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

Wahoo! You Have Powdery Mildew

It’s a wonderful morning in a heretofore wonderful world. You walk out to your garden, only to discover to your shame and horror that some miscreant has confused it with a baby’s bottom and showered Johnson’s Baby Powder all over your plants.

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Just Try To Kill Nandina!

One of the first of many commands my wife gave me after we got married was to rip up all the nandinas in front of my house. “It makes the house look abandoned,” she stated. “If you don’t do it, I will.”

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Don’t Mow Low!

I look at lawns as I silently walk through my neighborhood each morning, exercising my hyper-critical eye. Some lawns lush and green. Others are 30 shades of brown. What is the one mistake that turns a soft, cool carpet into a weedy, scraggly plate of pebbles? It isn’t what you might think.

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Be A Patriot! Plant Poison Ivy

Faithful readers, for Independence Day I extol the virtues of a truly All-American plant. It is native, easy to grow, feeds our wildlife, and loves Amurica! Some say it even cures illnesses. I speak, of course, of your friend and mine, our beloved poison ivy.

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Grow Sunflowers As Big As Your Face!

If you could grow a flower big enough to hide the scowling visage of TV harpy, Nancy Grace, would you? I would too! And I did, just by sowing a single sunflower seed this spring. There’s still plenty of time to grow sunflowers for fall.

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Are There Zombie Trees?

Why are zombie shows so popular on TV? Is it because everyone admires Dick Cheney’s life story? I think it’s because the people who play zombies don’t really have to act. All they have to do is talk unintelligibly, walk like penguins, and get their heads blown off. Easy gig. But what about trees and other plants? Can they come […]

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Five Great Plants For Butterflies

Let me tell you how nice butterflies are. They’re bugs and Grumpy likes them. I bet you like them too. To see more of them in your garden, you need to plant flowers that attract them. These five do the job magnificently.

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I Told You Not To Do This!

Sometimes when I condemn crepe murder, people only think about the grisly carnage left immediately after the crime is committed. They forget about the disaster that’s looming when the tree starts growing back and gets ready to bloom. Here’s a photo I took this week in my neighborhood of exactly the horror each murderer can expect. People with sensitive stomachs […]

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Daylily — The Easiest Perennial

When asked to suggest just one perennial for a beginning gardener to start with, my answer is always the same — daylily. No other perennial is easier to grow and comes in so many different colors, patterns, forms, and sizes. June is prime daylily time.

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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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