Labor Day has come and gone, signaling the end of summer. This means the days will be getting shorter, the air will have that crispness of fall and candy corn, much to my friend Hazel's dismay, will flow in abundance. Also, white shoes should have been carefully retired to the back of the closet until next spring's Easter.
This year's wet weather has allowed me to field some interesting calls. One problem in particular I have seen more frequently than usual is the "artillery fungus."
Earlier this month, Lamar and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. By celebrated, I mean he rode his bike all day and Cole and I watched cartoons and made cupcakes.
The Georgia Mountains Master Gardeners would like to invite you to attend their next monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 in Dahlonega. Atlanta garden expert, radio and television host, and writer Walter Reeves will be the guest speaker. He will be presenting on environmentally responsible landscaping.
No one likes a hypocrite.
I had lost it. Like really, really, lost it. I was about to unleash the locusts. It was Saturday night and I could feel my blood boiling in my veins.
This has been a particularly rough summer when it comes to our home garden vegetables. Excessive rainfall has prevented many plants from growing or ripening properly. To make things worse, we also have to deal with insect pests trying to devour the vegetables that did manage to grow. One pest we have to deal with every year is the squash vine borer.
My mojo's been off lately. I don't know what caused it and there are several possible reasons: worst summer ever in my life history, the perpetual rain or just the general sense of loss I have experienced. But my mojo was horribly and devastatingly off kilter.
Earlier this summer, I told my friend Yolande I was cleaning my house so she could come over.
Bagworms are caterpillars that make distinctive "spindle-shaped" bags on a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs throughout Georgia. They have been known to attack both deciduous and evergreen trees, but are most often found on cedar, cypress, arborvitae, juniper, spruce and pine. They can also be seen on deciduous plants, including rose, maple, elm and sycamore.
When I was a child, I thought my Mama was the most awful parent ever. The woman made me watch "Star Trek." This was absolute mind-bending torture. To lure me into her sci-fi trap, Mama often had Ding Dongs or Twinkies and being the chubby kid I was, I would sit and watch as long as the sweets flowed.
We receive calls all year long at the extension office about trees with large, exposed roots. Sometimes these roots will bust up sidewalks and driveways. The most common complaint from homeowners is that the surface roots interfere with the lawn. Exposed roots can cause uneven lumps in the turf, and they can also tear up a lawnmower with one pass.
Maple trees are popular in home landscapes all over Georgia. Some maple species are native to this part of the country, so they naturally do well with limited maintenance.
"When does school start back?" Cole asked the other day.
I recently received a leaf sample from a homeowner whose tree had been rapidly declining for a few months. The leaves showed symptoms of wilting, but there was no distinct pattern as there would be for a fungal leaf spot. I went out to look at the tree a few days later, and by the time I arrived almost all of the leaves were dead and crispy.
Carpenter ants are the largest species of pest ants found in Georgia. They get the name from their habit of chewing wood to create nesting sites. Carpenter ants do not eat wood, they simply excavate cavities in trees and wood products for nesting galleries. These ants can be a nuisance in and around the home because of their large size and sheer numbers.