3 Tips for Caring for Poinsettias

The rich, velvety red and white foliage of poinsettias have become a staple of any holiday display. But there are a few things to keep in mind when caring for your plants to keep them looking their best. Understanding the plants’ needs will keep your holiday display healthy all season long. Poinsettias are native to Mexico, and if you have ever vacationed to the Mexican coast over the holidays you likely enjoyed warmer temperatures, sunshine, and minimal rainfall. These are the cultural conditions that your poinsettias need to thrive. Use these three tips as your guide to a successful poinsettia …

How to Turn Your Rubbish into Garden Gold

A Simple Breakdown of Compost: How to Turn Your Rubbish into Garden Gold By Shanna Jones, Plant Collections Manager at Cheekwood Banana peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, leaves. These are a few of my favorite things…to throw into my compost pile. Integrating compost into your garden’s soil is the least expensive, most helpful thing you can do to improve the overall health of your garden. Learn how to start and nourish a simple compost pile, making good use of materials you would otherwise throw away. The Location First, build your rubbish pile directly on the ground, and you can contain it …

Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space

(Family Features) Home improvement projects aren’t limited to indoors. In fact, not only can upgrades to areas outside the house expand your livable space, they can also increase your home’s value. Outdoor living projects account for almost one-third of renovation projects, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The findings echo trends reported by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, which found 43% of respondents said they designed outdoor kitchens in the past year and 41% expected an increase in outdoor projects in the coming year. “Our clients are asking for entertaining areas, which …

Pollinators The Friends Your Garden Needs

Most of us have a basic understanding of what pollination means, but do we fully understand what a vital force pollination has over the beauty and bounty that surrounds us? Let’s take a look at the bees, butterflies, and other pollinators that are endemic to Tennessee by exploring ways in which we can make our gardens more inviting. Pollinators are essential to a garden’s success, which can certainly be measured by beauty, though more quantitatively by a good harvest. These animals and insects of various small sizes are essential to the world’s food supply, responsible for bringing us one out …

3 Perennial Plants that Add Pizzazz

June is Perennial Plant Month, and whether you’re a plant nerd or a novice gardener, perennials are a wonderful addition to any home landscape with their dependability, seasonal versatility, and low maintenance. Perennials also provide nectar, pollen, and nesting materials for pollinators. Here we’ll cover a few perennials that take the cake in performance, bloom longevity, and overall presentation. First up, the peony. These romantic blooms are extremely  hardy and thrive on a proper winter. In order to ensure optimal performing peonies in our region, select early to mid-season varieties over later-blooming varieties. Japanese or single flower forms perform best …

Dig into gardening trends: Tips to get started

New survey digs into gardening trends: Tips to get started (BPT) – Just like fashion, trends in gardening come and go … and sometimes come back again. Some shifts in gardening were inspired by necessity, like the “victory gardens” of WWII for growing food during years of rationing. Others reflected societal changes, like the green lawns of the 1950s and 1960s, when families spent more time playing and entertaining in their yards than ever before. If you look further into the past, to the 1920s, you see a trend that’s on the rise again — a yearning for going back …

5 Effective Groundcovers That Combat Weeds

Do you find yourself spending hours on end reading seed catalogs? Must you keep a detailed a map of where you planted all 350 bulbs on your hillside just so you can remember all the different cultivars? No? That’s totally fine – not all of us are plant nerds. Some of us just need answers to common landscape issues. In today’s gardening culture, you will find that the themes are changing. Plants not only provide beauty, barriers, and structure, they can also provide solutions to common landscape and gardening problems. In this article, I address a few of my favorite …

Bold and Beautiful Alliums for Every Garden

By Melinda Meyers Short or tall, big or small, ornamental alliums are a treat for flower gardeners and for butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. Plant the bulbs in fall and enjoy months of colorful spring and summer blooms—this year, and for years to come. Just like their relatives, onions and chives, ornamental alliums are easy to grow and trouble free. Pests, diseases, and even deer don’t bother them. Most types are reliably perennial and winter hardy in zones three to eight. Alliums prefer well-drained soil and full sun, though they will also grow in partial shade. You can choose flowers …

Battle Weeds, Leaves and Shrubbery with Tech

(Family Features) The same type of technology used in some of the United States Navy’s most powerful ships also powers handheld lawn equipment. A lineup of string trimmers, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers from Cub Cadet use an innovative technology to power the units called CORE (Conductor-Optimized Rotary Energy). The sophisticated motor technology generates power equal to gas engines and maximizes pound-for-pound power efficiency, compared to its 25 cubic centimeter gas-powered engines. The technology also features a unique Power-Lok system. This standalone drive unit offers lightweight, high-performance string trimmer, blower and hedge trimmer attachments. It saves storage space and money …

9 Troublesome Weed Zones to Tackle

(Family Features) Weeds are opportunists that take advantage of bleak growing conditions to set root. If you’ve ever seen a weed growing out of a crack in your driveway or other paving, you know that weeds, by nature, can adapt to almost any spot. As you work to get your yard in shape, keep an eye on the following areas that often offer ideal conditions for weeds to grow and reproduce. Pathways. Paths made from loose materials, such as bark mulch, decomposed granite or stones, can act as seeding beds, offering a natural spot for weeds to grow. Underneath shrubs. Areas under …