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Southeast Gardening: Garden Advice

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Bite-size information on weeds, drought, and the value of coffee grounds in your garden.


Spring Resolution
Weeds in the garden are like an unmade bed in the house: They are messy! Focus on one or two weeds this season -- the ones that give you the most problems. Pull them, spray them, or mulch them. Whatever you do, don’t let them bloom and produce seeds for next year. Don’t put them in the compost. After a couple seasons, the problem will be more manageable and gardening will be easier.

Got Drought?
The hot, dry days of summer are coming, and it will seem like you can’t keep the garden watered. If your soil is bare, you probably can’t. It simply evaporates. Mulch is the answer -- a multipurpose answer. A layer of bark chips or pine needles insulates the soil, keeping roots cool and soil moist. It’s like putting a lid on a pot of boiling water. It takes longer for the water to evaporate. As a bonus, you’ll find that mulch will also prevent most weed seeds from germinating. Those that do will be easier to pull.

Not so Fast
Don’t throw away the coffee grounds! Use them in the garden, in a compost pile, or directly in beds and around plants. Acid-loving azaleas, camellias, blueberries, and gardenias will benefit from the added fertility and organic matter. You can also bury the grounds and toss in the paper filter, too. Collect them from your office or a local coffee shop. It won’t take long before your soil will be dark, rich, and alive with beneficial worms feasting on the organic matter. Unfortunately, the caffeine won’t make them work any faster!

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