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Garden Hell Strip

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 3:00am

Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist


There’s one area in almost everyone’s landscape that can cause a lot of problems today on Southern Gardening.

It’s that area between the sidewalk and the street. I try to garden in this area and have a small planting bed that surrounds my mailbox. And I have tried many different planting combinations that change with the season with some success. But it is the summer season that causes the most trouble. The conditions that cause our gardening angst in this area are many and build upon each other. The summer soil temperatures skyrocket from the reflective heat radiating off concrete and other paving materials on both sides and this really bakes the planting bed. Even with the harsh conditions the weeds just thrive. I have particular trouble with the combination of green kyllinga, nutsedge and Virginia buttonweed. Watering is problematic because of the slope to the street for drainage, which of course it does. No wonder professional horticulturists and homeowners alike call this area the hell strip. A trend in newer subdivisions to make this area more attractive is to build brick and mortar mailbox enclosures that have planting beds built in. The planting areas are convenient and but we still need to address the heat load issues. Tomorrow I’ll share a couple of plants I’ve had success with growing in the hell strip. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

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