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

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Faithful readers, in preparation for the unveiling of the winners of Crepe Murder 2016 this Sunday, March 13, I thought you’d enjoy this extremely stupid episode that occurred in Grumpy’s own neighborhood last weekend.

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New Blueberries For Everyone!

Few people grow fruit in their gardens these days, because most think it’s too much trouble. And if they’re talking about peaches, plums, cherries, or grapes, they may be right. But blueberries are different. They’re easy to grow, highly productive, and make wonderful ornamental plants. And the good news is these great plants have just gotten better.

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Reclaiming An Overgrown Yard — Part 2

Last weekend, Mrs. Grumpy and I took a first crack at clearing the jungle in the front yard of first-time homeowners, Tom and Ashley. They bought the house from a little old lady who hadn’t done any yard work for about 10 years. If we thought the front was a nightmare, the back yard was worse. Yet so unselfish and […]

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Reclaiming An Overgrown Yard

My stepson, Tom, and his fiancee, Ashley, just bought their first house. They were excited, but also intimidated by the overwhelming tasks that awaited. For 10 years, the little old lady who sold the house hadn’t cleaned inside (she had pets in there — hazmat suits required) nor trimmed anything outside. What plants should Tom and Ashley remove? What should […]

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Are Epsom Salts Really Good For Plants?

Of all of the old wives’ tales swirling around the gardensphere, the magical ability of Epsom salts to goose your plants into a Nirvana of health and vigor ranks as #1. Plant not blooming? Give it Epsom salts. Plant not growing? Epsom salts. Plant singing off-key? Epsom salts.

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Which Plants Can Kill Your Dog or Cat?

A recent email from a reader telling of the tragic death of her dog after consuming the seed of a sago palm set me to thinking: “How many garden plants out there are toxic to dogs and cats?” A simple Google search revealed an astonishing answer — literally hundreds and hundreds. In fact, looking through my garden, it was hard […]

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What’s Wrong With My Meyer Lemon?

Lots of people must be growing Meyer lemon trees indoors, because lots of people keep asking Grumpy what the heck is wrong with theirs. If you’re one of them, console yourself with the thought that these citrus trees are notoriously finicky and often drive their owners nuts. Here’s a list of common complaints and what you can do about them.

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5 Great Trees For Small Spaces

People love planting trees in their yards, but often forget how big many trees grow. Soon what began as a sweet, little yard ends up looking like the Black Forest. But not if you follow Grumpy’s advice and plant smaller trees for small spaces. Here are five excellent candidates that won’t swallow your property or your dog. Small Tree #1 […]

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How To Mend A Broken Branch

Faithful reader, Karen, writes, “The recent snow split one of the main branches of my crepe myrtle. Do I need to cut off that branch or can I repair it somehow? Cutting it will ruin the tree’s symmetry.”

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Toto, We’re Not In Bama Anymore

Grumpy has put his nose to the grindstone for the last several months, addressing all of your gardening concerns in a prompt and other-worldly manner. Now it is time for a break. This week, I’m enjoying a vacation of skiing, beer, snowshoeing, beer, canoeing, beer, hiking, and beer. Guess where I am.

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