The bright blooms and lush greenery around the South tells us that spring has entered our yards and gardens. Grumpy Gardener Steve Bender wants to make sure that your garden stands out in the neighborhood. So, to answer all of our readers' spring gardening questions – like what to plant and when's the best time to start your garden – we turned to his expert advice. The first thing that always stumps our readers is a question of timing. Starting a spring garden isn't difficult to do, but you'll want to plant according to the last frost in your area, so that your hard work won't go to waste. Grumpy also answers the age-old question of how to handle pesky fire ants in your garden. And, of course, he couldn't go into his favorite subject of keeping your garden looking impressive without touching on his not-so-favorite animal–squirrels. If you're prepping your garden for the season, you'll want to stick around for Grumpy Gardener's best spring gardening advice.
From around the world and across the nation and up your street, its me, the grumpy gardener, here to answer all of your questions about spring gardening; wherever you may live. [MUSIC] When you go into the garden centers now, the first thing you are going to see For your lawn that they put there for you is weed and feed fertilizer. Do not buy weed and feed fertilizer in the spring and put it down now. The fertilizer is there to feed your grass, the weed killer is there to kill existing weeds. But it works best when the weather is warm. In summer. So in other words, put weed and feed down if you're gonna use it later in the year, say in June or July. [MUSIC] Get yourself a season long fire ant control. You put it down just like fertilizer with a spreader. Water it in and it keeps the males out of yard for at least 6 months. [MUSIC] When should I plant for spring? All you got to do is Google, last frost date and add your zip code, and you will be told when is the last expected frost in your area. If it's already passed Yeah, then you know it's safe to go out and plant all those summer annuals and all your summer vegetables, like tomato plants, and impatiens, marigolds, and everything else. [MUSIC] Really you can put netting over developing fruit if they're stealing all the fruit off your tree So that air and water and everything can still get through to the fruit, but a squirrel can't take it off and chew it. Another thing you can do, is you can buy yourself a squirrel trap. You can bait the trap, fit it to the base of the tree, catch the squirrel, and take it off. To another undisclosed location and dispose of it however you wish. [MUSIC] One of the easy ways to get rid of poison ivy is to spray it with a herbicide like Brush Killer or Roundup or Weed B Gone. You want to spray when there is no wind So that spray only goes onto the leaves of your target plant, which is the poison ivy. It doesn't get on anything else. And if you do that, if you're careful where you spray, it will kill the poison ivy, but, not killing any of your good plants. [MUSIC] If you don't see any new growth start at the top of your plant Scratch the bark of the stem and see if you can find any green layer underneath. If you can't, that stem is dead, and what you want to do is keep scratching, starting at the top, going all the way down to the bottom until you find green. Where you find green, that's how far back you cut your plant. Well I hope I answered some of the questions that you're having right now in your garden. And if there are other questions that you have that we haven't talked about, just go to southerliving.com and you'll see all sorts of gardening information there. Some of it written by me, some by others. Go to mine first. SouthernLiving.com. I have all the answers. [MUSIC]