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
  • Landscape Companies – Finding One For You

    Q: I have been charged with finding a landscape maintenance company for our subdivision’s common areas. Can you help with my endeavor? A: The Georgia Urban Ag Council is an organization of landscape professionals which meets regularly to hear topical...

    READ MORE

  • Sweet Chestnut – Planting In America

    Q: We were in Munich in April and were greeted by thousands of blooming chestnut trees. They looked exactly like the horsechestnut trees I remember from New York. What is preventing these trees from flourishing in the USA? A: The...

    READ MORE

  • Hibiscus – Leaves Vainy, Then Gone

    Q: Something is eating my hibiscus, the leaves are spider web looking and then they are gone, nothing left but the veins. A: It’s likely the leaves are being consumed by hibiscus sawfly larvae. The adult insect looks like a...

    READ MORE

  • Pre-Emergent – Too Late To Apply?

    Q: Is it too late to put pre-emergent on my yard? A: Yes, it’s too late to stop the germination of most summer weeds (crabgrass, etc). If your lawn is healthy you can use products that contain quinclorac to control...

    READ MORE

  • Rain Barrel – Green Film On Top

    Q: I have a rain barrel. The water has developed a green film. Is it alright to use it to water my plants? A: The green film is just algae growing on the nutrients that washed off your roof and...

    READ MORE

  • Tomatoes – Mulching With Sawdust

    Q: My tomatoes are ready for the cages to be put around them. I live near a saw mill. Can I use their sawdust to mulch around the tomatoes? A: A light mulch of the sawdust, no more than an...

    READ MORE

  • Lantana – Did It Survive

    Q: I was wondering when I should give up and accept that my Chapel Hill lantana did not survive the winter? Should it have started growth by now? A: I think it’s a goner. ‘Chapel Hill Yellow’ was discovered by...

    READ MORE

  • Fig Trees – No Sign Of Fruit

    Q: I have two huge fig trees that produce thousands of figs every year. But, alas, this past winter was brutal on both of them. Leaf growth is very small and stunted on the trees. A: I walk over to...

    READ MORE

  • Tomatoes – Forgot To Add Lime

    Q: I have already placed wheat straw around my tomatoes but I failed to add any lime to prevent blossom end rot. What can I do at this point? A: Blossom end rot is caused by a lack of calcium...

    READ MORE

  • Crapemyrtle – No New Growth

    Q: We have twenty-five crapemyrtles our property. We cut them back severely last November. Now they have no new growth at all, except some stems at the base. A: I think the cause lies with the November pruning. It is...

    READ MORE

  • Hornbeam – The Tree For You?

    Q: We have two European hornbeams on either side of front stoop. We were told the tree would not change shape much or grow very high. However, after the first year it is growing much higher and starting to spread...

    READ MORE

  • Crapemyrtle – Protecting The Trunk

    Q: I am planting tree-form crepe myrtles on a horse farm and want to protect the trunks from the horses. Can I split black corrugated drain pipe and install around the trunks to prevent the horses from chewing on them?...

    READ MORE

  • Hellebore – Encouraging Growth

    Q: I have been growing a hellebore for ten years but have not been able to get it to spread. It is mulched with pine straw. How can I get it to multiply? A: Your hellebore’s flowers are fading and...

    READ MORE

  • Indian Hawthorn – Leaves Brown and Crisp

    Q: I am seeing large groupings of dead Indian hawthorns near where I work. The leaves are light brown and crisp to the touch. A: Indian hawthorn is another plant that has confounded me with its behavior after January’s severe...

    READ MORE

  • Blueberries – Berries Not Blue

    Q: We have several wild blueberry bushes in our woods. Each year they produce lots of berries but they never turn blue. What can we do to help them ripen? A: “Ripening” for any fruit involves sunshine. Plants use solar...

    READ MORE

  • Limelight Hydrangea – Pruning

    Q: Is it too late to prune back my Limelights? A: It’s not too late but you’d better get started soon. ‘Limelight’ hydrangea is a variety that blooms in late summer from buds that form in late spring. Pruning each...

    READ MORE

  • Asparagus – Softening Solid Ground

    Q: We just bought a farm and found we have a nice asparagus patch under lots of weeds. How would you clean this up? The ground is like cement! A: I’d soak the area with water two days in a...

    READ MORE

  • Ferns – Sunshine Or Shade Varieties

    Q: What are the names of the two ferns you recommended on radio that will “grow anywhere, sun or shade”? A: I love autumn fern, Dryopteris erythrosora, and Southern shield fern, Thelypteris kunthii. Autumn fern is evergreen. It sends up...

    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

Landscape Companies – Finding One For You

Q: I have been charged with finding a landscape maintenance company for our subdivision’s common areas. Can you help with my endeavor? A: The Georgia Urban Ag Council is an organization of landscape professionals which meets regularly to hear topical...

READ MORE

Sweet Chestnut – Planting In America

Q: We were in Munich in April and were greeted by thousands of blooming chestnut trees. They looked exactly like the horsechestnut trees I remember from New York. What is preventing these trees from flourishing in the USA? A: The...

READ MORE

Hibiscus – Leaves Vainy, Then Gone

Q: Something is eating my hibiscus, the leaves are spider web looking and then they are gone, nothing left but the veins. A: It’s likely the leaves are being consumed by hibiscus sawfly larvae. The adult insect looks like a...

READ MORE

Pre-Emergent – Too Late To Apply?

Q: Is it too late to put pre-emergent on my yard? A: Yes, it’s too late to stop the germination of most summer weeds (crabgrass, etc). If your lawn is healthy you can use products that contain quinclorac to control...

READ MORE

Rain Barrel – Green Film On Top

Q: I have a rain barrel. The water has developed a green film. Is it alright to use it to water my plants? A: The green film is just algae growing on the nutrients that washed off your roof and...

READ MORE

Tomatoes – Mulching With Sawdust

Q: My tomatoes are ready for the cages to be put around them. I live near a saw mill. Can I use their sawdust to mulch around the tomatoes? A: A light mulch of the sawdust, no more than an...

READ MORE

Lantana – Did It Survive

Q: I was wondering when I should give up and accept that my Chapel Hill lantana did not survive the winter? Should it have started growth by now? A: I think it’s a goner. ‘Chapel Hill Yellow’ was discovered by...

READ MORE

Fig Trees – No Sign Of Fruit

Q: I have two huge fig trees that produce thousands of figs every year. But, alas, this past winter was brutal on both of them. Leaf growth is very small and stunted on the trees. A: I walk over to...

READ MORE

Tomatoes – Forgot To Add Lime

Q: I have already placed wheat straw around my tomatoes but I failed to add any lime to prevent blossom end rot. What can I do at this point? A: Blossom end rot is caused by a lack of calcium...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – No New Growth

Q: We have twenty-five crapemyrtles our property. We cut them back severely last November. Now they have no new growth at all, except some stems at the base. A: I think the cause lies with the November pruning. It is...

READ MORE

Hornbeam – The Tree For You?

Q: We have two European hornbeams on either side of front stoop. We were told the tree would not change shape much or grow very high. However, after the first year it is growing much higher and starting to spread...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – Protecting The Trunk

Q: I am planting tree-form crepe myrtles on a horse farm and want to protect the trunks from the horses. Can I split black corrugated drain pipe and install around the trunks to prevent the horses from chewing on them?...

READ MORE

Hellebore – Encouraging Growth

Q: I have been growing a hellebore for ten years but have not been able to get it to spread. It is mulched with pine straw. How can I get it to multiply? A: Your hellebore’s flowers are fading and...

READ MORE

Indian Hawthorn – Leaves Brown and Crisp

Q: I am seeing large groupings of dead Indian hawthorns near where I work. The leaves are light brown and crisp to the touch. A: Indian hawthorn is another plant that has confounded me with its behavior after January’s severe...

READ MORE

Blueberries – Berries Not Blue

Q: We have several wild blueberry bushes in our woods. Each year they produce lots of berries but they never turn blue. What can we do to help them ripen? A: “Ripening” for any fruit involves sunshine. Plants use solar...

READ MORE

Limelight Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: Is it too late to prune back my Limelights? A: It’s not too late but you’d better get started soon. ‘Limelight’ hydrangea is a variety that blooms in late summer from buds that form in late spring. Pruning each...

READ MORE

Asparagus – Softening Solid Ground

Q: We just bought a farm and found we have a nice asparagus patch under lots of weeds. How would you clean this up? The ground is like cement! A: I’d soak the area with water two days in a...

READ MORE

Ferns – Sunshine Or Shade Varieties

Q: What are the names of the two ferns you recommended on radio that will “grow anywhere, sun or shade”? A: I love autumn fern, Dryopteris erythrosora, and Southern shield fern, Thelypteris kunthii. Autumn fern is evergreen. It sends up...

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