Steve Bender
Steve Bender grew up in Lutherville, MD and was exiled to Alabama in 1983 for reasons that remain secret to this day. He loves fried okra and often selects dinner wine based on whether it goes well with fried okra. His mission is to make gardening uplifting, accessible, and inspirational to all. He will no doubt succeed. Follow him on Twitter: @grumpy-gardener. Also on Facebook: facebook.com/SLGrumpyGardener.

Recent Posts By Steve Bender

Who Shot Up My Shrubs?

Faithful reader, Lisa, writes, “I have a hedge of cherry laurels that is looking quite ill. The malady started as holes in the leaves, then the leaves turned yellowish, and now they are falling off. The whole thing is getting bare and pitiful looking. Is it a buggy infestation or something else?”

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Fooled By Fall Color Again!

When you go 70-plus days without rain, you have cause to expect the worst. “Fall color is going to [a verb that means greatly disappoint]┬áthis year!” I wailed. “All the leaves are gonna turn brown.” But once again, Mother Nature had other plans — one of many reasons I resent that tired, old biddy.

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6 Tips for a Terrific Thanksgiving

“Gobbler, gobble, gobble!” No, that’s not the sound of a turkey. That’s the sound of your family scarfing down enough turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, yeast rolls, and pecan pie to fill the Sugar Bowl. To make your celebration even more memorable this year, Grumpy offers the following tips.

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Who Stopped the Rain?

It’s a beautiful morning today at my home in north-central Alabama. The air is cool and crisp, the sand dunes shimmer with the first rays of dawn, and the only sounds I hear are the quiet murmurs of Bedouins and camels passing by in the distance. Only a few months ago, trees and shrubs and flowers and grass marred this […]

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Find Peace in the Garden

Welcome to the Grumpy Gardener, quite possibly the only website on the internet where we’re not going to talk about the recent election. Grumpy knows many of you are angry, upset, sleepless, fearful, and stressed out. Let me offer one simple suggestion guaranteed to make you feel better. Turn off the TV, click off Facebook (after you finish reading this, […]

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Do 5 Things Now For Fewer Pests Next Year

Someday soon, it will finally feel like fall. Joy will fill your heart when it does, because you’ll think gardening chores are over for this year. Not so fast, recliner melons (Grumpy’s updated version of couch potatoes). If you want to spend less time fighting bugs and diseases in the garden next year, attend to the following simple tasks this […]

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16 Bulbs That Rodents & Deer Won’t Eat

Faithful reader, Helen, asks, “How do I keep the squirrels from digging up and eating my newly planted bulbs? Those bulbs were expensive!” The simplest solution, replies Grumpy, is to plant bulbs that squirrels won’t eat.

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At Last! An Easy Way to Kill Violets

Never abandon hope is the lesson I impart today. On a recent Grumpy Gardener page in Southern Living, I sadly broke terrible news to a reader whose lawn and garden was submerged with violets. There is no spray to kill violets, I said. The only control is getting down on your hands and knees and digging nonstop for approximately 18 […]

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Take My Chipmunks — Please!

People generally abhor rodents, but I’ll venture to guess you love chipmunks. Six to 12 inches long from nose to tip of fluffy tail, striped, puffy cheeks, and big, shiny eyes — why, they’re so cute! Every child should experience chipmunks scampering across the ground, robbing bird-feeders, and providing necessary protein for pet cats, but sadly, many do not. And […]

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Persimmons by the Bucket

Greetings, faithful readers, and welcome to this year’s installment of your favorite series, “Don’t You Wish You Had Done What Grumpy Told You.” Last year, as you no doubt recall, Grumpy extolled the virtues of the Japanese persimmon, the easiest, prettiest, and most rewarding fruit tree for Southerners to grow. I urged you to plant one or two, but most […]

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