Featured Article

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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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
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Fertilizer for Bulbs – Location

    Q: We were advised to fertilize our bulbs as the foliage starts to emerge in the spring. At a nursery a salesman told me to use blood meal instead of bulb fertilizer. When I looked at the box it says...

    READ MORE

  • Planting Monkey Grass – Winter

    Q: Can I divide and transplant monkey grass this month or is there a better time for it? A: I have consulted my gardening calendar. Christmas Day seems to be a fine time to transplant monkey grass (liriope) as does...

    READ MORE

  • Straw Bale – English Peas

    Q: I would like to try planting English peas in straw bales. Is this a good idea? A: Straw bale gardening can be very productive but it takes at least ten days to prepare the bale. It would probably take...

    READ MORE

  • Blueberries Too Bitter

    Q: I have two blueberry bushes. The last several years the fruit has been too bitter to eat. How can I sweeten them up? A: Here are three tips: 1. Make sure they are in full sun all day. Blueberries...

    READ MORE

  • Cross Pollination – Same Plant

    Q: I understand that cross-pollination is not of concern to the current plants, but the seeds are affected: if you replant those seeds next year, then you’ll have Franken-veggies. But what about cross-pollination between varieties of the same plant? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia Lawn – Sand

    Q: Our zoysia lawn has a low spot where rain runoff pools. Can I add a couple inches of sand to absorb all that moisture? A: Sand doesn’t absorb moisture, it only fills the low spot. If you use pure...

    READ MORE

  • Broadcasting Petunias – Flower Bed

    Q: I have a front yard flower bed. Can I successfully plant petunias by broadcasting the seed there? When is the best time to do it? A: Petunias can certainly be grown from seed but it’s usually done indoors or...

    READ MORE

  • Wheat Seeds Sprout – Zoysia Sod

    Q: We finished our new home in October. It was an extremely wet time and we were allowed to put down wheat straw rather than sod. After the soil we laid zoysia sod. Wheat seeds continue to sprout through the...

    READ MORE

  • Gypsum Wallboard – Compost

    Q: Is broken up gypsum wallboard good for the compost pile and garden? A: Not particularly, unless your soil is deficient in calcium. Gypsum is composed of calcium sulfate; it’s useful in rare cases on farms but not on a...

    READ MORE

  • Best Pre-emergent Time

    Q: What is the best time to spread pre-emergent on garden areas containing flowers and shrubs? A: The best time to apply is early March but it’s complicated. Although the chemicals might be the same, legally you are supposed to...

    READ MORE

  • Cedar Sawdust – Plant Growth

    Q: I’m a woodworker and have lots of sawdust. Last spring I put a layer of cedar sawdust on my vegetable garden. I was not happy with the plant growth I got. Is there something in the cedar that inhibited...

    READ MORE

  • No Sweetgum Balls!

    Q: We have lived here twenty years and have always had those dreaded sweetgum balls. But this year none out of ten trees had them. A: Nature works in mysterious ways! It’s possible there was a heavy rain during flowering...

    READ MORE

  • Tiger Nuts

    Q: What are Tiger Nuts? I heard they are delicious. A: “Tiger Nuts” are the roasted tubers of the terribly invasive yellow nutsedge, Cyperus esculentus. Since they are roasted, if you accidentally drop one, it won’t germinate. I applaud any...

    READ MORE

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Fertilizer for Bulbs – Location

Q: We were advised to fertilize our bulbs as the foliage starts to emerge in the spring. At a nursery a salesman told me to use blood meal instead of bulb fertilizer. When I looked at the box it says...

READ MORE

Planting Monkey Grass – Winter

Q: Can I divide and transplant monkey grass this month or is there a better time for it? A: I have consulted my gardening calendar. Christmas Day seems to be a fine time to transplant monkey grass (liriope) as does...

READ MORE

Straw Bale – English Peas

Q: I would like to try planting English peas in straw bales. Is this a good idea? A: Straw bale gardening can be very productive but it takes at least ten days to prepare the bale. It would probably take...

READ MORE

Blueberries Too Bitter

Q: I have two blueberry bushes. The last several years the fruit has been too bitter to eat. How can I sweeten them up? A: Here are three tips: 1. Make sure they are in full sun all day. Blueberries...

READ MORE

Cross Pollination – Same Plant

Q: I understand that cross-pollination is not of concern to the current plants, but the seeds are affected: if you replant those seeds next year, then you’ll have Franken-veggies. But what about cross-pollination between varieties of the same plant? A:...

READ MORE

Zoysia Lawn – Sand

Q: Our zoysia lawn has a low spot where rain runoff pools. Can I add a couple inches of sand to absorb all that moisture? A: Sand doesn’t absorb moisture, it only fills the low spot. If you use pure...

READ MORE

Broadcasting Petunias – Flower Bed

Q: I have a front yard flower bed. Can I successfully plant petunias by broadcasting the seed there? When is the best time to do it? A: Petunias can certainly be grown from seed but it’s usually done indoors or...

READ MORE

Wheat Seeds Sprout – Zoysia Sod

Q: We finished our new home in October. It was an extremely wet time and we were allowed to put down wheat straw rather than sod. After the soil we laid zoysia sod. Wheat seeds continue to sprout through the...

READ MORE

Gypsum Wallboard – Compost

Q: Is broken up gypsum wallboard good for the compost pile and garden? A: Not particularly, unless your soil is deficient in calcium. Gypsum is composed of calcium sulfate; it’s useful in rare cases on farms but not on a...

READ MORE

Best Pre-emergent Time

Q: What is the best time to spread pre-emergent on garden areas containing flowers and shrubs? A: The best time to apply is early March but it’s complicated. Although the chemicals might be the same, legally you are supposed to...

READ MORE

Cedar Sawdust – Plant Growth

Q: I’m a woodworker and have lots of sawdust. Last spring I put a layer of cedar sawdust on my vegetable garden. I was not happy with the plant growth I got. Is there something in the cedar that inhibited...

READ MORE

No Sweetgum Balls!

Q: We have lived here twenty years and have always had those dreaded sweetgum balls. But this year none out of ten trees had them. A: Nature works in mysterious ways! It’s possible there was a heavy rain during flowering...

READ MORE

Tiger Nuts

Q: What are Tiger Nuts? I heard they are delicious. A: “Tiger Nuts” are the roasted tubers of the terribly invasive yellow nutsedge, Cyperus esculentus. Since they are roasted, if you accidentally drop one, it won’t germinate. I applaud any...

READ MORE

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

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

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

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

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