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The Greener View: Grass, Garlic and Amaryllis

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Grass, Garlic and Amaryllis

Q: We are discussing when to cut down our ornamental grasses. I want to see them last through the winter and let the birds eat any seeds. My husband wants to cut them down in the fall because he says it is easier then. The plants are still upright and not beaten down. We can burn the grass in the fall when we are ...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: Awards pile up for Truffula Pink Gomphrena

Gardening / Gardening News /

Flame Proof, Perfect Score All Season, Leader of the Pack, and Top Performer are just a few of the award designations for Truffula Pink Gomphrena. It has now taken in 50 such trophies. If your state has a flower trial competition, my guess is Truffula Pink has been a winner.

If you don’t know, Truffula Pink it is a globe amaranth. It is ...Read more

The Greener View: Early Pumpkins

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We started seeing pumpkins for sale at the end of August. That is two months too early as far as I am concerned. I want to buy a couple so I can use them for pies and pumpkin bread at Thanksgiving. How long can these early pumpkins be stored? Is there a good way to process them?

A: You are seeing pumpkins and chrysanthemums being sold ...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: Mini Me Watermelon is a magical new coleus for 2023

Gardening / Gardening News /

Just when you thought the gardening world would be content and that we didn’t need another new coleus, Mini Me Watermelon is rocking scorecards in university trials. Mini Me Watermelon is part of the ColorBlaze series. It will be making its debut in 2023 and is climbing the must-have plants chart.

Photos of trial plants at Mississippi State ...Read more

The Greener View: Systemic Insecticides on Herbs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: In a recent article, you mentioned using systemic insecticides for aphids and other small insects. I have them on herbs, vegetables and some flowers in the garden. What kind of systemic insecticide would you recommend?

A: Systemic insecticides work by soaking into the plant. They can be dry granules spread on the soil or a liquid that is ...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: Color Coded 'One in a Melon' a dreamy new coneflower for 2023

Gardening / Gardening News /

The first instant I saw the coneflower, I thought it was one in a million, with its giant 5-inch-plus golden blooms that at first reminded me of a gloriosa daisy. I am talking about the new Color Coded 'One in a Melon' coneflower, making its debut next year. Last week I told you about the new Double Coded or double coneflowers Butter Pecan and ...Read more

The Greener View: Are Wasps Beneficial?

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My patio is being overrun with yellow jacket bees. I want to find the nest and spray them, but it seems that the nest isn't in my yard. A friend said they are beneficial insects. Are they really doing good for my garden, or can I just get rid of them if I find the nest?

A: Yellow jackets are not bees but are small yellow and black wasps up ...Read more

Patrick Hruby/Los Angeles Times/TNS

How gardening may extend your life and make it better

Gardening / Gardening News /

LOS ANGELES -- True confessions from a plant reporter and devotee of more than 40 years: My first foray into gardening was a pathetic disaster.

I was barely 20, struggling with depression and getting through college. My husband and I rented a lovely house in Riverside, California, with a mature and well-tended landscape. There was a lawn, a ...Read more

Norman Winter/TNS/TNS

On Gardening: Butter Pecan and Raspberry Beret are like dessert for the garden

Gardening / Gardening News /

Gardeners, I am here to tell you that you must get Double Coded. You’re probably thinking that there must be a security breach affecting the landscape. I assure you: It is a cupcake. At least it looks like a cupcake, and there are two colors. The names Butter Pecan and Raspberry Beret sound good enough to eat, but it is as though these new ...Read more

The Greener View: Lawn Pests and Fungus

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: Lately I'm finding small clumps of lawn grass, roots and all, dug out and laying there. The clumps are only an inch or two across. At first, I thought it was a mole or gopher, but I don't see any tunnel beyond the removed clump. I read that moles prefer areas that have a grub problem, and I did fight grubs last month, but the lifted ...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: This caladium creates a Burning Heart for your garden

Gardening / Gardening News /

Imagine a plant so unusual and beautiful in your landscape you stare hypnotically at it every day. Go further and say, 100 days. That is precisely how I feel about Heart to Heart Burning Heart caladium, and the reason is this: It simply can’t be that color.

In May I wrote about Using Heart to Heart caladiums to create the unexpected in the ...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Grass Seed

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I am a Master Gardener trained through my state university's extension service. The instructors said during my training that the information was based on research and not marketing. I want to plant a large area of grass seed in my yard, but I am having trouble finding what I need. The Master Gardener training said that for my area, grass seed...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: Dandy Man Color Wheel wins a Rhododendron of the Year award

Gardening / Gardening News /

Every gardener in the South knows fall is the best time for planting shrubs. As the cooler weather and shortened day lengths may have stopped leaf growth, the soil becomes ideal for root growth and thus the plant gets acclimated to your landscape. What gardeners don’t know about is a new rhododendron that at long last allows the Southern ...Read more

The Greener View: Cicadas, Beans and Tree Water Questions

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: My oaks and shade trees look like they are beginning to die. The last six inches to a foot or more of many branches all over the tree have dead leaves. We have not had much rain, but when we do, a lot of these branches fall off. I have started watering; is there anything else I can do?

Answer: This sounds like typical cicada damage ...Read more

Norman Winter/TNS/TNS

On Gardening: Let the tiger days of summer celebration commence

Gardening / Gardening News /

Today I am here to say, let’s give up the dog days and create a celebration of the tiger days of summer. I am not talking LSU, Auburn or Clemson starting football workouts. I am, however, touting states like Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia coming together for the one thing they have in common: They have all ...Read more

The Greener View: Self-Pollinating Pears

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My local nursery is selling fruit trees at a discount because they are getting ready for fall. I have been trying to decide if I want to plant a peach tree or a pear tree. I think I really only have room for one tree. I have read that I need to get two pear trees if I want to get fruit. Is there any way around this situation if I decide I ...Read more

Norman Winter/TNS/TNS

On Gardening: Scarlet goes wild in hot new petunia

Gardening / Gardening News /

Supertunia Mini Vista Scarlet petunia will quickly become the one in which all other red petunias will be compared. Although it is making its debut in 2023, the tsunami created from the beauty shown in 2022 trials is already causing market jitters. Will there be enough next spring? We can only hope.

Last February, I wrote about how the ...Read more

The Greener View: Tiny Insects That Cause Big Problems

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: Our magnolia tree has sooty mold. We had the tree sprayed for the fungus, but it is still dripping stuff. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Sooty mold is a fungus that grows on the sugary sap that is dripped on everything below a tree that has sucking insects. Some insects are sort of like a mosquito: they stab the leaf with a ...Read more

Norman Winter/TNS/TNS

On Gardening: At long last, these new flowers are Meant to Bee

Gardening / Gardening News /

As you are reading this column, Meant to Bee Queen Nectarine and Meant to Bee Royal Raspberry, two new agastache varieties, are approaching their 100th day of bloom at The Garden Guy’s house. Both agastache or hummingbird mint varieties will be making their debut in 2023, and in a summer of miserable heat, my trials of the flower varieties ...Read more

The Greener View: Pink Lady Apples

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I ate a Pink Lady apple and the seeds inside the core were sprouting roots. I planted a couple of them, and they are growing. Can I grow them and get Pink Lady apples in a few years?

A: The answer is yes and no. Most apple trees need two different kinds of apple tree pollen to get a cross-pollination that will grow an apple. Pink Lady apples...Read more

 

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