General Garden Info

Recommended Garden Books

Looking for a gift for that gardener who seems to have everything they need for their garden? Most diggers in the dirt enjoy reading about other gardeners and their trials and tribulations. In addition, serious gardeners sometimes need reference books...

READ MORE

Gypsum – as Soil Amendment

Gardeners are no different from other folks – they want to accomplish more work with less effort. One of the biggest jobs when gardening in north Georgia is turning hard red clay into soil that will produce healthy plants. Occasionally,...

READ MORE

Fertilizer – How to Buy

I recently saw a description of a fertilizer in a newspaper. It said that a 12 ounce bottle of the stuff provided the same level of nutrients as a 25 pound bag of 20-8-6! Intrigued by the narrative, I called...

READ MORE

Clay Pots – Cleaning

If you have several clay pots that contained annual flowers on your patio last summer, now is a good time to clean them before spring. The easiest method is to stack them in a big bucket and soak them. Mix...

READ MORE

Frost – Predicting First

Predicting the date of the first frost is tricky. And while it may not cause gnashing of landscapers’ teeth like an unexpected late spring frost, the first fall frost is important to some. Weather scientists have kept detailed records of...

READ MORE

Frost – Predicting Last

What do the records show about the last frost in the spring? Using 32 degrees as the reference point, the most likely date for a last frost is March 27. The earliest date for a last spring frost was February...

READ MORE

Soil – Amending

Homeowners often want to amend their existing soil to make it better. Planting grass seed or laying sod on hard, unfertile soil is generally a waste of money. The soil must be made better. For lawns, it makes most sense...

READ MORE

Soil Temperature – Monitoring

My son and I had just arrived the first day at our ski hotel and were preparing for dinner. “Daddy – I don’t feel so good.” he murmured. I put my lips to his forehead to check his temperature. My...

READ MORE

Soil – Defining

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,”...

READ MORE

Poisonous Plants

Through a good part of my childhood, one voice of authority manifested with equal weight alongside the commandments of my parents: that of Mrs. Mabel Prayor. An older neighbor, she was hired to cook meals, settle arguments, iron clothes and...

READ MORE

Drought – Planting During

Sometimes I hate following my own advice. I hate it especially when it concerns properly digging a bed for planting. Georgia summers can be dry and miserable. Unbroken bright sunshine, temperatures in the nineties and humidity thick enough to can....

READ MORE

Garden Books – Recommended

I owe many things to my Aunt Elizabeth…. but the thing for which I am most indebted is her annual gift of reading material. When I was a young teen, she gave me a subscription to Boy’s Life magazine, which...

READ MORE

Garden Magazines – Recommended

These magazines are tops for good articles and photographs. A year’s subscription keeps a favorite gardener thinking about you regularly. Georgia Gardening (888)265-3600 Fine Gardening (800) 477-8727 Organic Gardening (800) 666-2206 Horticulture (800) 234-2415 Green Prints “The Weeder’s...

READ MORE

Rain Barrels – Using

With summer temperatures in the nineties, creative gardeners think seriously about where to get more water. I’ve received several questions about rainwater collection this summer. Jeff B. wrote “I want to add a cistern to my home so I can...

READ MORE

Rain Barrels – Buying

How to Make a Rain Barrel LOCAL SOURCES OF RAIN BARRELS Noah’s Rain Barrel Steve Golden 404-210-7061 Email: noahsrainbarrel@comcast.net Brookhaven Rain Barrels Pat Magee (404) 364-0440 Rain Barrels in Georgia Many local hardware stores offer assembled rain barrels or kits...

READ MORE

Soil Testing – Why

Once upon a time, farmers tested their soil by tasting it. Cupping a handful in front of their face, they would inhale its aroma and tentatively touch the dirt with their tongue. “Time to spread some lime and gu-anner” they’d...

READ MORE

Gardeners Play With pH

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the importance of soil testing and the role of pH in plant health. I gave instructions on how to collect a soil sample and have it tested. In the days following, several...

READ MORE

Chromosome Numbers of Plants and Animals

Sometimes a Dad has to be a Dad…….. When my son was studying biology in the ninth grade, he and I got into a discussion of whether organisms with identical numbers of chromosomes would be identical. He said they would...

READ MORE