Featured Article

Upcoming Trips to Ireland and Cuba – 2014

I get real pleasure from travelling with folks who like to see the world. Going to Callaway Gardens was a real trip when I was a kid! Now I get to see the corners of the globe with gardeners (and spouses!) on trips I plan and host each year. We’re...

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UGA Vegetable Gardening Publications

With food prices high, folks have been thinking about growing some of their own food. Food gardening is not hard and it doesn’t have to take much room in your landscape. You can even do it in containers! These gardening publications are available on the Internet or ask for a...

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Roundup – Using on Winter Weeds

It is tempting to spray glyphosate (click for sources) on green winter weeds when your lawn grass is brown and dormant. However, bermudagrass is the only turfgrass on which I’d recommend this practice – - and with much caution. The bermudagrass must be completely dormant. Get on your hands and...

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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 unless it is severely pruned. Crapemyrtles do not HAVE TO...

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Buy Garden Books!

As you probably know, I am the author or co-author of several books about gardening in Georgia.  If you’d like to get one of my books for yourself or to give as a gift, click the link below. I’ll get the order immediately and will inscribe it as you wish...

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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Shade Tolerance – Flowers

    Q: I’m creating a landscape/flower bed that will be under two water oak trees with little sun. What is a shade-tolerant plant I can put in this shady bed? The more colorful, hardy and perennial the better. A: For shade-tolerance...

    READ MORE

  • Bird Feeding – Seasons

    Q: We have been feeding the birds black oil sunflower seeds all winter. Should we continue this when spring arrives or do we need to cut back to encourage them to eat berries, etc? A: Garden coach Daryl Pulis (www.mrsgreenthumb.com)...

    READ MORE

  • Composting – Nutrient rich food

    Q: Are all vegetative items the same for composting or are some more nutritious that others? For example, are orange peels and banana peels basically the same? A: Just as with basic nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc), plants can’t tell...

    READ MORE

  • Loropetalum – Pruning

    Q: My Burgundy loropetalum plants are six feet tall and doing well. Last year I cut them down to three feet in early spring. They quickly rebounded and ended the season bigger than they need to be. A: It’s hard...

    READ MORE

  • Bare Root Seedlings – Proper Conditions

    Q: I occasionally get bare root twigs from the Arbor Day folks. These seem to flourish in my yard much more than container-grown trees purchased at a local nursery. Why is that? A: Your experience may not be true for...

    READ MORE

  • Ring Planter – Tree Trunk Safety

    Q: I want to build a ring planter eighteen inches tall around a tree for planting flowers. Does it harm a tree to put dirt up that high against the trunk? A: It can definitely harm the tree to have...

    READ MORE

  • Propagation of Mangos

    Q: Can you tell me how to propagate mangos from seeds? A: Pick a very ripe fruit, peel it, then remove and eat the pulp. Let the flattened seed inside dry for a few days to make it easier to...

    READ MORE

  • Pet Waste – Composting

    Q: I discovered a product that composts pet waste. I have always felt badly about throwing away cat litter. It is safe to compost pet feces? A: It’s not safe to put pet waste in bins from which you’ll remove...

    READ MORE

  • Coffee – Adding grounds to soil

    Q: I am an avid coffee drinker. I dry my grounds so I can store them before using in my garden in spring but am I depleting the nitrogen by doing so? A: You’re not depleting anything by drying because...

    READ MORE

  • Anise – Spice and Shrub

    Q: What is the difference between anise spice and anise shrub? A: Edible plant expert Shannon Pable (www.shannonpable.com) says the spice known as star anise (Chinese star anise), Illicium verum, is the primary plant used as a spice. I. anisatum,...

    READ MORE

  • Hardy Amaryllis – Basics

    Q: Are you familiar with hardy amaryllis? My daughter and I saw some huge clumps last May when we were visiting Douglasville. A: “Hardy” amaryllis, Hippeastrum x johnsonii blooms in my landscape each year in late May as well! It...

    READ MORE

  • Tree Health – Mushrooms

    Q: I have mushrooms growing from the exposed roots of a tree in the front yard. Does that mean the tree is dying? A: It may not be dying but it surely is sick. Trees can usually fight off fungal...

    READ MORE

  • Papyrus – Living Conditions

    Q: I bought a one gallon pot of papyrus back in the spring. Not knowing any better I simply planted it in the dirt. It’s six feet tall, but everything I read tells me it should be in water. A:...

    READ MORE

  • Exposed Tree Roots – Cover

    Q: What do you do about exposed tree roots? A: In most cases, the large exposed roots are near the tree trunk. The all-important slender feeder roots are buried near the drip line and beyond. If that’s your situation, cover...

    READ MORE

  • Tree Stump – Wait Before Planting a New Tree

    Q: How long can I wait before planting a new tree where we have had a stump ground? A: It all depends on how many wood chips are left mixed with the soil. If there are a lot, the soil...

    READ MORE

  • Phosphorus – Soil Testing

    Q: Our garden center is no longer carrying any basic fertilizer with phosphorus. They have 10-0-10 etc. Their explanation is that it’s more friendly to the environment. What is your take on this? A: I think the phosphorus pollution in...

    READ MORE

  • Norfolk Pine – Pruning

    Q: My friend has had a Norfolk pine for 32 years that has grown just short of the ceiling. Should she raise the roof or can it be pruned in some way? A: She can remove the top now but...

    READ MORE

  • Insecticidal Soap – Commercial vs Homemade

    Q: I saw in your email garden newsletter that you recommend commercial insecticidal soap, not home-made. Why can’t I make my own stuff? A: I usually hear of people using dish detergent in their insecticide concoctions, which can burn plant...

    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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES

Shade Tolerance – Flowers

Q: I’m creating a landscape/flower bed that will be under two water oak trees with little sun. What is a shade-tolerant plant I can put in this shady bed? The more colorful, hardy and perennial the better. A: For shade-tolerance...

READ MORE

Bird Feeding – Seasons

Q: We have been feeding the birds black oil sunflower seeds all winter. Should we continue this when spring arrives or do we need to cut back to encourage them to eat berries, etc? A: Garden coach Daryl Pulis (www.mrsgreenthumb.com)...

READ MORE

Composting – Nutrient rich food

Q: Are all vegetative items the same for composting or are some more nutritious that others? For example, are orange peels and banana peels basically the same? A: Just as with basic nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc), plants can’t tell...

READ MORE

Loropetalum – Pruning

Q: My Burgundy loropetalum plants are six feet tall and doing well. Last year I cut them down to three feet in early spring. They quickly rebounded and ended the season bigger than they need to be. A: It’s hard...

READ MORE

Bare Root Seedlings – Proper Conditions

Q: I occasionally get bare root twigs from the Arbor Day folks. These seem to flourish in my yard much more than container-grown trees purchased at a local nursery. Why is that? A: Your experience may not be true for...

READ MORE

Ring Planter – Tree Trunk Safety

Q: I want to build a ring planter eighteen inches tall around a tree for planting flowers. Does it harm a tree to put dirt up that high against the trunk? A: It can definitely harm the tree to have...

READ MORE

Propagation of Mangos

Q: Can you tell me how to propagate mangos from seeds? A: Pick a very ripe fruit, peel it, then remove and eat the pulp. Let the flattened seed inside dry for a few days to make it easier to...

READ MORE

Pet Waste – Composting

Q: I discovered a product that composts pet waste. I have always felt badly about throwing away cat litter. It is safe to compost pet feces? A: It’s not safe to put pet waste in bins from which you’ll remove...

READ MORE

Coffee – Adding grounds to soil

Q: I am an avid coffee drinker. I dry my grounds so I can store them before using in my garden in spring but am I depleting the nitrogen by doing so? A: You’re not depleting anything by drying because...

READ MORE

Anise – Spice and Shrub

Q: What is the difference between anise spice and anise shrub? A: Edible plant expert Shannon Pable (www.shannonpable.com) says the spice known as star anise (Chinese star anise), Illicium verum, is the primary plant used as a spice. I. anisatum,...

READ MORE

Hardy Amaryllis – Basics

Q: Are you familiar with hardy amaryllis? My daughter and I saw some huge clumps last May when we were visiting Douglasville. A: “Hardy” amaryllis, Hippeastrum x johnsonii blooms in my landscape each year in late May as well! It...

READ MORE

Tree Health – Mushrooms

Q: I have mushrooms growing from the exposed roots of a tree in the front yard. Does that mean the tree is dying? A: It may not be dying but it surely is sick. Trees can usually fight off fungal...

READ MORE

Papyrus – Living Conditions

Q: I bought a one gallon pot of papyrus back in the spring. Not knowing any better I simply planted it in the dirt. It’s six feet tall, but everything I read tells me it should be in water. A:...

READ MORE

Exposed Tree Roots – Cover

Q: What do you do about exposed tree roots? A: In most cases, the large exposed roots are near the tree trunk. The all-important slender feeder roots are buried near the drip line and beyond. If that’s your situation, cover...

READ MORE

Tree Stump – Wait Before Planting a New Tree

Q: How long can I wait before planting a new tree where we have had a stump ground? A: It all depends on how many wood chips are left mixed with the soil. If there are a lot, the soil...

READ MORE

Phosphorus – Soil Testing

Q: Our garden center is no longer carrying any basic fertilizer with phosphorus. They have 10-0-10 etc. Their explanation is that it’s more friendly to the environment. What is your take on this? A: I think the phosphorus pollution in...

READ MORE

Norfolk Pine – Pruning

Q: My friend has had a Norfolk pine for 32 years that has grown just short of the ceiling. Should she raise the roof or can it be pruned in some way? A: She can remove the top now but...

READ MORE

Insecticidal Soap – Commercial vs Homemade

Q: I saw in your email garden newsletter that you recommend commercial insecticidal soap, not home-made. Why can’t I make my own stuff? A: I usually hear of people using dish detergent in their insecticide concoctions, which can burn plant...

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 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

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

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

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

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

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