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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Find Out Your Garden I.Q. Quiz
Are you gardening savvy or gardening challenged?

Are you a garden expert, a weekend gardener or just a novice? Challenge your gardening knowledge by taking this short quiz — you may be surprised to see where you rank. Answers are posted at the end. Good luck!

>> read “Find Out Your Garden I.Q. Quiz”    
‘Appalachian Red’ Redbud

The eastern redbud has long been a staple for Virginia gardeners and when the delicate flowers fill the forest edges, warmer weather is just a whisper away. While our native redbud’s popularity remains strong, there has been a host of newcomers hitting the streets in the last few years. One of my personal favorites is Cercis canadensis ‘Appalachian Red’ or the Appalachian red redbud.

>> read “‘Appalachian Red’ Redbud”       #Hot Plants
Muhly grass
Muhlenbergia capillaris

One of the native ornamental grasses that has received a considerable amount of attention the past few years is muhly grass. Not likely to be noticed in the spring and summer, it puts on quite a show in the landscape during the fall.

>> read “Muhly grass”       #Hot Plants
Cover Crops in the Vegetable Garden

If you have harvested everything from your vegetable garden and decided not to plant cool-season crops, then now is the time to start a cover crop, which just means planting something to cover up the dirt. Big-time farmers plant cover crops such as clover and rye, and backyard gardeners can reap the same benefits for their dormant gardens during the winter months with a cover crop.

>> read “Cover Crops in the Vegetable Garden”    
How to do that… Tidy Tips for Your Evergreens

When we begin to leave winter behind, the time will be ripe to take a good look at the evergreens in our landscapes and begin to prepare them for the upcoming spring spurt of growth. Most of our evergreen plants fall into three general categories – those with needle-like leaves, those with scale-like leaves and broadleaf plants ...

>> read “How to do that… Tidy Tips for Your Evergreens”       #Pruning   #Winter
Resource Conservation
Low-water-use gardening with grasses and succulents

As reported rainfall declines and the demand for water increases, it becomes time for gardeners to rethink their gardening style and move away from the manicured lawn and heavily watered and fertilized yards. Now, and in the future, we need to look to the low-water-use garden. This does not mean that a gardener has to sacrifice color ...

>> read “Resource Conservation”    
First Aid for Summer Squash

As we enter mid-July with August right around the corner, there are some pretty rough-looking summer squash patches that I have visited around the state in my role as a vegetable specialist. From backyard gardens to commercial growers, everyone that has grown summer squash knows the challenges that the late season can dish out ...

>> read “First Aid for Summer Squash”       #Advice   #Disease   #Pests
Seeds of Simplicity: The Shaker Seed Industry

During the summer months, I can see the results of those tiny seed envelopes that I excitedly purchased in March from ambitiously dog-eared catalogs. A quick inventory of the garden reveals my successes and failures — summer squash overrunning the garden path and tomato seedlings that just stopped trying between my June vacation and Independence Day ...

>> read “Seeds of Simplicity: The Shaker Seed Industry”    
Rescue or Theft

There is a movement among many garden enthusiasts to “rescue” the wonderful heirloom bulbs, shrubs and wildflowers of our ancestors’ time. Many areas where they grow are being bulldozed for construction of homes, businesses and highways, while other areas are getting so overgrown with trees, vines and weeds, the plants are unable to survive without the necessary sunlight. Although saving these bulbs for future generations is a noble activity, it does not give us the right to take something that does not belong to us. Let us be clear about this fact. All land belongs to someone.

>> read “Rescue or Theft”    
Plant Your Bulbs in Turf!

Planting bulbs in turf is a great way to enhance your landscape and add a spark of interest to your lawn. Plantings can either be annual or perennial, and you can choose from a wide variety of bulbs.

>> read “Plant Your Bulbs in Turf!”    
Learning Garden Lingo
Unraveling the colorful language of gardening

Are you occasionally perplexed by a term used in a gardening book or magazine article? You are not alone if — as a newcomer to America’s most popular pastime — you are sometimes confused with terminology such as “friable loam.” Gardening is like many other hobbies, with unique and often colorful lingo ...

>> read “Learning Garden Lingo”    
Alien Invaders
Battling Invasive Species

Have you checked your backyard lately? You may be harboring dangerous aliens. No, these are not creatures from outer space. The aliens I’m referring to are plants – exotic plants. Also referred to as foreign, non-indigenous, introduced or nonnative, these invasive exotics are noxious weeds according to the following definition: A noxious weed is a plant alien to a geographical area whose presence threatens natural and agricultural ecosystems. Like their science fiction counterparts, these weeds are a major threat.

>> read “Alien Invaders”    
 
 
 

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