Featured Article

Upcoming Trips to Ireland and Cuba – 2014

I get real pleasure from travelling with folks who like to see the world. Going to Callaway Gardens was a real trip when I was a kid! Now I get to see the corners of the globe with gardeners (and spouses!) on trips I plan and host each year. We’re...

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UGA Vegetable Gardening Publications

With food prices high, folks have been thinking about growing some of their own food. Food gardening is not hard and it doesn’t have to take much room in your landscape. You can even do it in containers! These gardening publications are available on the Internet or ask for a...

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Roundup – Using on Winter Weeds

It is tempting to spray glyphosate (click for sources) on green winter weeds when your lawn grass is brown and dormant. However, bermudagrass is the only turfgrass on which I’d recommend this practice – - and with much caution. The bermudagrass must be completely dormant. Get on your hands and...

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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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Buy Garden Books!

As you probably know, I am the author or co-author of several books about gardening in Georgia.  If you’d like to get one of my books for yourself or to give as a gift, click the link below. I’ll get the order immediately and will inscribe it as you wish...

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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Spider Mites- Identifying

    Q: Last summer we had repeated attacks from spider mites in our bermudagrass lawn and on our evergreens. They were turning brown and dying. We sprayed Kelthane each time. It appeared to solve the problem, but after several weeks the...

    READ MORE

  • Soil Conditioner – Replacing

    Q: I added soil conditioner last year on your advice and the soil was wonderful to work with! Do I add more this year? If not, do I add lime again? A: Once the soil is soft you can just...

    READ MORE

  • Landscape Design – Courses of Study

    Q: What credentials should one have to be a landscape designer? In college, I considered studying to be a landscape architect, but I chose accounting instead. After twenty years of income taxes, I’ve realized that my true calling is gardening....

    READ MORE

  • Maple Tree – Planting flowers underneath

    Q: I have a three-year old red maple tree. I would like to make an eighteen-inch high stone wall five feet out from the trunk, fill this with dirt and plant flowers under the tree. My husband said it would...

    READ MORE

  • Holly – Using soil amendment

    Q: I recently planted several hollies. When I dug the holes I removed the old red clay dirt and backfilled the plants with cow manure and enriched garden soil. Now the plants are withering. I remember you saying some original...

    READ MORE

  • Mexican Heather – Alternatives

    Q: A couple of years ago I bought some Mexican heather and planted it in front of some shrubs. Although the tag said it was perennial, it died over the winter and never came back. I loved the shape and...

    READ MORE

  • Ornamental Grass – Cutting Back

    Q: On one of your Georgia Public Broadcasting “Gardening in Georgia” TV shows you demonstrated a good way to cut back pampas grass. Can you refresh my memory? A: I demonstrated cutting the grass with a carpenter’s saw but I’ve...

    READ MORE

  • Magnolia – Cracks on Trunk

    Q: I have a mature magnolia tree that has cracking bark along many limbs. Is this a cause for worry? A: I saw the same thing a few years ago: a huge magnolia with longitudinal cracks along the trunk and...

    READ MORE

  • Stumps – Preventing resprouting

    Q: How do I kill very large stumps that have been cut down to ground level? A: If you need to keep the stumps from resprouting, chop into the edge of the stump with a hatchet and spray glyphosate (Roundup,...

    READ MORE

  • Love-in-a-mist – Care

    Q: I have a mystery flower, grown from a wildflower seed mixture. I am not sure if the pods precede the flower, but I was hoping you could identify it. A: It’s the fascinating-looking love-in-a-mist, Nigella damascena. The dianthus-like flowers...

    READ MORE

  • Balm of Gilead – Procuring

    Q: I’m looking for a Balm of Gilead tree. Over one hundred years ago, a Native American taught my Carolina ancestors how to make a burn salve from wild ginger, Balm of Gilead buds, and hog lard. The batch we...

    READ MORE

  • Fertilizer Capsules – Identifying in Soil

    Q: I’d like to know if the tiny eggs that I see embedded in a pot of soil make it unsafe to plant there. I’m assuming that these yellowish eggs are from spiders. I don’t want to simply throw out...

    READ MORE

  • Fly – Control

    Q: I was visiting my daughter and she pointed out that the west side of her house was covered with flies. She said it happens every year around this time. Is there a way to get rid of them? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Bulbs – Leaves Emerge in Winter

    Many are the anguished cries when gardeners notice that bulb foliage has emerged in early winter. “Get back down in the ground!” they implore. “It’s gonna get really cold soon.” The truth of the matter is that bulb foliage is...

    READ MORE

  • Aztec Grass

    My wife is installing a “white area” in front of our house so when she saw plants identical to variegated liriope in a garden center, she grabbed eight of them. I thought nothing about it until I read the plant...

    READ MORE

  • American Agave

    I found your newspaper comment on American agave interesting. I took the attached pictures at a home in Lithonia. My husband and our full size extended cab truck are in the picture to show size. This plant has been in...

    READ MORE

  • Insecticide – Homemade Recipe

    Q: Is it possible to make your own insecticidal soap spray? Can you provide a recipe? A: I once tried to make soap from lye and lard. The results ruined a boiler pot, melted the hair on my arm and...

    READ MORE

  • Asparagus – Found In Wild, Edible?

    Q: My husband and I noticed asparagus ferns growing along a fence row on our property. Is it safe to eat? Is there such a thing as wild asparagus A: My parents made a hobby of transplanting wild asparagus seedlings,...

    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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 – 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

  • 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

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES

Spider Mites- Identifying

Q: Last summer we had repeated attacks from spider mites in our bermudagrass lawn and on our evergreens. They were turning brown and dying. We sprayed Kelthane each time. It appeared to solve the problem, but after several weeks the...

READ MORE

Soil Conditioner – Replacing

Q: I added soil conditioner last year on your advice and the soil was wonderful to work with! Do I add more this year? If not, do I add lime again? A: Once the soil is soft you can just...

READ MORE

Landscape Design – Courses of Study

Q: What credentials should one have to be a landscape designer? In college, I considered studying to be a landscape architect, but I chose accounting instead. After twenty years of income taxes, I’ve realized that my true calling is gardening....

READ MORE

Maple Tree – Planting flowers underneath

Q: I have a three-year old red maple tree. I would like to make an eighteen-inch high stone wall five feet out from the trunk, fill this with dirt and plant flowers under the tree. My husband said it would...

READ MORE

Holly – Using soil amendment

Q: I recently planted several hollies. When I dug the holes I removed the old red clay dirt and backfilled the plants with cow manure and enriched garden soil. Now the plants are withering. I remember you saying some original...

READ MORE

Mexican Heather – Alternatives

Q: A couple of years ago I bought some Mexican heather and planted it in front of some shrubs. Although the tag said it was perennial, it died over the winter and never came back. I loved the shape and...

READ MORE

Ornamental Grass – Cutting Back

Q: On one of your Georgia Public Broadcasting “Gardening in Georgia” TV shows you demonstrated a good way to cut back pampas grass. Can you refresh my memory? A: I demonstrated cutting the grass with a carpenter’s saw but I’ve...

READ MORE

Magnolia – Cracks on Trunk

Q: I have a mature magnolia tree that has cracking bark along many limbs. Is this a cause for worry? A: I saw the same thing a few years ago: a huge magnolia with longitudinal cracks along the trunk and...

READ MORE

Stumps – Preventing resprouting

Q: How do I kill very large stumps that have been cut down to ground level? A: If you need to keep the stumps from resprouting, chop into the edge of the stump with a hatchet and spray glyphosate (Roundup,...

READ MORE

Love-in-a-mist – Care

Q: I have a mystery flower, grown from a wildflower seed mixture. I am not sure if the pods precede the flower, but I was hoping you could identify it. A: It’s the fascinating-looking love-in-a-mist, Nigella damascena. The dianthus-like flowers...

READ MORE

Balm of Gilead – Procuring

Q: I’m looking for a Balm of Gilead tree. Over one hundred years ago, a Native American taught my Carolina ancestors how to make a burn salve from wild ginger, Balm of Gilead buds, and hog lard. The batch we...

READ MORE

Fertilizer Capsules – Identifying in Soil

Q: I’d like to know if the tiny eggs that I see embedded in a pot of soil make it unsafe to plant there. I’m assuming that these yellowish eggs are from spiders. I don’t want to simply throw out...

READ MORE

Fly – Control

Q: I was visiting my daughter and she pointed out that the west side of her house was covered with flies. She said it happens every year around this time. Is there a way to get rid of them? A:...

READ MORE

Bulbs – Leaves Emerge in Winter

Many are the anguished cries when gardeners notice that bulb foliage has emerged in early winter. “Get back down in the ground!” they implore. “It’s gonna get really cold soon.” The truth of the matter is that bulb foliage is...

READ MORE

Aztec Grass

My wife is installing a “white area” in front of our house so when she saw plants identical to variegated liriope in a garden center, she grabbed eight of them. I thought nothing about it until I read the plant...

READ MORE

American Agave

I found your newspaper comment on American agave interesting. I took the attached pictures at a home in Lithonia. My husband and our full size extended cab truck are in the picture to show size. This plant has been in...

READ MORE

Insecticide – Homemade Recipe

Q: Is it possible to make your own insecticidal soap spray? Can you provide a recipe? A: I once tried to make soap from lye and lard. The results ruined a boiler pot, melted the hair on my arm and...

READ MORE

Asparagus – Found In Wild, Edible?

Q: My husband and I noticed asparagus ferns growing along a fence row on our property. Is it safe to eat? Is there such a thing as wild asparagus A: My parents made a hobby of transplanting wild asparagus seedlings,...

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 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

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

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

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 – 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

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