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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Building Garden Art Using Ferro-cement

Garden art is important in every garden but not everyone has the budget to commission pieces in bronze or marble. And, if you have an artistic vision it is not always easy to find just the right piece. But, if you have minimal artistic skill and a bit of perseverance, you can build your own garden additions using a technique called ferro-cement construction. Ferro-cement projects can be built in any shape or size. All it consists of is a steel frame (called an armature) covered with two or more layers of cement.

>> read “Building Garden Art Using Ferro-cement”    
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”    
Savory Okra Pickles

For this recipe, you need six very clean wide-mouth pint jars, sterilized as directed by manufacturer, 6 lids and 6 bands separated into a shallow pot of boiling hot water ...

>> read “Savory Okra Pickles”       #Recipes
Fragrant Gardens
Captured by the Spell of the Smell

I was walking on a Caribbean beach one evening heading toward a favorite spot for jerked chicken when I was captured by the fragrance of a large, blooming shrub. Now if I were relegated to growing only one plant for the rest of my life, it would be that plant, the night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum).

>> read “Fragrant Gardens”    
Summer Turf Blues

As we continue in the blistering dog days of summer the idea of a cold drink and air-conditioned room seem much more appealing than working out in our landscape. The hot sticky days often cause us to neglect some outdoor chores such as giving our turf a good check-up.

>> read “Summer Turf Blues”       #Advice   #Summer
Sunless Success: 15 Great, Easy-to-Grow Shrubs for Shade

Adding beauty and color to the shade garden can be a daunting challenge to many gardeners. Of course, there are plenty of annuals and perennials that do well, but when it comes to shrubs, or more precisely, flowering shrubs, the choices seem to dwindle. I’m going to profile 15 shrubs that do well in shade that you may want to try in your garden ...

>> read “Sunless Success: 15 Great, Easy-to-Grow Shrubs for Shade”    
Trap Crops
Managing insect pests of vegetables

The number one problem with vegetable production in the southeastern United States is insect pests that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Caterpillar pests of vegetables have long been the major issue for vegetable producers and home gardeners; for example, diamondback moth, squash vine borer, hornworms and armyworms. Those insects can cause 100 percent crop loss if control measures are not taken.

>> read “Trap Crops”    
Dealing With Drought
Keep Your Garden Going When the Rain Stops

Over the past months, most areas of the country have set records for heat and drought. While the experts debate the “whys” and “hows,” the rest of us are stuck with the bottom line — it’s harder to grow things. Extreme temperatures and lack of moisture stresses most garden and landscape plants that would normally be considered tried-and-true standards. In addition, the availability and expense of irrigation has become problematic ...

>> read “Dealing With Drought”    
Chrysanthemum ‘Cathy’s Rust’

When it comes to mums, I have a love/hate relationship. I’m not a fan of the potted varieties you buy in the fall that are perfect, round meatballs of a plant. That being said, I absolutely love the old-fashioned garden mums that have been passed along for generations.

>> read “Chrysanthemum ‘Cathy’s Rust’”       #Hot Plants
10 Commandments for Your Best Garden Ever
(and 8 Amendments)

Gardening advice is plentiful nowadays, but some advice can be contradictory or untested. For example, one website advises planting when the moon is in a water sign, such as Pisces, Scorpio or Cancer, “because rain is more likely.” Call me crazy, but I would rather plant when the weather is dry and then use my hose to water the seed or transplants. What should a gardener do ...

>> read “10 Commandments for Your Best Garden Ever”    
Rose Black Spot

Rose black spot is perhaps the most devastating disease of roses in the South. This disease is caused by a fungus (Diplocarpon rosae) that attacks the foliage of many rose varieties in home landscapes. Many dedicated rose growers battle black spot year after year. The disease can flare up virtually anytime of the year when the leaves remain wet for a period of six or more hours at a time. Frequent rainfall with cloudy days or periods of high humidity can result in disease onset.

>> read “Rose Black Spot”    
Common Ninebark

You may call it common or Eastern ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), but this native shrub has become anything but common. Ninebark has been to finishing school with several fabulous new cultivars introduced. Bright, colorful foliage – burgundy, copper, gold and variegated – have replaced the standard medium green leaves of the old-fashioned ninebark. The species has been tamed, a lot more compact and less vigorous.

>> read “Common Ninebark”       #Hot Plants   #Natives   #Ornamentals   #Shrubs