County Extension

  • Choosing the right fertilizer for your gardening needs

     By Sam Marshall


    Though most homeowners recognize the need to apply fertilizers to optimize plant growth, there are many challenges when selecting the “right” kind of fertilizer for your lawn or garden. However, with a little pre-planning, the appropriate use of fertilizer in the right amounts at the right time can help supplement plants with needed nutrients that may be missing in your soil.


    Do I need to fertilize?

  • Vying for spring spotlight

     Azaleas, dogwoods and gardenias vie for the garden spotlight in the spring. It’s almost like watching three starlets in designer garb preening for the camera on Hollywood’s red carpet. These glamorous horticultural superstars certainly deserve the attention. But, like their human counterparts on the catwalk, they can be high maintenance with insect, disease and cultural problems.

  • 16 tips to celebrate nutrition month

     March is National Nutrition Month. Each week this month, I’ll be sharing information from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Here are their 16 health tips for 2016 that encourage a healthy lifestyle. Many of these you’ve heard before, but always worth the refresher.

    Eat breakfast: Start your morning with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruit s and vegetables.

  • Celebrate National Nutrition Month by savoring flavors

     It’s National Nutrition Month. This recognition was started by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics back in 1973. The goal of this month-long celebration is to focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

  • Cooling soups safely

     In my opinion, there is only one thing better than a big hot batch of soup on a cold winter day: leftover soup the next day. However, preparing a large batch of soup can present a food safety challenge, especially if you want safe leftovers.

    This challenge: Cooling the soup down fast enough.

  • Fresh greens for the spring salad garden

     By Sam Marshall

    Horticulture Agent

    Though spring has seemingly been right around the corner since December, there are still some cold days ahead that will be perfect for growing fresh lettuce and other greens for the garden. Because of their relatively short germination period and excellent performance in cooler weather, leafy greens are not only a delicious, but also nutritious and space-saving addition to any garden. Even if you live in an apartment or have limited space in which you can grow, fresh greens are perfect for those small areas.

  • Valentine’s Day: Time to prune your roses

     By Brunswick County Master Gardeners


    In our Zone 8, Valentine’s Day signals the time to prune roses. The Brunswick County Master Gardeners are proud to present their first in a series of informational articles for our neighbors on plant care in the southeastern N.C. coastal region.

  • Butter: In the fridge or on the counter?

     When it comes to food safety, I try very hard to follow the two-hour rule. If you don’t know what that is, “perishable food should never be left in the Danger Zone (41 to 135 degrees) for more than two hours.” This includes both hot food and cold food. If it’s been more than two hours, the food should be pitched.

    Why? At the two-hour mark, there has been enough time for any bacteria in or on the food to have multiplied to a level that could make someone sick.

  • 10 healthful foods to include in your kitchen makeover

    In last week’s column, I gave you a quiz to determine if your kitchen needed a healthful makeover. I’ll repeat one of the key statements: If you want to eat more healthfully, you have to be able to easily prepare foods that are good for you. Having the right kinds of food on hand is critical.

  • Healthful kitchen makeovers

     How many times have you heard someone say, “There is nothing to eat in this house?” But the refrigerator is full. Perhaps they’re really thinking that there is nothing that’s easy to prepare. I’d like to also add to that easy to prepare — and healthy.