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
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Planting New Shrubs – Safe in January

    Q: A landscaper has told me we can safely plant new shrubs until the end of January in Atlanta. What say you? A: They’re right. It would be better to plant shrubs and trees Oct. – Dec., to take advantage...

    READ MORE

  • Becoming a Certified Arborist

    Q: What are the steps to become a certified arborist? A: A certified arborist is someone who has passed a test administered by the International Society of Arboriculture, www.isa-arbor.com. After passing the test, a member is required to take continuing...

    READ MORE

  • Potatoes – Growing in Perlite

    Q: I heard you on radio tell how to grow potatoes in perlite. Can you provide a printed reference? A: It’s east to grow a perlite-filled plastic tub of Irish potatoes on a patio or deck! A large tub can hold...

    READ MORE

  • Weeping Cherry Tree – Seed Vs. Grafting

    Q: I want to purchase a weeping cherry tree this spring. I know there are grafted one and ones started by seed. What’s the difference? A: Grafted weeping cherry trees maintain approximately the same height they possess when planted. Seedling...

    READ MORE

  • Oak – Ring Numbers

    Q: Sitting in traffic I saw an oak with a base ten feet around that splits into two trunks five feet from the ground. Are there the same number of rings in the big base as in the two tall...

    READ MORE

  • Flower Vs. Weed – Explaining the Difference to a Young Child

    Q: My preschool students want to know how to tell the difference between a flower and a weed. How do I explain it to 4-year-olds? A: My answer is simple: A weed is a plant that makes a gardener unhappy....

    READ MORE

  • Hellebore Plants – Thinning Them

    Q: I have a thick carpet of seedlings under my hellebore plants. Should I thin them out or just let nature take its course? A: Perhaps they compete in a small way with the mother plant but I usually let...

    READ MORE

  • Yellow Onions – Growing Green Shoots

    Q: I have two store bought yellow onions that have began to grow green shoots. Can they be planted? A: Onions grow readily in Atlanta area gardens but the ones you buy from a grocery won’t get any bigger, so...

    READ MORE

  • Fatsia – Blooming in December

    Q: I never knew fatsia would bloom in December! The plant is in a fairly protected area and gets high shade most of the day in the summer. I guess it likes it there. A: Yes, I know of another...

    READ MORE

  • Dutchmans Pipe – Successful in Georgia?

    Q: I’m interested in night-blooming flowers and found Dutchman’s pipe online. Is that something I could grow successfully? A: Dutchman’s pipe, Aristolochia macrophylla, will grow very well as a perennial deciduous vine. The flowers are insignificant. However, those of its...

    READ MORE

  • Soil Temperatures – Planting Recommendations

    Q: I am a scientist at heart, so I read with great interest planting recommendations based on soil temperature. I am unclear on which soil temperature to use: 2 inch, 4 inch or 8 inch? A: I use the 2″...

    READ MORE

  • Fire Ants – Alternative Ideas For Killing

    Q: Why don’t we kill fire ants with a bait in sugar syrup? You could even inject it into individual mounds. A: Fire ant expert Wayne Gardner says fire ants will eat proteins, fats, and sugars but they are not...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia Grass – Why Wait to Fertilize

    Q: I have been impatiently waiting to fertilize until my zoysia grass has greened 75-100 percent. Why must I do this, other than because you say so? A: You’re a smart person to always be asking “Why?” in the garden....

    READ MORE

  • Iris – Trimming Leaves

    Q: I have some old iris in my pine bed. Most of the leaves stay green all winter but have some brown edges. Should I trim the leaves or is it too late? A: I don’t think you should ever...

    READ MORE

  • Vegetable Seeds – Donating Extras

    Q: I purchased vegetable seeds for my garden but I will only use a few seeds from the packs. Do you know of any worthy cause to which I could donate the rest? A: The easiest recipient is a local...

    READ MORE

  • Vegetable Garden – Best Direction to Plant

    Q: This spring will be my first full scale vegetable garden. I plan having corn and tomatoes plus lettuce and bell peppers. What direction is best for me to plant so everything gets the most sunlight? A: Plant the taller...

    READ MORE

  • Maple Tree – Tick Prevention

    Q: When I sit under a maple tree in my backyard in summer, I get ticks in my hair. How can I prevent ticks on the tree? A: According to tick expert Dr. Nancy Hinkle, ticks do not fall from...

    READ MORE

  • Best Soil for New Raised Plant Beds

    Q: I am building new raised beds and trying to decide what the best soil to use. I was going to buy bags of planting soil but that is too expensive. How do I make good soil? Or should I...

    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

Planting New Shrubs – Safe in January

Q: A landscaper has told me we can safely plant new shrubs until the end of January in Atlanta. What say you? A: They’re right. It would be better to plant shrubs and trees Oct. – Dec., to take advantage...

READ MORE

Becoming a Certified Arborist

Q: What are the steps to become a certified arborist? A: A certified arborist is someone who has passed a test administered by the International Society of Arboriculture, www.isa-arbor.com. After passing the test, a member is required to take continuing...

READ MORE

Potatoes – Growing in Perlite

Q: I heard you on radio tell how to grow potatoes in perlite. Can you provide a printed reference? A: It’s east to grow a perlite-filled plastic tub of Irish potatoes on a patio or deck! A large tub can hold...

READ MORE

Weeping Cherry Tree – Seed Vs. Grafting

Q: I want to purchase a weeping cherry tree this spring. I know there are grafted one and ones started by seed. What’s the difference? A: Grafted weeping cherry trees maintain approximately the same height they possess when planted. Seedling...

READ MORE

Oak – Ring Numbers

Q: Sitting in traffic I saw an oak with a base ten feet around that splits into two trunks five feet from the ground. Are there the same number of rings in the big base as in the two tall...

READ MORE

Flower Vs. Weed – Explaining the Difference to a Young Child

Q: My preschool students want to know how to tell the difference between a flower and a weed. How do I explain it to 4-year-olds? A: My answer is simple: A weed is a plant that makes a gardener unhappy....

READ MORE

Hellebore Plants – Thinning Them

Q: I have a thick carpet of seedlings under my hellebore plants. Should I thin them out or just let nature take its course? A: Perhaps they compete in a small way with the mother plant but I usually let...

READ MORE

Yellow Onions – Growing Green Shoots

Q: I have two store bought yellow onions that have began to grow green shoots. Can they be planted? A: Onions grow readily in Atlanta area gardens but the ones you buy from a grocery won’t get any bigger, so...

READ MORE

Fatsia – Blooming in December

Q: I never knew fatsia would bloom in December! The plant is in a fairly protected area and gets high shade most of the day in the summer. I guess it likes it there. A: Yes, I know of another...

READ MORE

Dutchmans Pipe – Successful in Georgia?

Q: I’m interested in night-blooming flowers and found Dutchman’s pipe online. Is that something I could grow successfully? A: Dutchman’s pipe, Aristolochia macrophylla, will grow very well as a perennial deciduous vine. The flowers are insignificant. However, those of its...

READ MORE

Soil Temperatures – Planting Recommendations

Q: I am a scientist at heart, so I read with great interest planting recommendations based on soil temperature. I am unclear on which soil temperature to use: 2 inch, 4 inch or 8 inch? A: I use the 2″...

READ MORE

Fire Ants – Alternative Ideas For Killing

Q: Why don’t we kill fire ants with a bait in sugar syrup? You could even inject it into individual mounds. A: Fire ant expert Wayne Gardner says fire ants will eat proteins, fats, and sugars but they are not...

READ MORE

Zoysia Grass – Why Wait to Fertilize

Q: I have been impatiently waiting to fertilize until my zoysia grass has greened 75-100 percent. Why must I do this, other than because you say so? A: You’re a smart person to always be asking “Why?” in the garden....

READ MORE

Iris – Trimming Leaves

Q: I have some old iris in my pine bed. Most of the leaves stay green all winter but have some brown edges. Should I trim the leaves or is it too late? A: I don’t think you should ever...

READ MORE

Vegetable Seeds – Donating Extras

Q: I purchased vegetable seeds for my garden but I will only use a few seeds from the packs. Do you know of any worthy cause to which I could donate the rest? A: The easiest recipient is a local...

READ MORE

Vegetable Garden – Best Direction to Plant

Q: This spring will be my first full scale vegetable garden. I plan having corn and tomatoes plus lettuce and bell peppers. What direction is best for me to plant so everything gets the most sunlight? A: Plant the taller...

READ MORE

Maple Tree – Tick Prevention

Q: When I sit under a maple tree in my backyard in summer, I get ticks in my hair. How can I prevent ticks on the tree? A: According to tick expert Dr. Nancy Hinkle, ticks do not fall from...

READ MORE

Best Soil for New Raised Plant Beds

Q: I am building new raised beds and trying to decide what the best soil to use. I was going to buy bags of planting soil but that is too expensive. How do I make good soil? Or should I...

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