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
  • Sod – Too Late to Put Down?

    Q: Is it too late to put down sod before it starts turning cooler? A: Turf expert Clint Waltz says you can do it ^IF^ you properly prepare beforehand. Till the soil at least six inches deep so roots can...

    READ MORE

  • Experimental Flower Garden – University of Georgia

    Q: I am going to visit my son at the University of Georgia and would love to visit the experimental flower garden. I am always so impressed when Dr. Allan Armitage describes the plants they are working on. Can you...

    READ MORE

  • Bearded Iris – Dividing

    Q: Is it too late to divide bearded iris in August? A: My rule is that you can divide iris and daylilies anytime between the last blooms and the first frost. Now is a fine time. Dig them carefully with...

    READ MORE

  • Bird Seed Causing Weeds?

    Q: My husband and I have a dispute. We used inexpensive bird seed a few years ago that sprouted quite a harvest of weeds in our grass. For the past two years I’ve been buying “No Mess” bird seed. My...

    READ MORE

  • Roses – Banana Peel Providing Benefits

    Q: Martha Stewart says roses love banana peels. How would I use them on my seven roses? What do they get from the peels? A: Martha is a knowledgeable gardener but I think she got carried away when she extolled...

    READ MORE

  • Hydranega – Aluminum Sulfate

    Q: I think I poisoned my hydrangea bush. When I saw its pink blooms in May, I poured diluted aluminum sulfate directly onto the roots in order to change the acidity of the soil and get the flowers to turn...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia Grass – Mowing

    Q: I installed ‘Emerald’ zoysiagrass sod three years ago and it’s awesome, like being on thick plush carpet. I have mowed it at 3.5 inches the same exact way since the beginning. I start on the outside edge, going counter...

    READ MORE

  • Sweet Poataoes – When to Harvest

    Q: I planted sweet potatoes this spring and the vines are growing well. How I will recognize the right time to harvest them? A: You can harvest them anytime you like before frost hits the leaves. The longer you wait,...

    READ MORE

  • Elephant Ear – Poisonous

    Q: I have an elephant ear that has shiny, leathery leaves with stalks that are thick and tough. I had a leaf fall over and turn yellow, so I pulled it off. A little while later, my hands and arms...

    READ MORE

  • Hay – Different Smells

    Q: What kind of hay has a spicy fragrance when it’s cut? A: Oconee County Extension agent Henry Hibbs says: “There is definite difference in the smell of alfalfa, bermuda and fescue hay. The most notable is the difference between...

    READ MORE

  • Forage – Testing

    Q: I will be buying alfalfa hay for several horses this year. How can I know it is of the best quality? A: The only way is through a forage test, available from your local Extension office (1-800-ASKUGA-1). According to...

    READ MORE

  • Mulch – Wheat Straw OK To Use In Vegeatble Garden

    Q: I am a greenhorn gardener with a quick question about mulch. Is it ok to use wheat straw in my vegetable garden. A: Wheat straw is an excellent mulch. I use it myself to attract harmless spiders because they...

    READ MORE

  • Cucumbers and Watermelons Planted Near Eachother – Mistake?

    Q: I’ve been told that I have made a mistake with my cucumbers and watermelon planted near each other. “They” have said that I can look forward to strange shaped watermelons and funny tasting cucumbers. Is this true? A: “They”...

    READ MORE

  • Cannas – Damaged by the Cold

    Q: I had a lot of cannas in my front yard. This year they have not sprouted at all. Could the cold have killed them? A: Yes, cold damage has been a major problem on marginally-hardy plants we typically leave...

    READ MORE

  • Pacifica Chrysanthemum – Propagating

    Q: I purchased a Pacifica chrysanthemum two years ago. It has become my favorite ground cover and in fall, the daisy-like yellow flowers are thrilling. How do I propagate it to other parts of my garden? A: I think you’re...

    READ MORE

  • Daddy Longlegs – Harmless to Flowers

    Q: Should I be worried if I see “daddy long legs” spiders on my flowers? A: No, the daddy longlegs are harmless. Also known as harvestmen, these creatures are not spiders, though the body form is similar. They do not...

    READ MORE

  • Ceramic Pots – Need to Waterproof?

    Q: We recently purchased ten very large ceramic pots. We plan to have evergreen plants in the center with seasonal annuals around them. Should we waterproof them somehow? A: My friend Mildred Fockele oversees dozens of large containers at the...

    READ MORE

  • Composting Fruit and Vegetables – OK to Add Paper?

    Q: I’ve been composting my fruit and vegetable trimmings and coffee grounds. Can shredded office paper be added to the pile? A: Office paper is fine to compost as long as you can deal with the practical matter of its...

    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

Sod – Too Late to Put Down?

Q: Is it too late to put down sod before it starts turning cooler? A: Turf expert Clint Waltz says you can do it ^IF^ you properly prepare beforehand. Till the soil at least six inches deep so roots can...

READ MORE

Experimental Flower Garden – University of Georgia

Q: I am going to visit my son at the University of Georgia and would love to visit the experimental flower garden. I am always so impressed when Dr. Allan Armitage describes the plants they are working on. Can you...

READ MORE

Bearded Iris – Dividing

Q: Is it too late to divide bearded iris in August? A: My rule is that you can divide iris and daylilies anytime between the last blooms and the first frost. Now is a fine time. Dig them carefully with...

READ MORE

Bird Seed Causing Weeds?

Q: My husband and I have a dispute. We used inexpensive bird seed a few years ago that sprouted quite a harvest of weeds in our grass. For the past two years I’ve been buying “No Mess” bird seed. My...

READ MORE

Roses – Banana Peel Providing Benefits

Q: Martha Stewart says roses love banana peels. How would I use them on my seven roses? What do they get from the peels? A: Martha is a knowledgeable gardener but I think she got carried away when she extolled...

READ MORE

Hydranega – Aluminum Sulfate

Q: I think I poisoned my hydrangea bush. When I saw its pink blooms in May, I poured diluted aluminum sulfate directly onto the roots in order to change the acidity of the soil and get the flowers to turn...

READ MORE

Zoysia Grass – Mowing

Q: I installed ‘Emerald’ zoysiagrass sod three years ago and it’s awesome, like being on thick plush carpet. I have mowed it at 3.5 inches the same exact way since the beginning. I start on the outside edge, going counter...

READ MORE

Sweet Poataoes – When to Harvest

Q: I planted sweet potatoes this spring and the vines are growing well. How I will recognize the right time to harvest them? A: You can harvest them anytime you like before frost hits the leaves. The longer you wait,...

READ MORE

Elephant Ear – Poisonous

Q: I have an elephant ear that has shiny, leathery leaves with stalks that are thick and tough. I had a leaf fall over and turn yellow, so I pulled it off. A little while later, my hands and arms...

READ MORE

Hay – Different Smells

Q: What kind of hay has a spicy fragrance when it’s cut? A: Oconee County Extension agent Henry Hibbs says: “There is definite difference in the smell of alfalfa, bermuda and fescue hay. The most notable is the difference between...

READ MORE

Forage – Testing

Q: I will be buying alfalfa hay for several horses this year. How can I know it is of the best quality? A: The only way is through a forage test, available from your local Extension office (1-800-ASKUGA-1). According to...

READ MORE

Mulch – Wheat Straw OK To Use In Vegeatble Garden

Q: I am a greenhorn gardener with a quick question about mulch. Is it ok to use wheat straw in my vegetable garden. A: Wheat straw is an excellent mulch. I use it myself to attract harmless spiders because they...

READ MORE

Cucumbers and Watermelons Planted Near Eachother – Mistake?

Q: I’ve been told that I have made a mistake with my cucumbers and watermelon planted near each other. “They” have said that I can look forward to strange shaped watermelons and funny tasting cucumbers. Is this true? A: “They”...

READ MORE

Cannas – Damaged by the Cold

Q: I had a lot of cannas in my front yard. This year they have not sprouted at all. Could the cold have killed them? A: Yes, cold damage has been a major problem on marginally-hardy plants we typically leave...

READ MORE

Pacifica Chrysanthemum – Propagating

Q: I purchased a Pacifica chrysanthemum two years ago. It has become my favorite ground cover and in fall, the daisy-like yellow flowers are thrilling. How do I propagate it to other parts of my garden? A: I think you’re...

READ MORE

Daddy Longlegs – Harmless to Flowers

Q: Should I be worried if I see “daddy long legs” spiders on my flowers? A: No, the daddy longlegs are harmless. Also known as harvestmen, these creatures are not spiders, though the body form is similar. They do not...

READ MORE

Ceramic Pots – Need to Waterproof?

Q: We recently purchased ten very large ceramic pots. We plan to have evergreen plants in the center with seasonal annuals around them. Should we waterproof them somehow? A: My friend Mildred Fockele oversees dozens of large containers at the...

READ MORE

Composting Fruit and Vegetables – OK to Add Paper?

Q: I’ve been composting my fruit and vegetable trimmings and coffee grounds. Can shredded office paper be added to the pile? A: Office paper is fine to compost as long as you can deal with the practical matter of its...

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