Home & Garden

Are you planting your Leyland cypress trees wrong?

Are you planting your Leyland cypress trees wrong?

Leyland cypress are one of the most commonly planted landscape trees, but poor site selection and disease pressure may soon send them the way of red tips and Bradford pears. Popular as a hedge and in new development, the trees must be planted at least 10 to 15 feet apart, as the trees' rapid growth will require thinning out the trees after a few years to prevent them from growing into one another and reducing the air circulation needed in the canopy to prevent disease. Inexpensive, fast-growing and tall “Leyland cypress trees are one of the most commonly planted trees…
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How to handle wasps and hornets at the end of summer

How to handle wasps and hornets at the end of summer

Late summer is a good time to observe many types of insects buzzing around homes and gardens. As we approach fall, the local populations of many types of insects begin to reach their peak. This time of year, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents get more calls about yellow jackets and hornets, as their nests can grow to a foot or more in diameter with as many as 500 to 1,000 workers. Folks often encounter hornets, yellow jackets, moths, and various beetles flying around the doors and windows of their home — especially at night. Many people want to know…
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Don’t Be a Statistic: Read those pesticide instructions

Don’t Be a Statistic: Read those pesticide instructions

As we head into summer, we start to see problems with weeds, diseases and insects in the landscape and around vegetable gardens. Some of these pest problems can be solved without the use of chemicals, but if the pest population reaches damaging levels, using pesticides may be warranted. Remember that using pesticides is safe and legal but requires reading and following label directions in their entirety. The first step is properly identifying the pest or problem in order to select the correct control method. Your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent can help in selecting the correct pesticide and recommended application…
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How to keep your lawn disease-free this summer

How to keep your lawn disease-free this summer

As warm-season turfgrasses continue to green up, diseases are rearing their ugly heads. The main culprit this time of year is a fungus, Rhizoctonia solani, that causes large patch disease in lawns. Large patch can infect all warm-season turfgrasses, but centipede, St. Augustine, and zoysia are particularly susceptible. Large patch appears in roughly circular patches that are yellow, tan or straw-brown with orange-brown borders. The patches are initially 2 to 3 feet in diameter, but can expand up to 10 feet or more, as the name “large patch” indicates. Early in the morning, a grayish ring can be seen in the…
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Are you giving your tomatoes too much love?

Are you giving your tomatoes too much love?

During the summer growing season, the love many have for a homegrown tomato approaches obsession. In fact, some people love tomatoes so much that they struggle to grow them — because they give their plants too much care. The calls have started to come in to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices: “My tomato plant leaves are yellowing or browning, curling, spotting or wilting.” I hear it every year, beginning right about now.  As I talk to gardeners, I learn that they water the plants every day, fertilize them dutifully and plant them in the same spot year after year.…
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