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County Extension

  • Divide perennials in fall for free flowers next year

    It can be expensive to keep purchasing plants for empty spots in the landscape. I just happen to be fond of perennials, which is a huge benefit because they can be divided to make more plants for vacant locations in the garden.
    When dividing perennials, timing and technique are important. Perennial plants are healthiest and most productive when they are young and have room to spread. Here are a few techniques to follow when dividing perennials in your garden:

  • Tips for a safe kitchen

    Myra Burgess
    Family Nutrition Program Assistant
    Expanded Foods and Nutrition Program
    •Never put a glass casserole or lid on the stove or over a burner. If it gets hot and explodes, it will send shards of glass in all directions.
    •Keep your knives sharpened. They will work more efficiently and you will be less likely to cut yourself. If you drop a knife, stand back, and please do not try to catch it.
    •Use an appropriate cutting surface and always cut away from yourself.

  • Beware of poisonous snakes in North Carolina

    I moved to Brunswick County last year and I have seen more poisonous snakes in the last three weeks than I ever saw the entire time I lived in Raleigh.
    Snakes are seen most often in the spring and fall as they search for food or move to and from hibernation areas. North Carolina snakes, in general, emerge in late March or early April and go into hibernation in October.
    Most land snakes are much more active at night. Most people are bitten while trying to kill or handle a snake. Snakes are often frightened by people and try to move quickly in the opposite direction.

  • Become a food gardener: Grow your favorite vegetables in the fall

    Tom Woods
    Master Gardener
    If excessive heat and drought ruined your summer garden or, like me, prevented you from planting one, now is the time for your second chance.
    Many favorite vegetables can be planted over the next month for harvest throughout the fall and into winter. What’s more, FoodGardener, a new email service from Pender Cooperative Extension, will increase your chances of success by keeping you up to date on when and how to plant as well as how to sustainably manage garden pests.
    Fall Vegetable Gardening

  • Vitamin D: the ‘sunshine’ vitamin

    Cheryle Jones Syracuse
    Family and Consumer Science Staff
    NC Cooperative Extension
    Brunswick County Center
    If you’ve been to a doctor lately, chances are you’ve had a blood test for vitamin D. In recent years, doctors are routinely asking for this test to determine if you have enough vitamin D in your body.

  • Now’s a great time to plant Japanese maples

    Japanese maples make quite a statement in the landscape. There are hundreds of named cultivars available. You can find them in just about any color from deep red foliage to bright green, creamy white, yellow, pink or orange.
    Almost any variety will have spectacular fall color along with an amazing architectural branching structure. Many varieties have colorful leaves throughout the season. Another benefit to these maples is they can tolerate some shade—not deep shade, but dappled light.

  • Choose workplace snacks with your waistline in mind

    Cheryle Jones Syracuse
    Family and Consumer Science Staff
    N.C. Cooperative Extension
    Brunswick County Center


    Last week I talked about the potential food safety pitfalls of eating at your desk. Habitually eating at our desks can be hazardous to your health for a couple of other reasons.

  • Prevent bagworm defoliation of conifers

    Tom Woods
    Master Gardener

  • Desktops double as dining tables for those eating lunch at the office

    Cheryle Jones Syracuse
    Family and Consumer Science Staff
    N.C. Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center

  • Turf talk: The best coastal grasses

    Whether you are establishing a new lawn or renovating an existing one, deciding when to apply fertilizers and fungicides so they are most effective can be a tough call. No one type of grass is best suited for all situations. Your decision should be based on region, climate, intended use and desired appearance.