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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Critter Wars
Dealing With Common Garden Pests

There are two major battles that all gardeners face every season: weeds and pests. I have always said (and will repeat) that there will never be a complete victory in either battle. As long as we have gardens, we will have unwanted creatures that can cause damage and headaches ...

>> read “Critter Wars”    
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”    
Top Five Mistakes in the Vegetable Garden

It's hard to beat the fresh taste of homegrown vegetables on your dinner table, and the satisfaction of knowing you produced them yourself. While a successful vegetable garden is within reach of anyone, avoiding a few common pitfalls will help to ensure a bountiful harvest. The following lists are some common mistakes I often see that stump even the seasoned gardener on occasion.

>> read “Top Five Mistakes in the Vegetable Garden”    
Is it OK to prune roots?

When you prune a plant, whether you’re pruning stems or branches aboveground, or roots below ground, you’re wounding the plant. A wounded plant will attempt to seal off or compartmentalize the wounded area to prevent decay. This process forces the plant to use stored reserves (starches, etc.), and thus has a depleting effect. Pruning can also stimulate new growth, but for this new growth to occur, additional stored reserves must be used. Therefore, even though top and root pruning can be, for certain objectives and at certain times of the year, beneficial to a plant, the plant does pay a price...

>> read “Is it OK to prune roots?”    
Less Work, More Fun

Some gardening tasks are a lot of fun. I love picking out plants and creating beautiful container combinations, and I enjoy planting flats of pansies in early fall. Other tasks, like weeding, are tedious, but you have to do them. Then there’s another group of garden tasks many consider necessary, but I consider bad ideas. Crossing them off your to-do list will give you more time to focus on the enjoyable aspects of gardening. Here’s my list of the top three things you should NOT be doing in your garden...

>> read “Less Work, More Fun”    
Joe-Pye Weed

Joe-Pye weed is one of my favorite perennials, even if the name is somewhat unfortunate and confusing! First of all, Joe-Pye weed is not a weed at all but rather a North American native perennial.

>> read “Joe-Pye Weed”       #Hot Plants
Chinese Che Tree
Cudrania tricuspidata

Grape-size red fruits catch the eye starting in late August on this uncommon but commendable fruit tree known as Chinese che. At first it is slow to grow, a few inches at best. Just be patient – as with many plants three years seems to be the charm ...

>> read “Chinese Che Tree”       #Hot Plants
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”    
Japanese apricot ‘Peggy Clarke’
Prunus mume

There’s not much out in the garden that can beat the winter blues like Prunus mume ’Peggy Clarke’, also known as the Japanese flowering apricot tree. When it’s too cold for much else to bloom, this small tree bravely sends out its blossoms on bare limbs in mid to late winter, providing the kind of showy display that most plants set aside for spring. It’s an amazing sight in the dead of winter.

>> read “Japanese apricot ‘Peggy Clarke’”       #Hot Plants
Seamless Stream
A Natural-Looking Water Feature For Your Landscape

Water features are a hot topic in gardening. Even mainstream publications are touting them. However, most of the publicity blitz focuses on ponds, fountains and water gardens in containers. If you are interested in exploring water gardening, have you considered a cascading stream?

>> read “Seamless Stream”    
Delta Jazz Crapemyrtle
Lagerstroemia hybrid

I feel like the FDA pulling the plug on a prescription drug trial before all the results are in, but I am atypically confident that Delta Jazz crapemyrtle is a unique hot plant for Arkansas. Our University of Arkansas Plant Evaluation program started evaluating this plant ...

>> read “Delta Jazz Crapemyrtle”       #Hot Plants
 
 
 

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Six-foot tall cosmos and a lush yard!

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