Properly pruning plants might feel like going into battle, especially without the right tools. Dull or undersized pruning tools can leave the plant unnecessarily damaged and will cause you to work harder to get the job done. Choose the correct tool for the size of the stem or branch that wil…

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties in December last year. The report showed that Florida (2nd), North Carolina (6th) and Georgia (9th), were top 10 states in horticultural sales. These ranking…

Despite the many ways a pandemic made this a strange and difficult year, 190 Master Gardeners put in more than 1,800 hours of community service in Greenwood County in 2020.

As I prepared to write a column for Christmas Day, I thought about plants that are significant during the holidays, and I asked myself, “What is Frankincense anyway?” As a child, I was told that it was a valuable gift of incense, a precious thing that would honor a king. Frankincense is the …

In 2017, the average U.S. household spent more than $500 a year on lawn care and gardening activities (statista.com). With the surge in home gardening because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I can only expect that number has gone up for 2020.

Houseplants are much more than strategically placed living décor. They can benefit mental and physical health. There are many easy-care houseplants to choose from, with plants such as pothos and succulents thriving on neglect. But when a houseplant declines it can be a frustrating scenario, …

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a lot of supply chains, in one way or another. Low availability of toilet paper, printer cartridges, even appliances all affected my household. And those that regularly garden from seed might have noticed favorite varieties were impossible to find. Even if we …

As the holiday season approaches, what’s on the menu is in focus more than what’s in the garden. However, indoor plants and gifts can brighten the season and keep gardeners’ thumbs green. If you cannot be with loved ones this year, one plant that ships exceptionally well and provides cheerfu…

One of the most under-appreciated services of Clemson Extension is the laboratory testing services for soil testing. Not to be confused with “dirt,” soil is a complex structure of particles, nutrients, air, water and living organisms. The success of any growing endeavor starts in the soil. F…

It has certainly been a whirlwind couple of weeks, with a hurricane, time change, pandemic Halloween and a contentious presidential election. Out in the garden, though, nature is progressing in a predictable process of winding down for the winter. Trees are beginning to stop the flow of wate…

In the profession of horticulture, we often get questions regarding plant species when they are in full bloom. Come late February, when spring-blooming bulbs are putting on a colorful display, internet searches like “how to grow daffodils” will spike. However, now is the time to design and p…

There are sure signs that the heat of summer will soon be fading, and one of those signs is increased fungal activity! About a month ago, mushroom fairy rings began to appear in area lawns. Pretty soon after, mushroom hunters were finding chanterelles. Last week, I noticed a puffball mushroo…

Perhaps like good health, access to clean water is entirely underappreciated. Greenwood is fortunate that we have an excellent water resource in Lake Greenwood and the fine folks at CPW and Greenwood Metro to keep us supplied. However, as we know, we are not an island unto ourselves. The arr…

This week has got me thinking about thresholds. You see, once our county’s COVID-19 numbers reduce enough we will be able to welcome the public back to the office. It depends on the thresholds that have been set in our reentry plan. There are some well-known thresholds that have been set aro…

It’s time to consider what your winter roommate situation is going to be like. I’m not talking about surprise guests, although I’m sure many a home will be anxiously awaiting the return of college students for winter break. I’m talking about your tender plants. There is a 10% chance in our a…

Though you wouldn’t know it from my Polish maiden name, I am half Italian. And as most Italians do, I love garlic. I guess you could say it’s in my blood! Well, fall is an excellent time to plant garlic. You’ll need full sun and a fertile, loamy soil. If your soil is too compacted, it can hi…

Despite all of the disruptions of 2020, many of us gained an appreciation for time with family and the simpler things. We looked around our homes and yard and dug in, figuratively and literally. Even if you didn’t join in the garden rush, many Americans did. Tough times often spur on seed sa…

As the calendar pushed into September, I thought we might begin to get more fall-like conditions for late season vegetable gardens and landscape plantings. We need some heat and drought relief for unirrigated turf grass areas in the Piedmont too. Since I have several areas with crowded peren…

As summer weather heats up for the Fourth of July weekend many local summer flowering trees are heating up with their flower displays. In in the last week or two local crape myrtle trees have exploded with flowers from white to pink and lots of other colors too. You may think I rate crape my…

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…