How-To Archive

How To Amend Your Soil

Good soil is the basis of every landscape success. Most of us are not blessed with good soil – we have lots of clay, which holds WAY too much water. Here is what I do to build the soil in...

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How to Buy Fertilizer

For a couple of years now, I have presented a talk entitled “You Can’t Get Any Lower Than Dirt!” to gardening groups in the Southeast. I talk about why organic matter is so important to your soil and why adding...

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How to Maintain Your Mower

Maybe you were one of those who can’t resist the ‘call of the turf’ this year. If you begin mowing (assuming you could get your machine started!) without doing some preliminary maintenance, you could damage your mower and your lawn....

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How to Make Garden Footstones

At this time of year, I’m looking for any excuse to keep out of the sun while still accomplishing projects for my landscape. My wife has been plotting new pathways through our back yard and she recently asked me to...

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How to Mass Propagate Shrubs from Cuttings

June is the perfect time to propagate shrubs. Whether it’s your great-grandmother’s rose or just a favorite hydrangea, we all have situations where we want to make clones of a single plant. A garden friend sent me pictures of his...

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How to Deal With Flooding

The university Extension offices in several states have collected great advice on preparing for and dealing with the aftermath of flooding. I hope you never need this information, but…….. University of Georgia Flood Information Caring for Flooded Lawns – UGA...

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I’m Looking Over My Dead Dog Rover

When I mentioned to a schoolteacher friend that I had sung “I’m Looking Over My Dead Dog Rover” (sung to the tune of “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover”) on my radio show, she exclaimed, “You have too much...

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How to Order Hey Bug Doctor!

I’ve enjoyed reading Jim Howell’s columns on insects in the AJC Home and Garden section for several years. When I heard he was compiling the columns to put into a book, I was excited – and I was glad to...

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Seeds – Saving

This past spring, a friend gave me three seeds from a giant gourd. He assured me that if I planted the seeds in warm soil I would have gourds like the beachball-sized one he held in his arms. Unfortunately, I...

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Make a Career in Agriculture/Horticulture

Thinking about a career change? Want a second job? Worried about what to study in college? Starting salaries of students in agriculture/horticulture, including bonuses, are second among UGA colleges behind only the Terry College of Business. Careers in Horticulture Horticulture/Agriculture...

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How To Eat Chitterlings

My grandfather, Walter Cowart, was many things: Mayor of Union City, razor salesman, real estate investor, kudzu promoter and esteemed leader of south Fulton county (which was then Campbell county). But one of my favorite stories about him was his...

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How To Build a Garden Hose Water Level

The heavy rains earlier this year exposed drainage problems I had forgotten over the last four years of drought. Mounds of pine straw accumulated at the bottom of a sloped trail. Small island-like tufts of grass were left where water...

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Plant Names – Deciphering

The caller to my radio show a few Saturdays ago proffered a simple question: “What should I do with my Sammy Chips shrub? It has brown tips on the branches.” Sammy Chips? I’m familiar with banana shrub, sweet shrub, pea...

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How To Do a Science Fair Project

Science projects can be a real strain for kids and their parents. Many times “let’s do an experiment on plants!” is the first thought. Before starting, this note from Peter Macinnis, a teacher in Australia, might be helpful: “Plant growth...

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How to Soil Test

If the word TEST gives you the fantods, contemplate a test that is simple to take, doesn’t reflect on your intelligence and has no wrong answers. Consider performing a soil test on your landscape. Click here to order a soil...

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How to Grow Kudzu

Tifton B.Merritt is a writer, raconteur and afficionado of all things Southern. Here are his directions on the finer points of kudzu culture. Get a printable PDF file of this HOW TO GROW KUDZU by Tifton B. Merritt All you...

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How To Make Well-Drained Soil

I was explaining to someone recently that flowering cherry trees absolutely require well-drained soil to succeed. “Well, that’s not a problem,” they responded, “I’m planting on a slope, so water drains right past it.” “Sloping soil is usually poorly drained,”...

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How to Thoroughly Water

You’d think I would know better but this spring I learned even more about what thoroughly water means. I started two big flats of coleus and aster seeds, first filling the flats with seed-starting soil then scattering the seeds on...

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