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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

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
‘Green Giant’  Arborvitae
Thuja standishii x plicata

Do you need a fast-growing evergreen screen that is resistant to deer and bagworms? Or perhaps you are looking for a great focal point evergreen as a specimen or in a grouping? If so, look no further than ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata ‘Green Giant’).

>> read “‘Green Giant’  Arborvitae”       #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”    
Taking Care of Irises
Late summer is prime time for planting and dividing bear

Sometimes called the poor man’s orchid, the bearded iris, with its myriad of colors, puts a new box of crayons to shame. These diverse, drought-resistant garden beauties provide an elegant centerpiece for many Southern gardens, with their magnificent spring blooms. But the plants are great in the garden even after the blooms have faded, thanks to their lush green stalks.

>> read “Taking Care of Irises”       #Flowers   #Ornamentals
How Dry I Am

Last year was a tough one – for people and plants. The U.S. Drought Monitor for 2010 shows that the Southern United States was in abnormally dry conditions for most of the year. And this is an area that normally averages over 50 inches of rainfall a year. In fact, it was so dry that cows were giving evaporated milk. The extreme lack of rainfall was bad enough, but coupled with record high summer temperatures for most of the eastern U.S., it was literally a killer. Especially in my garden.

>> read “How Dry I Am”    
Fall Cleanup Tips
5 Simple Steps to Minimize Plant Diseases in the Spring

One of the most daunting garden tasks is fall cleanup. Most gardeners have spent the majority of the spring and summer planting, watering, fertilizing, weeding and, of course, bragging on their gardens to their friends, neighbors and family. When fall arrives, it’s time to enjoy some R & R… or so you thought ...

>> read “Fall Cleanup Tips”    
Cool Tools For the Garden – Great Gift Ideas

Giving a gift to someone you care about certainly feels good – giving them a gift that you also love makes the event even more special. Ask any gardener about their favorite tool and you will surely hear about at least one item that they always carry with them into the garden.

>> read “Cool Tools For the Garden – Great Gift Ideas”    
Plenty of Pecans for the Holidays

California has its almonds and Florida its citrus. But from Thanksgiving through Christmas, the southern U.S. has its own legendary horticultural crop: the pecan ...

>> read “Plenty of Pecans for the Holidays”    
Lemon Balm
The Scent of Sweet Dreams and Calm Nerves

What can produce a mild sedative effect, relieve cramps and gas and produce antibacterial and antiviral properties, according to modern research? Lemon balm. No new discovery, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) was noted by the 16th century physician Paracelsus as healing patients at death’s door. The Roman scholar Pliny, another believer in the effects of lemon balm, thought ...

>> read “Lemon Balm”    
Boxelder tree
Acer negundo

Acer negundo is an Oklahoma native usually found in bottomland forests and populating old homesteads. Its tolerance to extreme cold and drought has made this tree a survivor through much of the U.S. It can be used as a temporary planting, providing fast growth and shade ...

>> read “Boxelder tree”       #Hot Plants
Runaway Garden: Plan Thoroughly and Choose Wisely When Planting Vines

I think this irrational fear stems from knowing my own slovenly ways — a recognition that if I let vines get out of hand, like I often do with weeds and overgrown bushes, there is the possibility of losing the house in a giant mound of vegetation. This unfounded fear probably stems from horror stories I’ve heard about kudzu. But take it as a cautionary tale. Many vines are aggressive growers that, left uncontrolled, can become a maintenance nightmare ...

>> read “Runaway Garden: Plan Thoroughly and Choose Wisely When Planting Vines”    
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