Featured Article

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, then choose your method of weed control. Remember: healthy, vigorous...

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“English Ivy Kills Trees” Sign – Who Places Them?

OK – my curiosity is killing me! Who puts up these signs at random spots around Atlanta? I’ve asked a number of arborists: No knowledge. I’ve posted it on Facebook; 21,000 people saw the post: lots of comments, but no answer. If you know, please email...

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Come With Me to Cuba – Oct 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. In...

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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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Shrub – Pruning Calendar

The Home & Garden section of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution published a very nice pruning calendar several years ago. When viewed on a sheet of newsprint, it was gorgeous. When reduced to fit onto a sheet of typing paper it was impossible to read. I imagine you didn’t keep...

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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Spinach – Getting Seeds to Sprout

    Q: Can you tell me the best way to get spinach seeds to sprout? I have tried using seed starting pellets and sowing them directly in the ground. Nothing seems to work. A: Spinach is not the easiest vegetable to...

    READ MORE

  • Distinctive Native Plants

    Q: In Boy Scouts there is a requirement to identify ten kinds of native plants found in your community. Can you suggest ten native plants for me to teach the boys? A: Certainly poison ivy and Virginia creeper should be...

    READ MORE

  • Moths in Ferns

    Q: My hanging ferns have been invaded with small white moths. They have just about killed the ferns by eating the leaves. What should I do? A: Moths don’t eat leaves, their offspring (caterpillars) do the damage. Unusually high numbers...

    READ MORE

  • Tomato Fusarium Wilt

    Q: To prevent tomato fusarium wilt, I am in the process of solarizing my garden. Do I need to do anything to my cages and red plastic mulch trays in order to keep this disease from returning? A: Fusarium wilt...

    READ MORE

  • Raccoons

    Q: I started feeding birds several years ago. Then squirrels helped themselves to the sunflower seeds. After a while I began attracting an occasional raccoon. However, I recently saw six raccoons in my yard. Will they starve if I quit...

    READ MORE

  • Planting Camellias

    Q: When is best time to plant camellias? A: My rule of thumb is that mid-September through mid-November is terrific for planting shrubs and trees. The soil is warm enough to encourage root growth but the air is cool, so...

    READ MORE

  • Ground Covers

    Q: What would you recommend as a fast growing ground cover in sunny and shady areas? A: For shade, I like Lenten rose or mondo grass. For sun, spreading juniper and purple euonymus are hard to beat. For more groundcover...

    READ MORE

  • Caterpillars on Azaleas

    Q: My azalea had caterpillars clustered at the tip of the limb. They have red heads and red feet. A: Azalea caterpillar, Datana major, is an occasional autumn pest of azaleas. They defoliate random azalea limbs but they will not...

    READ MORE

  • Rotenone Insecticide

    Q: I have been unsuccessful in finding rotenone, an organic insecticide I have used for many years. Where can I get some? A: Rotenone has been used as an insecticide for more than a hundred years and as a fish...

    READ MORE

  • Azalea Fertilizer

    Q: I have bags of azalea fertilizer that are four years old. Would it harm my shrubs to apply the fertilizer this fall? A: My rule of thumb is to apply fertilizer to a plant when it is actively growing....

    READ MORE

  • Watermelon – Slow Ripening

    Q: I have a hard time telling when my watermelons are ripe. They have been the size of a cantaloupe for several weeks. A: Watermelons can be slow to fully ripen because they depend so much on the right ratio...

    READ MORE

  • May Beetles

    Q: Every August, I hear a distinct buzzing sound when I go outside in the early morning. It sounds like bees of some sort, from the air above me. What could these critters be? A: I think the buzzing comes...

    READ MORE

  • Pruning Arborvitae

    Q: I have two arborvitae that are getting so big they are obstructing the security lights and part of my garage door. I need to take one of them down at least 6 feet. Will it recover from such a...

    READ MORE

  • African Violets

    Q: I have three African violets that bloom often and seem to be very happy. However, they are each showing a long stem at the soil line. I know that can’t be right. A: It’s common for the lower leaves...

    READ MORE

  • Dodder Vines

    Q: I have orange vines, about the size of spaghetti, wrapping itself around my coreopsis and vinca. It does not seem to have roots. Any ideas what it is? A: It’s the parasitic plant named dodder, also known as devil’s...

    READ MORE

  • Weed Killer

    Q: We had a large oak tree removed and the area underneath sprayed to control English ivy. I would like to plant a vegetable garden in that area next summer. How long does it take weed killer to dissipate? A:...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese Maple Seed Pods

    Q: I have a mature Japanese maple that has generated lots of seed pods. How do I store and germinate the seeds into seedlings. A: Although maple seeds nominally require three months of moist, cold conditions, I’d plant a dozen...

    READ MORE

  • Walnut Tree Mulch

    Q: This spring, after planting the garden, we heavily mulched with fresh shredded material the power line maintenance crew brought us. It has been a total bust. The tomato plants were dwarfed, the cukes were disfigured, and I only had...

    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

  • 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 – 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

  • 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

Spinach – Getting Seeds to Sprout

Q: Can you tell me the best way to get spinach seeds to sprout? I have tried using seed starting pellets and sowing them directly in the ground. Nothing seems to work. A: Spinach is not the easiest vegetable to...

READ MORE

Distinctive Native Plants

Q: In Boy Scouts there is a requirement to identify ten kinds of native plants found in your community. Can you suggest ten native plants for me to teach the boys? A: Certainly poison ivy and Virginia creeper should be...

READ MORE

Moths in Ferns

Q: My hanging ferns have been invaded with small white moths. They have just about killed the ferns by eating the leaves. What should I do? A: Moths don’t eat leaves, their offspring (caterpillars) do the damage. Unusually high numbers...

READ MORE

Tomato Fusarium Wilt

Q: To prevent tomato fusarium wilt, I am in the process of solarizing my garden. Do I need to do anything to my cages and red plastic mulch trays in order to keep this disease from returning? A: Fusarium wilt...

READ MORE

Raccoons

Q: I started feeding birds several years ago. Then squirrels helped themselves to the sunflower seeds. After a while I began attracting an occasional raccoon. However, I recently saw six raccoons in my yard. Will they starve if I quit...

READ MORE

Planting Camellias

Q: When is best time to plant camellias? A: My rule of thumb is that mid-September through mid-November is terrific for planting shrubs and trees. The soil is warm enough to encourage root growth but the air is cool, so...

READ MORE

Ground Covers

Q: What would you recommend as a fast growing ground cover in sunny and shady areas? A: For shade, I like Lenten rose or mondo grass. For sun, spreading juniper and purple euonymus are hard to beat. For more groundcover...

READ MORE

Caterpillars on Azaleas

Q: My azalea had caterpillars clustered at the tip of the limb. They have red heads and red feet. A: Azalea caterpillar, Datana major, is an occasional autumn pest of azaleas. They defoliate random azalea limbs but they will not...

READ MORE

Rotenone Insecticide

Q: I have been unsuccessful in finding rotenone, an organic insecticide I have used for many years. Where can I get some? A: Rotenone has been used as an insecticide for more than a hundred years and as a fish...

READ MORE

Azalea Fertilizer

Q: I have bags of azalea fertilizer that are four years old. Would it harm my shrubs to apply the fertilizer this fall? A: My rule of thumb is to apply fertilizer to a plant when it is actively growing....

READ MORE

Watermelon – Slow Ripening

Q: I have a hard time telling when my watermelons are ripe. They have been the size of a cantaloupe for several weeks. A: Watermelons can be slow to fully ripen because they depend so much on the right ratio...

READ MORE

May Beetles

Q: Every August, I hear a distinct buzzing sound when I go outside in the early morning. It sounds like bees of some sort, from the air above me. What could these critters be? A: I think the buzzing comes...

READ MORE

Pruning Arborvitae

Q: I have two arborvitae that are getting so big they are obstructing the security lights and part of my garage door. I need to take one of them down at least 6 feet. Will it recover from such a...

READ MORE

African Violets

Q: I have three African violets that bloom often and seem to be very happy. However, they are each showing a long stem at the soil line. I know that can’t be right. A: It’s common for the lower leaves...

READ MORE

Dodder Vines

Q: I have orange vines, about the size of spaghetti, wrapping itself around my coreopsis and vinca. It does not seem to have roots. Any ideas what it is? A: It’s the parasitic plant named dodder, also known as devil’s...

READ MORE

Weed Killer

Q: We had a large oak tree removed and the area underneath sprayed to control English ivy. I would like to plant a vegetable garden in that area next summer. How long does it take weed killer to dissipate? A:...

READ MORE

Japanese Maple Seed Pods

Q: I have a mature Japanese maple that has generated lots of seed pods. How do I store and germinate the seeds into seedlings. A: Although maple seeds nominally require three months of moist, cold conditions, I’d plant a dozen...

READ MORE

Walnut Tree Mulch

Q: This spring, after planting the garden, we heavily mulched with fresh shredded material the power line maintenance crew brought us. It has been a total bust. The tomato plants were dwarfed, the cukes were disfigured, and I only had...

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

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 – 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

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