Landscaping

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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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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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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Lawn – Watering Correctly

Plants must have water to survive. Water in a plant is like blood in an animal. Water carries dissolved nutrients, sugars and hormones throughout the plant’s system. Some plants can go for long periods receiving only minimal water. Others require...

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Drought – Watering Flowers

Plants must have water to survive. Water in a plant is like blood in an animal. Water carries dissolved nutrients, sugars and hormones throughout the plant’s system. Some plants can go for long periods receiving only minimal water. Others require...

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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....

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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...

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