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...

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

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Bermuda – Proper Mowing Height

    Q: Last April I had TifGrand bermuda installed. According to the turf company, I should mow it no less than 2.5 inches for the first year. According to your recent Q&A you recommend cutting bermuda grass at 1.5 to 2.0...

    READ MORE

  • Stinckbug – Porchside Pests

    Q: Can you talk about stinkbugs? They seem to have a hankerin’ for the south side of our house. A: The brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB) has been busily invading Georgia for the last few years, feasting on peaches, plums and...

    READ MORE

  • Boston Fern – Surviving The Winter

    Q: I have some lovely Boston ferns that I try every year to keep in the garage over the cold weather. This year, I took the poor, pitiful survivors of the garage and planted them in the ground. They just...

    READ MORE

  • Fire Ants – Doing Damage

    Q: Whenever I pass a fire ant mound, I take a moment to scrape my foot through and scatter it, sending the little critters hurrying about to make repairs. Am I having any impact at all on them? A: UGA...

    READ MORE

  • Red Maple – Growth Spurt

    Q: My young red maple has had a tremendous growth spurt this summer, mainly from the center trunk which has grown almost three feet. Should I leave it be and see if the tree fills in or should I trim...

    READ MORE

  • Kieffer – Pears In Preserves

    Q: I am trying to find the type of pear my Mom used in making pear preserves The pears would be ripe, but rock hard and a very pale green/yellowish color covered with brown specks. A: I feel confident your...

    READ MORE

  • Organic Garden – Staying Strong and Healthy

    Q: I need advice on how to keep an organic vegetable garden and survive the multitude of pests that make waste of my attempts. A: Helping plants resist disease and insects rather than automatically reaching for the spray bottle should...

    READ MORE

  • Palm – Boron Deficiency

    Q: I’m in Bradenton, Florida and we have a triple foxtail palm that was installed by a tree company two years ago. Six months ago the center fronds grew really long and then just fell over dead. New ones that...

    READ MORE

  • Rat Snake – Found Skin

    Q: I was unpacking a box that was on the top shelf in my garage and found on the tape a snakeskin. I am so scared that it may still be there. A: It looks like the shed skin of...

    READ MORE

  • Bloodgood Japanese Maple – Not Staying Red

    Q: My beautiful Bloodgood maple didn’t turn red this year. Here’s what it looks like in December. What could be wrong with it? I splurged on this tree to honor my gardener father who had a Bloodgood that he loved....

    READ MORE

  • Juniper – Growing From Cuttings

    Q: I have several Blue Rug junipers I planted on a slope twenty years ago. They are now forty feet in diameter. I want to root a couple of hundred runners off of these plants and transplant them to another...

    READ MORE

  • How to Grow Ferns from Spores

    Have you ever wondered how to grow ferns from spores? This article has good DIY tips. How to Grow Ferns From...

    READ MORE

  • Banana – Flowering in Fall

    Q: We noticed this “bloom” on our banana tree around the first of November, followed by baby bananas. This tree has grown to  12 ft. tall this year after cutting it to the ground last year. I just assumed it...

    READ MORE

  • Dahlia – Staking

    Q: My dahlias are so lazy, always laying around on the ground instead of standing up. Should I dig them up and plant them deeper? A: Dahlia varieties vary greatly in size. Some grow small and compact but other, like...

    READ MORE

  • Flat Headed Borer – Identification

    Q:This critter was on the ground after I split a hickory log. Do you know what it is? A: It’s a flat headed borer, the larva of a jewel beetle, in the insect family Buprestidae, also known as metallic wood...

    READ MORE

  • Bluebird House – Protection from Snakes

    Q: We have several bird houses located on 4″ x 4″ posts in our yard. Unfortunately a snake was able to climb to one house and ate the baby bluebirds. Do you have any prevention suggestions? A: A slick metal...

    READ MORE

  • River Birch – Trunks Catching and Holding Water

    Q: Nineteen years ago I planted three Heritage river birch trees. They have multiple trunks. Two of them have a “crotch” between the trunks that fills with water when it rains. Will this ultimately lead to rot and the death...

    READ MORE

  • Boston Ivy vs Virginia Creeper – Identification

    Q: Is this Boston ivy, poison ivy, or poison Boston ivy? Or maybe a freaked out Virginia creeper? A: Well, I can eliminate two of our four choices. It’s not poison ivy or poison Boston creeper. So is it Boston...

    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

Bermuda – Proper Mowing Height

Q: Last April I had TifGrand bermuda installed. According to the turf company, I should mow it no less than 2.5 inches for the first year. According to your recent Q&A you recommend cutting bermuda grass at 1.5 to 2.0...

READ MORE

Stinckbug – Porchside Pests

Q: Can you talk about stinkbugs? They seem to have a hankerin’ for the south side of our house. A: The brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB) has been busily invading Georgia for the last few years, feasting on peaches, plums and...

READ MORE

Boston Fern – Surviving The Winter

Q: I have some lovely Boston ferns that I try every year to keep in the garage over the cold weather. This year, I took the poor, pitiful survivors of the garage and planted them in the ground. They just...

READ MORE

Fire Ants – Doing Damage

Q: Whenever I pass a fire ant mound, I take a moment to scrape my foot through and scatter it, sending the little critters hurrying about to make repairs. Am I having any impact at all on them? A: UGA...

READ MORE

Red Maple – Growth Spurt

Q: My young red maple has had a tremendous growth spurt this summer, mainly from the center trunk which has grown almost three feet. Should I leave it be and see if the tree fills in or should I trim...

READ MORE

Kieffer – Pears In Preserves

Q: I am trying to find the type of pear my Mom used in making pear preserves The pears would be ripe, but rock hard and a very pale green/yellowish color covered with brown specks. A: I feel confident your...

READ MORE

Organic Garden – Staying Strong and Healthy

Q: I need advice on how to keep an organic vegetable garden and survive the multitude of pests that make waste of my attempts. A: Helping plants resist disease and insects rather than automatically reaching for the spray bottle should...

READ MORE

Palm – Boron Deficiency

Q: I’m in Bradenton, Florida and we have a triple foxtail palm that was installed by a tree company two years ago. Six months ago the center fronds grew really long and then just fell over dead. New ones that...

READ MORE

Rat Snake – Found Skin

Q: I was unpacking a box that was on the top shelf in my garage and found on the tape a snakeskin. I am so scared that it may still be there. A: It looks like the shed skin of...

READ MORE

Bloodgood Japanese Maple – Not Staying Red

Q: My beautiful Bloodgood maple didn’t turn red this year. Here’s what it looks like in December. What could be wrong with it? I splurged on this tree to honor my gardener father who had a Bloodgood that he loved....

READ MORE

Juniper – Growing From Cuttings

Q: I have several Blue Rug junipers I planted on a slope twenty years ago. They are now forty feet in diameter. I want to root a couple of hundred runners off of these plants and transplant them to another...

READ MORE

How to Grow Ferns from Spores

Have you ever wondered how to grow ferns from spores? This article has good DIY tips. How to Grow Ferns From...

READ MORE

Banana – Flowering in Fall

Q: We noticed this “bloom” on our banana tree around the first of November, followed by baby bananas. This tree has grown to  12 ft. tall this year after cutting it to the ground last year. I just assumed it...

READ MORE

Dahlia – Staking

Q: My dahlias are so lazy, always laying around on the ground instead of standing up. Should I dig them up and plant them deeper? A: Dahlia varieties vary greatly in size. Some grow small and compact but other, like...

READ MORE

Flat Headed Borer – Identification

Q:This critter was on the ground after I split a hickory log. Do you know what it is? A: It’s a flat headed borer, the larva of a jewel beetle, in the insect family Buprestidae, also known as metallic wood...

READ MORE

Bluebird House – Protection from Snakes

Q: We have several bird houses located on 4″ x 4″ posts in our yard. Unfortunately a snake was able to climb to one house and ate the baby bluebirds. Do you have any prevention suggestions? A: A slick metal...

READ MORE

River Birch – Trunks Catching and Holding Water

Q: Nineteen years ago I planted three Heritage river birch trees. They have multiple trunks. Two of them have a “crotch” between the trunks that fills with water when it rains. Will this ultimately lead to rot and the death...

READ MORE

Boston Ivy vs Virginia Creeper – Identification

Q: Is this Boston ivy, poison ivy, or poison Boston ivy? Or maybe a freaked out Virginia creeper? A: Well, I can eliminate two of our four choices. It’s not poison ivy or poison Boston creeper. So is it Boston...

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