Featured Article

Trip to England – 2017

It’s decided! I have always wanted to visit the Cotswolds in England. I’ve been to London, but when I was there, everyone said “Yes, the gardens here are outstanding but if you REALLY want to see the prettiest part of our country, don’t miss the Cotswolds!” So I’m going….and I’d...

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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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  • RECENT ARTICLES
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  • Fire Power Nandina – No Color this Winter

    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? John Payne, email A: Probably the plants are just too young to color up very well. It takes...

    READ MORE

  • Ivy – Able to Root after Shredded?

    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? Gwen Kemmerick, Duluth A: You face two concepts: the possible...

    READ MORE

  • Gooseberry – Growing

    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? Melissa Poston, Marietta A: : Cold hardiness zone 7 includes...

    READ MORE

  • When to Water Potted Plants

    Q: What do you recommend for determining when to water potted plants (indoor or outdoor)?Raleigh Burns, email A: I recommend using a digital moisture gauge, the one that you have on the end of your hand: your index finger. Push...

    READ MORE

  • Bushes Preventing Flooding?

    Q: We have large, overgrown bushes along the front of our house that have become too difficult to maintain. If we pull them out would we have a problem with water getting into our now-dry basement? Shelley Winet, email A:...

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  • Annual Bluegrass – Perennial Type

    Q: I am trying in vain trying to control annual bluegrass. I put down pre-emergent four times this fall. There is noticeably less than last year, but still plenty of it. Could we have a species that survives the summers...

    READ MORE

  • Cottonseed Meal – Azaleas

    Q: I know you recommend cottonseed meal to feed azaleas. I need to know when and how much to put around each plant. Joan Brown, email A: I like cottonseed meal because it provides slow, consistent feeding over several months....

    READ MORE

  • Autumn Blaze Maple – Trimming

    Q: We have an Autumn Blaze maple tree that we built a deck around. The branches at the bottom are very close to the floor of the deck. Should we prune off the bottom branches or will the branches grow...

    READ MORE

  • Flowering Magnolia – Bloom Cold Tolerance

    Q: I noticed last week that my flowering magnolia has huge buds on it. Will it have black blooms due to the cold? Jimmy W. Mize, email A: Flowering magnolias, including star magnolia and saucer magnolia, are extremely cold tolerant....

    READ MORE

  • “Shade Champ” Grass Seed

    Q: My yard gets too much shade from oak trees. I’ve found “Shade Champ” grass seed for sale. It contains creeping red fescue, PennLawn red fescue, Chewings fescue and Pizzazz ryegrass. Can it really grow in Georgia? A: All of...

    READ MORE

  • Hydrangea – Damage After Frost

    Q: What do I do now that freezing weather has taken its toll? These were hydrangeas but they look pretty pitiful now. A: I have good news! This is exactly how hydrangeas are supposed to look. The leaves will fall...

    READ MORE

  • Pileated Woodpecker – Hole in Tree

    Q: What is eating holes in our live sourwood tree? What should we do? A: Jim Rogers, at Nearly Native Nursery, says: “In my personal experience observing woodpecker holes, the size of the chips removed and the rectangular-shaped hole appear...

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  • Humate – For Lawns

    Q: I read that one of best things to do for your lawn is to add humate, a soil conditioner. Do you know anything about it. A: Despite many glowing claims from promoters, very little unbiased, university-based research supports the...

    READ MORE

  • Mondo Grass – Planting Seed

    Q: I would like to plant dwarf mondo seed in my yard. If I bought plants it would cost me a fortune to do the yard. What do you suggest? Where can I buy the seed? A: It is difficult...

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  • Christmas Cactus – Seed Pod

    Q: My cactus is blooming now. My question is what is next for this fruit from last year? As you can see, the withered blossom is still attached. Is it possible that there are viable seeds inside? A: I’ve never...

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  • Sheep Sorrel – Identification

    Q: We have a hill that is planted with English ivy. It is doing very well but we now have a plant that is invading and choking the ivy. We do not want to harm the ivy but if it...

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  • Alternative Ways to Grow Vegetables

    Q: I saw you do a talk on “Alternative Ways to Grow Vegetables”. How do I get the sources you mentioned? A: Simple! Just download this: Alternative Ways to Grow...

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  • Spring Crocus – Identification

    Q: I noticed this unexpected beauty last weekend. It’s roughly 5 inches tall, as thin as a pine needle, with a white stripe, and a purple bloom. The bloom opens during the day, even during freezing weather. Any idea of...

    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

Fire Power Nandina – No Color this Winter

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? John Payne, email A: Probably the plants are just too young to color up very well. It takes...

READ MORE

Ivy – Able to Root after Shredded?

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? Gwen Kemmerick, Duluth A: You face two concepts: the possible...

READ MORE

Gooseberry – Growing

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? Melissa Poston, Marietta A: : Cold hardiness zone 7 includes...

READ MORE

When to Water Potted Plants

Q: What do you recommend for determining when to water potted plants (indoor or outdoor)?Raleigh Burns, email A: I recommend using a digital moisture gauge, the one that you have on the end of your hand: your index finger. Push...

READ MORE

Bushes Preventing Flooding?

Q: We have large, overgrown bushes along the front of our house that have become too difficult to maintain. If we pull them out would we have a problem with water getting into our now-dry basement? Shelley Winet, email A:...

READ MORE

Annual Bluegrass – Perennial Type

Q: I am trying in vain trying to control annual bluegrass. I put down pre-emergent four times this fall. There is noticeably less than last year, but still plenty of it. Could we have a species that survives the summers...

READ MORE

Cottonseed Meal – Azaleas

Q: I know you recommend cottonseed meal to feed azaleas. I need to know when and how much to put around each plant. Joan Brown, email A: I like cottonseed meal because it provides slow, consistent feeding over several months....

READ MORE

Autumn Blaze Maple – Trimming

Q: We have an Autumn Blaze maple tree that we built a deck around. The branches at the bottom are very close to the floor of the deck. Should we prune off the bottom branches or will the branches grow...

READ MORE

Flowering Magnolia – Bloom Cold Tolerance

Q: I noticed last week that my flowering magnolia has huge buds on it. Will it have black blooms due to the cold? Jimmy W. Mize, email A: Flowering magnolias, including star magnolia and saucer magnolia, are extremely cold tolerant....

READ MORE

“Shade Champ” Grass Seed

Q: My yard gets too much shade from oak trees. I’ve found “Shade Champ” grass seed for sale. It contains creeping red fescue, PennLawn red fescue, Chewings fescue and Pizzazz ryegrass. Can it really grow in Georgia? A: All of...

READ MORE

Hydrangea – Damage After Frost

Q: What do I do now that freezing weather has taken its toll? These were hydrangeas but they look pretty pitiful now. A: I have good news! This is exactly how hydrangeas are supposed to look. The leaves will fall...

READ MORE

Pileated Woodpecker – Hole in Tree

Q: What is eating holes in our live sourwood tree? What should we do? A: Jim Rogers, at Nearly Native Nursery, says: “In my personal experience observing woodpecker holes, the size of the chips removed and the rectangular-shaped hole appear...

READ MORE

Humate – For Lawns

Q: I read that one of best things to do for your lawn is to add humate, a soil conditioner. Do you know anything about it. A: Despite many glowing claims from promoters, very little unbiased, university-based research supports the...

READ MORE

Mondo Grass – Planting Seed

Q: I would like to plant dwarf mondo seed in my yard. If I bought plants it would cost me a fortune to do the yard. What do you suggest? Where can I buy the seed? A: It is difficult...

READ MORE

Christmas Cactus – Seed Pod

Q: My cactus is blooming now. My question is what is next for this fruit from last year? As you can see, the withered blossom is still attached. Is it possible that there are viable seeds inside? A: I’ve never...

READ MORE

Sheep Sorrel – Identification

Q: We have a hill that is planted with English ivy. It is doing very well but we now have a plant that is invading and choking the ivy. We do not want to harm the ivy but if it...

READ MORE

Alternative Ways to Grow Vegetables

Q: I saw you do a talk on “Alternative Ways to Grow Vegetables”. How do I get the sources you mentioned? A: Simple! Just download this: Alternative Ways to Grow...

READ MORE

Spring Crocus – Identification

Q: I noticed this unexpected beauty last weekend. It’s roughly 5 inches tall, as thin as a pine needle, with a white stripe, and a purple bloom. The bloom opens during the day, even during freezing weather. Any idea of...

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