Power Nandina – Not Coloring

    Q: My fall-planted Fire Power nandina didn’t turn red this winter. They’re in full sun and the soil looks good. Any ideas? A: Probably the plants are just too young to color up very well. It takes a year for...

    READ MORE

  • Shredding Ivy

    Q: We have removed lots of ivy climbing our trees. We were thinking about renting a chipper/shredder to chop the vine. Afterwards, will it still be able to take root? A: You face two concepts: the possible and the practical....

    READ MORE

  • Growing Gooseberry

    Q: I am new at gardening and would like to experiment. I want to grow gooseberry. Online nurseries says it will grow here in zone 7. What is your opinion? A: Cold hardiness zone 7 includes all of north Georgia,...

    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

Light Fly – Identification

Q: What is this insect? It is on the outside of my window. It looks as if it may have a stinger but I have never seen anything like it. A: Dr. Cecil Smith, Collection Manager at the Georgia Museum...

READ MORE

Catesby’s Trillium – Identification

Q: We found this in the woods behind our home. Can you identify it? A: Catesby’s trillium and must be a fairly old plant as they usually only put out one stalk with a flower and leaves. –Theresa Schrum Nodding...

READ MORE

Purple Vetch – Identification

Q: Can you identify this hideous weed that has invaded my garden? Any help that you can provide to identify it and eliminate this evil scourge would be very helpful. A: It’s purple vetch, Vicia americana. This legume has been...

READ MORE

Gardening in Tires

Q: I was inspired this year by ECHO (Educational Concerns for Haiti Organization) Farms in Florida to do a tire garden! They are doing great things for global farming! With tires there is always a fine line between usefulness and...

READ MORE

Hairy Vetch – Sources

Q: I’m looking for some hairy vetch seed. I’ve called all over Atlanta but no one has any for sale. A: Hairy vetch is used for a ground cover on steep banks and as a winter cover on gardens. One...

READ MORE

Peach – Japanese Beetle Control

Q: We have a peach tree that was covered in beautiful blooms. However, when the peaches ripen Japanese beetles cover each peach. I don’t like using insecticides but what can I do? A: This is why peaches are so hard...

READ MORE

Lawn – Which Fertilizer to Use

Q: How do I know which is the best fertilizer for my lawn? A: A confusing array of fertilizer brands awaits homeowners at the garden center. Fortunately, grass cannot read the advertisements! Fertilizer bags with similar nutrient numbers will perform...

READ MORE

Leyland Cypress – Too Close to Patio

Q: I live in an in-fill community with our patio’s facing the back of another small community. The homes are seven years old. During construction the builders planted Leyland cypress along the common property line, for privacy. The trees are...

READ MORE

Rose – Black Spot Canker on Stem

Q: Can you tell me what is causing the brown spots on my Knockout rose stalks? A: At first I thought it was rose cane canker but pathologist Jean Williams-Woodward says: “Cytospora canker tends to have a tanner center and...

READ MORE

Zoysia Lawn Care

Q: I have a large zoysia lawn. I’m looking for the best type of pre-emerge to put down now. Is 5-10-15 the way to go? A: I am totally against fertilizing zoysia, bermuda, centipede or St. Augustine lawns when they...

READ MORE

Crape Myrtles – Protection

Q: At the end of last summer, we noticed our crape myrtles were covered with a black soot-like powder. It even discolored the pinestraw beneath. When we pruned back the trees recently we still noticed it. How should we treat?...

READ MORE

Granite and Sludge – Filling Low Spots and Tire Trenches

Q: I recently had a water well drilled in a pine island. Now I need to remove the granite sand and sludge. Can this material be used to fill low spots and truck tire trenches? A: I don’t believe there...

READ MORE

Dirt Sterilization

Q: I want to use rich soil from my Dad’s old cow lot in my small garden. I’m worried about weeds in it. Can I sterilize the dirt somehow? A: You can’t sterilize the dirt but there is another way...

READ MORE

Blackberris – Harmless Herbicide

Q: We have a couple of rows of thornless blackberries on our farm. Thick grass grows all around the canes. Is there an herbicide that will get rid of grass but would not harm the plants? A: No herbicide will...

READ MORE

Palm Trees – Growing in Georgia

Q: I have noticed palm trees planted around lake homes and hotels in my area. I want to have a tropical garden around my screened porch. What palms are they using? A: Needle palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix and windmill palm, Trachycarpus...

READ MORE

Fire Power Nandina – Not Coloring

Q: My fall-planted Fire Power nandina didn’t turn red this winter. They’re in full sun and the soil looks good. Any ideas? A: Probably the plants are just too young to color up very well. It takes a year for...

READ MORE

Shredding Ivy

Q: We have removed lots of ivy climbing our trees. We were thinking about renting a chipper/shredder to chop the vine. Afterwards, will it still be able to take root? A: You face two concepts: the possible and the practical....

READ MORE

Growing Gooseberry

Q: I am new at gardening and would like to experiment. I want to grow gooseberry. Online nurseries says it will grow here in zone 7. What is your opinion? A: Cold hardiness zone 7 includes all of north Georgia,...

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