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
  • Bulbs – Protection from Squirrels

    Q: I’m on a big gardening kick this year and I want to plants lots of bulbs. People tell me that squirrels will dig them up if I don’t protect them the first year. How should I do this? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Potting Soil – Reusing

    Q: I have a big pot from which I’ve pulled all of the petunias and other summer annuals. I want to plant it with pansies but I don’t know what to do with the old soil. Do I have to...

    READ MORE

  • Royal Poinciana Tree – Growing

    Q: I am writing to you hoping you know anything about the Royal Poinciana tree. It is very beautiful and it grows in Puerto Rico. You can see it along the country roads, with bright orange flowers starting in March....

    READ MORE

  • Roundup – Safe to Use

    Q: I am rehabilitating a yard that hasn’t had anything but occasional mowing in fifteen years. There are some nice surprises under all the privet and vines, like a battalion of daylilies and some demure nandinas. I prefer to dig...

    READ MORE

  • Water Problems in the Landscape

    Q: I have a serious drainage problem in my back yard. With heavy rains, you can observe the water flowing out of the backyard like a river stream. Now a permanent waterway has been formed through my yard and a...

    READ MORE

  • Stevia – Sweetener from Leaves

    Q: I need some information about a plant called Stevia. It’s leaves are a natural sweetener and I want to try to grow it. A: The plant you are referring to is Stevia rebaudiana, sometimes called “Honeyleaf”. It is a...

    READ MORE

  • Tulip Tree – Topping

    Q: I have a tall tulip poplar in my back yard which constantly drops limbs. I don’t want to cut it down so I=m thinking about topping it. Would this help the limb breakage problem? A: Topping your tree is...

    READ MORE

  • Bradford Pear – Proper Care

    Q: I have 5 bradford pear trees that are 2 1/2 years old. They seem to be growing OK but I want them to grow faster. I bought some tree fertilizing sticks and plan to put down 3 4 for...

    READ MORE

  • Birch Tree – Planting

    Q: I am new to the Atlanta area and will be starting a garden from scratch. The lot where we are building has no trees and I need some assistance as to the best species and varieties to plant. Is...

    READ MORE

  • Wildflowers – Planting

    Q: I have heard that there is a special blend of wildflower seeds that is grown in the median of the Georgia expressways. I would like to purchase some of these seeds. Can you tell me where to buy them?...

    READ MORE

  • Desert Rose

    Q: I have a Desert Rose plant that has flowered and made a seed pod! It looks sort of like a pea pod with little wispy seed. How do I plant them? A: Sometimes I am completely overwhelmed by the...

    READ MORE

  • Goldenrain Tree – Bougainvilla

    Q: I saw this tree in a parking lot in Lawrenceville. The bloom is similar to a goldenrain tree and produces seeds in the same way. Can you identify it for me? A: You have sharp eyes and good instincts!...

    READ MORE

  • Ground Cedar – Lycopodium

    Q: Can you tell me the name of this plant? It is growing in our woods and is spreading. A: The common name of this plant is ground cedar or running cedar but the scientific name is more interesting: Lycopodium...

    READ MORE

  • Turkey – Control

    Q: I spoke with you on the radio about my ‘turkey problem’, and I thought you’d enjoy some photos of the culprits. If they weren’t so dirty I’d keep them as pets, but we’ll take measures to move them to...

    READ MORE

  • Effect of Food Coloring on Plants – Science Project

    Q: I am a Junior at in High school in Cherokee County. I am currently working on an experiment that involves coloring house plants, particularly the Dieffenbachia ‘Camille,’ with food coloring. At first I was growing these plants in soil...

    READ MORE

  • Growing Vegetables Indoors

    Q: My family is trying to eat as many home grown fruits and vegetables as we can. I am arranging my complete basement to be able to garden year round. Do you see any problems with this? A: My guess...

    READ MORE

  • Sorghum – Identification

    Q: This came up in my yard. At first I thought it was corn but it isn’t. What is it and where did it come from? A: It looks like Sorghum bicolor, otherwise known as grain sorghum. Sorghum seed is...

    READ MORE

  • Purple Beautyberry – Identification

    Q: Can you please tell me the name of this plant? It’s growing off Lindberg Drive, near Peachtree Creek. It has these beautiful purple berries even now. I think it’s a good one for color in the fall. A: You...

    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

Bulbs – Protection from Squirrels

Q: I’m on a big gardening kick this year and I want to plants lots of bulbs. People tell me that squirrels will dig them up if I don’t protect them the first year. How should I do this? A:...

READ MORE

Potting Soil – Reusing

Q: I have a big pot from which I’ve pulled all of the petunias and other summer annuals. I want to plant it with pansies but I don’t know what to do with the old soil. Do I have to...

READ MORE

Royal Poinciana Tree – Growing

Q: I am writing to you hoping you know anything about the Royal Poinciana tree. It is very beautiful and it grows in Puerto Rico. You can see it along the country roads, with bright orange flowers starting in March....

READ MORE

Roundup – Safe to Use

Q: I am rehabilitating a yard that hasn’t had anything but occasional mowing in fifteen years. There are some nice surprises under all the privet and vines, like a battalion of daylilies and some demure nandinas. I prefer to dig...

READ MORE

Water Problems in the Landscape

Q: I have a serious drainage problem in my back yard. With heavy rains, you can observe the water flowing out of the backyard like a river stream. Now a permanent waterway has been formed through my yard and a...

READ MORE

Stevia – Sweetener from Leaves

Q: I need some information about a plant called Stevia. It’s leaves are a natural sweetener and I want to try to grow it. A: The plant you are referring to is Stevia rebaudiana, sometimes called “Honeyleaf”. It is a...

READ MORE

Tulip Tree – Topping

Q: I have a tall tulip poplar in my back yard which constantly drops limbs. I don’t want to cut it down so I=m thinking about topping it. Would this help the limb breakage problem? A: Topping your tree is...

READ MORE

Bradford Pear – Proper Care

Q: I have 5 bradford pear trees that are 2 1/2 years old. They seem to be growing OK but I want them to grow faster. I bought some tree fertilizing sticks and plan to put down 3 4 for...

READ MORE

Birch Tree – Planting

Q: I am new to the Atlanta area and will be starting a garden from scratch. The lot where we are building has no trees and I need some assistance as to the best species and varieties to plant. Is...

READ MORE

Wildflowers – Planting

Q: I have heard that there is a special blend of wildflower seeds that is grown in the median of the Georgia expressways. I would like to purchase some of these seeds. Can you tell me where to buy them?...

READ MORE

Desert Rose

Q: I have a Desert Rose plant that has flowered and made a seed pod! It looks sort of like a pea pod with little wispy seed. How do I plant them? A: Sometimes I am completely overwhelmed by the...

READ MORE

Goldenrain Tree – Bougainvilla

Q: I saw this tree in a parking lot in Lawrenceville. The bloom is similar to a goldenrain tree and produces seeds in the same way. Can you identify it for me? A: You have sharp eyes and good instincts!...

READ MORE

Ground Cedar – Lycopodium

Q: Can you tell me the name of this plant? It is growing in our woods and is spreading. A: The common name of this plant is ground cedar or running cedar but the scientific name is more interesting: Lycopodium...

READ MORE

Turkey – Control

Q: I spoke with you on the radio about my ‘turkey problem’, and I thought you’d enjoy some photos of the culprits. If they weren’t so dirty I’d keep them as pets, but we’ll take measures to move them to...

READ MORE

Effect of Food Coloring on Plants – Science Project

Q: I am a Junior at in High school in Cherokee County. I am currently working on an experiment that involves coloring house plants, particularly the Dieffenbachia ‘Camille,’ with food coloring. At first I was growing these plants in soil...

READ MORE

Growing Vegetables Indoors

Q: My family is trying to eat as many home grown fruits and vegetables as we can. I am arranging my complete basement to be able to garden year round. Do you see any problems with this? A: My guess...

READ MORE

Sorghum – Identification

Q: This came up in my yard. At first I thought it was corn but it isn’t. What is it and where did it come from? A: It looks like Sorghum bicolor, otherwise known as grain sorghum. Sorghum seed is...

READ MORE

Purple Beautyberry – Identification

Q: Can you please tell me the name of this plant? It’s growing off Lindberg Drive, near Peachtree Creek. It has these beautiful purple berries even now. I think it’s a good one for color in the fall. A: You...

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