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
  • Potatoes – Growing Your Own

    Q: I am trying, with no luck, to find seed for “rooster potatoes.” I found these delicious little gems at a big box grocery and they are wonderful. The ones I bought don’t seem to want to sprout. A: Rooster...

    READ MORE

  • Weeds – Organic Prevention Products

    Q: Are there organic weed preventers you would suggest rather than dumping chemicals on ground? A: I’d love to find a non-chemical weed preventer but there simply doesn’t seem to be an effective one for our part of the world....

    READ MORE

  • Lime – Correct Application On Bermuda

    Q: My lawn service applied lime on my bermuda lawn both in October and last month. They applied ten pounds per 1000 square feet. Will having a second treatment done so close to the first one harm my lawn? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Trees – Growing For Shade

    Q: I have a house that faces due west. The front of cooks in the summer due to the track of the sun and no trees in front yard. What’s a fast growing shade tree? A: I lean heavily toward...

    READ MORE

  • Gardenias – Planting In Winter

    Q: My husband’s grandmother passed away and we were given a gardenia. Can I plant the gardenia in winter? A: Most florists’ gardenias are selections of the common southern gardenia, Gardenia jasminoides. In all likelihood, yours was grown in a...

    READ MORE

  • Perennials – A Confusing Season?

    Q: This warm winter has my perennial garden confused. I planted tickseed and sage and expected them to go dormant in cold weather. Now they are still as green as ever. Do I cut them back anyway? A: My rule...

    READ MORE

  • Landscaping – Finding A Company

    Q: I would like to hire a company to take care of my landscape. Something more than “mow, blow and go”. A: There are plenty of excellent landscape maintenance companies in Atlanta. One place to look is the “Find a...

    READ MORE

  • Tiger Beetle – Larvae in Hole

    Q: We found this interesting bug in our yard. At first we thought it was a snake that was just sticking its head in and out of a hole, but in looking closer we think it is some sort of...

    READ MORE

  • Squash – Downy Mildew

    Q: My whole zucchini plant turned spotted overnight. I harvested 1 zucchini thus far this season. The plant is planted in a raised garden, with organic top soil. Should I pull the plant? A: This looks like the beginning of...

    READ MORE

  • Landscape Designer – Hiring

    Q: I’m looking for someone to draw up landscape plans. We’ll probably do the work ourselves, but we really need some professional help. A: Strictly speaking, if you want a “plan only ” service, it’s illegal for someone other than...

    READ MORE

  • Tomato – Colorado Potato Beetle

    Q: This insect has chosen to feast on my tomatoes. Do you have any ideas what this is? A: It’s a Colorado potato beetle larvae. Despite its name, the potato beetle feeds on several plants in the nightshade (tomato) family....

    READ MORE

  • Blueberry – Yellownecked Caterpillars (small sized)

    Q:I just found these on one leaf of my highbush blueberry bush. Are they the start if those horrible yellow neck caterpillars? A:Your suspicions are correct – they are immature yellow necked caterpillars, probably Dantana ministra. If you allow them...

    READ MORE

  • Corn – Buggywhipping

    Q: I’m hoping you can help solve a mystery in my garden. It almost looks like someone tried to tie an overhand knot with the leaves. A: It’s called buggy-whipping. It can be caused by herbicides but my bet is...

    READ MORE

  • Landscaping – Finding A Good Company

    Q: I would like to hire a company to take care of my landscape. Something more than “mow, blow and go”. A: There are plenty of excellent landscape maintenance companies in Atlanta. One place to look is the “ Find...

    READ MORE

  • White Pines – Similar Substitutes

    Q: Our home had a lovely screen of white pines but they eventually died. Could we replant this same species? Should we look for a substitute? A: White pines are typically short-lived in Atlanta. They seem to succumb to summer...

    READ MORE

  • Apple Trees – Small Fruit

    Q: Eight years ago I planted seeds from a Pink Lady apple. The biggest tree is ten feet tall and has hundreds of blossoms. The apples are tasty but they are the size of peas. A: It sounds like the...

    READ MORE

  • Pre-Emergent – Application In A Warm Winter?

    Q: Would you recommend putting a pre-emergent down early this year since we are having such a warm winter? A: Summer weeds won’t germinate until soil temperatures get above 55 degrees for several days. In Atlanta, the soil temperature is...

    READ MORE

  • Lemon Tree – Insuring Pollination

    Q: I purchased a Meyer lemon plant last spring that had three green fruit on it. They finally ripened in November on my deck. Now the plant is thriving in a sunny location in my home and it has numerous...

    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

Potatoes – Growing Your Own

Q: I am trying, with no luck, to find seed for “rooster potatoes.” I found these delicious little gems at a big box grocery and they are wonderful. The ones I bought don’t seem to want to sprout. A: Rooster...

READ MORE

Weeds – Organic Prevention Products

Q: Are there organic weed preventers you would suggest rather than dumping chemicals on ground? A: I’d love to find a non-chemical weed preventer but there simply doesn’t seem to be an effective one for our part of the world....

READ MORE

Lime – Correct Application On Bermuda

Q: My lawn service applied lime on my bermuda lawn both in October and last month. They applied ten pounds per 1000 square feet. Will having a second treatment done so close to the first one harm my lawn? A:...

READ MORE

Trees – Growing For Shade

Q: I have a house that faces due west. The front of cooks in the summer due to the track of the sun and no trees in front yard. What’s a fast growing shade tree? A: I lean heavily toward...

READ MORE

Gardenias – Planting In Winter

Q: My husband’s grandmother passed away and we were given a gardenia. Can I plant the gardenia in winter? A: Most florists’ gardenias are selections of the common southern gardenia, Gardenia jasminoides. In all likelihood, yours was grown in a...

READ MORE

Perennials – A Confusing Season?

Q: This warm winter has my perennial garden confused. I planted tickseed and sage and expected them to go dormant in cold weather. Now they are still as green as ever. Do I cut them back anyway? A: My rule...

READ MORE

Landscaping – Finding A Company

Q: I would like to hire a company to take care of my landscape. Something more than “mow, blow and go”. A: There are plenty of excellent landscape maintenance companies in Atlanta. One place to look is the “Find a...

READ MORE

Tiger Beetle – Larvae in Hole

Q: We found this interesting bug in our yard. At first we thought it was a snake that was just sticking its head in and out of a hole, but in looking closer we think it is some sort of...

READ MORE

Squash – Downy Mildew

Q: My whole zucchini plant turned spotted overnight. I harvested 1 zucchini thus far this season. The plant is planted in a raised garden, with organic top soil. Should I pull the plant? A: This looks like the beginning of...

READ MORE

Landscape Designer – Hiring

Q: I’m looking for someone to draw up landscape plans. We’ll probably do the work ourselves, but we really need some professional help. A: Strictly speaking, if you want a “plan only ” service, it’s illegal for someone other than...

READ MORE

Tomato – Colorado Potato Beetle

Q: This insect has chosen to feast on my tomatoes. Do you have any ideas what this is? A: It’s a Colorado potato beetle larvae. Despite its name, the potato beetle feeds on several plants in the nightshade (tomato) family....

READ MORE

Blueberry – Yellownecked Caterpillars (small sized)

Q:I just found these on one leaf of my highbush blueberry bush. Are they the start if those horrible yellow neck caterpillars? A:Your suspicions are correct – they are immature yellow necked caterpillars, probably Dantana ministra. If you allow them...

READ MORE

Corn – Buggywhipping

Q: I’m hoping you can help solve a mystery in my garden. It almost looks like someone tried to tie an overhand knot with the leaves. A: It’s called buggy-whipping. It can be caused by herbicides but my bet is...

READ MORE

Landscaping – Finding A Good Company

Q: I would like to hire a company to take care of my landscape. Something more than “mow, blow and go”. A: There are plenty of excellent landscape maintenance companies in Atlanta. One place to look is the “ Find...

READ MORE

White Pines – Similar Substitutes

Q: Our home had a lovely screen of white pines but they eventually died. Could we replant this same species? Should we look for a substitute? A: White pines are typically short-lived in Atlanta. They seem to succumb to summer...

READ MORE

Apple Trees – Small Fruit

Q: Eight years ago I planted seeds from a Pink Lady apple. The biggest tree is ten feet tall and has hundreds of blossoms. The apples are tasty but they are the size of peas. A: It sounds like the...

READ MORE

Pre-Emergent – Application In A Warm Winter?

Q: Would you recommend putting a pre-emergent down early this year since we are having such a warm winter? A: Summer weeds won’t germinate until soil temperatures get above 55 degrees for several days. In Atlanta, the soil temperature is...

READ MORE

Lemon Tree – Insuring Pollination

Q: I purchased a Meyer lemon plant last spring that had three green fruit on it. They finally ripened in November on my deck. Now the plant is thriving in a sunny location in my home and it has numerous...

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