The Grumpy Gardener

Get your garden growing with the humor and wisdom of editor Steve Bender. Ask a Question


To Save America — Grumpy For President!!

Americans are feeling desperate and depressed, forced to choose between two Presidential candidates that polls say most of them do not like. But we need not hide in bunkers for the next four years nor hold our noses as we vote. There is one person that all good citizens can rally around to make this country “Party Central” once more. […]

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When Can I Cut Back Gardenia?

Faithful reader, Andy, asks: “Our gardenia bushes have grown out of control and I want to prune them back. What’s the best time of year to do this?”

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Plant A Little Gold This Fall

What looks like a grass, isn’t a grass, takes more shade than grass, and lights up your garden like grass never could? A plant that most of you have never heard of until now. Japanese sedge.

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Chainsaw Madness

I can understand why some folks own chainsaws. They are crazy, violent agents of Satan bent on causing pain and destruction. (You know who I’m talking about.) But chainsaws scare the pickles out of the Grump. Perhaps that’s because it’s the only garden tool that can instantly remove an extremity when you’re not even trying. 

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Ever Pick A Pawpaw?

Walk down the fruit aisle at your grocery store. Almost all of the fruits you’ll see — apples, peaches, pears, plums, citrus, figs, cherries, mangoes — come from trees native to other continents that traders and settlers brought here centuries ago. One delicious tree fruit you won’t see is native to the entire eastern United States. The pawpaw. 

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How To Kill A Jade Plant

Faithful Texas reader, Marie, asks, “My jade plant is several years old. It is thinning and dropping leaves. It gets water twice a week from the edge spray of the sprinkler system. What are your suggestions?” As always, Grumpy is the font of knowledge.

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Butterflies On The Move

  Among the most famous migrations on Earth is the amazing journey millions of monarch butterflies from all parts of the U.S. make to a tiny winter sanctuary in Mexico every fall. But they’re not the only butterflies that migrate. Grumpy was granted the privilege of observing this first-hard during a recent holiday of sand, surf, and suds on the […]

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Still Too Early To Transplant

Lots of readers are peppering Grumpy these days with questions about transplanting. A common thread is people have a tree or bush that’s too big for the spot it’s in, so is it OK to move it now? Grumpy’s answer — a big, fat noooooo.

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Blowing in the Wind

How many times must a man rake his yard Before his lawn sees the sun? Yes’n, how many leaves can one tree drop Before he knows it is done? Yes’n, how many years must he labor in vain Before the battle is won? The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind The answer is blowing in the wind.

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These Palms Take the Cold Hands-Down

Admit it. Every time you visit the beach, you envy the bevy of graceful palm trees along streets and in yards. You wish you could grow palms in your home garden, but think where you live is just too cold in winter. Maybe you’re right, but you could be wrong.

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