A tour through south Greenwood County and part of McCormick on Wednesday revealed how severe the storm was Thursday of last week. Even though roads had been cleared to passable levels it reminded me that trees as susceptible to Mother Nature’s fury. Many trees fell prey to violent winds, whi…

If you’ve spent much time outside lately then you know the heat of summer is near as we approach July. Many of our favorite landscape plants, vegetable plants and turf grasses will all feel the heat. Since plants cool themselves with evapotranspiration (their form of sweating), it is very im…

Now that warm weather is here to stay, it is a great time to plant warm season vegetables in your favorite garden spot. All too often many of us get in a hurry to get out our tomatoes, peppers, beans and other warm season vegetables. We’ve also gone through the plant early, cover overnight w…

Favorite flowering trees such as redbud, dogwood, Japanese maples and other flowering trees highlight landscapes with color this time of year. The red foliage of many cultivars of Japanese maple is a local favorite too. These and other colorful spring favorites always inspire others to add n…

Mid-April in the Piedmont region of South Carolina marks the point in time when frost likelihood rapidly diminishes and local vegetable gardeners begin to plant warm-season vegetable transplants and seed.

Typically we think of autumn as the season of color in woody landscape plants of all types, but looking around, there are many colorful plants right now this spring. A highlight to any garden are Japanese maples leafing out in early spring. This includes grafted plants that have dark red bri…

As a follow up to this past week’s composting article, I wanted to mention the virtues of composting with a ready-made composter to keep the process tidy and clean. Also, once you know how the process works it is less intimidating to start your own composting of yard waste.

Today’s article is an editorial comment rather than a typical lawn and garden article. Often in life, we get the feeling we are pounding our heads against a rock wall and today’s topic will expound on a call to ban all “weed-eaters or string trimmers or devices used to maim and kill trees.”

As spring approaches everything changes with our warm season lawns. A warm season lawn in great shape will slowly turn into a lovely green for the lucky homeowner. Many lawns will not look so lovely but might look like a jungle of various weeds and other unwelcome invaders. Weeds might invad…

Spring is a time to enjoy many flowering trees. Most of the small- to medium-flowering trees such as cherry, crabapple and pears are not long-lived trees, but they are planted for their spring flowers. I am often asked about the Bradford pear this time of year when it is in full bloom with t…

Now is a good time to plant landscape, nut and fruit trees. They can be planted at various times during the year depending on local climate conditions and the type of planting material used. Trees are produced for bare root planting or in many types of containers with growing mixes. Regardle…

One fact of landscape trees and shrubs or fruit tree plantings is that most will require some level of regular pruning yearly as they grow to maintain them at a size that fits the landscape theme or to develop fruit on a regular basis. This requires several different methods of pruning that …

The New Year brings back many of the same landscape tasks, trials and problem areas for homeowners, businesses, churches and public entities from last year. The old saying, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” should be the No. 1 rule of landscape planning, design and installation.

For many garden, fruiting and landscape plants our local acidic compacted red clay soils can often create difficulties with planting and establishment. Adding aged organic matter or compost can help loosen soils and allow better root establishment and overall plant growth. But many favorite …

It might seem early in the new year to be considering vegetable gardening, but if you enjoy asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, peas, spinach, kale or many other cool season and early spring vegetables, time is quickly approaching to get garden areas prepared, seed bought and transplants located f…

As each year begins, gardeners should take time to assess their plant areas and look for areas that need improvement or extra care in 2019. If your lawn, landscape plants or vegetable gardens did not perform well last year, you might set some improvement goals for this year as a way to upgra…

Recent weather has been frightful and lots of outdoor gardening opportunities and activities are limited. One way my family and many others enjoy the outdoors at times like these are watching all the birds scramble for spots on bird feeders outside a kitchen or bedroom window. Now that many …

Pruning trees, shrubs and vines is an activity which has picked up in recent weeks. Before you dive into drastic pruning, ask yourself, “Why you are pruning trees, shrubs, vines or fruit trees and what is to be gained from the work?”

A little outside work can help to burn off some of those pounds added during last week’s Thanksgiving turkey-plus-all-the-sides meal. Leaves are shedding at a rapid pace after recent rain and wind events so there will be plenty to rake, pile and remove this weekend. Wet leaves that cover the…

It seems to suddenly appear each autumn, but we are amazed at the beauty of it all. It is the changing of the leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs from shades of green to a wide array of colorful foliage. We notice the change of leaf color and eventual shedding on deciduous trees, but often …

It seems like every time a new, beneficial landscape product comes along, someone will find a way to overuse it and create new problems. Landscape mulch often falls into this category. Various types of mulch are very useful for many landscape areas, but it can be detrimental if used to exces…

New and exotic plants arrive on the landscape scene each year to dazzle the eye. Many consumers are searching for small- or medium-sized trees that will fit smaller lots and won’t take over the entire landscape, push up sidewalks or drop large amounts of fruit, flowers or leaves. A standard …

On a recent visit to Star Fort National Park in Ninety Six, it was evident that fall is in full swing. On this windy day, many brightly colored and russet leaves were falling like rain. These leaves were not destined for the county landfill but floated down to add a new layer to previous lea…

As warm season turf, vegetable and flower gardens turn into seasonal winter tan or brown, we often notice poor performing areas easier within each. Winter weeds and thin declining or damaged areas are much more obvious. Then the question we ponder is, “Why or how this suddenly occurred?” Oft…

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