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County Extension

  • Time for the cool weather weed invasion

     We have enjoyed a mild autumn, but things are cooling down letting us know Old Man Winter will soon join us for, thankfully, a short visit. Our winters aren’t usually too bad, but these cooler temperatures set the stage for winter weeds like wild garlic and annual bluegrass to fill in weak spots in the lawn.

  • Don’t give that bird a bath

    It’s hard to believe it’s just one week away from Thanksgiving. The television chefs, magazines and Internet have been sharing lots of recipes, ideas and “hacks” to make your holiday bird easier, healthier and tasting better. I’m joining the pack and offering a food safety pointer. This tip is one the food safety people have been encouraging for the past few years:
    Don’t wash the turkey!

  • Why is my lawn dying?

    By Sam Marshall 

  • Only the turkey should be stuffed

     This holiday season, the only thing that should be “stuffed” is the turkey. Many Americans gain between one and five pounds each holiday season. While it may not sound like much, most people never manage to lose these extra pounds after the holidays. And this goes on year after year.

  • Confusion at the yogurt counter

    If you’re like me, you’ve found yourself standing in the grocery store staring at the dairy case trying to figure out which yogurt to buy. Do I want fat-free? Sugar-free? Flavored? Plain? Greek? The choices are many, but what is the healthiest? I’m also looking at price. Yikes!

  • Wonderful plant life

    Hopefully, the current election cycle hasn’t pushed you to the brink like George Bailey contemplating a plunge into the icy water in the classic 1946 movie. Political silliness aside, we do have a wonderful life here in southeastern North Carolina, just as George comes to understand.
    While I’m certainly not trying for my wings as your guardian angel, I do have some suggestions for simple, low-cost things you can do in the garden that won’t require signing your life away at the Building and Loan.

  • International year of pulses

    This is the International Year of Pulses. That’s according to the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations. The goal of this declaration is to heighten the awareness of pulses and to celebrate the role of pulses in feeding the world.
    I’m betting many of you are wondering: What’s a pulse? Hint: I’m not talking about the pulse where you can feel your heart rate.

  • Fall isn’t for planting?

     Horticulture gurus often suggest the cooler days and nights of autumn are a great time to plant trees and shrubs in our mild climate. Plants aren’t stressed as much and have a chance to develop a better root system before the heat and humidity of another southern summer arrives.

    Well, all that is true for most plants, but there are some selections of my favorite group of summer-flowering plants (crape myrtle) that are better planted in late winter and early spring. 

  • Five-second rule: Busting another myth

     Undoubtedly you’ve heard of the “Five-Second Rule.” This is a common belief in our culture that food and/or silverware dropped on the floor is “safe” if picked up within five seconds. I guess the line of thought is five seconds isn’t long enough for the food to pick up bacteria, dirt, dog hair or other pathogens.

  • Don’t you hand those germs to me!

    This column is about handwashing. You may say to yourself, ”I’ve been washing my hands since I was 2. Why do I need to read about handwashing?” Even so, repeated research has shown that people don’t wash their hands frequently enough and when they do, they don’t do it correctly. The reason I’m writing about this now is because Global Handwashing Day is celebrated annually Oct. 15. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of the importance of clean hands 365 days a year.