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
  • Calico Scale – Identification

    Q: Any idea what these black and white things are? They are on the trees along a front walkway near Atlantic Station. A: They are calico scale. You can control them by scraping them off the trunk and keeping watch...

    READ MORE

  • Pine – Orange Dust on Gall

    Q: What is it? In my young pine tree near the lake. A: One of the Cronartium rust diseases. Maybe Cronartium quercuum. Although there are several kinds of rust diseases, I lump them all together as “fusiform rust”. The only...

    READ MORE

  • TifTuf Bermudagrass

    The newest University of Georgia turfgrass release, TifTuf™ bermudagrass, is available to homeowners in 2016. Lawn owners can thank the late Dr. Glenn Burton at the University of Georgia’s Coastal Plain Experiment Station, who, starting in the 1940s, spent decades...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese Honeysuckle – Juvenile Leaves are Lobed

    Q: This comes up amidst my honeysuckle, but these leaves are not the same at all! New to my yard this year. The vines were reddish earlier, but I think now the color is not so apparent. A: This is...

    READ MORE

  • Flame Weeding – Dangerous

    Using a propane weeder may be attractive to some……..but you’d better do it with an observer nearby. Man uses blowtorch to kill weeds; sets 120-year-old house on...

    READ MORE

  • GMO Food – How to Avoid

    Some consumers would rather avoid food that contains GMO ingredients. It’s hard, since most corn products (including high fructose corn syrup but not popcorn) and soy products are made with GMO plants. I found a guide to avoiding GMO food...

    READ MORE

  • Rose – Sprouts From Grafted Understock

    Q: I have a rose bush that I had in a planter for about a year but it died. Now that the weather has gotten nice I have noticed four or five small bushes growing in the planter. Two appear...

    READ MORE

  • Azalea – Dead Area on Side

    Q: I have a shrub with problems in my front yard. I cannot tell if this dead pattern is due to the soil or a bug. A: This shows why it’s important not to shear azaleas. Over the years the...

    READ MORE

  • Termites – In Dead Stump

    Q: I prepared to remove a stump in my parent’s backyard and realized that it has termites. I want to remove and grind the stump; however, I’m not sure if we need to treat the termites first. Her house is...

    READ MORE

  • Join Me for a Pacific Northwest Trip – July, 2016

    Looking for a quick garden get-away to one of the garden beauty spots of the world? Join me this summer in the beautiful and exotic Pacific Northwest! Home to lovely gardens, rain forests, and stunning scenery. You’ll see Butchart Gardens...

    READ MORE

  • Bamboo Iris – Winter Care

    Q: I have a large (and spreading) clump of bamboo iris, Iris confusa. Can I remove leaves in winter? A: Unlike most irises, it’s better not to remove leaves in winter. The slender, flower-bearing stems emerge from old foliage and...

    READ MORE

  • Carolina Jessamine – Identification

    Note the way this plant’s name is spelled: it’s not “jasmine” but “jessamine”. It’s a terrific spring-flowering vine often seen on Southern arbors. It’s also spotted along highways, where its habit makes drivers think they’re seeing a yellow-flowering tree. An...

    READ MORE

  • Wild Strawberry (Indian Mock Strawberry) – Identification

    Indian mock strawberry, Potentilla indica, is a non-native weed only slightly related to “real” strawberry. It’s flowers are yellow while those of edible strawberry are white or pink. The fruit of mock strawberry is not poisonous but the taste is...

    READ MORE

  • Wild Lettuce (Prickly Lettuce) – Control

    It looks like dandelion leaves at first…..but it makes a tall stem. What could this be? It’s wild lettuce…..and it’s edible! You can dig the long taproot with a dandelion fork (click for sources)  or uproot it with a Water...

    READ MORE

  • Sowthistle – Control

    The spiny leaves make this weed easy to spot. Fortunately, spiny sowthistle is easy to control. You can dig the long taproot with a dandelion fork (click for sources)  or uproot it with a Water Weeder. A spot spray of...

    READ MORE

  • Peach – Shortening a Tall One

    Q: Your web site says that peach trees should be pruned to about 6 ft. tall. I have never done that and my peach trees are 12′ to 15′ tall. Can I cut my peach trees back to 6′ at...

    READ MORE

  • Fig – Removing Vigorous Small Twigs

    Q: We pruned our fig severely two years ago and left only three big trunks. It came back somewhat the next year with lots of sprouts from the roots. We removed some of them and now we need to prune...

    READ MORE

  • Carpenter Bee Control – Bug-a-Salt Gun

    If you fancy yourself a prospective big game hunter, why not start small…..hunting carpenter bees? The Bug-a-Salt (click here for sources) is an air gun that uses table salt to kill small insects.  (One wag says you can also use...

    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

Calico Scale – Identification

Q: Any idea what these black and white things are? They are on the trees along a front walkway near Atlantic Station. A: They are calico scale. You can control them by scraping them off the trunk and keeping watch...

READ MORE

Pine – Orange Dust on Gall

Q: What is it? In my young pine tree near the lake. A: One of the Cronartium rust diseases. Maybe Cronartium quercuum. Although there are several kinds of rust diseases, I lump them all together as “fusiform rust”. The only...

READ MORE

TifTuf Bermudagrass

The newest University of Georgia turfgrass release, TifTuf™ bermudagrass, is available to homeowners in 2016. Lawn owners can thank the late Dr. Glenn Burton at the University of Georgia’s Coastal Plain Experiment Station, who, starting in the 1940s, spent decades...

READ MORE

Japanese Honeysuckle – Juvenile Leaves are Lobed

Q: This comes up amidst my honeysuckle, but these leaves are not the same at all! New to my yard this year. The vines were reddish earlier, but I think now the color is not so apparent. A: This is...

READ MORE

Flame Weeding – Dangerous

Using a propane weeder may be attractive to some……..but you’d better do it with an observer nearby. Man uses blowtorch to kill weeds; sets 120-year-old house on...

READ MORE

GMO Food – How to Avoid

Some consumers would rather avoid food that contains GMO ingredients. It’s hard, since most corn products (including high fructose corn syrup but not popcorn) and soy products are made with GMO plants. I found a guide to avoiding GMO food...

READ MORE

Rose – Sprouts From Grafted Understock

Q: I have a rose bush that I had in a planter for about a year but it died. Now that the weather has gotten nice I have noticed four or five small bushes growing in the planter. Two appear...

READ MORE

Azalea – Dead Area on Side

Q: I have a shrub with problems in my front yard. I cannot tell if this dead pattern is due to the soil or a bug. A: This shows why it’s important not to shear azaleas. Over the years the...

READ MORE

Termites – In Dead Stump

Q: I prepared to remove a stump in my parent’s backyard and realized that it has termites. I want to remove and grind the stump; however, I’m not sure if we need to treat the termites first. Her house is...

READ MORE

Join Me for a Pacific Northwest Trip – July, 2016

Looking for a quick garden get-away to one of the garden beauty spots of the world? Join me this summer in the beautiful and exotic Pacific Northwest! Home to lovely gardens, rain forests, and stunning scenery. You’ll see Butchart Gardens...

READ MORE

Bamboo Iris – Winter Care

Q: I have a large (and spreading) clump of bamboo iris, Iris confusa. Can I remove leaves in winter? A: Unlike most irises, it’s better not to remove leaves in winter. The slender, flower-bearing stems emerge from old foliage and...

READ MORE

Carolina Jessamine – Identification

Note the way this plant’s name is spelled: it’s not “jasmine” but “jessamine”. It’s a terrific spring-flowering vine often seen on Southern arbors. It’s also spotted along highways, where its habit makes drivers think they’re seeing a yellow-flowering tree. An...

READ MORE

Wild Strawberry (Indian Mock Strawberry) – Identification

Indian mock strawberry, Potentilla indica, is a non-native weed only slightly related to “real” strawberry. It’s flowers are yellow while those of edible strawberry are white or pink. The fruit of mock strawberry is not poisonous but the taste is...

READ MORE

Wild Lettuce (Prickly Lettuce) – Control

It looks like dandelion leaves at first…..but it makes a tall stem. What could this be? It’s wild lettuce…..and it’s edible! You can dig the long taproot with a dandelion fork (click for sources)  or uproot it with a Water...

READ MORE

Sowthistle – Control

The spiny leaves make this weed easy to spot. Fortunately, spiny sowthistle is easy to control. You can dig the long taproot with a dandelion fork (click for sources)  or uproot it with a Water Weeder. A spot spray of...

READ MORE

Peach – Shortening a Tall One

Q: Your web site says that peach trees should be pruned to about 6 ft. tall. I have never done that and my peach trees are 12′ to 15′ tall. Can I cut my peach trees back to 6′ at...

READ MORE

Fig – Removing Vigorous Small Twigs

Q: We pruned our fig severely two years ago and left only three big trunks. It came back somewhat the next year with lots of sprouts from the roots. We removed some of them and now we need to prune...

READ MORE

Carpenter Bee Control – Bug-a-Salt Gun

If you fancy yourself a prospective big game hunter, why not start small…..hunting carpenter bees? The Bug-a-Salt (click here for sources) is an air gun that uses table salt to kill small insects.  (One wag says you can also use...

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