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
  • PLANTING IN THE DROUGHT

    Sometimes I hate following my own advice. I hate it especially when it concerns properly digging a bed for planting. You remember the July Fourth weekend don’t you? Unbroken bright sunshine, temperatures in the nineties and humidity thick enough to...

    READ MORE

  • DROUGHT A MIXED BLESSING

    OK – admit it. You have not seen nearly as many mosquitoes this summer as you did last year. Those bloodsucking creatures must have ample water in which to multiply. With the drought in full swing, the only water in...

    READ MORE

  • Aeration – When Is The Time?

    Q: I talked to a landscaper a month ago who said I should core aerate Bermuda grass in mid-June through the end of July. I just called my lawn treatment company who said that the time to core aerate Bermuda...

    READ MORE

  • Cicadas – Periodical vs Annual

    Q: In your article on periodical cicadas recently, you said they would not appear until 2011. I have had cicadas in my trees every year for the last decade! A: You have had cicadas, but not ^periodical^ cicadas. There are...

    READ MORE

  • Camellias – In Front Of Air Conditioning?

    Q: I want to move two camellias from the west side of our house, where I believe they are getting too much afternoon sun, to a spot on the east side, where they will receive more morning light. This new...

    READ MORE

  • Vegetables – Weed ‘n Feed Products

    Q: I know they make fertilizers with weed killers that you can use on grass but is there a fertilizer/herbicide combination you can use on vegetables? A: Sure! Just firmly attach a hoe to your bucket of 10-10-10, swing it...

    READ MORE

  • Oak – A Dark Depression In The Trunk

    Q: A large oak tree on my intown property has a ‘sunken-in’ area at the base of the trunk, approximately 10″ high by 10″ wide. The center of the sunken-in area has turned black. I do not see any signs...

    READ MORE

  • Sourwood – A Hearty and Thirsty Tree

    Q: I planted a sourwood tree last fall, perhaps five feet tall. It leafed out this spring and then the leaves started wilting and turning brown around the edges. It didn’t all happen at once; first a little branch, then...

    READ MORE

  • Oak – Options In Houston

    Q: I am moving to Houston, Texas next month. The house where I’ll live has a live oak tree in the back yard and, according to what I have heard, nothing will grow underneath, plus it becomes muddy when it...

    READ MORE

  • Bradford Pear – Possible Damage

    Q: About 3 years ago, I planted a Bradford Pear tree in my yard. It was a balled and burlapped tree and I thought I had removed all the string that was holding the burlap. Last year I noticed that...

    READ MORE

  • Hickory – Shedding Perfectly Good Leaves?

    Q: A mature hickory tree in my yard is dropping leaves. The leaves are not shriveled, spotted, discolored, or otherwise unhealthy looking. They are not the individual leaves, but rather a whole stem with several leaflets on the stem. Could...

    READ MORE

  • Schools – Planting For Improvement

    Q: We are planning a simple landscape for our school’s playground. It is enclosed by a four foot high chain-link fence and we want to hide the “institutional” look. The site is pretty bright, under the shade of tall pine...

    READ MORE

  • Leaf Gall – Prevention For The Future

    Q: The leaves on my azaleas and camellias are swollen and disfigured. What is this and what should be done? A: Azalea (or camellia) leaf gall is another disease that only sporadically appears. The fungus infected the leaf buds back...

    READ MORE

  • Plant Passport – Bringing Plants To The States

    Q:We will be in Costa Rica this summer. Fodor’s Costa Rica 1999 Travel book states that at Jardin Lankaster Botanical Gardens one may buy orchids which have their own plant “passport”. These are said to allow a plant to travel...

    READ MORE

  • Marigolds – Keeping Away Undesirable Insects

    Q: I’m thinking about planting marigolds around my organic vegetable garden to repel insects. Should I use the tall varieties or the short ones? A: You should use marigolds in your organic garden – – but not in the manner...

    READ MORE

  • Compost – Disappearing Over Time

    Q: About three years ago we tilled up our hard clay front yard and added close to a half-ton of compost and soil amendments. The soil looked really good when we finished. This year, when I dug around some shrubs,...

    READ MORE

  • Fruit Trees – What Should Be Sprayed When?

    Q: When and with what should I spray my apple, peach and fig trees to improve their fruit production? I don’t think they are bug infested, but I’m not sure. A: You have already missed one of the important sprays...

    READ MORE

  • Centipede – Good Grass To Plant?

    Q: We built a house last summer and finally moved in last November. We were told we needed to plant winter ryegrass as it was the only thing that would grow enough to prevent erosion on our new soil. Well,...

    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

PLANTING IN THE DROUGHT

Sometimes I hate following my own advice. I hate it especially when it concerns properly digging a bed for planting. You remember the July Fourth weekend don’t you? Unbroken bright sunshine, temperatures in the nineties and humidity thick enough to...

READ MORE

DROUGHT A MIXED BLESSING

OK – admit it. You have not seen nearly as many mosquitoes this summer as you did last year. Those bloodsucking creatures must have ample water in which to multiply. With the drought in full swing, the only water in...

READ MORE

Aeration – When Is The Time?

Q: I talked to a landscaper a month ago who said I should core aerate Bermuda grass in mid-June through the end of July. I just called my lawn treatment company who said that the time to core aerate Bermuda...

READ MORE

Cicadas – Periodical vs Annual

Q: In your article on periodical cicadas recently, you said they would not appear until 2011. I have had cicadas in my trees every year for the last decade! A: You have had cicadas, but not ^periodical^ cicadas. There are...

READ MORE

Camellias – In Front Of Air Conditioning?

Q: I want to move two camellias from the west side of our house, where I believe they are getting too much afternoon sun, to a spot on the east side, where they will receive more morning light. This new...

READ MORE

Vegetables – Weed ‘n Feed Products

Q: I know they make fertilizers with weed killers that you can use on grass but is there a fertilizer/herbicide combination you can use on vegetables? A: Sure! Just firmly attach a hoe to your bucket of 10-10-10, swing it...

READ MORE

Oak – A Dark Depression In The Trunk

Q: A large oak tree on my intown property has a ‘sunken-in’ area at the base of the trunk, approximately 10″ high by 10″ wide. The center of the sunken-in area has turned black. I do not see any signs...

READ MORE

Sourwood – A Hearty and Thirsty Tree

Q: I planted a sourwood tree last fall, perhaps five feet tall. It leafed out this spring and then the leaves started wilting and turning brown around the edges. It didn’t all happen at once; first a little branch, then...

READ MORE

Oak – Options In Houston

Q: I am moving to Houston, Texas next month. The house where I’ll live has a live oak tree in the back yard and, according to what I have heard, nothing will grow underneath, plus it becomes muddy when it...

READ MORE

Bradford Pear – Possible Damage

Q: About 3 years ago, I planted a Bradford Pear tree in my yard. It was a balled and burlapped tree and I thought I had removed all the string that was holding the burlap. Last year I noticed that...

READ MORE

Hickory – Shedding Perfectly Good Leaves?

Q: A mature hickory tree in my yard is dropping leaves. The leaves are not shriveled, spotted, discolored, or otherwise unhealthy looking. They are not the individual leaves, but rather a whole stem with several leaflets on the stem. Could...

READ MORE

Schools – Planting For Improvement

Q: We are planning a simple landscape for our school’s playground. It is enclosed by a four foot high chain-link fence and we want to hide the “institutional” look. The site is pretty bright, under the shade of tall pine...

READ MORE

Leaf Gall – Prevention For The Future

Q: The leaves on my azaleas and camellias are swollen and disfigured. What is this and what should be done? A: Azalea (or camellia) leaf gall is another disease that only sporadically appears. The fungus infected the leaf buds back...

READ MORE

Plant Passport – Bringing Plants To The States

Q:We will be in Costa Rica this summer. Fodor’s Costa Rica 1999 Travel book states that at Jardin Lankaster Botanical Gardens one may buy orchids which have their own plant “passport”. These are said to allow a plant to travel...

READ MORE

Marigolds – Keeping Away Undesirable Insects

Q: I’m thinking about planting marigolds around my organic vegetable garden to repel insects. Should I use the tall varieties or the short ones? A: You should use marigolds in your organic garden – – but not in the manner...

READ MORE

Compost – Disappearing Over Time

Q: About three years ago we tilled up our hard clay front yard and added close to a half-ton of compost and soil amendments. The soil looked really good when we finished. This year, when I dug around some shrubs,...

READ MORE

Fruit Trees – What Should Be Sprayed When?

Q: When and with what should I spray my apple, peach and fig trees to improve their fruit production? I don’t think they are bug infested, but I’m not sure. A: You have already missed one of the important sprays...

READ MORE

Centipede – Good Grass To Plant?

Q: We built a house last summer and finally moved in last November. We were told we needed to plant winter ryegrass as it was the only thing that would grow enough to prevent erosion on our new soil. Well,...

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