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
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  • France and Italy Trip – 2016

    In response to several requests, I’m hosting a trip to southern France and Italy on May 29 – June 9, 2016! Northern Italy, Southern France and Provence seem to make seasoned travelers swoon. “It is just so beautiful… and the...

    READ MORE

  • Hydrangeas – Protect from Cold

    Hydrangeas are beautiful in summer but flowering can be damaged by cold winters. Particularly damaging is a winter warm spell followed by a hard freeze. I’ve seen bushes wrapped like lollipops with white sheets and I have seen quilts flung...

    READ MORE

  • Tomato Leaves – Soaking to Make Insecticide

    Q: Does the organic pest control method of steeping cut tomato leaves in water overnight and then spraying on plants work? A: I’ve heard of gardeners doing this but no one has yet reported their results. Scientists have experimented with...

    READ MORE

  • Paperwhite Narcissus – Timed Planting

    Q: What is the timetable for starting paperwhites so that they will be at their peak before Christmas and during Christmas week? A: Paperwhite narcissus bulbs will bloom four to six weeks after they are planted. That puts the planting...

    READ MORE

  • Fruit Orchard – South Georgia

    Q: We are moving to Bacon County, in southeast Georgia, and I have five acres to play with. I have visions of a backyard fruit orchard dancing in my head! Where do I go for information on the what and...

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  • Pecan Leaves – Not For Mulch

    Q: Are pecan leaves good to mulch a garden? The local Cub Scout pack will be raking leaves at church and I’m planning to put them on our community garden there. A: It’s well-known that juglone, a chemical in walnut...

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  • Hollies – No Berries

    Q: All the hollies I see have no berries this year. What event occurred to cause this phenomenon? A: I went out back and spoke to my holly friends Nellie, Savannah, Foster, and Burford. They all reported copious berries this...

    READ MORE

  • Bermuda – Mowing Mid Winter

    Q:Will it damage my bermuda lawn if I mow it when it has turned brown? I just want to clean it up a little. A: Mowing your lawn high once or twice in winter is a good way to clean...

    READ MORE

  • Red Cedar – Transplanting

    Q: We have fifteen red cedar saplings about a foot tall growing in shade. We’d like to relocate them but the new location would be in full sun almost all day. Can these be transplanted? A: Redcedar (CQ), Juniperus virginiana,...

    READ MORE

  • Ginger Lily – Growing Leaves

    Q: In September, I cut back my ginger lilies, dug out some rhizomes, and sent them to my friend in Massachusetts. He put them in pots in his house. They are now growing leaves. Should he cut the leaves back...

    READ MORE

  • Bulbs – Sprouting

    Q: We have some bulbs that are beginning to sprout. The foliage is two inches high. Is it too late to divide and replant them? A: You can accomplish two things at once now: divide and fertilize. We have had...

    READ MORE

  • Hydrangea – Winter Care

    Q: I have a pair of four- year-old common hydrangeas. I need to know how to overwinter them. Do I need to cover them to protect next year’s blooms from frost and hard freeze? A: It’s generally not necessary in...

    READ MORE

  • Camellia – Too Many Buds

    Q: My camellia bush has been full of buds in fall for the last two years but none of them open. They eventually all fall off. What can I do? A: An hour after you called, a listener named Kip...

    READ MORE

  • White Iris – Identifying

    Q: My mother has a a white iris in her flowerbed that bloomed in the spring and then again in September and December! Could you tell me what variety it is? A: Mark Franklin, iris expert at MP Flowers (Birmingham...

    READ MORE

  • Christmas Tree – Aphids

    Q: We have bugs coming from our Christmas tree. They crawl onto floor and then die. Any way to stop them from coming out of the tree? A: They are probably aphids. Christmas tree growers do a great job controlling...

    READ MORE

  • Chia – Growing For Seeds

    Q: Can we grow chia in Georgia? I like to sprinkle the health-giving seeds on my cereal. A: I have fond college memories of growing chia on a clay figure of Richard Nixon. He had a scraggly green beard but...

    READ MORE

  • Pears – Fire Blight

    Q: I went to a nursery and they sold me a Bartlett pear. Doing my research after the fact, I found this pear is not recommended for Georgia. Why? A: ‘Bartlett’ pear isn’t recommended because it gets fire blight disease...

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  • Bermuda – Burning

    Q: What is the advantage, if any, to burning a Bermuda grass lawn when dormant? A: You might get an unanticipated conversation with your insurance person, but it might not be so pleasant. My father was an insurance agent for...

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  • 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,...

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  • 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

France and Italy Trip – 2016

In response to several requests, I’m hosting a trip to southern France and Italy on May 29 – June 9, 2016! Northern Italy, Southern France and Provence seem to make seasoned travelers swoon. “It is just so beautiful… and the...

READ MORE

Hydrangeas – Protect from Cold

Hydrangeas are beautiful in summer but flowering can be damaged by cold winters. Particularly damaging is a winter warm spell followed by a hard freeze. I’ve seen bushes wrapped like lollipops with white sheets and I have seen quilts flung...

READ MORE

Tomato Leaves – Soaking to Make Insecticide

Q: Does the organic pest control method of steeping cut tomato leaves in water overnight and then spraying on plants work? A: I’ve heard of gardeners doing this but no one has yet reported their results. Scientists have experimented with...

READ MORE

Paperwhite Narcissus – Timed Planting

Q: What is the timetable for starting paperwhites so that they will be at their peak before Christmas and during Christmas week? A: Paperwhite narcissus bulbs will bloom four to six weeks after they are planted. That puts the planting...

READ MORE

Fruit Orchard – South Georgia

Q: We are moving to Bacon County, in southeast Georgia, and I have five acres to play with. I have visions of a backyard fruit orchard dancing in my head! Where do I go for information on the what and...

READ MORE

Pecan Leaves – Not For Mulch

Q: Are pecan leaves good to mulch a garden? The local Cub Scout pack will be raking leaves at church and I’m planning to put them on our community garden there. A: It’s well-known that juglone, a chemical in walnut...

READ MORE

Hollies – No Berries

Q: All the hollies I see have no berries this year. What event occurred to cause this phenomenon? A: I went out back and spoke to my holly friends Nellie, Savannah, Foster, and Burford. They all reported copious berries this...

READ MORE

Bermuda – Mowing Mid Winter

Q:Will it damage my bermuda lawn if I mow it when it has turned brown? I just want to clean it up a little. A: Mowing your lawn high once or twice in winter is a good way to clean...

READ MORE

Red Cedar – Transplanting

Q: We have fifteen red cedar saplings about a foot tall growing in shade. We’d like to relocate them but the new location would be in full sun almost all day. Can these be transplanted? A: Redcedar (CQ), Juniperus virginiana,...

READ MORE

Ginger Lily – Growing Leaves

Q: In September, I cut back my ginger lilies, dug out some rhizomes, and sent them to my friend in Massachusetts. He put them in pots in his house. They are now growing leaves. Should he cut the leaves back...

READ MORE

Bulbs – Sprouting

Q: We have some bulbs that are beginning to sprout. The foliage is two inches high. Is it too late to divide and replant them? A: You can accomplish two things at once now: divide and fertilize. We have had...

READ MORE

Hydrangea – Winter Care

Q: I have a pair of four- year-old common hydrangeas. I need to know how to overwinter them. Do I need to cover them to protect next year’s blooms from frost and hard freeze? A: It’s generally not necessary in...

READ MORE

Camellia – Too Many Buds

Q: My camellia bush has been full of buds in fall for the last two years but none of them open. They eventually all fall off. What can I do? A: An hour after you called, a listener named Kip...

READ MORE

White Iris – Identifying

Q: My mother has a a white iris in her flowerbed that bloomed in the spring and then again in September and December! Could you tell me what variety it is? A: Mark Franklin, iris expert at MP Flowers (Birmingham...

READ MORE

Christmas Tree – Aphids

Q: We have bugs coming from our Christmas tree. They crawl onto floor and then die. Any way to stop them from coming out of the tree? A: They are probably aphids. Christmas tree growers do a great job controlling...

READ MORE

Chia – Growing For Seeds

Q: Can we grow chia in Georgia? I like to sprinkle the health-giving seeds on my cereal. A: I have fond college memories of growing chia on a clay figure of Richard Nixon. He had a scraggly green beard but...

READ MORE

Pears – Fire Blight

Q: I went to a nursery and they sold me a Bartlett pear. Doing my research after the fact, I found this pear is not recommended for Georgia. Why? A: ‘Bartlett’ pear isn’t recommended because it gets fire blight disease...

READ MORE

Bermuda – Burning

Q: What is the advantage, if any, to burning a Bermuda grass lawn when dormant? A: You might get an unanticipated conversation with your insurance person, but it might not be so pleasant. My father was an insurance agent for...

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