VOLUME 13, ISSUE 26 • June 29, 2017

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.

 
 
 
 

Happy Birthday, America! You may be getting a little grouchy in your old age, but you're still looking beautiful!

Let's hope you'll have a little extra time this weekend to spend in your landscape and garden. Here's what I've prepared for you:
• Fancy-leafed begonias, my plant of the week;
• Mulches: miracles or menaces;
• Gardening goals for this weekend;
• Those odd spots in bermudagrass; and
• "Smart" controllers for your sprinklers.

Interested in a copy of my newest book? It's only $31.95 plus tax and postage, but you won't find it in stores or on Amazon. It's only from my website or by calling my office M-F 9-5:30. (800) 752-4769. I personally sign every book that I sell.

That's it for the intros. Let's get down to real business!

Photo: Flags line our bed of purple wintercreeper euonymus for the 4th.

 
 
 
   

Plant of the Week: June 29, 2017

You'll always see begonias of one form or another in the Sperry home garden. 2017 is no exception, and I've brought a few of my favorites to share with you today.

Photo: Just a few of the many choices of fancy-leafed begonias.

 
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Mulches: Miracles or Menaces?

You can get too much of a good thing. Mulches are an example. They can be real lifesavers for the plants that we grow, but they can also impede the flow of water and nutrients into the soil. I'll explain.

Photo: Bark mulch lends natural look.

 
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Gardening This Weekend

Check out your favorite nurseries this weekend. Odds are that they'll be having some big 4th of July sales. Great prices plus maybe you get a day or two off: sounds like a plan. Here are the most urgent needs of the time as well.

Photo: 'Dynamite' crape myrtle

 
 
 
   

Question of the Week: June 29, 2017

"Neil, what is happening to my bermuda lawn, and how can I stop it?"

This hot-weather disease has several odd-sounding names. I'll identify it and give you tips on coping with it.

Photo: Cottony blight on bermuda turf.

 
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"Smart Controllers" for Sprinklers

We've had smart controllers on our sprinkler systems for seven or eight years and I couldn't be happier. Most cities now require them, but if you have an older system, you may not have one. Let me explain their many benefits.

Photo: Smart controller determines how heads function.

 
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And in closing…

I hope you've enjoyed this week's e-gardens. And I hope you'll have a fun and safe 4th of July weekend.

Here are three ways you could really help me:
1. Tell others about e-gardens. We're poised to pass 50,000 subscribers!
2. Tell my advertisers you've seen their ads here. They keep this publication going. Please click into their websites.
3. Join me on Facebook. As of 3:15 this afternoon, we're only 194 away from 60,000 friends there! Tonight could be the night!

Until next week, I'll see you on my website. I'll be hoping you'll join me on radio. Check in on my newspaper columns. Listen to my podcasts. Join us in church. I'll see you in a nursery somewhere.

Happy gardening!

Neil