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
  • Porterweed – Growing In Atlanta

    Q: Can I grow porterweed in metro Atlanta? I saw some in the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens and I just fell in love with it! A: Porterweed, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis, is an excellent butterfly attractor. The blue flowers bring hungry...

    READ MORE

  • Geraniums – Planting In Pots vs. Ground

    Q: Geraniums seem to always be grown in pots. Can you plant them in the ground in Atlanta or will they do better in pots? A: Geraniums grow fine in flower beds. I think they look best when placed to...

    READ MORE

  • Blood Meal – Not Dissolving In Water

    Q: I ordered a bag of a blood meal online. It is very dark small granules. I tried to dissolve it in water. After a week, the stuff sits on the bottom of the glass, unaffected. Is this how blood...

    READ MORE

  • Chipmunks – Protected By Federal Law?

    Q: I read where you said that chipmunks are protected by state law. A local landscaper disagrees. What’s the real answer on this? A: The Official Code of Georgia says “Except as otherwise provided by law, rule, or regulation, it...

    READ MORE

  • Vines – Going Down Your Wall

    Q: We recently bought a house with two huge brick retaining walls on either side of the pool deck. Each one is twelve feet high and fifty feet long. Is there a vine that will trail down the walls? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Fertilizer – Storage And Subsequent Application

    Q: I have been storing fertilizer in a galvanized garbage can with a lid in the garage. Is this safe? A: If you are worried about explosive potential, I very much doubt homeowner fertilizers would blow up. Open containers of...

    READ MORE

  • Inchworms – Getting Rid Of Them

    Q: I’ve been battling inch worms in my Japanese maple for five years. They decimate the leaves and get all over everyone when they come up the walkway. Is there anything that can be sprayed to control them? A: Inchworms,...

    READ MORE

  • Bluegrass – Removing Now Or Pre-Emergent Later?

    Q: I have annual bluegrass in my zoysia lawn. Will it do any good to dig up these plants? A: They have already dropped thousands of seeds. It’s best to wait until mid-September and control with a pre-emergent. Remember that...

    READ MORE

  • Pansies – How Long Will They Last?

    Q: I have been enjoying my pansies and violas during the winter. How long will they continue to bloom? I hate to replace them for summer annuals if I can keep them blooming through summer. A: Heat will eventually be...

    READ MORE

  • Caladium – Winter Care and Storage

    Q: I’m trying to simplify things as much as possible and I love caladiums. This past winter I left the bulbs planted in a container in my basement but they rotted. Anything else I can try? A: You’re right that...

    READ MORE

  • TifGrand Bermuda – Proper Trimming and Care

    Q:We had TifGrand bermuda sod installed last year. We’ve noticed it has started to thin in areas, even though they receive full afternoon sun. The landscaper mows it three to four inches in height. Should TifGrand be treated differently from...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese Maple – Trimming Dead Branches

    Q: I planted a Japanese maple last year on Mothers Day. The tree gets full sun two-thirds of the day. It seems pretty healthy but a few limbs have died. Should I remove them? A: Cut the dead limbs off....

    READ MORE

  • Tomatoes – Fighting Cold Damage

    Q: We have had tomatoes in a pot for three weeks. The plant has some leaves that are washed out looking, almost as though some of the green was removed. What could cause this? A: My bet is cold damage....

    READ MORE

  • Cumberland False Rosemary – Planting Outside In Atlanta

    Q: I inherited a Cumberland false rosemary planted in a large outdoor pot. Can this plant survive planted in the ground here? A: Native plant expert Shannon Pable (shannonpable.com) says Cumberland false rosemary, Conradina verticillata, naturally grows in sandy soil...

    READ MORE

  • Pruning – Chinese photinia

    Q: An arborist has identified the tree at the front corner of my house as a Chinese plant with “serrulota” in the name. How and when should it be cut back? A: You have Chinese photinia, Photinia serrulata. It is...

    READ MORE

  • Beetles – Minimizing Dog Waste

    Q: When we lived in Florida we used dung beetles to minimize dog deposits in the yard. It actually worked pretty well. Where can we get these critters here in Georgia? A: Any cow pasture will have lots of dung...

    READ MORE

  • Fertilizing – 3-4 Times A Year

    Q: I’ve heard you recommend fertilizing fescue 3 or 4 times a year. Are your recommendations designed for water-soluble fertilizers like 10-10-10? With the higher nitrogen slow-release fertilizers, the pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet would exceed the recommended...

    READ MORE

  • Aeration – Sand Afterward?

    Q: What is the best type of sand to use following aeration of our bermuda lawn to help provide better drainage for the Georgia red clay? A: I don’t recommend using sand after aeration. Experts say that you need to...

    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

Porterweed – Growing In Atlanta

Q: Can I grow porterweed in metro Atlanta? I saw some in the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens and I just fell in love with it! A: Porterweed, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis, is an excellent butterfly attractor. The blue flowers bring hungry...

READ MORE

Geraniums – Planting In Pots vs. Ground

Q: Geraniums seem to always be grown in pots. Can you plant them in the ground in Atlanta or will they do better in pots? A: Geraniums grow fine in flower beds. I think they look best when placed to...

READ MORE

Blood Meal – Not Dissolving In Water

Q: I ordered a bag of a blood meal online. It is very dark small granules. I tried to dissolve it in water. After a week, the stuff sits on the bottom of the glass, unaffected. Is this how blood...

READ MORE

Chipmunks – Protected By Federal Law?

Q: I read where you said that chipmunks are protected by state law. A local landscaper disagrees. What’s the real answer on this? A: The Official Code of Georgia says “Except as otherwise provided by law, rule, or regulation, it...

READ MORE

Vines – Going Down Your Wall

Q: We recently bought a house with two huge brick retaining walls on either side of the pool deck. Each one is twelve feet high and fifty feet long. Is there a vine that will trail down the walls? A:...

READ MORE

Fertilizer – Storage And Subsequent Application

Q: I have been storing fertilizer in a galvanized garbage can with a lid in the garage. Is this safe? A: If you are worried about explosive potential, I very much doubt homeowner fertilizers would blow up. Open containers of...

READ MORE

Inchworms – Getting Rid Of Them

Q: I’ve been battling inch worms in my Japanese maple for five years. They decimate the leaves and get all over everyone when they come up the walkway. Is there anything that can be sprayed to control them? A: Inchworms,...

READ MORE

Bluegrass – Removing Now Or Pre-Emergent Later?

Q: I have annual bluegrass in my zoysia lawn. Will it do any good to dig up these plants? A: They have already dropped thousands of seeds. It’s best to wait until mid-September and control with a pre-emergent. Remember that...

READ MORE

Pansies – How Long Will They Last?

Q: I have been enjoying my pansies and violas during the winter. How long will they continue to bloom? I hate to replace them for summer annuals if I can keep them blooming through summer. A: Heat will eventually be...

READ MORE

Caladium – Winter Care and Storage

Q: I’m trying to simplify things as much as possible and I love caladiums. This past winter I left the bulbs planted in a container in my basement but they rotted. Anything else I can try? A: You’re right that...

READ MORE

TifGrand Bermuda – Proper Trimming and Care

Q:We had TifGrand bermuda sod installed last year. We’ve noticed it has started to thin in areas, even though they receive full afternoon sun. The landscaper mows it three to four inches in height. Should TifGrand be treated differently from...

READ MORE

Japanese Maple – Trimming Dead Branches

Q: I planted a Japanese maple last year on Mothers Day. The tree gets full sun two-thirds of the day. It seems pretty healthy but a few limbs have died. Should I remove them? A: Cut the dead limbs off....

READ MORE

Tomatoes – Fighting Cold Damage

Q: We have had tomatoes in a pot for three weeks. The plant has some leaves that are washed out looking, almost as though some of the green was removed. What could cause this? A: My bet is cold damage....

READ MORE

Cumberland False Rosemary – Planting Outside In Atlanta

Q: I inherited a Cumberland false rosemary planted in a large outdoor pot. Can this plant survive planted in the ground here? A: Native plant expert Shannon Pable (shannonpable.com) says Cumberland false rosemary, Conradina verticillata, naturally grows in sandy soil...

READ MORE

Pruning – Chinese photinia

Q: An arborist has identified the tree at the front corner of my house as a Chinese plant with “serrulota” in the name. How and when should it be cut back? A: You have Chinese photinia, Photinia serrulata. It is...

READ MORE

Beetles – Minimizing Dog Waste

Q: When we lived in Florida we used dung beetles to minimize dog deposits in the yard. It actually worked pretty well. Where can we get these critters here in Georgia? A: Any cow pasture will have lots of dung...

READ MORE

Fertilizing – 3-4 Times A Year

Q: I’ve heard you recommend fertilizing fescue 3 or 4 times a year. Are your recommendations designed for water-soluble fertilizers like 10-10-10? With the higher nitrogen slow-release fertilizers, the pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet would exceed the recommended...

READ MORE

Aeration – Sand Afterward?

Q: What is the best type of sand to use following aeration of our bermuda lawn to help provide better drainage for the Georgia red clay? A: I don’t recommend using sand after aeration. Experts say that you need to...

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