Featured Article

Plants for Pollinators

Many landscape plants depend on bees and other insects to move pollen from flower to flower. The insects don’t realize they are pollinating the plants they visit – they’re just looking for nectar in the flowers. You can help the flowering plants in your neighborhood by planting a pollinator-friendly flower...

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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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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 unless it is severely pruned. Crapemyrtles do not HAVE TO...

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Fescue Planting – 1-2-3

September – October is the BEST time to plant a fescue lawn. I have tips on planting a new lawn or an existing lawn, whether with seed or sod. I also cover what kind of fescue is best. It is not as important as you think it is, but everyone’s...

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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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  • RECENT ARTICLES
  • POPULAR ARTICLES
  • Pine Bark Nuggets – Can I Till These To Amend Soil?

    Q: I mulch my flower garden with colored pine bark nuggets. Is it okay to till in these nuggets to amend the soil? A: To my knowledge there is no harm in the dye used on these chips. I would...

    READ MORE

  • Pollen Count High – Good For Bees?

    Q: I heard that pollen counts are getting high. Is this good for bees? A: Not really. Most of the pollen drifting around is from trees, which are typically wind-pollinated. They don’t need insects to carry pollen from flower to...

    READ MORE

  • Pickling Cucumbers – Short And Curling Up On Ends

    Q: I plant pickling cucumbers each year but lots of them are short and dumpy and curling up on the end. What causes this? A: Easy – the pickles didn’t get pollinated. On this year’s vines, notice that there are...

    READ MORE

  • What Fruit Plants Are GMO?

    Q: I saw strawberry plants for sale that had “GMO free” on the label. What fruit plants are GMO? A: As far as I know, only Hawaiian papaya might be fruit that’s a GMO (genetically modified organism), but note that...

    READ MORE

  • Japanese Maple Tree Died In Dry Heat – Replace Now Or Wait Till Fall

    Q: One of our young Japanese maple trees did not survive the heat and dry weather. Can I replace it now or would it be best to wait until this fall? A: If you’re attentive to watering in dry weather,...

    READ MORE

  • Using Shingles To Warm Ground Around Tomatoes – But Are They Toxic To Soil?

    Q: I heard you talking about using shingles to warm up the ground around your tomatoes. Shingles sound like the perfect weed barrier: won’t blow away, won’t deteriorate, heat up the soil, etc. But are there toxic chemicals in them...

    READ MORE

  • Spruce Tree – Drying Out Top And Bottom

    Q: We bought a spruce tree at a big box store and planted it a year ago after Christmas. It was growing throughout the year but was just recently began drying out top and bottom. A: Spruce trees rarely survive...

    READ MORE

  • Florist Azaleas – Can I Plant It Outside?

    Q: I received an azalea after the death of my father. The label says “Place in a cool location, avoiding excessively hot and cold areas.” Does this mean I can’t plant it outside? A: In my experience florist azaleas are...

    READ MORE

  • Emerald Green Arborvitae – Dying And Getting Lighter In Color

    Q: I planted a long row of Emerald Green arborvitae six years ago. They did well until last fall. Now four have died and the fifth is getting lighter in color. A: Arborvitae and Leyland cypress all over north Georgia...

    READ MORE

  • Ivy – Will It Die If I Cut It Off At The Base?

    Q: Everyone says that ivy will die if you cut it off at the base. But this has been done on some large trees in my yard and that darn ivy is still alive after a year! A: It may...

    READ MORE

  • Fake Article – Adding Eight Things To Soil For Better Tomatoes

    Q: I saw an article online that listed eight things to add to the soil to grow better tomatoes. I’ve never heard you mention any of them. A: As soon as I saw “Apply baking soda to get tomatoes that...

    READ MORE

  • Camellia – Buds Opening And Falling Off

    Q: My camellia was absolutely covered in buds but now that they’re starting to open they are falling off. By the time they finish I will be able to shovel all of them off the ground without any of them...

    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

  • Lawn – Timing Spring Pre-emergent Herbicide Application

    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

  • 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

  • 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

Pine Bark Nuggets – Can I Till These To Amend Soil?

Q: I mulch my flower garden with colored pine bark nuggets. Is it okay to till in these nuggets to amend the soil? A: To my knowledge there is no harm in the dye used on these chips. I would...

READ MORE

Pollen Count High – Good For Bees?

Q: I heard that pollen counts are getting high. Is this good for bees? A: Not really. Most of the pollen drifting around is from trees, which are typically wind-pollinated. They don’t need insects to carry pollen from flower to...

READ MORE

Pickling Cucumbers – Short And Curling Up On Ends

Q: I plant pickling cucumbers each year but lots of them are short and dumpy and curling up on the end. What causes this? A: Easy – the pickles didn’t get pollinated. On this year’s vines, notice that there are...

READ MORE

What Fruit Plants Are GMO?

Q: I saw strawberry plants for sale that had “GMO free” on the label. What fruit plants are GMO? A: As far as I know, only Hawaiian papaya might be fruit that’s a GMO (genetically modified organism), but note that...

READ MORE

Japanese Maple Tree Died In Dry Heat – Replace Now Or Wait Till Fall

Q: One of our young Japanese maple trees did not survive the heat and dry weather. Can I replace it now or would it be best to wait until this fall? A: If you’re attentive to watering in dry weather,...

READ MORE

Using Shingles To Warm Ground Around Tomatoes – But Are They Toxic To Soil?

Q: I heard you talking about using shingles to warm up the ground around your tomatoes. Shingles sound like the perfect weed barrier: won’t blow away, won’t deteriorate, heat up the soil, etc. But are there toxic chemicals in them...

READ MORE

Spruce Tree – Drying Out Top And Bottom

Q: We bought a spruce tree at a big box store and planted it a year ago after Christmas. It was growing throughout the year but was just recently began drying out top and bottom. A: Spruce trees rarely survive...

READ MORE

Florist Azaleas – Can I Plant It Outside?

Q: I received an azalea after the death of my father. The label says “Place in a cool location, avoiding excessively hot and cold areas.” Does this mean I can’t plant it outside? A: In my experience florist azaleas are...

READ MORE

Emerald Green Arborvitae – Dying And Getting Lighter In Color

Q: I planted a long row of Emerald Green arborvitae six years ago. They did well until last fall. Now four have died and the fifth is getting lighter in color. A: Arborvitae and Leyland cypress all over north Georgia...

READ MORE

Ivy – Will It Die If I Cut It Off At The Base?

Q: Everyone says that ivy will die if you cut it off at the base. But this has been done on some large trees in my yard and that darn ivy is still alive after a year! A: It may...

READ MORE

Fake Article – Adding Eight Things To Soil For Better Tomatoes

Q: I saw an article online that listed eight things to add to the soil to grow better tomatoes. I’ve never heard you mention any of them. A: As soon as I saw “Apply baking soda to get tomatoes that...

READ MORE

Camellia – Buds Opening And Falling Off

Q: My camellia was absolutely covered in buds but now that they’re starting to open they are falling off. By the time they finish I will be able to shovel all of them off the ground without any of them...

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

Lawn – Timing Spring Pre-emergent Herbicide Application

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

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

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