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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

The Self-Sufficient Gardener
Developing Transplants from Seed is Easy in a Greenhouse

When growing your own transplants, it is very important to control temperature, ventilation, light and moisture. Temperatures for warm-season crops should be between 65 and 80 F during the day, with nighttime temperatures of 60 to 65 F.

>> read “The Self-Sufficient Gardener”    
Mudcrete
Tips on Building an Attractive Retaining Wall

The only sunny, level piece of ground on our lot is in the front yard, next to the driveway. Despite my well-reasoned and insightful explanation of why my new greenhouse should go there, my wife vetoed the idea. So, the only other location ...

>> read “Mudcrete”    
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”    
Christmas from Nature

Decorating from nature doesn’t require lists of instructions or rules; in fact, some of the simplest materials and compositions yield beautiful results. Children often make simple ornaments in school from natural objects such as walnut shells or dried seedpods.

>> read “Christmas from Nature”    
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”    
Landscape Solutions
Great garden ideas for steep slopes

There always seems to be a catch to that perfect piece of property. The views of the rolling countryside may be breathtaking, the sparkling clear creek at the back of the property might be picturesque — but, unfortunately, part of the property is so steep that it requires rappelling gear just to mow the lawn. What does a gardener do when there is an area that is “un-doable?”

>> read “Landscape Solutions”    
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
Hostas
These Shade Lovers Solve Many Yard and Garden Problems

“Why would I want a large, green, basically flowerless plant? I have plenty of lawn, trees, bushes and shrubs,” my friend sputtered when I suggested hostas as her landscaping solution. Like most new gardeners, she had dreams of profuse, lovely scented blooms everywhere. Later, realizing that gardens of Eden with bounteous blooms, need full-time gardeners, she wanted easier plantings.

>> read “Hostas”    
The Potting Shed: A Place to Begin

A place for everything and everything in its place: A playhouse, a winter sanctuary, a herbarium, an atrium and a structural winter solstice are all descriptions I have given to my “potting shed.” I have been a gardener since childhood, but it wasn’t until after my husband and I built our home I realized the need for a potting shed. I was spending a great amount of time walking to his shop to gather my gardening “things” before I could start on my project for the day.

>> read “The Potting Shed: A Place to Begin”    
Classic Pepper Sauce

Wash and sterilize several saved bottles such as those for soy sauce, beer, small wine bottles, soft drinks, vinegar, Worcestershire and other appropriate bottles saved or bought for pepper sauce ...

>> read “Classic Pepper Sauce”       #Recipes
The Underappreciated Biennial

Fans of perennial flowers admire both their longevity in the garden and their capabilities. Where they once planted a daylily, by division, they can have three or more clumps in a few years. Fans of annuals tout their quick results and their lengthy bloom period. Pop in your six-pack and, if it isn’t blooming already, it soon will be – and will bloom for months on end. No wonder biennials are the Rodney Dangerfields of the flower world ...

>> read “The Underappreciated Biennial”    
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”