Featured Article

Plants for Pollinators

Many landscape plants depend on bees and other insects to move pollen from flower to flower. The insects don’t realize they are pollinating the plants they visit – they’re just looking for nectar in the flowers. You can help the flowering plants in your neighborhood by planting a pollinator-friendly flower...

READ MORE

Shrub – Pruning Calendar

The Home & Garden section of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution published a very nice pruning calendar several years ago. When viewed on a sheet of newsprint, it was gorgeous. When reduced to fit onto a sheet of typing paper it was impossible to read. I imagine you didn’t keep...

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 unless it is severely pruned. Crapemyrtles do not HAVE TO...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Spruce Tree – Drying Out Top And Bottom

    Q: We bought a spruce tree at a big box store and planted it a year ago after Christmas. It was growing throughout the year but was just recently began drying out top and bottom. A: Spruce trees rarely survive...

    READ MORE

  • Florist Azaleas – Can I Plant It Outside?

    Q: I received an azalea after the death of my father. The label says “Place in a cool location, avoiding excessively hot and cold areas.” Does this mean I can’t plant it outside? A: In my experience florist azaleas are...

    READ MORE

  • Emerald Green Arborvitae – Dying And Getting Lighter In Color

    Q: I planted a long row of Emerald Green arborvitae six years ago. They did well until last fall. Now four have died and the fifth is getting lighter in color. A: Arborvitae and Leyland cypress all over north Georgia...

    READ MORE

  • Ivy – Will It Die If I Cut It Off At The Base?

    Q: Everyone says that ivy will die if you cut it off at the base. But this has been done on some large trees in my yard and that darn ivy is still alive after a year! A: It may...

    READ MORE

  • Fake Article – Adding Eight Things To Soil For Better Tomatoes

    Q: I saw an article online that listed eight things to add to the soil to grow better tomatoes. I’ve never heard you mention any of them. A: As soon as I saw “Apply baking soda to get tomatoes that...

    READ MORE

  • Camellia – Buds Opening And Falling Off

    Q: My camellia was absolutely covered in buds but now that they’re starting to open they are falling off. By the time they finish I will be able to shovel all of them off the ground without any of them...

    READ MORE

  • Tulip Bulbs – Where Do They Come From?

    Q: Where do tulip bulbs come from? Do they grow from seed? A: Yes, originally they came from seed. To make a superior blossom, growers transfer pollen from flower to flower and wait for a seedpod to form on the...

    READ MORE

  • Where Are All The Mature American Beech Trees?

    Q: Why don’t I see many mature American beech trees in the area? I see a lot of juveniles with tan leaves but mature trees seem to be limited to low areas. Is the climate a limiting factor for American...

    READ MORE

  • Is It Worth It To Use Stored Year-Old Tomato Seeds?

    Q: Is it advisable to use year-old tomato seeds that were stored in the house? Are there extra steps that should be done to ensure successful germination? A: Unless you have a rare heirloom tomato variety, saving seed isn’t worth...

    READ MORE

  • Leyland Cypress Trees Dying – Are They Just Too Old?

    Q: Thirty years ago I planted fifty Leyland cypress trees as a privacy screen. They are now forty feet high, but some of them appear to be dying from the bottom up. A friend told me that they have had...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn Fertilizer – Can I Use It On Trees And Plants

    Q: I bought a fertilizer meant for lawns (32-0-8) to use on my bamboo. Can I also use this on trees, camellias, hydrangeas, azaleas and other perennials? A: I think it would be better for the shrubs to use either...

    READ MORE

  • Do Blueberries Need Full Sun Year Round?

    Q: Do blueberries need full sun at all times of the year? My planting spot gets full sun for eight months a year but in winter my house blocks the sunlight there. A: I think you’ll be fine if the...

    READ MORE

  • Violet Rhizomes – Prevent Them From Growing In Compost Pile

    Q: I’ve dug up violet rhizomes and now have a 5-gallon bucketful that I want to compost but I want to prevent them from growing in there. Any ideas? A: I would not put them on a compost pile without...

    READ MORE

  • Moss – What Kind To Grow On Shaded Hillside

    Q: I have a mostly shaded hillside and would like to grow moss. Which kind should I use? A: There are hundreds of different species of moss and probably dozens of them are growing right now near your hillside. Generally...

    READ MORE

  • Perennial Garden – What To Do Before Planting

    Q: We just finished digging an area for a perennial garden. We filled the area with a mix of garden soil and organic mushroom mix. Is there anything else we should do before planting? A: Sounds like you’ll have lots...

    READ MORE

  • Large Organic Garden – Advice For Planting Rhubarb

    Q: I have a large organic garden and would like to plant rhubarb. Any advice? A: Rhubarb won’t be as perennially hardy here as it is up North but you can grow it in the South for a couple of...

    READ MORE

  • Recommended Plants For Security Landscape Around Windows

    Q: We would like to incorporate security landscaping around the windows of our new home. What plants would you recommend? A: Several come to mind. Roses would certainly be high on the list but Chinese holly, barberry and mahonia would...

    READ MORE

  • Bermuda Lawn In Warm Weather – When To Apply Milorganite

    Q: I have a bermuda lawn. Considering how warm it has been this year can I apply Milorganite to my lawn now? A: Bermuda grass might possibly be coming out of dormancy now but it really can’t absorb nutrients until...

    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

Spruce Tree – Drying Out Top And Bottom

Q: We bought a spruce tree at a big box store and planted it a year ago after Christmas. It was growing throughout the year but was just recently began drying out top and bottom. A: Spruce trees rarely survive...

READ MORE

Florist Azaleas – Can I Plant It Outside?

Q: I received an azalea after the death of my father. The label says “Place in a cool location, avoiding excessively hot and cold areas.” Does this mean I can’t plant it outside? A: In my experience florist azaleas are...

READ MORE

Emerald Green Arborvitae – Dying And Getting Lighter In Color

Q: I planted a long row of Emerald Green arborvitae six years ago. They did well until last fall. Now four have died and the fifth is getting lighter in color. A: Arborvitae and Leyland cypress all over north Georgia...

READ MORE

Ivy – Will It Die If I Cut It Off At The Base?

Q: Everyone says that ivy will die if you cut it off at the base. But this has been done on some large trees in my yard and that darn ivy is still alive after a year! A: It may...

READ MORE

Fake Article – Adding Eight Things To Soil For Better Tomatoes

Q: I saw an article online that listed eight things to add to the soil to grow better tomatoes. I’ve never heard you mention any of them. A: As soon as I saw “Apply baking soda to get tomatoes that...

READ MORE

Camellia – Buds Opening And Falling Off

Q: My camellia was absolutely covered in buds but now that they’re starting to open they are falling off. By the time they finish I will be able to shovel all of them off the ground without any of them...

READ MORE

Tulip Bulbs – Where Do They Come From?

Q: Where do tulip bulbs come from? Do they grow from seed? A: Yes, originally they came from seed. To make a superior blossom, growers transfer pollen from flower to flower and wait for a seedpod to form on the...

READ MORE

Where Are All The Mature American Beech Trees?

Q: Why don’t I see many mature American beech trees in the area? I see a lot of juveniles with tan leaves but mature trees seem to be limited to low areas. Is the climate a limiting factor for American...

READ MORE

Is It Worth It To Use Stored Year-Old Tomato Seeds?

Q: Is it advisable to use year-old tomato seeds that were stored in the house? Are there extra steps that should be done to ensure successful germination? A: Unless you have a rare heirloom tomato variety, saving seed isn’t worth...

READ MORE

Leyland Cypress Trees Dying – Are They Just Too Old?

Q: Thirty years ago I planted fifty Leyland cypress trees as a privacy screen. They are now forty feet high, but some of them appear to be dying from the bottom up. A friend told me that they have had...

READ MORE

Lawn Fertilizer – Can I Use It On Trees And Plants

Q: I bought a fertilizer meant for lawns (32-0-8) to use on my bamboo. Can I also use this on trees, camellias, hydrangeas, azaleas and other perennials? A: I think it would be better for the shrubs to use either...

READ MORE

Do Blueberries Need Full Sun Year Round?

Q: Do blueberries need full sun at all times of the year? My planting spot gets full sun for eight months a year but in winter my house blocks the sunlight there. A: I think you’ll be fine if the...

READ MORE

Violet Rhizomes – Prevent Them From Growing In Compost Pile

Q: I’ve dug up violet rhizomes and now have a 5-gallon bucketful that I want to compost but I want to prevent them from growing in there. Any ideas? A: I would not put them on a compost pile without...

READ MORE

Moss – What Kind To Grow On Shaded Hillside

Q: I have a mostly shaded hillside and would like to grow moss. Which kind should I use? A: There are hundreds of different species of moss and probably dozens of them are growing right now near your hillside. Generally...

READ MORE

Perennial Garden – What To Do Before Planting

Q: We just finished digging an area for a perennial garden. We filled the area with a mix of garden soil and organic mushroom mix. Is there anything else we should do before planting? A: Sounds like you’ll have lots...

READ MORE

Large Organic Garden – Advice For Planting Rhubarb

Q: I have a large organic garden and would like to plant rhubarb. Any advice? A: Rhubarb won’t be as perennially hardy here as it is up North but you can grow it in the South for a couple of...

READ MORE

Recommended Plants For Security Landscape Around Windows

Q: We would like to incorporate security landscaping around the windows of our new home. What plants would you recommend? A: Several come to mind. Roses would certainly be high on the list but Chinese holly, barberry and mahonia would...

READ MORE

Bermuda Lawn In Warm Weather – When To Apply Milorganite

Q: I have a bermuda lawn. Considering how warm it has been this year can I apply Milorganite to my lawn now? A: Bermuda grass might possibly be coming out of dormancy now but it really can’t absorb nutrients until...

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