Archive for the ‘Environmental issues’ Category

Summer Lawn Care Tips

“Summertime and the living is easy”. That’s a good adage to follow for home lawn care as well. Most lawn care chores, such as fertilizing, seeding, thatch management, and weed cleanup, should be delayed until late August through early October in most locales (USDA zones 4-7). During the heat of summer, proper mowing and irrigation are […]

Rain Barrels Save Water!

The following is a guest blog from Joy Stewart, a good friend who gardens in Bristol, Tennessee. Photos taken at her garden. Regional droughts and potential water shortages are causing people to turn to a centuries old practice of collecting rain as an alternative source of water.   By collecting rainwater from your home’s roof, you have […]

How Drought Affects Our Landscape Trees*

Long term drought can be devastating on landscape and woodland trees. An environmentally stressed tree must expend additional energy to survive. Extremes of drought leads to decreases in trunk diameter and height growth, declining resistance to pests and diseases, less food production via photosynthesis, and in flower and fruit production. Symptoms of drought stress include wilted […]

Gardenias Continue To Disappoint In The Mid-South

The lure of fragrant white flowers have mid-South gardeners (zones 6 and 7) wanting to grow gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides). New cultivars, supposedly hardier than previous ones, hit garden centers every spring. Unfortunately, zones 6 and 7 winters usually prove them wrong. Recent purchases of new cultivars ‘Frostproof’ and Pinwheel® and older selection ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ have […]

Quest For The Perfect Tomato Continues

Improved disease resistance, fruit color, firmness, and flavor continues to be the main goals of tomato breeders around the U.S. Leaf and root diseases vary from one region to another across the country. Here in the eastern U.S.,  late blight resistance is of key interest. Over the past 33 years, Dr. Randy Gardner, tomato breeder extraordinaire in […]

Curing Winter Blues… A Trip To The Philadelphia Flower Show

Since 1827, the Philadelphia Flower Show has been the world’s longest-running and largest indoor flower show. This 8 days flower show, from 11 March 2017 (Saturday) to 19 March 2017 (Sunday), is organized by Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS). The 8- day event features incredible large-scale floral displays, elaborate gardens, and creative floral arrangements. Over ¼ […]

Our Native Bumblebees In Trouble

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized ten more animal species as Endangered Species, providing them protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. These 10 species include 7 species of bees. Endangered status will afford the rusty-patched bumblebee protection under federal law. Bumblebees build their nests in the ground (and other places). Honeybees, however, […]

Types of Garden Irrigation

These days there are lots of choices in watering gardens, individual containers, and newly planted trees. Before setting your flowers or veggies, install drip lines or soaker hoses. These systems are the most efficient method of watering and put less hurt on your water bill. Drip systems deliver water at ground level and do not wet the […]

Small Southern Magnolia Cultivars

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is one of nature’s magnificent landscape trees (USDA hardiness zones 6-9).  This reliable large tree, native to the Southern U.S., is at home in well-drained clay soils and hot summers. The species typically grows to 60-80 feet tall with a pyramidal (young) to a rounded crown (mature tree). It is not uncommon […]

Photoperiodism – Short Day/Long Day Plants

“Photoperiodism” or daylength is responsible for triggering flowering in numerous plants. Some examples of short day plants are poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima), fall mums (Dendranthemum spp.), asters (Symphyotrichum spp.), Thanksgiving (Schlumbergera truncata), Christmas (S. bridgesii) cacti, Kalanchoes (Kalanchoe spp.) and Salvias (Salvia spp.). “Photoperiodism” is the amount of light and darkness a plant is exposed to. The […]