The Rockdale Gardener

Gardening Posts From Rockdale Cooperative Extension

What is causing this circle around my tree?

There are several reasons why a circle might appear in the turf surrounding a tree. No, not aliens or crop circles. Sometimes there are many possible scenarios for a landscape phenomena. For instance, here four differing suggestions as to what could be causing the grass turn brown in a circle…
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Problems on Cedars This Spring

I have gotten many calls about various cedars/cypress/pine trees (Deodara, Italian, Leyland, etc.)  turning yellow or bronze and dropping needles. There are several things going on right now that could be the problem: Spider mites – cool season spider mites like Southern Red Mite thrive in cooler temperatures. Our relatively cool…
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Fire Blight on Pears

Check out these pictures of Fire Blight infection on flowering pears (photos by Harris County, UGA). According to the UGA Publication on Fire Blight, “Fireblight is a destructive, highly infectious and widespread disease caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora. Fireblight can be a problem in Georgia and is particularly prevalent in…
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To Apply Spring Preemergent Herbicides Or Not To Apply…That is the Question

Two Choices: 1. Perfect Lawns require Spring Preemergent Herbicides  If you want your lawn to be as weed-free as a golf course, then you must apply preemergent herbicides. These chemicals prevent weed seed from germinating and kill tiny weeds. The time for preemergent herbicide application is now: apply preemergent herbicides between…
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Adding Beneficial Insect Preservation to Your Pest Management Business

by Steve D. Pettis Rockdale County Extension Agent Pollinators in the news Pollinators have been headlining the news for months now. With reports of declining Monarch Butterfly populations and honeybee deaths seeming in the news daily, homeowners are becoming aware of the plight of pollinators and other beneficial insects. Just…
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Silly Psyllids on Beech Trees

The Beech tree in my front has some strange inhabitants. These white insects form colonies on limbs. Below them is a mysterious substance. The insect is a psyllid or woolly aphids. Psyllids bunch together and move in unison when threatened making themselves look like a larger organism. Psyllids are gregarious insects that…
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Warm Season Turfgrasses Suffering from Disease This Fall

The picture to the right shows zoysiagrass suffering from a patch disease Fall 2015. The image is classic Rhizoctonia Large Patch. The turf develops brown patches with purple borders as the fungus radiates out from the site of initial infection, consuming the turf roots and damaging the grass. It is always best to…
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Large Patch Fungus Killing Warm Season Grasses This Fall

The large patch fungus attacks warm season turf during cool wet periods. The fungus eats at the plants roots, killing the grass in distinct near-circular patches. Dr. Alfredo Martinez, UGA’s Turfgrass Disease specialist, has written a really good synopsis of the disease here: Large patch disease is favored by: •…
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