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

Kill Those Root Suckers!

You’ve done the right thing. You’ve cut down that stinking Bradford pear. But you didn’t remove the stump and roots. So now a million suckers are sprouting from the spot. Lord-a-mighty, what’s a homeowner to do? Let Grumpy explain. When you cut down trees, some grow back and others don’t. Needle-leaf conifers, such as pines and spruces, almost never grow […]

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The Perfect Perennial? Bearded Iris

How hard is it to find a perennial that takes hellish heat, bitter cold, plus withering drought and STILL produces powerfully fragrant flowers in a rainbow of colors every spring for the rest of your life? Not hard at all, really. Just ask for bearded iris.

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Get Healthy! Eat Some Dandelions

If the sight of bright yellow dandelions dotting your otherwise perfect lawn drives you batty, blame it on the Pilgrims. It was they who reportedly brought the plant to America from its homeland in northern Europe in the 1600s. What else would you expect from guys wearing belt buckles on their hats? 

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Are Monarch Butterflies Doomed?

More than three million species of insects exist in the world and people hate just about all of them. We therefore take note when one particular insect, the monarch butterfly, earns universal love and widespread concern. Monarch populations are noticeably declining, so we have to ask: If things keep going the way they are, could monarchs go extinct?

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One Messy Son Of A Birch

Faithful reader Penny asks, “Is there anything more messy than a river birch? I’m constantly raking leaves and picking up branches. Any suggestions for this devil?”

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Avoid These 6 Mistakes When Buying Tomato Plants

WAHOOOOOO!!! It’s spring! And that means people are calling in sick or faking their mother’s funeral so they can get off work, rush to the garden center, and procure their tomato plants. But before buying yours, steer clear of the following common mistakes that could well make a funeral seem like a happy event.

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Attract Fireflies To Your Garden

Faithful reader Ginny writes, “I love fireflies. How can I encourage them to come to my yard? Are they harmful to my garden?” Let Grumpy shed light on the matter.

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More Horror! More Ugliness! Crepe Murder 2016!

If last week’s crepe murders gave you garden variety nightmares, this week’s will seem like a sleepover at Freddy Krueger’s. Why do people do things like this? Some because of ignorance. Some because of hostility. And some because they believe that making it into the Grumpy Gardener gives their little lives meaning. They are correct.

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Why Your French Hydrangea Never Blooms

Like a lot of Grumpy’s faithful readers, Heather in Raleigh wants to know why her French hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla — the one with blue or pink flowers) always looks green and healthy, but never blooms, even though it gets plenty of sun and water. Our email exchange reveals the probable cause.

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Meet The Winners! Crepe Murder 2016

Not since the Alabama Powerball Jackpot surpassed a record $6 has an announcement been so eagerly anticipated. Here they are — the first batch of winners in Crepe Murder 2016! You’ll scream! You’ll faint! You’ll guzzle MD 20/20 Coco Loco by the case as you stare with disbelieving eyes at what people do to innocent crepe myrtles.

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