Landscaping

Plants of the Bible and Middle East

Plant enthusiasts come in all stripes. There have been many attempts to create “Biblical gardens” using plants mentioned in the Bible. In Fair Haven, Vermont, the First Congregational Church created a wonderful list of plants and the verse in which...

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Irrigation Systems – Maintenance

Summer’s hot, dry weather can force many Atlanta irrigation systems to work overtime. Lacking an underground system, some homeowners break out the hose and sprinkler. Watering seems to be a mindless task – but done wrong, it can do more...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,”...

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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...

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Ordering Plants from a Catalog

Few couples can remember the subject of their first serious argument. I can. I even remember that it occurred on I-285 near Buford Highway on a Saturday afternoon. I casually mentioned to her that I had ordered several plants from...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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What to Do After the Easter 2007 Freeze

An extremely warm March in 2007 was followed by a two-day dip to 27 degrees on April 6 & 7. Many plants had made substantial new growth before the cold snap. After the cold, many shrubs and trees, including crapemyrtle,...

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