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
  • Wild Hemp (Marijuana) – How to Control It

    People often ask me if I get questions about growing marijuana. While I have answered questions about growing opium poppy, ephedra and Salvia divinorum, marijuana gardeners have not yet availed themselves of my supposed knowledge. Recently, though, I did find...

    READ MORE

  • How DeKalb County Compost is Made

    DeKalb County is one of the few counties that collects yard waste, composts it, and returns it to citizens for their use. I recently toured the composting facility to see how it operates. Free DeKalb County...

    READ MORE

  • DeKalb County Compost – Safe?

    Q: I frequently visit the free DeKalb county compost/mulch pile on Memorial Drive. After spreading two truck loads on my dormant vegetable garden, I‘m worried that the compost might have high levels of herbicides or pesticides. A: I took a...

    READ MORE

  • Boxwood – Diseased Foliage

    Q: We have a troubled boxwood and a noticeably unmatched pair. These boxwoods have been in the ground for five years. The yellowing started over a year ago and continues to get worse. Do you have any suggestions? These bushes...

    READ MORE

  • Arborvitae – Black Foliage

    Q: I have nine arborvitae that have been in the ground three years. About a month ago I noticed blackening of the leaves out near the tips on several branches. The affected branches are just above ground level and isolated...

    READ MORE

  • Fescue – Yellowing

    Q: I have seeded and re-seeded tall fescue grass for seven years, with not much success. In my frustration this past fall, I cut a couple trees down to increase light, had my soil tested, tilled the yard to 4”...

    READ MORE

  • Head Lice – Control

    Thank goodness my son is older than pre-school/elementary school age, when the most dreaded phone call was “Mr. Reeves, your son has head lice.” A neighbor recently went through the anguish of such a call. I thought I’d collect links...

    READ MORE

  • Indoor Greenhouse – Building

    A few weekends ago I mentioned that I had built an enclosed greenhouse on my unheated sunporch. The new growing space is in front of windows but it also contains two shelving units with fluorescent lights plus a small space...

    READ MORE

  • Bittersweet – Growing in Georgia

    Q: I see bittersweet vines and berries used in decorating this time of year. Can we grow bittersweet here? A: After I described how to propagate invasive Chinese privet in a recent column, I had to invent a self-flagellation machine...

    READ MORE

  • Lemon Grass – Winterizing

    Q: What do I do with a lemon grass plant over the winter? I planted it this spring and it is huge! A: Lemongrass, Andropogon citratus, is a perennial plant in south Georgia but it is killed by winter cold...

    READ MORE

  • Montauk Daisy – Rooting and Transplanting

    Q: I’ve rooted some cuttings from a neighbor’s Montauk daisies and they’re now going dormant. Should I leave them in their little flower pots all winter? A: Montauk daisy, Nipponanthemum nipponicum, is usually perennial here but transplanting the little ones...

    READ MORE

  • Nightshade Family – Linkage to Arthiritis

    Q: My grandmother was told that eating vegetable members of the nightshade family would exacerbate her arthritis. Which ones should she avoid? Why are they called nightshade? A: The nightshade (solanum) family is very diverse, covering tobacco, jimson weed, angel...

    READ MORE

  • Pansies – Fertilizing with Oatmeal

    Q: My mother in Asheville, NC heard a professional landscaper say that she fertilizes pansies with oatmeal. Have you ever heard of this? A: I’ve never heard of it before but I guess oatmeal could provide a bit of nutrition...

    READ MORE

  • Persimmon – Planting from Fruit

    Q: My granddaughter found a persimmon while walking the dogs. Can I plant it and have a tree in my yard? A: You can certainly plant it and eventually get a tree but there is a caveat. The seed might...

    READ MORE

  • Oak Tree – Selling or Donating Possibility?

    Q: We must remove a huge, beautiful oak tree. It’s healthy, but has outgrown its available space. Is there a way to sell or donate this tree? A: Selling or donating a tree is problematic. A firewood vendor could use...

    READ MORE

  • Meyer Lemon – Spider Mites

    Q: I have a mature Meyer lemon tree but every winter when I bring it inside, it gets those awful mites. I spray it with an organic soap, but it is almost impossible to get rid of those suckers. A:...

    READ MORE

  • Raised Beds – Preventing Tree Root Infiltration

    Q: I have a raised bed tomato garden that has been taken over by tree roots. What do you recommend I do to prevent this from happening year after year? A: I have the same problem in my flower beds....

    READ MORE

  • Southeastern Flower Show 2012/2013

    Q: I am trying to find out when the Southeastern Flower Show will be in 2012. Do you have any information on this event? A: The Southeastern Horticulture Society, sponsors of the flower show, have decided to put their efforts...

    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

Wild Hemp (Marijuana) – How to Control It

People often ask me if I get questions about growing marijuana. While I have answered questions about growing opium poppy, ephedra and Salvia divinorum, marijuana gardeners have not yet availed themselves of my supposed knowledge. Recently, though, I did find...

READ MORE

How DeKalb County Compost is Made

DeKalb County is one of the few counties that collects yard waste, composts it, and returns it to citizens for their use. I recently toured the composting facility to see how it operates. Free DeKalb County...

READ MORE

DeKalb County Compost – Safe?

Q: I frequently visit the free DeKalb county compost/mulch pile on Memorial Drive. After spreading two truck loads on my dormant vegetable garden, I‘m worried that the compost might have high levels of herbicides or pesticides. A: I took a...

READ MORE

Boxwood – Diseased Foliage

Q: We have a troubled boxwood and a noticeably unmatched pair. These boxwoods have been in the ground for five years. The yellowing started over a year ago and continues to get worse. Do you have any suggestions? These bushes...

READ MORE

Arborvitae – Black Foliage

Q: I have nine arborvitae that have been in the ground three years. About a month ago I noticed blackening of the leaves out near the tips on several branches. The affected branches are just above ground level and isolated...

READ MORE

Fescue – Yellowing

Q: I have seeded and re-seeded tall fescue grass for seven years, with not much success. In my frustration this past fall, I cut a couple trees down to increase light, had my soil tested, tilled the yard to 4”...

READ MORE

Head Lice – Control

Thank goodness my son is older than pre-school/elementary school age, when the most dreaded phone call was “Mr. Reeves, your son has head lice.” A neighbor recently went through the anguish of such a call. I thought I’d collect links...

READ MORE

Indoor Greenhouse – Building

A few weekends ago I mentioned that I had built an enclosed greenhouse on my unheated sunporch. The new growing space is in front of windows but it also contains two shelving units with fluorescent lights plus a small space...

READ MORE

Bittersweet – Growing in Georgia

Q: I see bittersweet vines and berries used in decorating this time of year. Can we grow bittersweet here? A: After I described how to propagate invasive Chinese privet in a recent column, I had to invent a self-flagellation machine...

READ MORE

Lemon Grass – Winterizing

Q: What do I do with a lemon grass plant over the winter? I planted it this spring and it is huge! A: Lemongrass, Andropogon citratus, is a perennial plant in south Georgia but it is killed by winter cold...

READ MORE

Montauk Daisy – Rooting and Transplanting

Q: I’ve rooted some cuttings from a neighbor’s Montauk daisies and they’re now going dormant. Should I leave them in their little flower pots all winter? A: Montauk daisy, Nipponanthemum nipponicum, is usually perennial here but transplanting the little ones...

READ MORE

Nightshade Family – Linkage to Arthiritis

Q: My grandmother was told that eating vegetable members of the nightshade family would exacerbate her arthritis. Which ones should she avoid? Why are they called nightshade? A: The nightshade (solanum) family is very diverse, covering tobacco, jimson weed, angel...

READ MORE

Pansies – Fertilizing with Oatmeal

Q: My mother in Asheville, NC heard a professional landscaper say that she fertilizes pansies with oatmeal. Have you ever heard of this? A: I’ve never heard of it before but I guess oatmeal could provide a bit of nutrition...

READ MORE

Persimmon – Planting from Fruit

Q: My granddaughter found a persimmon while walking the dogs. Can I plant it and have a tree in my yard? A: You can certainly plant it and eventually get a tree but there is a caveat. The seed might...

READ MORE

Oak Tree – Selling or Donating Possibility?

Q: We must remove a huge, beautiful oak tree. It’s healthy, but has outgrown its available space. Is there a way to sell or donate this tree? A: Selling or donating a tree is problematic. A firewood vendor could use...

READ MORE

Meyer Lemon – Spider Mites

Q: I have a mature Meyer lemon tree but every winter when I bring it inside, it gets those awful mites. I spray it with an organic soap, but it is almost impossible to get rid of those suckers. A:...

READ MORE

Raised Beds – Preventing Tree Root Infiltration

Q: I have a raised bed tomato garden that has been taken over by tree roots. What do you recommend I do to prevent this from happening year after year? A: I have the same problem in my flower beds....

READ MORE

Southeastern Flower Show 2012/2013

Q: I am trying to find out when the Southeastern Flower Show will be in 2012. Do you have any information on this event? A: The Southeastern Horticulture Society, sponsors of the flower show, have decided to put their efforts...

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