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
  • Slugs – Dealing With Molluscs

    Q: I had a problem last year with slugs munching on my strawberries. What is a safe way to eliminate them? A: Several effective slug control products contain iron phosphate, a type of fertilizer. Slugs and snails perish from iron...

    READ MORE

  • Onions – Planting A Sweet Vidalia

    Q: Someone gave me two bundles of Vidalia onion plants, little bulbs with green stems. What should I do with them now? A: Plant the seedlings in a sunny bed now, twelve inches apart. Feed regularly with fertilizer having a...

    READ MORE

  • Ponytail Plant – When Can You Separate Offsets?

    Q: My mother has a ponytail plant on her back porch in Cairo. It has “babies” growing on the base. How can she start them to be separate plants? A: Ponytail palm, Beaucarnea recurvata, is not a true palm but...

    READ MORE

  • Loropetalum Shrubs – When To Plant?

    Q: We want to do away with old shrubs in front of our house and replace them with several loropetalum shrubs. When should we plant them? A: Now is a fine time to plant but your first step is to...

    READ MORE

  • Trees – Why Are They Grafted?

    Q: Why are many trees I buy grafted and why do they seem to fail at the graft (break off, split open, etc). A: Trees are commonly grafted because it takes longer (i.e. costs more) to grow them from cuttings....

    READ MORE

  • Yoshino cryptomeria – Turning Brown

    Q:My son’s Yoshino cryptomerias were planted in the fall in full sun. I also have some in my yard, planted a year ago. Mine are green but his are getting a bronze color. A: It’s common for ‘Yoshino’ cryptomeria to...

    READ MORE

  • Onions – Softball Sized and Bigger?

    Q: A guy on your radio show asked about growing softball-size onions. We planted Vidalia onions several years ago and they were a lot bigger than softballs! A: I have no doubt your onions were big, but you likely started...

    READ MORE

  • Buzzards – Everything You Ever Wanted To Know!

    Q: When an animal dies, Buford the Buzzard comes calling. Exactly what species are around here? Where do they hang out and wait for the dinner bell? A: According to The Turkey Vulture Society (yes, there is one!), buzzards use...

    READ MORE

  • Sunlight – Calculating Daily Exposure

    Q: I have heard that there is a sunlight calculator on the market that measures the amount of sunlight that a specific garden spot gets. Have you heard of this? A: Getting a handle on how much sunlight an area...

    READ MORE

  • Hydrangea – Pruning

    Q: We have some huge oakleaf hydrangea that need to be cut back. When is the best time to do it? A: Oakleaf hydrangea doesn’t usually require pruning but if it’s too big for a spot you can perform selective...

    READ MORE

  • Coffee – Growing In Atlanta?

    Q: I heard you talking about coffee beans on the radio but I didn’t hear if we can grow them in Georgia. A: There are dozens of species of coffee plants, several of which yield beans from which coffee can...

    READ MORE

  • Ryegrass – Germination In Febuary

    Q: If I overseed with rye grass the first of February, will it germinate? A: It all depends on soil temperature. Ryegrass needs a minimum soil temperature of 45 degrees to germinate. Soil temperatures in February average around 40 degrees....

    READ MORE

  • Apricots – Planting In Georgia

    Q: Is there any chance that apricots will grow in Sharpsburg, Georgia ? I don’t want to waste my money buying a tree that wont bear fruit. A: Growing apricots in this area begins a quick trip to heartbreak hotel....

    READ MORE

  • Gardening Coach – Options and Help

    Q: I would like to hire a gardening coach. I moved into this home last summer and inherited a beautiful landscape, but I worry that I’m going to ruin it. I have thrown myself into a world that I have...

    READ MORE

  • Maintenance – African Violets

    Q: I have several African violets and they all had wonderful blooms in our sun room. But all have stopped blooming and have a hard core center leaf section. A: It’s common for the lower leaves on an African violet...

    READ MORE

  • Mulch – What Thickness?

    Q: I have a thick covering of pine straw and leaves on my yard in areas where I don’t mow. Does this prevent the roots of the trees from getting moisture? A: Thick mulch can be a two-edged sword. It...

    READ MORE

  • Saving Plants – Georgia Native Plant Society

    Q: Isn’t there a group that digs up plants from places that are going to be developed, to save those plants that would be destroyed? A: My good friends at the Georgia Native Plant Society, www.gnps.org, would love to have...

    READ MORE

  • Potting Soil/Mix – Whats The Difference?

    Q: What is the difference in potting soil and potting mix? Which should be used on indoor plants and which in outdoor pots and which in the garden? A: Potting mix is a blend of peat moss, pine bark fines,...

    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

Slugs – Dealing With Molluscs

Q: I had a problem last year with slugs munching on my strawberries. What is a safe way to eliminate them? A: Several effective slug control products contain iron phosphate, a type of fertilizer. Slugs and snails perish from iron...

READ MORE

Onions – Planting A Sweet Vidalia

Q: Someone gave me two bundles of Vidalia onion plants, little bulbs with green stems. What should I do with them now? A: Plant the seedlings in a sunny bed now, twelve inches apart. Feed regularly with fertilizer having a...

READ MORE

Ponytail Plant – When Can You Separate Offsets?

Q: My mother has a ponytail plant on her back porch in Cairo. It has “babies” growing on the base. How can she start them to be separate plants? A: Ponytail palm, Beaucarnea recurvata, is not a true palm but...

READ MORE

Loropetalum Shrubs – When To Plant?

Q: We want to do away with old shrubs in front of our house and replace them with several loropetalum shrubs. When should we plant them? A: Now is a fine time to plant but your first step is to...

READ MORE

Trees – Why Are They Grafted?

Q: Why are many trees I buy grafted and why do they seem to fail at the graft (break off, split open, etc). A: Trees are commonly grafted because it takes longer (i.e. costs more) to grow them from cuttings....

READ MORE

Yoshino cryptomeria – Turning Brown

Q:My son’s Yoshino cryptomerias were planted in the fall in full sun. I also have some in my yard, planted a year ago. Mine are green but his are getting a bronze color. A: It’s common for ‘Yoshino’ cryptomeria to...

READ MORE

Onions – Softball Sized and Bigger?

Q: A guy on your radio show asked about growing softball-size onions. We planted Vidalia onions several years ago and they were a lot bigger than softballs! A: I have no doubt your onions were big, but you likely started...

READ MORE

Buzzards – Everything You Ever Wanted To Know!

Q: When an animal dies, Buford the Buzzard comes calling. Exactly what species are around here? Where do they hang out and wait for the dinner bell? A: According to The Turkey Vulture Society (yes, there is one!), buzzards use...

READ MORE

Sunlight – Calculating Daily Exposure

Q: I have heard that there is a sunlight calculator on the market that measures the amount of sunlight that a specific garden spot gets. Have you heard of this? A: Getting a handle on how much sunlight an area...

READ MORE

Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: We have some huge oakleaf hydrangea that need to be cut back. When is the best time to do it? A: Oakleaf hydrangea doesn’t usually require pruning but if it’s too big for a spot you can perform selective...

READ MORE

Coffee – Growing In Atlanta?

Q: I heard you talking about coffee beans on the radio but I didn’t hear if we can grow them in Georgia. A: There are dozens of species of coffee plants, several of which yield beans from which coffee can...

READ MORE

Ryegrass – Germination In Febuary

Q: If I overseed with rye grass the first of February, will it germinate? A: It all depends on soil temperature. Ryegrass needs a minimum soil temperature of 45 degrees to germinate. Soil temperatures in February average around 40 degrees....

READ MORE

Apricots – Planting In Georgia

Q: Is there any chance that apricots will grow in Sharpsburg, Georgia ? I don’t want to waste my money buying a tree that wont bear fruit. A: Growing apricots in this area begins a quick trip to heartbreak hotel....

READ MORE

Gardening Coach – Options and Help

Q: I would like to hire a gardening coach. I moved into this home last summer and inherited a beautiful landscape, but I worry that I’m going to ruin it. I have thrown myself into a world that I have...

READ MORE

Maintenance – African Violets

Q: I have several African violets and they all had wonderful blooms in our sun room. But all have stopped blooming and have a hard core center leaf section. A: It’s common for the lower leaves on an African violet...

READ MORE

Mulch – What Thickness?

Q: I have a thick covering of pine straw and leaves on my yard in areas where I don’t mow. Does this prevent the roots of the trees from getting moisture? A: Thick mulch can be a two-edged sword. It...

READ MORE

Saving Plants – Georgia Native Plant Society

Q: Isn’t there a group that digs up plants from places that are going to be developed, to save those plants that would be destroyed? A: My good friends at the Georgia Native Plant Society, www.gnps.org, would love to have...

READ MORE

Potting Soil/Mix – Whats The Difference?

Q: What is the difference in potting soil and potting mix? Which should be used on indoor plants and which in outdoor pots and which in the garden? A: Potting mix is a blend of peat moss, pine bark fines,...

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