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
  • Fig – Be Careful With Sap

    Q: I’ve never heard a caution about how toxic the sap from a fig bush can be. In my case, I pruned a bush without a shirt on and got the sap all over me. When the sap gets on...

    READ MORE

  • Angel Trumpet – Growth Through Winter

    Q: I have two large angel trumpet plants that I usually move into the garage during winter. They are getting too big and heavy to move. What are my chances of keeping the plants alive if I plant them outside?...

    READ MORE

  • Rats – Side Affects of Poison Use

    Q: I heard that birds which eat poisoned rats could be killed by the toxin. Is this true? A: Like a lot of situations, it depends on the chemical the rat consumed. Many poisons, but not all, are anti-coagulants. Some...

    READ MORE

  • Soil – Dressing A Flower Bed

    Q: I am top dressing my perennial flower beds with a combination of soil conditioner, mushroom compost, and steer manure dug in around my plants. Should I add lime or cottonseed meal? A: It’s a fact of garden life that...

    READ MORE

  • Roundup – Use Near Oak

    Q: Can I safely spray Roundup on a privet hedge growing under a mature oak tree? A: Glyphosate (Roundup, etc) is mostly absorbed by leaves but can be absorbed by a tree trunk or roots if applied heavily. If you...

    READ MORE

  • House Plants – Keepign Winter Pests Away

    Q: With what should I spray my scheffleras to eliminate pests before I bring them in for the winter? A: I once had a neighbor who would cover his houseplants with a paper sack and stick a lit cigar in...

    READ MORE

  • Poison Ivy – Eliminating What You Can

    Q: My husband and I have been battling poison ivy in our backyard. I am dreadfully allergic and I want to protect myself from another doctor visit. How can I eliminate it? A: You can’t “eliminate” poison ivy, since birds...

    READ MORE

  • Pansies – Latest Date For Planting

    Q: What is the latest safe date to plant pansies? A: Pansies can be planted anytime the ground isn’t frozen. They are perfectly cold-hardy. As fall progresses into winter, you’ll get better blooms from plants sold in 3″ – 4″...

    READ MORE

  • Exotic Roses – Quick Planting Tips

    Q: I purchased some seeds for exotic roses, including Black Dragon and Abracadabra but I don’t know beans about growing them. Can you give me quick tips? A: The best time to plant rose seeds is in late April, in...

    READ MORE

  • Sweet Potato – Easy To Grow

    Q: Look what I grew in my garden! I had a hard time getting it out of the ground but this sweet potato weighs 3 ½ pounds! I can’t wait to see how the rest of my plants produce. A:...

    READ MORE

  • Gardening – Scientific How and Why

    Q: I am a chemistry student at Emory University. I enjoyed your website article about evaluating scientific claims. I would really like to know chemical and biological explanations for all the gardening information I see. Do you have suggested references?...

    READ MORE

  • Mexican Heather – Survival Through Winter

    Q: I planted a Mexican heather the summer before last. After one growing season I cut it down and planted pansies around the remaining twigs. It returned this year and has grown to look like a low hedge. How can...

    READ MORE

  • Boxelder Bugs – Prevention

    Q: Every year I have an invasion of boxelder bugs from the boxelder maples on the other side of my fence. Is there anything I can do to prevent them? A: Like kudzu bugs and Asian ladybeetles, boxelder bugs instinctively...

    READ MORE

  • Kousa Dogwood – Some Facts

    Q: I need to replace a tree in my small front yard. Can you tell me about the kousa dogwood? A: Kousa dogwood is an excellent tree for urban landscapes. It grows 15′ to 25′ tall and has a bushier...

    READ MORE

  • Acorns – Why So Few?

    Q: There are almost no acorns north of Ellijay this year. There were no late freezes. What can explain this? A: Nut trees typically bear heavy crops in alternate years unless they are stressed by drought. This was a good...

    READ MORE

  • Penny Mac Hydrangeas – Safe To Prune

    Q: Can I prune my Penny Mac hydrangeas now? I’ve been afraid to prune for fear of not doing it correctly. A: Rejoice! You can prune your ‘Penny Mac’ now and still have flowers next year. Most mophead hydrangeas bloom...

    READ MORE

  • Hibiscus – Don’t Let It Freeze!

    Q: We are looking at temperatures in the thirties by the end of the week. When should I bring in hibiscus? A: You should do it now! Tropical hibiscus can’t tolerate freezing or frost. If you keep the plant in...

    READ MORE

  • Fescue – Too Late To Seed?

    Q: Despite my best efforts, my schedule has prevented my seeding a new lawn of fescue until this weekend. Is it too late? A: Fescue seed germinates best when soil temperatures are above 60 degrees. Looking at www.georgiaweather.net, I see...

    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

Fig – Be Careful With Sap

Q: I’ve never heard a caution about how toxic the sap from a fig bush can be. In my case, I pruned a bush without a shirt on and got the sap all over me. When the sap gets on...

READ MORE

Angel Trumpet – Growth Through Winter

Q: I have two large angel trumpet plants that I usually move into the garage during winter. They are getting too big and heavy to move. What are my chances of keeping the plants alive if I plant them outside?...

READ MORE

Rats – Side Affects of Poison Use

Q: I heard that birds which eat poisoned rats could be killed by the toxin. Is this true? A: Like a lot of situations, it depends on the chemical the rat consumed. Many poisons, but not all, are anti-coagulants. Some...

READ MORE

Soil – Dressing A Flower Bed

Q: I am top dressing my perennial flower beds with a combination of soil conditioner, mushroom compost, and steer manure dug in around my plants. Should I add lime or cottonseed meal? A: It’s a fact of garden life that...

READ MORE

Roundup – Use Near Oak

Q: Can I safely spray Roundup on a privet hedge growing under a mature oak tree? A: Glyphosate (Roundup, etc) is mostly absorbed by leaves but can be absorbed by a tree trunk or roots if applied heavily. If you...

READ MORE

House Plants – Keepign Winter Pests Away

Q: With what should I spray my scheffleras to eliminate pests before I bring them in for the winter? A: I once had a neighbor who would cover his houseplants with a paper sack and stick a lit cigar in...

READ MORE

Poison Ivy – Eliminating What You Can

Q: My husband and I have been battling poison ivy in our backyard. I am dreadfully allergic and I want to protect myself from another doctor visit. How can I eliminate it? A: You can’t “eliminate” poison ivy, since birds...

READ MORE

Pansies – Latest Date For Planting

Q: What is the latest safe date to plant pansies? A: Pansies can be planted anytime the ground isn’t frozen. They are perfectly cold-hardy. As fall progresses into winter, you’ll get better blooms from plants sold in 3″ – 4″...

READ MORE

Exotic Roses – Quick Planting Tips

Q: I purchased some seeds for exotic roses, including Black Dragon and Abracadabra but I don’t know beans about growing them. Can you give me quick tips? A: The best time to plant rose seeds is in late April, in...

READ MORE

Sweet Potato – Easy To Grow

Q: Look what I grew in my garden! I had a hard time getting it out of the ground but this sweet potato weighs 3 ½ pounds! I can’t wait to see how the rest of my plants produce. A:...

READ MORE

Gardening – Scientific How and Why

Q: I am a chemistry student at Emory University. I enjoyed your website article about evaluating scientific claims. I would really like to know chemical and biological explanations for all the gardening information I see. Do you have suggested references?...

READ MORE

Mexican Heather – Survival Through Winter

Q: I planted a Mexican heather the summer before last. After one growing season I cut it down and planted pansies around the remaining twigs. It returned this year and has grown to look like a low hedge. How can...

READ MORE

Boxelder Bugs – Prevention

Q: Every year I have an invasion of boxelder bugs from the boxelder maples on the other side of my fence. Is there anything I can do to prevent them? A: Like kudzu bugs and Asian ladybeetles, boxelder bugs instinctively...

READ MORE

Kousa Dogwood – Some Facts

Q: I need to replace a tree in my small front yard. Can you tell me about the kousa dogwood? A: Kousa dogwood is an excellent tree for urban landscapes. It grows 15′ to 25′ tall and has a bushier...

READ MORE

Acorns – Why So Few?

Q: There are almost no acorns north of Ellijay this year. There were no late freezes. What can explain this? A: Nut trees typically bear heavy crops in alternate years unless they are stressed by drought. This was a good...

READ MORE

Penny Mac Hydrangeas – Safe To Prune

Q: Can I prune my Penny Mac hydrangeas now? I’ve been afraid to prune for fear of not doing it correctly. A: Rejoice! You can prune your ‘Penny Mac’ now and still have flowers next year. Most mophead hydrangeas bloom...

READ MORE

Hibiscus – Don’t Let It Freeze!

Q: We are looking at temperatures in the thirties by the end of the week. When should I bring in hibiscus? A: You should do it now! Tropical hibiscus can’t tolerate freezing or frost. If you keep the plant in...

READ MORE

Fescue – Too Late To Seed?

Q: Despite my best efforts, my schedule has prevented my seeding a new lawn of fescue until this weekend. Is it too late? A: Fescue seed germinates best when soil temperatures are above 60 degrees. Looking at www.georgiaweather.net, I see...

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