Savvy Solutions for Landscape Challenges

(Topics by Time)


Caution! Slippery Slope (10 & 12) - Gardening on a hillside can be a steep task, where water and gravity will quickly erode good soil. Fortunately, Carol Reese will discuss some engineering options that can alleviate or minimize the problem. If slope-covering plants are the solution, how do you get them established on this tricky site? Learn to choose the right plants, along with a few tips on keeping them anchored and watered until they storm the hill.

Garden Big in Small Spaces (11 & 2) - Landscape the size of a postage stamp? No worries. Andy Pulte with the UT Gardens, Knoxville, will show you how to make a big splash without a big spread. With careful planning and proper site assessment, you can fit a phenomenal garden in an itty-bitty space.

Making My Space Work (1 &3) - Maybe you didn't get to design your landscape. That doesn't mean you're stuck with someone else's vision. However, Dale Skaggs, director of horticulture at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, says it is important to understand the parameters within which you have to work. He'll discuss design opportunities and limitations and how to make your space fit your site needs and lifestyle.

The Not-So-Usual Plants (10 & 4) - Tired of the same ho-hum landscape plantings that everyone on your street uses? Step up your garden experience by adding something unexpected, memorable, and maybe even strange. Lucas Holman will take you on a weird and wonderful tour of annuals and perennials that will astonish the neighbors. WATCH: Lucas covers Sweetbay Magnolia, Green Pillar Pin Oak, & Slender Silhouette Sweetgum.

What Plant Would Grow Here? (11 & 1) - Most plants struggle in deep shade or hot dry sites. Other challenges in the landscape might include that spot near the gutters or utility areas. No water near the mailbox? A sun-baked slope or a bed where water seeps? Fortunately, Marty DeHart from Nashville Public Television's Volunteer Gardener is here to recommend some great plants for tough sites. You could even make that "hell strip" between the street and sidewalk a burst of color!

Growing Undercover (2 & 4) - It's no secret that planting beneath mature trees can be challenging. Done properly, underplanting trees can be both beautiful and beneficial. Carol Reese will guide you through the taxing process with an emphasis on minimizing damage to existing trees. She'll cover plant placement and establishment, helpful pruning tips, and how to avoid root damage. You'll be encouraged by photos of show-stopping undercover plantings done right.

Where Grass Won't Grow (12 & 3) - Do you have places in your yard where you have repeatedly tried and failed to grow turfgrass? Stop fighting a losing battle and embrace your situation. This talk will give you ways to approach difficult areas of your landscape with practical solutions. Andy Pulte will show you options for spaces where turfgrass just won't grow.

Tips for Saving Time, Money and Your Sanity! ***ADMISSION TICKET REQUIRED.  Cost: $5.  Tickets on sale beginning at 9 a.m. outside Room 162 for 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon sessions. Tickets for 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. sessions available at 12:15 outside North entrance of main building. Limited to 40 attendees/hour.*** (10 - 4) - In our hectic lives, cooking meals at home often gets put on the back burner. The UT Extension Kitchen Divas will show you tips and tricks for meal prep that will cut out the stress and expenses.


Turf Made for the Shade (10, 12 & 2) - Struggling to find the right balance between trees and turfgrass? Come to this talk led by UT Turf Master Tom Samples. He'll show you the best species and maintenance practices that will maximize turf appeal in shady areas.

Plants That Don't Give a Damp (11, 1 & 3) - If perpetually moist soil has you in a tizzy, frankly, you need to visit with Jim Crowder of the Memphis Botanic Garden. He'll guide you to plants that don't mind getting their feet wet. He'll also discuss soil amendments and other cultural practices that will improve soil moisture problems.

Working with the Pros (10 & 2) - Hiring a landscape professional can be a valuable investment or a complete headache. Celeste Scott will help you avoid the latter by providing useful tips when working with landscape designers or contractors to create the garden you want within your budget and timeframe.

Hydrangea Hysteria (11 &1) - Do you have a thing for hydrangeas but panic at the thought of taking care of them? Have no fear, Jason Reeves is here! He'll simplify pruning and care for different types of hydrangeas and highlight some of the best performers in our area.

Troubleshooting Weeds (12 & 4) - You've pulled and chopped, mulched and sprayed, but still they come back. If you're tired of the constant battle with weeds, let Celeste Scott with UT Extension show you more efficient strategies for weed management. No, she doesn't have a magic wand, but she can help you understand what weeds want and the best practices for controlling them.

Wildlife: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (11, 1 & 3) - There are many advantages to attracting wildlife to your garden, but before you roll out the welcome mat, you should also consider potential complications. Polly Rooker, wildlife biologist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, will show you how to attract beneficial wildlife and discuss when and how to manage pests.

Project Pond (12 & 2) - Are you looking to build a pond on your farm, or already have a pond on your property not living up to its potential? Stop by this presentation, led by Ron Blair, county director, UT Extension. Ron will caution you on common mistakes he's seen in pond design and management and how you can avoid them. WATCH: Ron's tips for proper pond stocking.

Awesome Annuals (10 & 4) - Come along on this walking tour of the UT Gardens' annual research trials. Jason Reeves will acquaint you with the top-performing plants as well as his favorite plant combinations. Along the way, he'll point out plants that attract pollinators and those "tough as nails" plants that (almost) anyone can grow.

Debug Your Crape Myrtles (11, 1 & 3) - Southerners love our crape myrtles, but sadly, an invasive insect species has recently moved into Tennessee, threatening this treasured tree. Frank Hale, an entomology specialist with UT Extension, will inform you about the devastating crape myrtle bark scale. Learn how to stop the scale and save your crape myrtles. WATCH: Dr. Hale's tips on ways to limit pollinator exposure to pesticides.

Homegrown Results (12 & 2) - Lucas Holman will help you get the most out of your vegetable garden regardless of the square footage. Follow his instructions on soil amendments, site preparation, plant spacing, and timing to see high-yielding results and tasty dinners. WATCH: Lucas talks kohlrabi and garlic.