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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  • Black Dragon Cryptomeria Support

    Q: Many young Black Dragon cryptomeria I’ve seen at nurseries are bending over at the top. Many have been staked to keep them vertical. Will it need support growing to its mature height? A: Noted landscape designer Shannon Pable (shannonpable.com)...

    READ MORE

  • Pruning/Cutting Autumn Ferns

    Q: My landscape guys asked me if it would be OK to prune our beautiful autumn ferns. When I came home they had cut the ferns to the ground! Will they grow back? A: The ferns will be fine. Autumn...

    READ MORE

  • Wood – Furniture

    Q: Is there someone you can recommend that cuts down pecan tree to use the wood and make furniture? A: Your pecan likely not worth anything. The time, effort and liability exposure are too great for a hobbyist woodworker to...

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  • Difference between Tolerance and Resistance

    Q:I am ordering vegetable seeds. What is the difference between tolerance and resistance in terms of plant disease? A: “Tolerance” means the plant can produce vegetables if the disease infection is mild. You might not get as many, but there...

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  • 10-10-10 or 13-13-13 Downside

    Q: I grow hydrangeas, azaleas, rhodendrons, camellias, and ferns plus my lawn. I notice that fertilizers offer different percentages of the three major nutrients and most plants have a “favorite” blend that is recommended. For example, grass likes high nitrogen,...

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  • Bittersweet Vine in GA

    Q: Can bittersweet vine be grown here? I want some for decorative purposes. A: There are two kinds of bittersweet. Oriental bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus, has attractive berries but it climbs over everything that gets in its way. Use the berries...

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  • Propagating Redtip Photinia

    Q: You say on your website that redtip photinia cannot be propagated from seed. I recently gathered seeds from a Chinese photinia. The seeds are still red and fleshy. Will they sprout? A: Redtip photinia, Photinia x fraseri, seed won’t...

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  • Moss to Mondo Grass – Clay

    Q: I am trying to convert a mossy backyard area to mondo grass. Is there anything in particular I should be doing to the clay soil when I transplant? A: Some gardeners would argue that moss makes a perfectly nice...

    READ MORE

  • Mummy Berry Disease – Treatment

    Q: I have several blueberry bushes that have developed mummy berry disease. I have been unable to find recommended fungicides like Indor. Quash, Orbit, Omega, Pristine, or Serenade. Can you recommend a product to treat this? A: Most of the...

    READ MORE

  • Flowering Plants in Winter

    Q: Two weeks ago we saw flowering magnolia, quince, Forest Pansy redbud and Okame cherry in bloom. What’s going to happen to these plants in the spring? A: It will be interesting. I expect flowering on these plants will be...

    READ MORE

  • Contaminated Commercial Compost

    Q: I’m concerned about herbicide-contaminated commercial compost. Big box stores have lots of different top soil/compost/manure products. Do they guarantee them to be herbicide-free? A: Unless a bag label says it contains manure, it probably does not. Bagged soil amendments...

    READ MORE

  • Adding New Mulch or Leaving it

    Q: My wife and I are in disagreement. We have azaleas and each spring I have to remove the mulch and replace it with new mulch. I think we should leave the old mulch and refresh the top layer. What...

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  • Online Fruit Trees – Organic

    Q:I would like to buy fruit trees, vines and bush varieties that are not available at local nurseries. Where is the best place to shop online to make sure I know they are grown in chemical-free soil? A: If you...

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  • Giant Elephant Ears-Storage for Winter

    Q: How do I store giant elephant ear bulbs over the winter? Mine are in a cardboard box right now. A: Keep the corms in a household closet where it’s approximately 65 degrees, not cooler. These tropical bulbs will not...

    READ MORE

  • Ground Cedar – Buying

    Q: Where can I buy ground cedar? A: Ground cedar is an attractive evergreen forest groundcover that spreads by underground runners. The correct scientific name is Diphasiastrum digitatum but I preferred its older Latin name: Lycopodium digitatum, which means “wolf’s...

    READ MORE

  • How Are Plants Damaged by Cold?

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  • Hole in Landscape – Not Made by Snake

    Q: I’m stumped by what made this hole. It is near some recently planted evergreens. When we planted the evergreens, we dug up a few snake eggs. Thinking this hole is from snakes. A: The hole couldn’t be made by...

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  • 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,...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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

Black Dragon Cryptomeria Support

Q: Many young Black Dragon cryptomeria I’ve seen at nurseries are bending over at the top. Many have been staked to keep them vertical. Will it need support growing to its mature height? A: Noted landscape designer Shannon Pable (shannonpable.com)...

READ MORE

Pruning/Cutting Autumn Ferns

Q: My landscape guys asked me if it would be OK to prune our beautiful autumn ferns. When I came home they had cut the ferns to the ground! Will they grow back? A: The ferns will be fine. Autumn...

READ MORE

Wood – Furniture

Q: Is there someone you can recommend that cuts down pecan tree to use the wood and make furniture? A: Your pecan likely not worth anything. The time, effort and liability exposure are too great for a hobbyist woodworker to...

READ MORE

Difference between Tolerance and Resistance

Q:I am ordering vegetable seeds. What is the difference between tolerance and resistance in terms of plant disease? A: “Tolerance” means the plant can produce vegetables if the disease infection is mild. You might not get as many, but there...

READ MORE

10-10-10 or 13-13-13 Downside

Q: I grow hydrangeas, azaleas, rhodendrons, camellias, and ferns plus my lawn. I notice that fertilizers offer different percentages of the three major nutrients and most plants have a “favorite” blend that is recommended. For example, grass likes high nitrogen,...

READ MORE

Bittersweet Vine in GA

Q: Can bittersweet vine be grown here? I want some for decorative purposes. A: There are two kinds of bittersweet. Oriental bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus, has attractive berries but it climbs over everything that gets in its way. Use the berries...

READ MORE

Propagating Redtip Photinia

Q: You say on your website that redtip photinia cannot be propagated from seed. I recently gathered seeds from a Chinese photinia. The seeds are still red and fleshy. Will they sprout? A: Redtip photinia, Photinia x fraseri, seed won’t...

READ MORE

Moss to Mondo Grass – Clay

Q: I am trying to convert a mossy backyard area to mondo grass. Is there anything in particular I should be doing to the clay soil when I transplant? A: Some gardeners would argue that moss makes a perfectly nice...

READ MORE

Mummy Berry Disease – Treatment

Q: I have several blueberry bushes that have developed mummy berry disease. I have been unable to find recommended fungicides like Indor. Quash, Orbit, Omega, Pristine, or Serenade. Can you recommend a product to treat this? A: Most of the...

READ MORE

Flowering Plants in Winter

Q: Two weeks ago we saw flowering magnolia, quince, Forest Pansy redbud and Okame cherry in bloom. What’s going to happen to these plants in the spring? A: It will be interesting. I expect flowering on these plants will be...

READ MORE

Contaminated Commercial Compost

Q: I’m concerned about herbicide-contaminated commercial compost. Big box stores have lots of different top soil/compost/manure products. Do they guarantee them to be herbicide-free? A: Unless a bag label says it contains manure, it probably does not. Bagged soil amendments...

READ MORE

Adding New Mulch or Leaving it

Q: My wife and I are in disagreement. We have azaleas and each spring I have to remove the mulch and replace it with new mulch. I think we should leave the old mulch and refresh the top layer. What...

READ MORE

Online Fruit Trees – Organic

Q:I would like to buy fruit trees, vines and bush varieties that are not available at local nurseries. Where is the best place to shop online to make sure I know they are grown in chemical-free soil? A: If you...

READ MORE

Giant Elephant Ears-Storage for Winter

Q: How do I store giant elephant ear bulbs over the winter? Mine are in a cardboard box right now. A: Keep the corms in a household closet where it’s approximately 65 degrees, not cooler. These tropical bulbs will not...

READ MORE

Ground Cedar – Buying

Q: Where can I buy ground cedar? A: Ground cedar is an attractive evergreen forest groundcover that spreads by underground runners. The correct scientific name is Diphasiastrum digitatum but I preferred its older Latin name: Lycopodium digitatum, which means “wolf’s...

READ MORE

How Are Plants Damaged by Cold?

Q: How are plants damaged by cold? A: Plants experience cold damage due to ice forming in their cells. Hardy plants have strategies to reduce freeze damage. They do it by increasing cell wall elasticity, by lowering the freezing temperature...

READ MORE

Sticky Stuff – Falling From Trees

Q: I’ve noticed in early Noveber that the sidewalks and even cars under all kinds of trees get a light sappy coating on them. It doesn’t feel as sticky as pine sap and comes off with a little rubbing. A:...

READ MORE

Hole in Landscape – Not Made by Snake

Q: I’m stumped by what made this hole. It is near some recently planted evergreens. When we planted the evergreens, we dug up a few snake eggs. Thinking this hole is from snakes. A: The hole couldn’t be made by...

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