Featured Article

Plants for Pollinators

Many landscape plants depend on bees and other insects to move pollen from flower to flower. The insects don’t realize they are pollinating the plants they visit – they’re just looking for nectar in the flowers. You can help the flowering plants in your neighborhood by planting a pollinator-friendly flower...

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Shrub – Pruning Calendar

The Home & Garden section of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution published a very nice pruning calendar several years ago. When viewed on a sheet of newsprint, it was gorgeous. When reduced to fit onto a sheet of typing paper it was impossible to read. I imagine you didn’t keep...

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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 unless it is severely pruned. Crapemyrtles do not HAVE TO...

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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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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Hydrangeas – Pinker Than Usual This Year

    Q: My hydrangeas are more pink than usual this year. Do you know why? A: A: I could suggest theories but I’m not sure they hold water. Hydrangea flower color is determined by the amount of aluminum present in the...

    READ MORE

  • Garden Compost – What Is Okay To Put In It?

    Q: Is it okay to put citrus fruit rinds, coffee grounds, and tea bags in my garden compost? A: Everything except milk and meat products is fine to put in a compost pile. You can add the compost to your...

    READ MORE

  • Apple Trees – Orange-Yellow Spots On Leaves

    Q: We just purchased a new house with a couple of apple trees on the property. The leaves have lots of little orange-yellow spots on them. A: It’s likely cedar-apple rust. Your trees may start dropping leaves soon. Red cedar...

    READ MORE

  • Blueberry Bush – Leaves Are Yellow With Green Veins

    Q: My Premier blueberry bush looks sick. It is full of fruit but the leaves are yellow, with green veins. Any ideas? A: Yellow leaves with green veins indicate iron chlorosis, which can be caused by soil pH that’s too...

    READ MORE

  • Gardenias – Limbs Are Touching The Ground

    Q: We have beautiful gardenias flanking our patio. The weight of flowers and leaves has bent the limbs over to touch the ground. What would you suggest? A: After flowering, prune them back by at least a third. Make your...

    READ MORE

  • Mass Planting Ferns – Which Type To Get

    Q: I am looking to do a mass planting of ferns. The least expensive way to go is to buy bare root ferns online. I’m looking at beech fern, autumn fern, cinnamon fern, and bracken fern. A: The ferns you...

    READ MORE

  • Petunias – White Spots On The Petals

    Q: I’m seeing petunias with white spots on the flower petals. There are no spots on the foliage. A: It’s probably gray mold, Botrytis cinerea, a common disease of flower petals. If a petunia flower is kept constantly moist, the...

    READ MORE

  • Peach Tree Planted Around Septic Tank – Safe To Eat Fruit?

    Q: What do you think about eating the fruit from a peach tree that it was planted around a septic tank? A: As long as the fruit does not directly touch the ground I would be comfortable eating it. Germs...

    READ MORE

  • Cinder Block Raised Beds – Is there A Danger Of Chemicals Leaching Into The Soil?

    Q: I have seen plans for making raised beds with cinder blocks. Is there any danger of chemicals leaching into the soil? A: Once upon a time cinder blocks were made from cinders that were left after coal was burned...

    READ MORE

  • Red Potatoes – What Has Been Eating At The Roots?

    Q: We planted red potatoes but one of the plants has been eaten from the roots. A: I think it could be a vole (meadow mouse) eating the potato. These shy creatures make runs beneath mulch and weeds to reach...

    READ MORE

  • Passionvines – What To Do About Caterpillars

    Q: I have six passionvines. What can I use to kill the spiked caterpillar that can strip the whole vine in less than a week? A: The other-side-of-the-coin nature of butterflies is that they all come from caterpillars. And caterpillars...

    READ MORE

  • Green Lawn Year Round – Options

    Q: I’m building a house that will be done in September. The contractor normally uses bermuda grass but I prefer a green lawn year round. What grass would you recommend for our full sun yard with irrigation system? A: You...

    READ MORE

  • Tree Peony – Does It Grow Into A Tree

    Q: You mentioned a tree peony a few weeks ago. Does it really grow into a tree? A: They are called “tree peony” but they are more like “shrub peony”. My fifteen-year-old Paeonia suffruticosa is three feet tall and three...

    READ MORE

  • Ladybugs VS Asian Ladybugs

    Q: On your radio show, you were talked about ladybugs and said something about not confusing them with bugs that would eat wood. What bugs did you mean? A: I spoke about the Asian ladybugs that were brought in to...

    READ MORE

  • Plumeria Trees – How Can I Trim Them?

    Q: I was wondering when and how I can trim my plumeria trees this fall without killing them so I can move them back in the garage. A: I think it’s better to trim plumeria lightly from time to time...

    READ MORE

  • Peach Fruit – Spots

    Q: This peach tree has been here many years. This is only my second year owning this property. Last year the peaches were delicious but looked a lot like they do in these pictures that I took today. What is...

    READ MORE

  • Cicada – Making Holes in Ground

    Q: These 1/2″ holes are appearing in a semi-bare, shaded area in my yard. There is no visible tunneling. Do you have any idea what is making them? Msg two days later: I think I found the culprit! A: Oh...

    READ MORE

  • Horse Manure – Dung Beetles

    Q: This morning I went out to clean my horse paddock and had 7 out of about 25 manure piles that have mounded dirt on them. The manure piles with this dirt are spread apart from each other. It isn’t...

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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,...

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Hydrangeas – Pinker Than Usual This Year

Q: My hydrangeas are more pink than usual this year. Do you know why? A: A: I could suggest theories but I’m not sure they hold water. Hydrangea flower color is determined by the amount of aluminum present in the...

READ MORE

Garden Compost – What Is Okay To Put In It?

Q: Is it okay to put citrus fruit rinds, coffee grounds, and tea bags in my garden compost? A: Everything except milk and meat products is fine to put in a compost pile. You can add the compost to your...

READ MORE

Apple Trees – Orange-Yellow Spots On Leaves

Q: We just purchased a new house with a couple of apple trees on the property. The leaves have lots of little orange-yellow spots on them. A: It’s likely cedar-apple rust. Your trees may start dropping leaves soon. Red cedar...

READ MORE

Blueberry Bush – Leaves Are Yellow With Green Veins

Q: My Premier blueberry bush looks sick. It is full of fruit but the leaves are yellow, with green veins. Any ideas? A: Yellow leaves with green veins indicate iron chlorosis, which can be caused by soil pH that’s too...

READ MORE

Gardenias – Limbs Are Touching The Ground

Q: We have beautiful gardenias flanking our patio. The weight of flowers and leaves has bent the limbs over to touch the ground. What would you suggest? A: After flowering, prune them back by at least a third. Make your...

READ MORE

Mass Planting Ferns – Which Type To Get

Q: I am looking to do a mass planting of ferns. The least expensive way to go is to buy bare root ferns online. I’m looking at beech fern, autumn fern, cinnamon fern, and bracken fern. A: The ferns you...

READ MORE

Petunias – White Spots On The Petals

Q: I’m seeing petunias with white spots on the flower petals. There are no spots on the foliage. A: It’s probably gray mold, Botrytis cinerea, a common disease of flower petals. If a petunia flower is kept constantly moist, the...

READ MORE

Peach Tree Planted Around Septic Tank – Safe To Eat Fruit?

Q: What do you think about eating the fruit from a peach tree that it was planted around a septic tank? A: As long as the fruit does not directly touch the ground I would be comfortable eating it. Germs...

READ MORE

Cinder Block Raised Beds – Is there A Danger Of Chemicals Leaching Into The Soil?

Q: I have seen plans for making raised beds with cinder blocks. Is there any danger of chemicals leaching into the soil? A: Once upon a time cinder blocks were made from cinders that were left after coal was burned...

READ MORE

Red Potatoes – What Has Been Eating At The Roots?

Q: We planted red potatoes but one of the plants has been eaten from the roots. A: I think it could be a vole (meadow mouse) eating the potato. These shy creatures make runs beneath mulch and weeds to reach...

READ MORE

Passionvines – What To Do About Caterpillars

Q: I have six passionvines. What can I use to kill the spiked caterpillar that can strip the whole vine in less than a week? A: The other-side-of-the-coin nature of butterflies is that they all come from caterpillars. And caterpillars...

READ MORE

Green Lawn Year Round – Options

Q: I’m building a house that will be done in September. The contractor normally uses bermuda grass but I prefer a green lawn year round. What grass would you recommend for our full sun yard with irrigation system? A: You...

READ MORE

Tree Peony – Does It Grow Into A Tree

Q: You mentioned a tree peony a few weeks ago. Does it really grow into a tree? A: They are called “tree peony” but they are more like “shrub peony”. My fifteen-year-old Paeonia suffruticosa is three feet tall and three...

READ MORE

Ladybugs VS Asian Ladybugs

Q: On your radio show, you were talked about ladybugs and said something about not confusing them with bugs that would eat wood. What bugs did you mean? A: I spoke about the Asian ladybugs that were brought in to...

READ MORE

Plumeria Trees – How Can I Trim Them?

Q: I was wondering when and how I can trim my plumeria trees this fall without killing them so I can move them back in the garage. A: I think it’s better to trim plumeria lightly from time to time...

READ MORE

Peach Fruit – Spots

Q: This peach tree has been here many years. This is only my second year owning this property. Last year the peaches were delicious but looked a lot like they do in these pictures that I took today. What is...

READ MORE

Cicada – Making Holes in Ground

Q: These 1/2″ holes are appearing in a semi-bare, shaded area in my yard. There is no visible tunneling. Do you have any idea what is making them? Msg two days later: I think I found the culprit! A: Oh...

READ MORE

Horse Manure – Dung Beetles

Q: This morning I went out to clean my horse paddock and had 7 out of about 25 manure piles that have mounded dirt on them. The manure piles with this dirt are spread apart from each other. It isn’t...

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

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

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

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