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
  • Cherry – Badly Pruned

    Q: This was a healthy tree about 15 to 20 feet tall, the diameter of the trunk was 18 inches. My Homeowners’ Association landscape maintenance sub-committee requested that this tree be pruned so the people that cut the grass came...

    READ MORE

  • Aphids – On Pansies

    Q: My container pansies are being attacked by these bugs. They hold on for dear life through bug sprays, water, and January wind. I have tried using Schultz’ Household and Garden Insect Spray and they just keep coming back. They...

    READ MORE

  • Italian arum – Identification

    Q: An elderly friend gave me a couple of these plants last spring. He’s not sure what it is. They looked sickly all summer after I planted them. Then when fall and cooler weather came they took off like crazy....

    READ MORE

  • Clay Seedballs – Making

    Q: I have lots of zinnia and other seeds from my cutting garden last year. I want to give them out this spring to friends. I’ve heard you can put the seeds in clay balls for a germination media. Do...

    READ MORE

  • Pruning – Sky Pencil holly, Skyrocket juniper

    Q: I saw your recent tips about preventing ice damage to ‘Sky Pencil’ holly. I have two young ‘Skyrocket’ junipers beside my front steps. A year after the December 2005 ice storm, the limbs are still drooping down like a...

    READ MORE

  • Hairy Vine on Tree

    Q: I have always assumed that only poison ivy has a hairy vine clinging to a tree trunk. A friend tells me this is not true. What’s the story? A: Your friend is definitely correct – both poison ivy and...

    READ MORE

  • Terrarium – Building

    Q: I would like to put together a simple terrarium with my grandchildren. Where can I get information on this? A: Terrariums have quite an interesting history. The original miniature glass house was invented by Nathaniel Ward in 1830 after...

    READ MORE

  • Chickweed – In New Lawn

    Q: This past fall, I did all of my due diligence in prepping my yard for the fall fescue growing season. I aerated, seeded, and fertilized. In fact, when I rented the aerator, it had just rained, so I was...

    READ MORE

  • Chandelier Plant – Identification

    Q: I know you are not a Florida gardener but, I thought you might be able to send me to someone who can identify this plant. It was blooming at Christmas near our home in Port Charlotte. It is so...

    READ MORE

  • Blue Velvet Fungus

    Q: Have you ever seen anything like this growing on the bark of a dead limb? It is a beautiful cobalt blue which I hope shows up in the picture. A: Mushroom expert Mary Woehrel says it’s called Velvet Blue...

    READ MORE

  • White Pine – Yellowing

    Q: I have a white pine turning yellow. It is located 20 feet from my pond. Is there any thing I can do or is this normal? A: Although I see plenty of white pines planted in metro Atlanta, I...

    READ MORE

  • Hollyhock – Identify Seedlings

    Q: These two identical plants sprouted in my flower bed after a flood. Even though they look familiar I cannot seem to identify them. Can you? A: They look like hollyhock to me. Hollyhock plants drop numerous seed after they...

    READ MORE

  • Organic Sources of Nutrients

    Q: I am trying to have an organic garden. I know that I need to feed my corn heavily. How do I know how much fertilizer chicken manure contains? A: My friend Dr. Wayne McLaurin compiled a list of common...

    READ MORE

  • Plant Salt Tolerance

    Q: We have a beach house at Carrabelle, Florida, which was hit hard by hurricane Dennis. The landscape was drenched in salt water. We have crepe myrtles and some small oaks that we’re especially concerned about. Should we cut them...

    READ MORE

  • Irrigation – Timing

    Q: Our yard irrigation company says that the best way to water is three times a week, with the timers set to run 40 minutes for a soaker hose zone and 8 minutes for each of the other zones. I’ve...

    READ MORE

  • Copper Sulfate – Use In Septic Lines

    Q: Yearly we use a product that says it clears our septic tank lines of tree roots. Can these products really make a difference? A: I am neither a plumber or soil scientist so I can’t answer your question with...

    READ MORE

  • Sweet Potato – Holes in Leaves

    Q: I have two urns containing ornamental sweet potato vine. The leaves have tiny little holes, approximately one-eighth inch in diameter. Do you know what could be causing the holes? A: I’ll give you three choices: golden tortoise beetle, potato...

    READ MORE

  • Turfgrass – Bleeding If Cut at Night

    Q: Is it a fact that you should cut your lawn at dusk or later to keep grass blades from bleeding? A: You’ve asked an interesting question but I have no idea of the correct answer. Instead, I turned to...

    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

Cherry – Badly Pruned

Q: This was a healthy tree about 15 to 20 feet tall, the diameter of the trunk was 18 inches. My Homeowners’ Association landscape maintenance sub-committee requested that this tree be pruned so the people that cut the grass came...

READ MORE

Aphids – On Pansies

Q: My container pansies are being attacked by these bugs. They hold on for dear life through bug sprays, water, and January wind. I have tried using Schultz’ Household and Garden Insect Spray and they just keep coming back. They...

READ MORE

Italian arum – Identification

Q: An elderly friend gave me a couple of these plants last spring. He’s not sure what it is. They looked sickly all summer after I planted them. Then when fall and cooler weather came they took off like crazy....

READ MORE

Clay Seedballs – Making

Q: I have lots of zinnia and other seeds from my cutting garden last year. I want to give them out this spring to friends. I’ve heard you can put the seeds in clay balls for a germination media. Do...

READ MORE

Pruning – Sky Pencil holly, Skyrocket juniper

Q: I saw your recent tips about preventing ice damage to ‘Sky Pencil’ holly. I have two young ‘Skyrocket’ junipers beside my front steps. A year after the December 2005 ice storm, the limbs are still drooping down like a...

READ MORE

Hairy Vine on Tree

Q: I have always assumed that only poison ivy has a hairy vine clinging to a tree trunk. A friend tells me this is not true. What’s the story? A: Your friend is definitely correct – both poison ivy and...

READ MORE

Terrarium – Building

Q: I would like to put together a simple terrarium with my grandchildren. Where can I get information on this? A: Terrariums have quite an interesting history. The original miniature glass house was invented by Nathaniel Ward in 1830 after...

READ MORE

Chickweed – In New Lawn

Q: This past fall, I did all of my due diligence in prepping my yard for the fall fescue growing season. I aerated, seeded, and fertilized. In fact, when I rented the aerator, it had just rained, so I was...

READ MORE

Chandelier Plant – Identification

Q: I know you are not a Florida gardener but, I thought you might be able to send me to someone who can identify this plant. It was blooming at Christmas near our home in Port Charlotte. It is so...

READ MORE

Blue Velvet Fungus

Q: Have you ever seen anything like this growing on the bark of a dead limb? It is a beautiful cobalt blue which I hope shows up in the picture. A: Mushroom expert Mary Woehrel says it’s called Velvet Blue...

READ MORE

White Pine – Yellowing

Q: I have a white pine turning yellow. It is located 20 feet from my pond. Is there any thing I can do or is this normal? A: Although I see plenty of white pines planted in metro Atlanta, I...

READ MORE

Hollyhock – Identify Seedlings

Q: These two identical plants sprouted in my flower bed after a flood. Even though they look familiar I cannot seem to identify them. Can you? A: They look like hollyhock to me. Hollyhock plants drop numerous seed after they...

READ MORE

Organic Sources of Nutrients

Q: I am trying to have an organic garden. I know that I need to feed my corn heavily. How do I know how much fertilizer chicken manure contains? A: My friend Dr. Wayne McLaurin compiled a list of common...

READ MORE

Plant Salt Tolerance

Q: We have a beach house at Carrabelle, Florida, which was hit hard by hurricane Dennis. The landscape was drenched in salt water. We have crepe myrtles and some small oaks that we’re especially concerned about. Should we cut them...

READ MORE

Irrigation – Timing

Q: Our yard irrigation company says that the best way to water is three times a week, with the timers set to run 40 minutes for a soaker hose zone and 8 minutes for each of the other zones. I’ve...

READ MORE

Copper Sulfate – Use In Septic Lines

Q: Yearly we use a product that says it clears our septic tank lines of tree roots. Can these products really make a difference? A: I am neither a plumber or soil scientist so I can’t answer your question with...

READ MORE

Sweet Potato – Holes in Leaves

Q: I have two urns containing ornamental sweet potato vine. The leaves have tiny little holes, approximately one-eighth inch in diameter. Do you know what could be causing the holes? A: I’ll give you three choices: golden tortoise beetle, potato...

READ MORE

Turfgrass – Bleeding If Cut at Night

Q: Is it a fact that you should cut your lawn at dusk or later to keep grass blades from bleeding? A: You’ve asked an interesting question but I have no idea of the correct answer. Instead, I turned to...

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