Featured Article

Trip to England – 2017

It’s decided! I have always wanted to visit the Cotswolds in England. I’ve been to London, but when I was there, everyone said “Yes, the gardens here are outstanding but if you REALLY want to see the prettiest part of our country, don’t miss the Cotswolds!” So I’m going….and I’d...

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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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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Confederate Yellow Daisy – Growing

    Q: Is there actually a Confederate yellow daisy available for home gardens? I think it would be neat to have them bloom at home at the time of Stone Mountain Yellow Daisy Festival. A: You’re in luck! The Confederate yellow...

    READ MORE

  • South Africa and Ireland Trips – 2014

    Do you like to travel? Do you like seeing beautiful gardens? Do you like going to awesome places most tourists don’t get to visit? Do you enjoy meeting lively, curious, funny people who enjoy the same things you do? Great!...

    READ MORE

  • Pine Tree – Clusters of Needles Falling Off

    Q: I have short 6 to 8 inch pieces of my pine tree falling off. The ends look like they have been chewed through. I have over 24 of these section laying under the tree. The tree is large with...

    READ MORE

  • Inman Farm Heritage Days

    As many of you know, I grew up in the tiny rural community of Inman, in south Fayette County. The residents were typical Southern farm folk: truck farmers raising vegetables, chickens, cattle, etc. Many held jobs “in town” (Fayetteville) or...

    READ MORE

  • Avocado – Cold Hardy

    Q: My son sent me two cold hardy avocado plants, which are said to tolerate 18 degree temperatures. Do you think I will have avocados next summer? A: You’ll be on the bleeding edge of horticultural knowledge if you can...

    READ MORE

  • Well Water – Testing

    Q: I have well water and would like to test it for contaminants. There are no factories or industrial facilities near by. Iron and sulfur amounts would be good to know. A: The University of Georgia has a good guide...

    READ MORE

  • Lemon Grass (Lemongrass) – Repel Mosquitoes

    Q: I was thinking about planting lemon grass to help ward off mosquitoes. Will it grow in Dawsonville? A: Lemon grass is not usually winter hardy in Atlanta, much less Dawsonville. You might have success growing it against a stone...

    READ MORE

  • Tomato – Septoria Leaf Spot

    Q: I’m growing tomatoes in a spot that gets full sun, is well drained, and the block retaining wall allows excessive water to drain out. Initially my plants were doing great. Now not so good. The lower older vines have...

    READ MORE

  • Fungus – Growing in Treated Wood

    Q: I have attached a picture of the fungus growing on the walkway of my home. Can you please tell me what it is and how to get rid of it? A: Mycologist Don Gardner in Brunswick says the fungus...

    READ MORE

  • Fescue – Growing Under a Dogwood

    Q: I have been trying to grow grass on a slight hill under a dogwood tree for years. I plant the shade mix of fescue each year and initially it comes in and then dies. This has been the routine...

    READ MORE

  • Poison Ivy – Galls on Leaves

    Q: What in the heck is going on with these poison ivy leaves? They look to be covered with warts. A: The warts are caused by gall-making eryophid mites. These tiny creatures wound the leaf and insert eggs. Leaf tissue...

    READ MORE

  • Pepper – Virus Disease

    Q: My jalapeño plants have a light green pattern on the peppers. What is it? A: It’s one of the virus diseases that affect peppers and tomatoes, possibly cucumber mosaic virus, which attacks a wide range of plants. Viruses are...

    READ MORE

  • Hibiscus Sawfly – Identification

    Q: The leaves of my hibiscus are eaten through like eyelet lace. What could chew them up so? A: It’s hibiscus sawfly damage. Early on a humid morning you can find the greenish larvae on the backside of leaves, chewing...

    READ MORE

  • Harpin Protein – Buying

    Q: I want to buy harpin protein and use in my vegetable garden. This product was originally developed by Eden Bioscience under the brand name Messenger. Do you have a source? A: How about this? harpin (click for sources)...

    READ MORE

  • Dermatitis – Passionvine

    Contact dermatitis from exposure to certain plants can be serious business. We’re all familiar with the dermatitis resulting from touching poison ivy but other plants can cause a reaction as well. My son got blisters on his arm from pulling...

    READ MORE

  • Maple – Righting One From A Fall

    Q: We have a small maple that is becoming uprooted. Is there any remedy that you can advise so we can save the tree? The tree is currently supported by wiring, but it isn’t helping the uprooting. A: As we approach...

    READ MORE

  • Azalea – Should It Be Pruned?

    Q: I have a plumleaf azalea I purchased from a nursery in Commerce about four years ago. I initially planted it in the shade out of fear of too much sun and heat, but after 2 years of no blooms,...

    READ MORE

  • Plumeria – Not Flowering Like Expected

    Q: Two years ago I brought back a cutting of plumeria from Hawaii. It is in the shape of a capital “Y”. It rooted successfully and produced large green leaves at the end of each point of the “Y” but...

    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

Confederate Yellow Daisy – Growing

Q: Is there actually a Confederate yellow daisy available for home gardens? I think it would be neat to have them bloom at home at the time of Stone Mountain Yellow Daisy Festival. A: You’re in luck! The Confederate yellow...

READ MORE

South Africa and Ireland Trips – 2014

Do you like to travel? Do you like seeing beautiful gardens? Do you like going to awesome places most tourists don’t get to visit? Do you enjoy meeting lively, curious, funny people who enjoy the same things you do? Great!...

READ MORE

Pine Tree – Clusters of Needles Falling Off

Q: I have short 6 to 8 inch pieces of my pine tree falling off. The ends look like they have been chewed through. I have over 24 of these section laying under the tree. The tree is large with...

READ MORE

Inman Farm Heritage Days

As many of you know, I grew up in the tiny rural community of Inman, in south Fayette County. The residents were typical Southern farm folk: truck farmers raising vegetables, chickens, cattle, etc. Many held jobs “in town” (Fayetteville) or...

READ MORE

Avocado – Cold Hardy

Q: My son sent me two cold hardy avocado plants, which are said to tolerate 18 degree temperatures. Do you think I will have avocados next summer? A: You’ll be on the bleeding edge of horticultural knowledge if you can...

READ MORE

Well Water – Testing

Q: I have well water and would like to test it for contaminants. There are no factories or industrial facilities near by. Iron and sulfur amounts would be good to know. A: The University of Georgia has a good guide...

READ MORE

Lemon Grass (Lemongrass) – Repel Mosquitoes

Q: I was thinking about planting lemon grass to help ward off mosquitoes. Will it grow in Dawsonville? A: Lemon grass is not usually winter hardy in Atlanta, much less Dawsonville. You might have success growing it against a stone...

READ MORE

Tomato – Septoria Leaf Spot

Q: I’m growing tomatoes in a spot that gets full sun, is well drained, and the block retaining wall allows excessive water to drain out. Initially my plants were doing great. Now not so good. The lower older vines have...

READ MORE

Fungus – Growing in Treated Wood

Q: I have attached a picture of the fungus growing on the walkway of my home. Can you please tell me what it is and how to get rid of it? A: Mycologist Don Gardner in Brunswick says the fungus...

READ MORE

Fescue – Growing Under a Dogwood

Q: I have been trying to grow grass on a slight hill under a dogwood tree for years. I plant the shade mix of fescue each year and initially it comes in and then dies. This has been the routine...

READ MORE

Poison Ivy – Galls on Leaves

Q: What in the heck is going on with these poison ivy leaves? They look to be covered with warts. A: The warts are caused by gall-making eryophid mites. These tiny creatures wound the leaf and insert eggs. Leaf tissue...

READ MORE

Pepper – Virus Disease

Q: My jalapeño plants have a light green pattern on the peppers. What is it? A: It’s one of the virus diseases that affect peppers and tomatoes, possibly cucumber mosaic virus, which attacks a wide range of plants. Viruses are...

READ MORE

Hibiscus Sawfly – Identification

Q: The leaves of my hibiscus are eaten through like eyelet lace. What could chew them up so? A: It’s hibiscus sawfly damage. Early on a humid morning you can find the greenish larvae on the backside of leaves, chewing...

READ MORE

Harpin Protein – Buying

Q: I want to buy harpin protein and use in my vegetable garden. This product was originally developed by Eden Bioscience under the brand name Messenger. Do you have a source? A: How about this? harpin (click for sources)...

READ MORE

Dermatitis – Passionvine

Contact dermatitis from exposure to certain plants can be serious business. We’re all familiar with the dermatitis resulting from touching poison ivy but other plants can cause a reaction as well. My son got blisters on his arm from pulling...

READ MORE

Maple – Righting One From A Fall

Q: We have a small maple that is becoming uprooted. Is there any remedy that you can advise so we can save the tree? The tree is currently supported by wiring, but it isn’t helping the uprooting. A: As we approach...

READ MORE

Azalea – Should It Be Pruned?

Q: I have a plumleaf azalea I purchased from a nursery in Commerce about four years ago. I initially planted it in the shade out of fear of too much sun and heat, but after 2 years of no blooms,...

READ MORE

Plumeria – Not Flowering Like Expected

Q: Two years ago I brought back a cutting of plumeria from Hawaii. It is in the shape of a capital “Y”. It rooted successfully and produced large green leaves at the end of each point of the “Y” but...

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