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
  • Daffodils – Buds Won’t Open

    Q: For the last couple of years, my daffodils have gotten to the stage of showing flower buds but the buds won’t open. What went wrong? A: It sounds like a condition called bud blast. It’s commonly ascribed to severe...

    READ MORE

  • Daylilies – Help Them Spread

    Q: I planted daylilies on a small slope where they get direct sunlight for most of the day, but they haven’t spread in several years. It’s probably due to all the red clay. What should I add to the clay...

    READ MORE

  • Fertilizer – Some Pros and Cons

    Q: I planted new bermuda sod last summer. I used 10-10-10 fertilizer the remainder of the year. Should I stick with the 10-10-10 or go with products that have a higher first number, like 29-0-4? A: Do you eat your...

    READ MORE

  • Ferns – Should They Be Outside

    Q: When can I put my ferns out on my covered porch? A: Assuming you have Boston ferns, they can go outdoors when night temperatures are reliably above 45...

    READ MORE

  • Hyacinths – Best Time To Fertilize

    Q: I have hyacinths blooming but they are always a little scraggly looking. Is it too late to apply fertilizer or do you think that is the problem? A: You can add a little fertilizer now but it most of...

    READ MORE

  • Pre-Emergent – Will Halt Grass Growth

    Q: When the label on a pre-emergent bag says it will prevent seeds from growing does that also mean it will keep bermudagrass from spreading into bare areas? A: Yes: common weed preventers can cause “clubbed” rooting of bermudagrass, zoysiagrass,...

    READ MORE

  • Bows – Growing Straight Logs

    Q: I have been building bows for five years and have had a hard time getting osage orange logs. I recently purchased some small osage orange trees so that I could grow them and harvest them later. What is the...

    READ MORE

  • Roach Control – Laying Mulch

    Q: I was curious what mulch you recommend when it comes to roach control? A: Most homes have mulch near the foundation. Your best bet for immediate short term control is to sprinkle outdoor insecticide granules onto any mulched areas...

    READ MORE

  • Lenten Roses – Self Pollinators

    Q: My Lenten roses are blooming, and I am curious to know if they self-pollinate or is there an insect that does so. A: They self-pollinate like crazy! Hellebore flowers have the male and female parts close together so self-pollination...

    READ MORE

  • Powdery Mildew – A Host Specific Malady

    Q: After fighting powdery mildew on a crape myrtle, I’ve decided to dig it up and plant a Japanese maple in its place. Is there something I should do to the soil before I plant? A: Powdery mildew is very...

    READ MORE

  • Cottonwood Tree – Can It Be Killed?

    Q: How can I kill a cottonwood tree that’s growing between my foundation and my AC unit? I drilled holes in the stump and poured rock salt and boiling water in the holes last spring. A few days later there...

    READ MORE

  • Florescent Lamp – Amount Of Exposure

    Q: I have a double florescent tube lamp that I’m going to place over my seedlings when they come up. How many hours should it be on? A: Eighteen hours on and six hours off seems to work well. Remember...

    READ MORE

  • Stepables – Back Yard Cover

    Q: We have a heavily shaded back yard and are looking what to try next. I’d like your thoughts on Stepables. A: Stepables ™ is a collection of many different species of plants that are typically low-growing and spreading. You...

    READ MORE

  • Tomatoes – Too Much Water

    Q: Last year we had poor tomato production due to rainfall and a lack of sunshine. What can we do to prevent problems in our garden before planting this year? A: If too much water was the problem, increasing the...

    READ MORE

  • Freezing Seeds – Not Helpful

    Q: I have heard that freezing seeds for up to one week prior to planting seeds up the germination. Is this true? A: I don’t think it helps germination. It’s true that some seeds require “stratification”, which is storage in...

    READ MORE

  • Spirea – Pruning Tips

    Q: My husband wants to prune our spirea. But he doesn’t believe me when I insist it blooms twice! Our landscaper used to severely prune it this time of year. A: Scheduling spirea pruning depends on which kind you have....

    READ MORE

  • Bee Trap – No Bait Required

    Q: I checked out the carpenter bee trap on your website. Should you put some bait in the bottle? What makes the bees go down the hole? A: No bait is needed. Once bees enter the drilled holes in the...

    READ MORE

  • Harsh Winter – Are My Plants Dead?

    Q: Has winter weather killed my (gardenia), (loropetalum), (daphne), etc? A: With multiple bouts of sub-10 degree cold, the winter of 2014 will teach us all some lessons about how hardy our plants REALLY are. I’m wondering how my St....

    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

Daffodils – Buds Won’t Open

Q: For the last couple of years, my daffodils have gotten to the stage of showing flower buds but the buds won’t open. What went wrong? A: It sounds like a condition called bud blast. It’s commonly ascribed to severe...

READ MORE

Daylilies – Help Them Spread

Q: I planted daylilies on a small slope where they get direct sunlight for most of the day, but they haven’t spread in several years. It’s probably due to all the red clay. What should I add to the clay...

READ MORE

Fertilizer – Some Pros and Cons

Q: I planted new bermuda sod last summer. I used 10-10-10 fertilizer the remainder of the year. Should I stick with the 10-10-10 or go with products that have a higher first number, like 29-0-4? A: Do you eat your...

READ MORE

Ferns – Should They Be Outside

Q: When can I put my ferns out on my covered porch? A: Assuming you have Boston ferns, they can go outdoors when night temperatures are reliably above 45...

READ MORE

Hyacinths – Best Time To Fertilize

Q: I have hyacinths blooming but they are always a little scraggly looking. Is it too late to apply fertilizer or do you think that is the problem? A: You can add a little fertilizer now but it most of...

READ MORE

Pre-Emergent – Will Halt Grass Growth

Q: When the label on a pre-emergent bag says it will prevent seeds from growing does that also mean it will keep bermudagrass from spreading into bare areas? A: Yes: common weed preventers can cause “clubbed” rooting of bermudagrass, zoysiagrass,...

READ MORE

Bows – Growing Straight Logs

Q: I have been building bows for five years and have had a hard time getting osage orange logs. I recently purchased some small osage orange trees so that I could grow them and harvest them later. What is the...

READ MORE

Roach Control – Laying Mulch

Q: I was curious what mulch you recommend when it comes to roach control? A: Most homes have mulch near the foundation. Your best bet for immediate short term control is to sprinkle outdoor insecticide granules onto any mulched areas...

READ MORE

Lenten Roses – Self Pollinators

Q: My Lenten roses are blooming, and I am curious to know if they self-pollinate or is there an insect that does so. A: They self-pollinate like crazy! Hellebore flowers have the male and female parts close together so self-pollination...

READ MORE

Powdery Mildew – A Host Specific Malady

Q: After fighting powdery mildew on a crape myrtle, I’ve decided to dig it up and plant a Japanese maple in its place. Is there something I should do to the soil before I plant? A: Powdery mildew is very...

READ MORE

Cottonwood Tree – Can It Be Killed?

Q: How can I kill a cottonwood tree that’s growing between my foundation and my AC unit? I drilled holes in the stump and poured rock salt and boiling water in the holes last spring. A few days later there...

READ MORE

Florescent Lamp – Amount Of Exposure

Q: I have a double florescent tube lamp that I’m going to place over my seedlings when they come up. How many hours should it be on? A: Eighteen hours on and six hours off seems to work well. Remember...

READ MORE

Stepables – Back Yard Cover

Q: We have a heavily shaded back yard and are looking what to try next. I’d like your thoughts on Stepables. A: Stepables ™ is a collection of many different species of plants that are typically low-growing and spreading. You...

READ MORE

Tomatoes – Too Much Water

Q: Last year we had poor tomato production due to rainfall and a lack of sunshine. What can we do to prevent problems in our garden before planting this year? A: If too much water was the problem, increasing the...

READ MORE

Freezing Seeds – Not Helpful

Q: I have heard that freezing seeds for up to one week prior to planting seeds up the germination. Is this true? A: I don’t think it helps germination. It’s true that some seeds require “stratification”, which is storage in...

READ MORE

Spirea – Pruning Tips

Q: My husband wants to prune our spirea. But he doesn’t believe me when I insist it blooms twice! Our landscaper used to severely prune it this time of year. A: Scheduling spirea pruning depends on which kind you have....

READ MORE

Bee Trap – No Bait Required

Q: I checked out the carpenter bee trap on your website. Should you put some bait in the bottle? What makes the bees go down the hole? A: No bait is needed. Once bees enter the drilled holes in the...

READ MORE

Harsh Winter – Are My Plants Dead?

Q: Has winter weather killed my (gardenia), (loropetalum), (daphne), etc? A: With multiple bouts of sub-10 degree cold, the winter of 2014 will teach us all some lessons about how hardy our plants REALLY are. I’m wondering how my St....

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