March 2, 2011
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A few simple steps will help you have beautiful houseplants that can brighten the indoors during wintertime. Proper care will go a long way to keeping them in optimal condition and attractive, thus bringing a touch of spring inside.
Remember, by knowing the size of landscape plants can reduce the likelihood of problems as well as create an attractive, healthy landscape.
Although grubs can ruin the appearance of your lawn, they can be brought under control. Observe the lawn for any signs of their activity and initiate control measures as soon as possible to limit the damage.
With a little planning and the use of proper planting methods, bulbs can be a real asset to your home landscape. Whether they are planted in small containers or large beds, they can add beauty to any garden, and if given the proper care, many types of bulbs will bloom year after year.
Perennials have a variety of attractive features that will enhance the beauty of any garden. Periodically, established perennials, which by nature grow larger every year, need to be divided to help control their size and to re-vitalize them. Plant division is also a method of plant propagation, so you can have more of the plants you especially like.
Interested Gwinnett residents have the opportunity to become a Gwinnett County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer. The Gwinnett Extension Service is accepting applications for the program until Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 for the 2014 class.
Fall webworms may not be attractive, but they do not harm the trees they infest. Usually the best course of action is to leave the insects alone, and they will eventually go away.
Using fungicides to control brown patch and large patch is difficult, but they do offer some level of protection. These chemicals suppress the development and spread of the disease, but they do not reverse the damage that is already visible.
Although not as well-known as the familiar fruit trees, such as apples, pears and peaches, these unusual ones thrive in the home landscape if given the proper care. For variety and interest, consider planting some of these different fruit trees and enjoy the harvest. You will be surprised with the results.
Storm damaged trees can be upsetting to the homeowner. These trees can be very dangerous, which is why only experts should remove them and not homeowners. Special care must be taken to remedy the situation safely and effectively. Using certified arborists will help improve the chances that any work performed will be done properly.
Insects are very diverse, and most species are not detrimental. They provide us with food, control harmful insects and help break down dead organic matter. So next time you encounter insects, even the bad ones, realize they are in the minority and that many others are beneficial.
Correct mowing is an important factor of lawn care. Make sure the lawn is mowed at the correct height and frequency using a sharp blade. Doing so will help ensure a healthy and attractive lawn.
You do not have to choose between having an attractive home landscape and protecting water quality. Both goals can be achieved by using chemical pesticides properly and only when needed, managing the application of fertilizers and keeping organic wastes out of the water drainage system.
Always remember that even if a product is considered to be organic, it is still a pesticide. Exercise caution when using these products. Some organic pesticides are as toxic as or even more so than many synthetic chemical pesticides. Organic gardening has both its positives and negatives. Understanding the basics of this practice and what it involves will help you succeed in having healthy, productive plants.
Even though centipedegrass is a relatively easy grass to manage, it does need appropriate maintenance for it to be healthy and attractive. If given the necessary care, it will provide you with an attractive lawn.
If you are willing to do a little extra work in your garden, roses will produce attractive colorful blooms throughout the growing season. Their display of beauty is why roses are among the most favorite of garden plants.
Using proper cultural practices and planting disease resistant varieties will produce healthy, tasty tomatoes in the garden throughout the growing season. They are often the most prized vegetable; no garden would be complete without them.
If you are willing to make the investment and provide the appropriate care, consider growing Zoysia. It will thrive and beautify the home landscape. With Zoysia, your lawn can be the envy of the neighborhood.
Heirloom plants are definitely worth planting. If properly stored, their seeds can provide vegetables with the same desirable traits year after year.
Although carpenter bees can be pestiferous, by taking a few simple steps, their damage can be reduced.
Dogwoods are a delightful addition to the landscape. Under the right growing conditions, they will thrive and produce attractive blooms in the spring.
Remember, actions taken during the period when the grass comes out of winter dormancy will influence how well the lawn performs during the spring and summer months. With a little planning along with proper cultural practices, your warm season lawn can be healthy, attractive, and the envy of your neighborhood.
Moss can be eliminated by the application of chemicals labeled for controlling it. As the moss begins to die, it will turn an orange-brown color. After dying, remove by the dead moss by raking. Though moss can be controlled by chemical or mechanical means, it will return if the cultural conditions that favor the growth of healthy grass are not implemented.
The most important aspect of applying any pesticide is to follow all label directions and safety precautions. Thoroughly read and understand the product label before you select, purchase, and apply it.
Topping robs the tree of its natural form, shape, and beauty. Proper pruning practices enhance the visual aspects of the tree and stimulate good tree health.
With minimal maintenance, holiday plants will add beauty to your holiday displays and your visitors will be impressed. No home would be complete without them.
Fire ants can be a real menace, but they can be brought under control by using the appropriate measures. Doing so will reduce the chances of you coming into contact with them and suffering from the painful stings they inflict.
Storm damaged trees can be upsetting to the homeowner. These trees can be very dangerous, which is why only experts should remove them and not homeowners.
The bigleaf hydrangeas, also called French, mophead or snowball hydrangeas, are the most popular and well known of the hydrangeas grown in our area. They bloom profusely during the early summer months with pink to dark blue globular clusters of flowers and have thick medium to dark green leaves.
Japanese maples add beauty and interest to the home landscape. They have smooth bark and weeping branches along with attractive foliage. The trees are quite versatile and can be grown in many settings such as a specimen or accent plant, a patio tree, in containers or in groupings. If planted and maintained properly, Japanese maples will thrive and be an attractive feature to any landscape.
Pests, whether they are insects, weeds or plant diseases, are a fact of life in the home and garden. One of the most effective ways to control them is to practice “integrated pest management” or IPM, which anticipates problems and uses preventative measures. Integrated pest management does not eliminate chemical pesticides altogether.
Homeowners purchase and use chemicals to control the many pests that plague both our homes and gardens. When using these products remember they are poisons designed to kill or adversely affect living organisms in some way.
One of the most important components of lawn maintenance is mowing. It directly affects the health and quality of the turfgrass. Improperly mowed lawns will suffer and develop an unsightly appearance. Proper mowing consists of cutting the grass at the correct height and frequency. Doing so will create a healthy lawn by encouraging the development of a dense stand of turfgrass which helps reduce weeds and other pests.
As suburban sprawl continues to encroach on wildlife habitats, humans and wild animals are having encounters that frequently result in property damage. Of all of the questions concerning animals the Extension office receives, the most calls come from homeowners concerned about deer eating their landscape plants.
The high winds during recent storms have blown over many trees, causing damage to property, bringing down power lines and even causing a few fatalities. The heavy rain in these storms has saturated the soil, making the trees more susceptible to the effects of heavy wind.
Boxwoods are famous for their use in formal gardens, on historic estates such as Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, or the Biltmore House in Asheville, N.C. Boxwoods have a multitude of uses in the landscape and are frequently utilized as hedges, screens and specimen plants. They are sensitive plants, but they will thrive if given the right growing conditions.
With the recent warm weather, many people want to begin planting summer flowering plants and vegetables in their gardens. However, in spite of the mild temperatures, the risk of a late season frost has not passed. The average last date of frost in our area is usually around April 15. Planting anything that is not cold hardy prior to that date is at risk of suffering freeze damage.
As the weather begins to warm up, the warm season turfgrasses, Bermuda, centipede, St. Augustine and zoysiagrasses, are beginning to come out of winter dormancy and turn green. When soil temperatures rise in the spring, turfgrass plants begin to generate new leaves and stems.
Pruning is a beneficial gardening procedure in growing roses. It encourages new growth and removes dead or diseased parts. Periodic cosmetic pruning should be done throughout the growing season. More intense pruning should be done in the late winter and early spring for most types of roses.
Groundcovers are low growing plants that grow rapidly to form dense plantings.
Crape myrtles are some of the most commonly planted flowering trees in the landscape. They provide abundant summer color with minimal maintenance. The winter months are the best time to prune crape myrtles. However, the practice of butchering them is very common. Light pruning is usually all the plant requires.
Blackberries are one of the easiest fruits for homeowners to grow. Once established, they require minimal maintenance, have few pest problems, and produce abundant fruit.
Throughout our area, camellias are a favorite evergreen shrub. They have attractive dark green broad leaves, and they bloom prolifically during the cold weather months. Camellias produce flowers in a multitude of shapes and colors with more than 2,300 different varieties registered with the American Camellia Society.
Azaleas are one of the most popular ornamental plants. They come in a multitude of colors, shapes and growing habits. Azaleas can grow in a wide range of soils and climates. Many are evergreen, but some are deciduous. They bloom not only in the spring, but some varieties bloom both in the summer and the fall.
Blueberries are one of the few fruit crops in production today that are native to Georgia. They are easy to grow, require minimal maintenance and are relatively free of any major pests.
Every spring, beautiful flowering bulbs emerge from the ground coloring the landscape. Many bulbs are grown not only for their flowers but also for their foliage. They are planted in containers, shrub borders, natural areas and in mass displays. The optimal time for planting spring flowering bulbs is during the fall months.
The brilliant leaf colors of the fall are one of nature’s most fascinating shows. The mountains of North Georgia and other states are popular destinations for observing spectacular displays of color. However, one does not need to go far since the trees in our area can be just as beautiful.
One of the most widely planted trees in landscapes across Georgia is the Leyland cypress.
The summer annual flowers are beginning to fade with the onset of cooler weather. They will be removed and replaced with winter flowering plants, with pansies being the most popular and widely planted.
Tall fescue is a popular grass in our area, and is easily established through seed or sod. Being a cool season grass, it holds its green color during the winter months while warm season grasses, such as Bermuda and zoysia, go dormant and turn brown.
The Extension office has recently received numerous calls from homeowners concerned about a white powdery substance that has appeared on the leaves and flowers of some of their garden plants. What they are observing is a fungal disease called powdery mildew.
The extension office has received many calls from homeowners who are concerned about large numbers of caterpillars attacking their lawns and what they need to do to control them. The insects are armyworms and they have the ability to damage lawns quickly.
Mosquitoes are a constant menace throughout the summer and interfere with outdoor activities. They are more than just an irritating annoyance because they can spread diseases.
The extension office has recently received numerous phone calls from homeowners concerned about mysterious brown circular patches that have suddenly appeared on their lawns. The cause may be the fungal disease brown patch, which can destroy the beauty of a lawn.
The bigleaf hydrangeas, also called French or snowball hydrangeas, are the most popular and well known of the hydrangeas grown in our area. They bloom profusely during the early summer months with pink to dark blue clusters of flowers.
During the spring and summer months, the extension office receives numerous calls from homeowners regarding poison ivy with questions like "What does it look like?" and "How do I get rid of it?"
One of the most destructive tree pruning practices is "topping." It is the removal of much of a tree's branches above a certain height without giving consideration to its overall structure and health.
During the springtime, many people are thinking about hiring a landscape contractor to improve the appearance of their home landscape. With so many companies around choosing the right one can be a challenge. Many factors need to be taken into consideration before making the final decision on whom to hire. The task can be easier if you follow several simple steps.
Throughout the year, a variety of pests can potentially plague both our homes and gardens. To remedy the problem, homeowners will purchase chemical pesticides.
Some of the most frequent questions we receive at the Extension office are on the subject of organic gardening. It is the combination of methods and strategies for the production of healthy plants based on a holistic view of the garden.
Throughout our area, camellias are a favorite evergreen shrub. They have attractive dark green broad leaves, and they bloom prolifically during the cooler weather months.
In winter, many homeowners become concerned about the potential damage of the cold weather on their landscape plants. However, most of the woody ornamental trees, shrubs, groundcovers, vines and herbaceous perennials sold at local nurseries are capable of surviving very cold temperatures.
With the Christmas holiday season upon us, many people will be out looking for a Christmas tree. The trees are available at a variety of sources and can be purchased either pre-cut or at cut-your-own-tree farms. Choosing the right Christmas tree is a matter of taste, but here are some guidelines to follow.
Recently the extension offices has fielded numerous calls from residents who have observed large numbers of small ants invading their homes. These insects are Argentine ants, which are a common household pest in our area.