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County Extension

  • It’s time to look for tomato hornworms

    By Tom Woods
    Master Gardener
    Now is the time to check your tomato plants for tomato hornworms. These large caterpillars (up to 3-inches long) can quickly strip a tomato plant of most of if its leaves. This will not kill plants, but will definitely set them back.
    The more leaves that are eaten, the longer it will take plants to recover. Tomato hornworms blend in well with tomato leaves and can be challenging to spot. Look for missing foliage and then search the stems for the caterpillars.

  • How much do you really know about preserving food?

    People have been preserving foods for centuries in an effort to keep food from time of plenty for a time of need. The trend for home preserving is one that ebbs and flows. During difficult economic times, we tend to see more people “putting food up” as a way of helping the budget, but there are many other reasons for preserving.
    Flavor and taste: They just prefer the flavor of fresh produce that they’ve canned themselves.

  • It’s time to start harvesting potatoes

    By Tom Woods
    Master Gardener
    When the tops of the potatoes start to die down, you will know it is time to harvest. One issue you may see on newly harvested potatoes is brown scab-like wounds (see photo). This is a disease called scab. The potatoes are still fine to eat. The causes of the problem and how to prevent it in the future will be discussed.
    Common scab

  • Controlling scale insects on shrubs

    Why are scales so much harder to treat than other insects? It’s because many of them cover themselves with a protective waxy coating.
    Indian Wax Scales illustrate this topic very well. They are easy to identify because they look like chewed gum and are usually found on the stems of plants like gardenia, magnolia and holly. Scale insects feed on leaves or branches of many ornamental plants grown in landscapes and nurseries. Adult females are red and covered with bright, white gummy wax.

  • Brunswick Cooperative Extension offers tips on canning

    Love fresh fruits and vegetables? Want to enjoy them year round but do not know how to preserve them? Join Brunswick County Cooperative Extension from 2-4:30 p.m. Friday, June 8, to learn the basics of canning and freezing with instructions on “how-to-do-it.”
    Topics will include:
    •When to harvest produce.
    •Estimated yield of canned fruits and vegetables from fresh.
    •Cost of preserving and storing food.
    •Is it worth your time and money?

  • Preserving foods: Resources for updated recipes

    We’ve received quite a few calls lately from people questioning the safety of or looking for a little advice on their home preserved foods. I had one man call about green beans, as the seals are breaking on the jars he put up last summer. Another caller was concerned about the cloudiness in the liquid surrounding her home-canned sweet peas. A woman asked about a remake recipe for too runny homemade jam.

  • Watch pH and watering to prevent vegetable blossom end rot

    By Tom Woods
    Master Gardener
    Are the bottom ends of your tomatoes or squash turning black or leathery, or failing to develop properly? This problem, known as blossom end rot, is most common on tomatoes and squash, though it may also occur on peppers, eggplants, melons, cucumbers and zucchini.

  • Predator insects play a part in the garden’s grand scheme

    Every year, I eagerly await the opening of one of my favorite roses, Lady Bird, with its five-inch size blooms and fiery, coral-orange color. It is quite a showstopper.
    This year was no different. In the spring, my rose blooms are typically larger because there are fewer pests around to feed on them.
    Well, my rose did open, but to my surprise, was not as bold and beautiful as in the past. I decided to do some scouting to see if I could determine what or who the culprit was disturbing my plant.

  • Junior Gardeners mark club’s year end

    Dirt Diggers, Junior Master Gardeners, 4-H Club ended its club year with a special speaker, awards and much more.
    They first met special speaker Caroline O’Brien and her newest recruit, Luke, a service dog. The children were excited to learn about how she trains these dogs to help disabled adults. After many questions and a pet good-bye, they continued their meeting.

  • Pine bark beetles damage area trees

    By Tom Woods
    Master Gardener