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
  • Lanceleaf smilax – Identification

    Q: I am wondering what this vine is. Is it something that can be eaten or is it poison? A: Plant identification expert Shannon Pable says it’s Smilax smallii. Lanceleaf greenbriar or bamboo vine are its common names. Unlike the thorny vines...

    READ MORE

  • Italy Trip Report – 2013

    In May of 2013 I led a group of adventurous and inquisitive gardeners (and their spouses) to the southern coast of Italy and the island of Sicily. We had a wonderful time: lots of great food, beautiful gardens, historic sites...

    READ MORE

  • Italy Trip 2013 – Places

    The most humbling aspect of the trip was the realization of how brilliant the Romans were…yet their civilization crashed into obscurity. Looking at the Colosseum, the aquaducts, the fountains and the statues reminds us that these folks really had their...

    READ MORE

  • Italy Trip 2013 – Food

    Anyone who has been to Italy gets misty-eyed over the food they had. Here are some of my favorite scenes. Back to Italy Trip – 2013 roasting...

    READ MORE

  • Italy Trip 2013 – Odd Things

    Whenever I travel, I keep my eyes peeled for odd things and signs. Here are a few I spotted. Back to Italy Trip...

    READ MORE

  • Italy Trip 2013 – Plants and Gardens

    Southern Italy is comparable to south Georgia and the northern half of Florida. There were lots of bougainvillea, oleander, lantana and geraniums. Surprisingly, there were no crapemyrtles! Back to Italy Trip...

    READ MORE

  • Italy Trip 2013 – Tour Group

    We had a total of 36 people in the group. Almost all were from Georgia and many had been on trips with me before. Back to Italy Trip – 2013 the group singing “That’s Amore” as we drove into...

    READ MORE

  • Lawn Recovery After Salt Water Damage

    Q: My parents live a block from the beach in Fairfield, Connecticut. The salt water from Long Island sound destroyed the lawn and plants after Hurricane Sandy. How do they recover their lawn? A: Legend has it that conquerors through...

    READ MORE

  • Serviceberry (Juneberry, Shadbush) – Identification

    Sometimes I’m asked for my favorite plant. While I have several, one of my favorites is serviceberry. I remember ten years ago that I needed a small tree to put next to my mailbox. I wanted something with more than...

    READ MORE

  • Stream – Water is Orange (Rusty)

    Q: I live in Cumming and have a small stream in the woods behind my house. The water looks like rust. Can you tell me why? A: It’s because iron has dissolved in the water and a certain bacteria is...

    READ MORE

  • Tree – Damaged Lower Trunk

    Q: I have a large tree in my front yard that is very sick. A big part of the trunk at bottom seems infested with some sort of insect. There are lots of little holes & sawdust…plus a good bit...

    READ MORE

  • Rose – Roots Damaged by Fertilizer

    Q: This rose died so quickly! Any idea what I did? It was beautiful, then started to make buds and then the leaves began to shrivel and turn brown. I did put a couple of handfuls of 13-13-13 fertilizer on...

    READ MORE

  • Barred Owl – Identification

    Q: This owl is living by our office in Carrollton. It knocked a squirrel out of a tree yesterday then swooped down and gathered it up, took it back up in the tree and had lunch. My wife and the...

    READ MORE

  • Fragrant Crabapple – Identification

    Q: I found this small tree growing in Floyd County not too far from Barnsley Gardens. It was growing in an area close to a creek. The tree was small 8+- feet with rough gray bark. The flowers were very...

    READ MORE

  • Lady Banks Rose – Stem Splitting

    Q: Is this rusty, splitting trunk on a Lady Banks rose normal? I do not want to lose this beautiful plant! It is about 12 years old and covers our swing arbor. A: Rose expert Ryan Tilley (http://www.rosegardensbyryan.com) says older,...

    READ MORE

  • Sowbugs – Eating Seedlings

    Q: These woodlouses, pill bugs, sow bugs, are eating every new seedling I have planted. I have already lost a jalapeno, squash, three cucumbers, and an okra plant. I would like to stay organic, but diatomaceous soil doesn’t work. A:...

    READ MORE

  • Hibiscus – Granular Deposits on Leaves

    Q: There are irregular shaped, granular deposits on front and back and upper stems of my miniature hibiscus leaves, grown in a sun room. They feel like fine sand. What is it and how to control? A: UGA’s tropical plant...

    READ MORE

  • Greenhouse Assembly Manual – Thinking Outside Model 44115

    IT’S HERE! The first question came to  me back in 2003: “Do you know where I could get a copy of the assembly manual for the Thinking Outside Greenhouse?” Simple, I thought, I’ll find it on Google. But my search...

    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

Lanceleaf smilax – Identification

Q: I am wondering what this vine is. Is it something that can be eaten or is it poison? A: Plant identification expert Shannon Pable says it’s Smilax smallii. Lanceleaf greenbriar or bamboo vine are its common names. Unlike the thorny vines...

READ MORE

Italy Trip Report – 2013

In May of 2013 I led a group of adventurous and inquisitive gardeners (and their spouses) to the southern coast of Italy and the island of Sicily. We had a wonderful time: lots of great food, beautiful gardens, historic sites...

READ MORE

Italy Trip 2013 – Places

The most humbling aspect of the trip was the realization of how brilliant the Romans were…yet their civilization crashed into obscurity. Looking at the Colosseum, the aquaducts, the fountains and the statues reminds us that these folks really had their...

READ MORE

Italy Trip 2013 – Food

Anyone who has been to Italy gets misty-eyed over the food they had. Here are some of my favorite scenes. Back to Italy Trip – 2013 roasting...

READ MORE

Italy Trip 2013 – Odd Things

Whenever I travel, I keep my eyes peeled for odd things and signs. Here are a few I spotted. Back to Italy Trip...

READ MORE

Italy Trip 2013 – Plants and Gardens

Southern Italy is comparable to south Georgia and the northern half of Florida. There were lots of bougainvillea, oleander, lantana and geraniums. Surprisingly, there were no crapemyrtles! Back to Italy Trip...

READ MORE

Italy Trip 2013 – Tour Group

We had a total of 36 people in the group. Almost all were from Georgia and many had been on trips with me before. Back to Italy Trip – 2013 the group singing “That’s Amore” as we drove into...

READ MORE

Lawn Recovery After Salt Water Damage

Q: My parents live a block from the beach in Fairfield, Connecticut. The salt water from Long Island sound destroyed the lawn and plants after Hurricane Sandy. How do they recover their lawn? A: Legend has it that conquerors through...

READ MORE

Serviceberry (Juneberry, Shadbush) – Identification

Sometimes I’m asked for my favorite plant. While I have several, one of my favorites is serviceberry. I remember ten years ago that I needed a small tree to put next to my mailbox. I wanted something with more than...

READ MORE

Stream – Water is Orange (Rusty)

Q: I live in Cumming and have a small stream in the woods behind my house. The water looks like rust. Can you tell me why? A: It’s because iron has dissolved in the water and a certain bacteria is...

READ MORE

Tree – Damaged Lower Trunk

Q: I have a large tree in my front yard that is very sick. A big part of the trunk at bottom seems infested with some sort of insect. There are lots of little holes & sawdust…plus a good bit...

READ MORE

Rose – Roots Damaged by Fertilizer

Q: This rose died so quickly! Any idea what I did? It was beautiful, then started to make buds and then the leaves began to shrivel and turn brown. I did put a couple of handfuls of 13-13-13 fertilizer on...

READ MORE

Barred Owl – Identification

Q: This owl is living by our office in Carrollton. It knocked a squirrel out of a tree yesterday then swooped down and gathered it up, took it back up in the tree and had lunch. My wife and the...

READ MORE

Fragrant Crabapple – Identification

Q: I found this small tree growing in Floyd County not too far from Barnsley Gardens. It was growing in an area close to a creek. The tree was small 8+- feet with rough gray bark. The flowers were very...

READ MORE

Lady Banks Rose – Stem Splitting

Q: Is this rusty, splitting trunk on a Lady Banks rose normal? I do not want to lose this beautiful plant! It is about 12 years old and covers our swing arbor. A: Rose expert Ryan Tilley (http://www.rosegardensbyryan.com) says older,...

READ MORE

Sowbugs – Eating Seedlings

Q: These woodlouses, pill bugs, sow bugs, are eating every new seedling I have planted. I have already lost a jalapeno, squash, three cucumbers, and an okra plant. I would like to stay organic, but diatomaceous soil doesn’t work. A:...

READ MORE

Hibiscus – Granular Deposits on Leaves

Q: There are irregular shaped, granular deposits on front and back and upper stems of my miniature hibiscus leaves, grown in a sun room. They feel like fine sand. What is it and how to control? A: UGA’s tropical plant...

READ MORE

Greenhouse Assembly Manual – Thinking Outside Model 44115

IT’S HERE! The first question came to  me back in 2003: “Do you know where I could get a copy of the assembly manual for the Thinking Outside Greenhouse?” Simple, I thought, I’ll find it on Google. But my search...

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