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County Extension

  • Topping trees causes decline

    Everyone can relate to that feeling of panic after making a cut and realizing you’ve just ruined the shape of your shrub.
    Or perhaps you have ignored a plant’s obvious structure problem because you were afraid or unsure of what pruning action to take.
    I continue to see poor pruning decisions throughout the county. The other day after teaching a class on proper pruning techniques, I came home to a neighbor topping their crape myrtles. Why is this bad?

  • Find the perfect place for that new plant

    By Judy Koehly
    Master Gardener
    The perfect place to spend a beautiful day is in the nursery looking at the fresh new plants. Once you fill your cart and bring the plants home, it is imperative you spend a little time checking out the requirements of the plant and finding the best place in your garden for it to grow to its greatest potential.

  • Dinner’s ready: Slow cooker safety

    By Cheryle Jones Syracuse
    Family and Consumer Science Staff
    NC Cooperative Extension
    Brunswick County Center

  • Pest resistance to pesticides develops

    I receive several calls a week from residents wanting to know how to get rid of pests (moles, weeds, aphids, scale, mole crickets, etc.) in their yards. Humans have been attempting to control insects, weeds, rodents and other pests for thousands of years.

  • Soup is comfort food on a cold winter day

    By Cheryle Jones Syracuse
    Family and Consumer Science Staff
    NC Cooperative Extension
    Brunswick County Center

  • Serve leftovers thoroughly heated

    By Myra Burgess
    Family Nutrition Program Assistant
    Expanded Foods & Nutrition Program
    Brunswick County Cooperative Extension

  • Soil quality means better yields

    By Tom Woods
    Master Gardener
    Soil is a living breathing organism that when properly managed is a farm’s best defense against an environmental disaster and a farm’s best offense for financial stability. By understanding the makeup of soil, farms can shield themselves against potential dangers and fortify their enterprises financial success.

  • Pruning mistakes are much too common—here’s how to fix them

    During my career as a horticulturist, I once worked as a landscaper. One of my duties was to prune trees, shrubs and perennials. We had demanding clientele that took pride in their pristine landscapes.
    I remember being terrified of cutting a huge hole into a shrub or cutting a plant too short. My boss use to always tell me that “you can cut more off but you cannot glue it back on.” These were words to prune by.

  • Picking the right seeds for the spring

    I would be lying if I said that this weather was not confusing. I am fighting the urge to work in the garden but I still suspect we may experience cold temperatures in the month of February.
    I have decided to put my energy toward seed selection for this spring. Growing plants from seed indoors can give you a head start on the growing season. It can also allow for more diversity in the plants you are able to find.

  • Using plants like willow to remove soil contaminants

    By Tom Woods
    Master Gardener
    I came across this article in a recent issue of Soil Science and found it interesting. There are many closed and razed industrial sites that could be reclaimed as useful ground using this technology.
    Cleaning up soils contaminated with heavy and toxic metals is a difficult task, but a technique called phytoextraction can ease the challenge by using metal-tolerant plants to rid soils of metals and contaminants.