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  • Upcoming Garden Events in Middle Tennessee

    March 1 – 4: Nashville Lawn & Garden Show, Fairgrounds Nashville: The annual all-indoors garden event that features live garden displays, lectures, vendors, floral designs and special programming Wine Festival featuring Tennessee wines is Saturday (March 3), noon – 5 p.m. For more information on the events and the complete lecture schedule, visit www.nashvillelawnandgardenshow.com.

    April 7: Perennial Plant Sale hosted by the Perennial Plant Society of Middle Tennessee annual Perennial Plant Sale at The Fairgrounds Nashville. Find newly released and hard-to-find perennials along with a wide range of tried and tested varieties, all from top local nurseries. The sale opens at 9 a.m. and usually sells out by early afternoon. For more information, visit www.ppsmtn.org.

    April 14: Herb & Plant Sale hosted by The Herb Society of 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., at The Fairgrounds Nashville Sports Arena building. The sale offers common and rare varieties of herbs and heirloom vegetables and handmade pottery and herb markers by artist Roy Overcast for sale. For more information and a list of available plants, visit www.herbsocietynashville.org.

    April 21: Herb & Craft Fair hosted by First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, 1808 Woodmont Blvd., 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Top quality perennial and annual herbs, heirloom tomato plants, native and companion plants, along with food and craft items reflecting an interest in the homemade and homegrown: fresh homemade sweet and yeast breads, spice mixes, barbecue sauces, jams and jellies; knitted and sewn items, homes for birds and bees, and art, jewelry and more made from pressed flowers. Visit www.thefuun.org.

    May 12: Hosta sale hosted by the Middle Tennessee Hosta. Proceeds from the sale support the club’s activities. More information about the MTHS is at www.mths-hosta.com.

    May 19: Urban Gardening Festival, hosted by Master Gardeners of Davidson County, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden at Ellington Agricultural Center (5201 Marchant Drive in Nashville). The free event includes information about a variety of gardening methods and techniques, local artisans, exhibiters, growers and more. For information, visit www.mgofdc.org/ugf.

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Suffering from a summer brown-out

QUESTION: Why is my fescue grass turning  brown? I water 2 to 3 times a week and have it professionally treated  (fertilized and weed control). The lawn company says that’s just the nature of  cool weather grass in the summer heat. What do you think? — Charlie

A cool-season lawn may suffer in summer.

I’m not a lawn expert, but I do a lot of research to answer readers’ questions. Here’s what I’ve found:

It is the nature of fescue, which is a cool-season grass, to turn brown in the summer during hot weather, especially during dry periods. It goes dormant, and will green up again when the weather gets cooler.

However, there is also a fungal disease called “brown patch” that may affect fescue lawns. The symptoms include small brown patches that get bigger. It might start with a ring of brown grass with a patch of green in the middle. Individual blades of grass will be brown, but the plant will be green at soil level. If this symptom isn’t present, it may just be the summer heat. It’s a good idea to know for sure what the problem is before applying unnecessary fungicides.

Lawns do well with about an inch of water a week. They don’t need to be watered every day, but water deeply maybe once a week if it doesn’t rain. (Too much water may do as much harm as too little). It’s also a good idea to cut the grass higher. If it’s cut too short, it leaves the lawn vulnerable to more weeds and diseases.

I found this garden expert’s web site that may offer a little more information: http://www.walterreeves.com/lawn-care/fescue-diseases.


How much are garden-grown stringbeans worth? Plenty, if you have to protect them from marauding rabbits. See my solution over the garden journal, Turning Toward the Sun.


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