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

Chemical vs Organic Lawn Fertilizer — Which Works Better?

Environmentalists are always bashing my lawn. They say the fertilizer I use to make it thick and green is killing the world like that nuke plant in Japan. So last summer, I decided to experiment. I divided my lawn in lawn in half, used chemical fertilizer on one half, organic fertilizer on the other, to see which did the better […]

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Boxwoods — Love ‘Em, Hate ‘Em

Did you know that the common boxwood is the world’s oldest cultivated ornamental plant? That’s right. The Egyptians were adorning their gardens with it as far back as 4,000 BC. And ever since then, people have been trying to decide whether they should pamper their boxwood or feed it to the camels.

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What Should I Prune Now? Grumpy Cuts to the Chase

Pruning is one garden task that scares the All-Bran out of people. They’re afraid that if they prune something at the wrong time, they’ll ruin it, kill it, or look like a dolt. Relax, my children. The Grump is here to help.

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Choose Your Sweetest Flowers

What is the sweetest flower of all? Answer that question and I can probably tell what’s growing in your garden. Of all our senses, I think smell is the one most closely linked to memory. A single whiff of a flower instantly transports you back to a time and place when you encountered it as a child.

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Cut Your Losses — Time to Prune Winter-Damaged Plants

Hope springs eternal in the garden. Your shrub or tree should have put out leaves a month ago, yet its stems remain bare. Did it just forget spring is almost over? Did it decide to sleep in? Do plants sometimes skip a year? Nope, nope, and nope. Sorry, but it’s time to cut your losses.

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Where Life Really Sucks — Cities with the Worst Mosquitoes

Life bites in Atlanta. The world sucks in Memphis. And folks in Houston are itching to leave. Why? Because Orkin, the well-known pest control company, just named these towns as three of its top 20 mosquito cities. The news has Southerners buzzing.

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Tweet! Tweet! Twitter Chat With Grumpy

Grumpy realizes how frustrating it is not to be able to converse with the High Pundit of Horticulture in real-time. Well, whimper with your laptop no longer! This coming Monday, May 19, you’ll be able to chat LIVE with the Grump on Twitter for an entire hour beginning at 1 PM EDT! And there will be prizes!!

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When & How to Prune Azaleas

The azaleas in front of Grumpy’s palace are in full bloom now and looking glorious. But they wouldn’t be if they hadn’t been pruned at the right time. They’d be boring, green blobs. Here’s how to prune azaleas correctly and avoid the state of green blobness so prevalent in our neighborhoods.

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Throw-Down Thursday: What to Do in the Garden This Weekend

“Breaking Bad” has run its course, you’ve binge-watched “Game of Thrones” until you know all of the characters and forgotten your kids, and you’re seriously considering saying “no” to the dress. These are all signs that you need to work in your garden this weekend. The following timely tasks will get you back on course.

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Blimey! This New Lilac Takes the Heat!

When Northerners move to the South, there’s no doubt about the plant they mourn the most — their beloved lilac. Lilacs just don’t bloom here due to our short, mild winters. But now I hear a new lilac is blooming well all the way down to the Gulf Coast! Could this be true?

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