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...

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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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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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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Zoysia Lawns – Slow Green-up in 2014

    I’ve been puzzled by the differences in health between different zoysia lawns. My neighbor 2 doors down has a green and verdant zoysia lawn. My neighbor around the corner has slow and spotty green-up.   The NC State Center for...

    READ MORE

  • Rose – Black Spot Control

    I have never found a rose that was one hundred percent resistant to black spot, the most common rose disease. The tell-tale yellow leaves adorn roses throughout Atlanta to one extent or another. The best way to avoid black spot...

    READ MORE

  • Baking Soda – For Disease Control

    Q: Will a baking soda spray help to discourage fungal disease on tomato plants? A: It might….and it might not. Researchers have worked for several years on the use of various bicarbonates to control fungi. Some results have been positive,...

    READ MORE

  • Cats/Dogs – Repel From Flower Bed

    Q: Is there anything that will keep the neighborhood cats out of my raised beds? A: I think a well-aimed motion-activated sprinkler would send the cats skedaddling. Look online for the Contech Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler (click for sources) or the...

    READ MORE

  • Ash Flower Gall – Identification

    Q: I have a white ash that has weird green cauliflower-looking growths where the seeds clusters used to be. When I break them open, I find a little worm. A: The malformation is caused by ash flower gall. A tiny...

    READ MORE

  • Blackberry – Red-necked Cane Borer

    Q: My thornless blackberry died suddenly and I found larva in the cane. Can you ID these critters? A: Looks like red-necked cane borer. The larvae grow in the blackberry stem, causing it to enlarge, about a foot from ground...

    READ MORE

  • Organic Herbicide (Weed Killer) – Won’t Hurt Dog

    Q: Is there a weed killer for poison ivy that won’t harm my dog? A: I used a commercial herbicidal soap on poison ivy last week and the leaves were burned to the ground in a day. There are several...

    READ MORE

  • Podocarpus – Edible?

    Q: I recently found these pods on a tree in Marietta and would love to know their origin and if these pods can be used to grown my own. The fruit/pod are dark purplish black and spongy and then this...

    READ MORE

  • Edible Flowers

    Q: Where can I learn more about edible flowers? I want to use them on a wedding cake. A: I found a good resource from the Colorado Extension office. see Edible Flowers You might also be interested in edible plants...

    READ MORE

  • Horsehair Worm – Identification

    Q: I have a plastic half-barrel with water lilies growing in it. On one of the floating leaves I found a skinny black worm, thin as a hair. What is it? A: It’s probably a harmless horsehair worm. Despite their...

    READ MORE

  • Cemetery – Plants for

    Q: What would be some good plants to plant in front of a cemetery headstone where there is no water service? The space is 3.5 feet long and 16 inches wide. A: Assuming the site is in full sun, I...

    READ MORE

  • Red Rose – Turning Pink

    Q: I have five large Knockout roses in my yard. They have been in the ground for 3 years and have always been red. They just recently bloomed and one of them is now pink and another is turning pick....

    READ MORE

  • Lady Beetle – Pupae

    Q: These orange pods are on my Rose of Sharon bushes, plus several black and orange bugs. What are they? A: The pods are lady beetle pupal sacks…keep them! And the alligator creatures are the immature lady beetles that made...

    READ MORE

  • Maple – Severe Damage by Squirrel

    Q: In the span of 8 hours something attacked our maple tree. The bark is shredded off. I was gone all day and found it in this state when I got home. A: It’s gotta be a squirrel doing the...

    READ MORE

  • “English Ivy Kills Trees” Sign – Who Places Them?

    OK – my curiosity is killing me! Who puts up these signs at random spots around Atlanta? I’ve asked a number of arborists: No knowledge. I’ve posted it on Facebook; 21,000 people saw the post: lots of comments, but no...

    READ MORE

  • Red Knock Out® Rose Turning Pink

    Q:I have 5 large Knock Out®  roses in my yard, 3 are planted together. They have been in the ground for 3 years and have always been red. They just recently bloomed and one of them is now pink and another...

    READ MORE

  • Kirlow Indigo Indigofera kirilowii – Identification

    I heard a radio caller wanting to know about propagating her Kirlow Indigo,Indigofera kirilowii. We grew this at Barnsley Gardens many years ago, and propagated and sold it in the plant shop there. I have one planted at my mail...

    READ MORE

  • English Ivy – Control Tips

    It’s a vine lots of gardeners want to control in their landscape. English ivy can smother woodland plants, can provide a hiding place for critters and can be detrimental to tree health. Here are quick tips on how to control...

    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

Zoysia Lawns – Slow Green-up in 2014

I’ve been puzzled by the differences in health between different zoysia lawns. My neighbor 2 doors down has a green and verdant zoysia lawn. My neighbor around the corner has slow and spotty green-up.   The NC State Center for...

READ MORE

Rose – Black Spot Control

I have never found a rose that was one hundred percent resistant to black spot, the most common rose disease. The tell-tale yellow leaves adorn roses throughout Atlanta to one extent or another. The best way to avoid black spot...

READ MORE

Baking Soda – For Disease Control

Q: Will a baking soda spray help to discourage fungal disease on tomato plants? A: It might….and it might not. Researchers have worked for several years on the use of various bicarbonates to control fungi. Some results have been positive,...

READ MORE

Cats/Dogs – Repel From Flower Bed

Q: Is there anything that will keep the neighborhood cats out of my raised beds? A: I think a well-aimed motion-activated sprinkler would send the cats skedaddling. Look online for the Contech Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler (click for sources) or the...

READ MORE

Ash Flower Gall – Identification

Q: I have a white ash that has weird green cauliflower-looking growths where the seeds clusters used to be. When I break them open, I find a little worm. A: The malformation is caused by ash flower gall. A tiny...

READ MORE

Blackberry – Red-necked Cane Borer

Q: My thornless blackberry died suddenly and I found larva in the cane. Can you ID these critters? A: Looks like red-necked cane borer. The larvae grow in the blackberry stem, causing it to enlarge, about a foot from ground...

READ MORE

Organic Herbicide (Weed Killer) – Won’t Hurt Dog

Q: Is there a weed killer for poison ivy that won’t harm my dog? A: I used a commercial herbicidal soap on poison ivy last week and the leaves were burned to the ground in a day. There are several...

READ MORE

Podocarpus – Edible?

Q: I recently found these pods on a tree in Marietta and would love to know their origin and if these pods can be used to grown my own. The fruit/pod are dark purplish black and spongy and then this...

READ MORE

Edible Flowers

Q: Where can I learn more about edible flowers? I want to use them on a wedding cake. A: I found a good resource from the Colorado Extension office. see Edible Flowers You might also be interested in edible plants...

READ MORE

Horsehair Worm – Identification

Q: I have a plastic half-barrel with water lilies growing in it. On one of the floating leaves I found a skinny black worm, thin as a hair. What is it? A: It’s probably a harmless horsehair worm. Despite their...

READ MORE

Cemetery – Plants for

Q: What would be some good plants to plant in front of a cemetery headstone where there is no water service? The space is 3.5 feet long and 16 inches wide. A: Assuming the site is in full sun, I...

READ MORE

Red Rose – Turning Pink

Q: I have five large Knockout roses in my yard. They have been in the ground for 3 years and have always been red. They just recently bloomed and one of them is now pink and another is turning pick....

READ MORE

Lady Beetle – Pupae

Q: These orange pods are on my Rose of Sharon bushes, plus several black and orange bugs. What are they? A: The pods are lady beetle pupal sacks…keep them! And the alligator creatures are the immature lady beetles that made...

READ MORE

Maple – Severe Damage by Squirrel

Q: In the span of 8 hours something attacked our maple tree. The bark is shredded off. I was gone all day and found it in this state when I got home. A: It’s gotta be a squirrel doing the...

READ MORE

“English Ivy Kills Trees” Sign – Who Places Them?

OK – my curiosity is killing me! Who puts up these signs at random spots around Atlanta? I’ve asked a number of arborists: No knowledge. I’ve posted it on Facebook; 21,000 people saw the post: lots of comments, but no...

READ MORE

Red Knock Out® Rose Turning Pink

Q:I have 5 large Knock Out®  roses in my yard, 3 are planted together. They have been in the ground for 3 years and have always been red. They just recently bloomed and one of them is now pink and another...

READ MORE

Kirlow Indigo Indigofera kirilowii – Identification

I heard a radio caller wanting to know about propagating her Kirlow Indigo,Indigofera kirilowii. We grew this at Barnsley Gardens many years ago, and propagated and sold it in the plant shop there. I have one planted at my mail...

READ MORE

English Ivy – Control Tips

It’s a vine lots of gardeners want to control in their landscape. English ivy can smother woodland plants, can provide a hiding place for critters and can be detrimental to tree health. Here are quick tips on how to control...

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