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Soil is the foundation of the garden. It supports plant growth by providing stability, oxygen, water, temperature modification and nutrients. In fact, improving your garden’s soil might be the single most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success.

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The dog days of summer are a sweltering time for South Carolina gardeners. As spring vegetable gardens have all but given up on production, now is the time to get started for fall garden success.

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Sure, the buried pirate treasure chests and left-behind Civil War-era mementos have mostly been scooped up in Charleston by archaeologists or private collectors and privy diggers (outhouse vault plunderers — yes, that's a thing) who have swept through Lowcountry properties in search of anyth…

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While there are at least three vegetable diseases called “black rot,” including a rot of pumpkins and a rot of sweet potatoes, I am the only bacterial black rot. The importance of this crucial difference will become apparent later.

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An easily grown annual native to South America, cleome (Cleome hassleriana, synonym C. pungensC. spinosa) is a favorite in Southern gardens. The delicate pink, rose, purple, white or bicolor spider-like flowers, along with the spidery seedpods, give it the common name, spider flower. It grows best in average, well-drained soils and in full sun to light shade. Somewhat drought tolerant, cleome will benefit from watering during periods of little rainfall. Many new dwarf hybrid cultivars (Cleome hybrida) have been bred for more compact growth habits and prolific blooms.

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This time of year has many gardeners frustrated. Lush squash plants that were producing copious amounts of fruit suddenly wilt and die. Closer inspection reveals a yellowish, sawdust-like material that is the smoking gun.

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Summer brings a whole new “crop” of weeds to the Southeastern coastal plain. Clearly, weeds that thrive now are tolerant of high temperatures, defined in biology as above 86 degrees. Many summer weeds also tolerate drought.

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On Lowcountry summer days, many locals retreat from the oppressive heat by staying inside cool buildings surrounded by their own comforts and electronic distractions. Others, like certified Clemson Extension Master Gardener Patty Miller, find happiness outside coated in sunscreen and potting…

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As someone who has been working with imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, in a research-based capacity since 2001, I have heard many home remedies sworn to control fire ants.

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Snake bites are a common and sometimes serious medical cases at our emergency animal hospitals. The best outcomes are achieved if treatment is early and aggressive, and in most cases the prognosis is good. Bites from rattlesnake species are generally more serious, and the antivenin used to t…

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Considering all the time and money invested, home gardeners can often become frustrated with the state of their yard, making it feel like an uphill battle. With a little creative thinking, you can put plants to work to help solve some of the troubling issues in the home landscape.