Featured Article

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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Organic Gardening – Resources

Q: I have been all over the Internet and cannot find a good resource about organic gardening in Georgia and what to plant when. We want to start an organic vegetable garden now. What can we plant in the summer and the other seasons as well? Can you give me...

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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Apple Seeds – How to Grow

    Q: I work with a pre-kindergarden class. We have been studying apples and the children are curious about the seeds turning into an apple tree. If we planted some of the seeds now would they sprout before the first frost?...

    READ MORE

  • Gallon Pots – Reusing

    Q: What steps are necessary when reusing one gallon pots when transplanting plants? Is it necessary to sterilize the pots from the previous soil source? A: Do you re-use, without cleaning, a fork that drops to the floor during a...

    READ MORE

  • Leyland Cypress – Pruning

    Q: I would like to prune some Leyland cypress trees standing next to our house. Shall I do the sides as well as the top to restrain it from growing A: You can’t restrain it from growing, but Norm Mittleider,...

    READ MORE

  • Blueberries – Caterpillars

    Q: Some large, fuzzy, black caterpillars with yellow stripes are devouring the leaves of my blueberries. Should steps be taken to eliminate them? A: You are seeing yellow neck caterpillars. Notice how they lift their front and hind quarters to...

    READ MORE

  • Alberta Spruce – Dying

    Q: I have had a dwarf Alberta spruce in a large pot for two years. Now it is showing signs of dying, one branch at a time. It appears that it isn’t getting enough water but that isn’t the case....

    READ MORE

  • Grape Tomato Vine – 14+ Feet Tall

    Q: My grape tomato vine is fourteen-plus feet tall. Is this normal? I’m risking my life to climb on the roof where I have attached them to pick the ones at the top. A: Now you know what an “indeterminate”...

    READ MORE

  • Flowers for Coastal Georgia

    Q: : I have some property on the Georgia coast that I’m trying to market. It would look far better if it had some flowers growing on it. What can I plant now? A: Roger Ditmer, director of horticulture at...

    READ MORE

  • Kentucky 31 Fescue – Spreading Seed

    Q: What setting should I use on a rotary spreader to spread Kentucky 31 fescue seed? Or does it matter? A: It ^DOES^ matter! You need to apply only 8 – 10 lb. per 1000 sq. feet. If you put...

    READ MORE

  • Container Gardening – Reusing Soil

    Q: I did container gardening this year and used a lot of potting soil for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, spinach and romaine. Should I discard all of the potting soil or can I use some of it next year? A: Two...

    READ MORE

  • Dianthus – Killing Invasive Bermuda Grass

    Q: Several years ago I planted beds of ‘Firewitch’ dianthus close to a bermudagrass lawn. Over the years the bermudagrass has infested the dianthus beds to the point of covering them up! Is there anything that I can use to...

    READ MORE

  • Zoysia Grass – In the Sun

    Q: I heard you talking on the radio about zoysiagrass that is shade tolerant. Could you tell me more? I already have ‘Meyer’ zoysiagrass in my backyard . My front yard does not get as much sun but I would...

    READ MORE

  • Pumpkin Seeds – Planting Sprouts Indoors

    Q: My children collected seeds from our pumpkin this year. We placed several of them in damp paper towels on top of the refrigerator. Now we have several four-inch long sprouts. What do I need to do to keep them...

    READ MORE

  • How to Garden in Fannin County

    Q: We live in southern Florida and are building a house in Fannin county. Once the house is built, how do we learn to garden in this new area? A: What a marvelous gardening opportunity you have! You won’t have...

    READ MORE

  • Climbing Knock Out® Roses

    Q: Any chance there’s a climbing Knock Out®  rose in the works? My shrub Knock Out® s have done so well, that’s the only way I’ll go at this point in my life. A: There are two kinds of climbing roses. Ramblers...

    READ MORE

  • St. Augustine Grass plugs

    Q: I am tired of fighting hot, dry summers to get my fescue to survive. Next summer I plan to mix St. Augustinegrass plugs into my fescue in hopes that as the fescue deteriorates in summer, the St Augustine will...

    READ MORE

  • Clematis Vines – Pruning

    Q: I have two clematis vines that were beautiful this past summer. They are now hibernating for the winter. What should I do now to insure that they are just as vibrant next year? Should I cut the dying vines...

    READ MORE

  • Rose Trees – Winter Care

    Q: I have two lovely rose trees in pots that did very well this summer. They are five feet tall and two feet wide. As cold weather arrives, should I cut them back? Should I bring them inside for the...

    READ MORE

  • Wax Myrtle – Pruning in November

    Q: Is it OK to prune my wax myrtle in the month of November? I have not found a good guide for when to prune certain plants. Any suggestions? A: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Home & Garden section put together a...

    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 Pre-emergent Herbicide

    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

Apple Seeds – How to Grow

Q: I work with a pre-kindergarden class. We have been studying apples and the children are curious about the seeds turning into an apple tree. If we planted some of the seeds now would they sprout before the first frost?...

READ MORE

Gallon Pots – Reusing

Q: What steps are necessary when reusing one gallon pots when transplanting plants? Is it necessary to sterilize the pots from the previous soil source? A: Do you re-use, without cleaning, a fork that drops to the floor during a...

READ MORE

Leyland Cypress – Pruning

Q: I would like to prune some Leyland cypress trees standing next to our house. Shall I do the sides as well as the top to restrain it from growing A: You can’t restrain it from growing, but Norm Mittleider,...

READ MORE

Blueberries – Caterpillars

Q: Some large, fuzzy, black caterpillars with yellow stripes are devouring the leaves of my blueberries. Should steps be taken to eliminate them? A: You are seeing yellow neck caterpillars. Notice how they lift their front and hind quarters to...

READ MORE

Alberta Spruce – Dying

Q: I have had a dwarf Alberta spruce in a large pot for two years. Now it is showing signs of dying, one branch at a time. It appears that it isn’t getting enough water but that isn’t the case....

READ MORE

Grape Tomato Vine – 14+ Feet Tall

Q: My grape tomato vine is fourteen-plus feet tall. Is this normal? I’m risking my life to climb on the roof where I have attached them to pick the ones at the top. A: Now you know what an “indeterminate”...

READ MORE

Flowers for Coastal Georgia

Q: : I have some property on the Georgia coast that I’m trying to market. It would look far better if it had some flowers growing on it. What can I plant now? A: Roger Ditmer, director of horticulture at...

READ MORE

Kentucky 31 Fescue – Spreading Seed

Q: What setting should I use on a rotary spreader to spread Kentucky 31 fescue seed? Or does it matter? A: It ^DOES^ matter! You need to apply only 8 – 10 lb. per 1000 sq. feet. If you put...

READ MORE

Container Gardening – Reusing Soil

Q: I did container gardening this year and used a lot of potting soil for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, spinach and romaine. Should I discard all of the potting soil or can I use some of it next year? A: Two...

READ MORE

Dianthus – Killing Invasive Bermuda Grass

Q: Several years ago I planted beds of ‘Firewitch’ dianthus close to a bermudagrass lawn. Over the years the bermudagrass has infested the dianthus beds to the point of covering them up! Is there anything that I can use to...

READ MORE

Zoysia Grass – In the Sun

Q: I heard you talking on the radio about zoysiagrass that is shade tolerant. Could you tell me more? I already have ‘Meyer’ zoysiagrass in my backyard . My front yard does not get as much sun but I would...

READ MORE

Pumpkin Seeds – Planting Sprouts Indoors

Q: My children collected seeds from our pumpkin this year. We placed several of them in damp paper towels on top of the refrigerator. Now we have several four-inch long sprouts. What do I need to do to keep them...

READ MORE

How to Garden in Fannin County

Q: We live in southern Florida and are building a house in Fannin county. Once the house is built, how do we learn to garden in this new area? A: What a marvelous gardening opportunity you have! You won’t have...

READ MORE

Climbing Knock Out® Roses

Q: Any chance there’s a climbing Knock Out®  rose in the works? My shrub Knock Out® s have done so well, that’s the only way I’ll go at this point in my life. A: There are two kinds of climbing roses. Ramblers...

READ MORE

St. Augustine Grass plugs

Q: I am tired of fighting hot, dry summers to get my fescue to survive. Next summer I plan to mix St. Augustinegrass plugs into my fescue in hopes that as the fescue deteriorates in summer, the St Augustine will...

READ MORE

Clematis Vines – Pruning

Q: I have two clematis vines that were beautiful this past summer. They are now hibernating for the winter. What should I do now to insure that they are just as vibrant next year? Should I cut the dying vines...

READ MORE

Rose Trees – Winter Care

Q: I have two lovely rose trees in pots that did very well this summer. They are five feet tall and two feet wide. As cold weather arrives, should I cut them back? Should I bring them inside for the...

READ MORE

Wax Myrtle – Pruning in November

Q: Is it OK to prune my wax myrtle in the month of November? I have not found a good guide for when to prune certain plants. Any suggestions? A: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Home & Garden section put together a...

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 Pre-emergent Herbicide

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