Featured Article

Trip to England – 2017

It’s decided! I have always wanted to visit the Cotswolds in England. I’ve been to London, but when I was there, everyone said “Yes, the gardens here are outstanding but if you REALLY want to see the prettiest part of our country, don’t miss the Cotswolds!” So I’m going….and I’d...

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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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  • New Azaleas – Drying Out After Planting

    Q: I think an unknown animal is urinating on and killing my azaleas after planting. I fear that it might be an animal that is out mainly at night. I don’t believe they are under-watered. A: I rarely get to...

    READ MORE

  • Leyland Cypress – Not in “FDR’s Funeral Train”

    Q: I’m reading “FDR’s Funeral Train” by Robert Klara. He describes the trip on April 13, 1945, traveling from Warm Springs to Washington, stating that the cortege passed “groves of Leyland cypresses”. Were they growing in South Carolina back then?...

    READ MORE

  • Georgia Drought Level 1 – Rules

    SUMMARY Level 1: Requires public water systems to educate customers about conditions and encourages conservation. Watering may be dode after 4:00 p.m. and before 10:00  a.m. SPECIFIC STATE RULES Drought Response Level 1. (a) Permittees that are public water systems...

    READ MORE

  • Georgia Drought Level 3 – Rules

    SUMMARY Level 3: Prohibits all outdoor irrigation of landscapes. Food gardens may be watered between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. (Soaker hoses and drip irrigation may be used any time.) Hand watering allowed during designated hours. Golf course irrigation limited....

    READ MORE

  • Georgia Drought Level 2 – Rules

    SUMMARY Level 2: Limits outdoor watering to two days a week on an odd-even schedule. Even-numbered addresses may water Wednesdays and Saturdays (4 p.m. to 10 a.m.); odd-numbered addresses may water Thursdays and Sundays (4 p.m. to 10 a.m.). No water...

    READ MORE

  • Leyland Cypress – Drought Damage From Incorrect Planting

    Q: I planted these eight trees in late September and I’ve tried to keep them watered most every day but they still turned brown. Are they too far gone or can I save them? I broke up the tough Georgia...

    READ MORE

  • Grass – Growing on Stepping Stones

    Q: How do I get the grass to stop overgrowing my walkway? The will begin to over grow the walkway and sidewalk within a week of trimming. I tried vegetation killer however the runners just spread over it. A: One...

    READ MORE

  • Cleyera – Wax Scale

    Q: These white blobs are all over the cleyera hedge row in our yard. I don’t know what this is or how to treat it. A: The blobs are wax scale insects. As with all scale insects, the adults you’ve...

    READ MORE

  • Deciduous Magnolia – Powdery Mildew

    Q: My tulip tree just started getting this fungus on the leaves in the past several weeks. What could it be? A: Warm days and cool nights make great environmental conditions for powdery mildew to develop on magnolia leaves. It...

    READ MORE

  • Trip to England – 2017

    It’s decided! I have always wanted to visit the Cotswolds in England. I’ve been to London, but when I was there, everyone said “Yes, the gardens here are outstanding but if you REALLY want to see the prettiest part of...

    READ MORE

  • Castor Oil – Ineffective for Mole Control

    Q: I found information on mole control using castor oil, water, and Dawn detergent applied with a garden sprayer. Do you think it would work with a hose-end sprayer? A: This concoction is useless. Despite its reputation, castor oil has...

    READ MORE

  • Field Guide to the Southern Piedmont

    A colleague sent me this link to an excellent Field Guide to the Southern Piedmont. If you don’t recognize a certain snake, plant, butterfly or mushroom, this is a good place to start. Field Guide to the Southern...

    READ MORE

  • Evergreen Screen – Bare at Bottom

    Q: This is a great screen between us and our neighbor. But the lower part is leafless. Some plants have a little green on outer tips. Can we cut back and have new growth? A: Your evergreen trees don’t seem...

    READ MORE

  • Yaupon Holly – Pruning a Tall One

    Q: These hollies have gotten much taller than the house and look messy. I’d like to cut the trunks much lower. If I do that will the tops eventually grow back, only lower? That way I could keep them trimmed...

    READ MORE

  • Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick – Planting in a Pot

    Q: Last Mother’s Day, I bought my wife a 5 gallon size Harry Lauder Walking Stick Plant. The plant looked a bit bedraggled when I got it. I immediately repotted it into a much larger container, watered it good and...

    READ MORE

  • Chewing Damage – To Pressure-treated Wood

    Q: We have a wooded backyard, and a play house/swing set for the kids. The set was built about 3 years ago with treated lumber. We noticed the other day that something is feeding or chewing on the wood. Any...

    READ MORE

  • Effect of Excessive Rainfall on Pre-emergent Herbicides

    Effect of Excessive Rainfall on Pre-emergent Herbicides by Travis Gannon, Matt Jeffries and Fred Yelverton, North Carolina State University edited by Walter Reeves A pre-emergent herbicide application is an effective, commonly performed practice for annual weed control in many established...

    READ MORE

  • Mushrooms – Growing from Bottom of Pot

    Q: This is is growing out of all the holes in my potted fern. They are yellow: maybe mushrooms? A: Your guess is correct. These are mushrooms growing out of the potting soil at the bottom of the pot. Potting...

    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

New Azaleas – Drying Out After Planting

Q: I think an unknown animal is urinating on and killing my azaleas after planting. I fear that it might be an animal that is out mainly at night. I don’t believe they are under-watered. A: I rarely get to...

READ MORE

Leyland Cypress – Not in “FDR’s Funeral Train”

Q: I’m reading “FDR’s Funeral Train” by Robert Klara. He describes the trip on April 13, 1945, traveling from Warm Springs to Washington, stating that the cortege passed “groves of Leyland cypresses”. Were they growing in South Carolina back then?...

READ MORE

Georgia Drought Level 1 – Rules

SUMMARY Level 1: Requires public water systems to educate customers about conditions and encourages conservation. Watering may be dode after 4:00 p.m. and before 10:00  a.m. SPECIFIC STATE RULES Drought Response Level 1. (a) Permittees that are public water systems...

READ MORE

Georgia Drought Level 3 – Rules

SUMMARY Level 3: Prohibits all outdoor irrigation of landscapes. Food gardens may be watered between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. (Soaker hoses and drip irrigation may be used any time.) Hand watering allowed during designated hours. Golf course irrigation limited....

READ MORE

Georgia Drought Level 2 – Rules

SUMMARY Level 2: Limits outdoor watering to two days a week on an odd-even schedule. Even-numbered addresses may water Wednesdays and Saturdays (4 p.m. to 10 a.m.); odd-numbered addresses may water Thursdays and Sundays (4 p.m. to 10 a.m.). No water...

READ MORE

Leyland Cypress – Drought Damage From Incorrect Planting

Q: I planted these eight trees in late September and I’ve tried to keep them watered most every day but they still turned brown. Are they too far gone or can I save them? I broke up the tough Georgia...

READ MORE

Grass – Growing on Stepping Stones

Q: How do I get the grass to stop overgrowing my walkway? The will begin to over grow the walkway and sidewalk within a week of trimming. I tried vegetation killer however the runners just spread over it. A: One...

READ MORE

Cleyera – Wax Scale

Q: These white blobs are all over the cleyera hedge row in our yard. I don’t know what this is or how to treat it. A: The blobs are wax scale insects. As with all scale insects, the adults you’ve...

READ MORE

Deciduous Magnolia – Powdery Mildew

Q: My tulip tree just started getting this fungus on the leaves in the past several weeks. What could it be? A: Warm days and cool nights make great environmental conditions for powdery mildew to develop on magnolia leaves. It...

READ MORE

Trip to England – 2017

It’s decided! I have always wanted to visit the Cotswolds in England. I’ve been to London, but when I was there, everyone said “Yes, the gardens here are outstanding but if you REALLY want to see the prettiest part of...

READ MORE

Castor Oil – Ineffective for Mole Control

Q: I found information on mole control using castor oil, water, and Dawn detergent applied with a garden sprayer. Do you think it would work with a hose-end sprayer? A: This concoction is useless. Despite its reputation, castor oil has...

READ MORE

Field Guide to the Southern Piedmont

A colleague sent me this link to an excellent Field Guide to the Southern Piedmont. If you don’t recognize a certain snake, plant, butterfly or mushroom, this is a good place to start. Field Guide to the Southern...

READ MORE

Evergreen Screen – Bare at Bottom

Q: This is a great screen between us and our neighbor. But the lower part is leafless. Some plants have a little green on outer tips. Can we cut back and have new growth? A: Your evergreen trees don’t seem...

READ MORE

Yaupon Holly – Pruning a Tall One

Q: These hollies have gotten much taller than the house and look messy. I’d like to cut the trunks much lower. If I do that will the tops eventually grow back, only lower? That way I could keep them trimmed...

READ MORE

Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick – Planting in a Pot

Q: Last Mother’s Day, I bought my wife a 5 gallon size Harry Lauder Walking Stick Plant. The plant looked a bit bedraggled when I got it. I immediately repotted it into a much larger container, watered it good and...

READ MORE

Chewing Damage – To Pressure-treated Wood

Q: We have a wooded backyard, and a play house/swing set for the kids. The set was built about 3 years ago with treated lumber. We noticed the other day that something is feeding or chewing on the wood. Any...

READ MORE

Effect of Excessive Rainfall on Pre-emergent Herbicides

Effect of Excessive Rainfall on Pre-emergent Herbicides by Travis Gannon, Matt Jeffries and Fred Yelverton, North Carolina State University edited by Walter Reeves A pre-emergent herbicide application is an effective, commonly performed practice for annual weed control in many established...

READ MORE

Mushrooms – Growing from Bottom of Pot

Q: This is is growing out of all the holes in my potted fern. They are yellow: maybe mushrooms? A: Your guess is correct. These are mushrooms growing out of the potting soil at the bottom of the pot. Potting...

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