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
  • Pandorus Sphinx Moth Caterpillar – Identification

    Q: Any idea what this is? (The caterpillar, not the quarter ;o) A: It’s a pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar. I’ve never seen one before. I suspected it was a sphinx moth due to the body shape and the prominent spots....

    READ MORE

  • Winterizing Warm-Season Lawns – Not Necessary

    Q: I heard you say on radio that it is not necessary to apply a winterizer to bermuda lawns. Why not? A: Mostly because you will be wasting your money except in limited cases. Bermudagrass starts slowing its growth rate...

    READ MORE

  • Squirrel Damage – To Bluebird House

    Q: What happened to my bluebird house? Was it squirrels or raccoons? A: I think either a gray squirrel or a flying squirrel did the damage. I lean toward flying squirrel because I took down a damaged bluebird box one...

    READ MORE

  • Tomatoes – Growing in Cinderblocks

    Q: This is amazing! Check out these tomatoes growing in cinderblocks. A: Looks like the gardener put small plants into the compost-filled holes in the cinderblocks and the plants grew roots down into the soil underneath. Nice...

    READ MORE

  • Sweetgum – Deeply Lobed Leaves

    Q: This is located in a residential yard in Southern Alabama. It is not a sweetgum tree. No “balls” underneath and the leaves are similar, but not exact. We have sweetgum trees here and the leaves do not look the...

    READ MORE

  • Muscadine/Scuppernong – Fruit Disease Identification

    Q: I have black spots on my scuppernongs. What disease could it be? A: Several diseases cause spots on muscadine grapes. I don’t know which one you have but this guide has excellent pictures. Muscadine...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese Maple – Moving a Big One

    Q: I am in the process of moving my girlfriend from Dunwoody to Woodstock Ga. She wants to take her 2 Japanese Maples with her. One is about 3 feet tall, with a 6 ft canopy and a 3″ diameter...

    READ MORE

  • Raising Chickens – Rules for DeKalb County

    Q: I’ve heard that the DeKalb chicken-keeping ordinance has recently changed. The problem is, I cannot find any official documentation about that. Do you happen to know the latest? A: Anne-Marie Anderson (The Celtic Gardener, (404) 667-1219, www.facebook.com/thecelticgardener_ says” As you are no doubt aware,...

    READ MORE

  • Puss Caterpillar – White (and Venomous)

    Q: I’ve never seen a white caterpillar before, nor one that looks like it is covered with fur like an angora kitten. Do you know what kind it is? Is there such a thing as an albino caterpillar? A: Yikes...

    READ MORE

  • Leaf-footed Bug – Nymph

    Q: We noticed this pretty bug on the side of our car. The bug was gesturing at us with its antennae and abdomen. A: It just wanted to be friendly! It’s a nymph (i.e. juvenile) of a leaf-footed bug, Acanthocephala...

    READ MORE

  • River Birch Sawfly Larvae – Proper Control

    Q: In March I drenched the ground around our two river birches with the Ortho product which has imidacloprid. Each tree has 3 trunks, each about 6 inches in diameter. I used a 40 oz. bottle and divided it between...

    READ MORE

  • English Ivy – Mature Form, Flowers, Berries

    Q: This aggressive ivy look-alike has covered up English ivy and everything in its path while making stubborn mounds several feet high! A: It’s what experts call the “mature” form of English ivy, as contrasted with the “juvenile” phase we...

    READ MORE

  • Millipedes – Identification

    Q: We have an abundance of these things in and around our home. What is it and how do we get rid of them? This one is nearly five inches long. A: It’s a North American millipede, Narceus americanus. There...

    READ MORE

  • Yellowjackets – Trapping With Bowl, Bait and Oil

    I’ve described on radio how to make a monitoring trap for yellowjackets using meat bait and some cooking oil. Here’s how it works: Get a cereal bowl, a piece of sandwich meat and some vegetable oil. Roll the meat into...

    READ MORE

  • Goats/Sheep – Using for Weed Removal

    Q: What do you know about using goats for removal of ivy, privet and the like? A: Goats or sheep can be pretty effective, especially in places where it’s too steep or overgrown to mow. Here are some articles about...

    READ MORE

  • Barklice – On Crapemyrtle

    Q: Can you identify these bugs? I have several clusters of them on my crepe myrtle trees. A: They’re barklice. They feed on bits of bark and lichens but don’t hurt trees. Exotic though they look, there’s no need to...

    READ MORE

  • Blueberries – Dying Due to Soggy Soil

    Q: Blueberries are my all-time favorite food so I was very excited when my husband planted three bushes in the backyard this spring. Two of the three are holding their own, but not really growing, and the third looks absolutely...

    READ MORE

  • Bean – Flat Pods

    Q: For many years I’ve grown pole butter beans but this year the vines look great but there are few beans and they are flat. P. Etchison, Alpharetta, A: Flat beans usually mean poor pollination. Butterbeans are self-pollinating but produce...

    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

Pandorus Sphinx Moth Caterpillar – Identification

Q: Any idea what this is? (The caterpillar, not the quarter ;o) A: It’s a pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar. I’ve never seen one before. I suspected it was a sphinx moth due to the body shape and the prominent spots....

READ MORE

Winterizing Warm-Season Lawns – Not Necessary

Q: I heard you say on radio that it is not necessary to apply a winterizer to bermuda lawns. Why not? A: Mostly because you will be wasting your money except in limited cases. Bermudagrass starts slowing its growth rate...

READ MORE

Squirrel Damage – To Bluebird House

Q: What happened to my bluebird house? Was it squirrels or raccoons? A: I think either a gray squirrel or a flying squirrel did the damage. I lean toward flying squirrel because I took down a damaged bluebird box one...

READ MORE

Tomatoes – Growing in Cinderblocks

Q: This is amazing! Check out these tomatoes growing in cinderblocks. A: Looks like the gardener put small plants into the compost-filled holes in the cinderblocks and the plants grew roots down into the soil underneath. Nice...

READ MORE

Sweetgum – Deeply Lobed Leaves

Q: This is located in a residential yard in Southern Alabama. It is not a sweetgum tree. No “balls” underneath and the leaves are similar, but not exact. We have sweetgum trees here and the leaves do not look the...

READ MORE

Muscadine/Scuppernong – Fruit Disease Identification

Q: I have black spots on my scuppernongs. What disease could it be? A: Several diseases cause spots on muscadine grapes. I don’t know which one you have but this guide has excellent pictures. Muscadine...

READ MORE

Japanese Maple – Moving a Big One

Q: I am in the process of moving my girlfriend from Dunwoody to Woodstock Ga. She wants to take her 2 Japanese Maples with her. One is about 3 feet tall, with a 6 ft canopy and a 3″ diameter...

READ MORE

Raising Chickens – Rules for DeKalb County

Q: I’ve heard that the DeKalb chicken-keeping ordinance has recently changed. The problem is, I cannot find any official documentation about that. Do you happen to know the latest? A: Anne-Marie Anderson (The Celtic Gardener, (404) 667-1219, www.facebook.com/thecelticgardener_ says” As you are no doubt aware,...

READ MORE

Puss Caterpillar – White (and Venomous)

Q: I’ve never seen a white caterpillar before, nor one that looks like it is covered with fur like an angora kitten. Do you know what kind it is? Is there such a thing as an albino caterpillar? A: Yikes...

READ MORE

Leaf-footed Bug – Nymph

Q: We noticed this pretty bug on the side of our car. The bug was gesturing at us with its antennae and abdomen. A: It just wanted to be friendly! It’s a nymph (i.e. juvenile) of a leaf-footed bug, Acanthocephala...

READ MORE

River Birch Sawfly Larvae – Proper Control

Q: In March I drenched the ground around our two river birches with the Ortho product which has imidacloprid. Each tree has 3 trunks, each about 6 inches in diameter. I used a 40 oz. bottle and divided it between...

READ MORE

English Ivy – Mature Form, Flowers, Berries

Q: This aggressive ivy look-alike has covered up English ivy and everything in its path while making stubborn mounds several feet high! A: It’s what experts call the “mature” form of English ivy, as contrasted with the “juvenile” phase we...

READ MORE

Millipedes – Identification

Q: We have an abundance of these things in and around our home. What is it and how do we get rid of them? This one is nearly five inches long. A: It’s a North American millipede, Narceus americanus. There...

READ MORE

Yellowjackets – Trapping With Bowl, Bait and Oil

I’ve described on radio how to make a monitoring trap for yellowjackets using meat bait and some cooking oil. Here’s how it works: Get a cereal bowl, a piece of sandwich meat and some vegetable oil. Roll the meat into...

READ MORE

Goats/Sheep – Using for Weed Removal

Q: What do you know about using goats for removal of ivy, privet and the like? A: Goats or sheep can be pretty effective, especially in places where it’s too steep or overgrown to mow. Here are some articles about...

READ MORE

Barklice – On Crapemyrtle

Q: Can you identify these bugs? I have several clusters of them on my crepe myrtle trees. A: They’re barklice. They feed on bits of bark and lichens but don’t hurt trees. Exotic though they look, there’s no need to...

READ MORE

Blueberries – Dying Due to Soggy Soil

Q: Blueberries are my all-time favorite food so I was very excited when my husband planted three bushes in the backyard this spring. Two of the three are holding their own, but not really growing, and the third looks absolutely...

READ MORE

Bean – Flat Pods

Q: For many years I’ve grown pole butter beans but this year the vines look great but there are few beans and they are flat. P. Etchison, Alpharetta, A: Flat beans usually mean poor pollination. Butterbeans are self-pollinating but produce...

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