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County Extension

  • A weed you want in your landscape

    By TOM WOODS
    MASTER GARDENER

    Butterfly weed is one weed you want in your landscape. It’s a butterfly magnet. The leaves are the preferred food source for the larvae of several species of butterflies, including Monarchs and the flowers provide nectar for both butterflies and hummingbirds.

  • Get to know the Waccamaw River Blue Trail

    By Susan Brown
    County Extension

    Looking for a pristine, quiet, secluded place to take a break? How about an adventure with the possibility of spotting common wildlife species such as black bear, deer, wild turkey or American alligator? If the answer is yes, then you need to explore the Waccamaw River, right here in Brunswick County.

  • Blanketing your water heater saves energy

    By Melissa Hight
    County Extension

    This winter has been unusually cold and most of us have received our recent electric bills—not a pleasant experience. What can you do to reduce the amount of electricity you use year round? You can begin with adding a water heater blanket, even if the hot water heater is in a part of the house that is not subject to extreme weather. 

  • Cold and ice

    The rock band “Foreigner” had a song in the early 1980s titled “Cold as Ice.” They were, of course, lamenting the emotional cold of a failed relationship, but the real cold and ice have been recent visitors here in southeastern North Carolina. The logical question is, “What’s all this cold weather done to our plants?” 

  • January is an excellent time to think about landscape design

    By Judy Koehly
    Master Gardener

    January is here to show you the “bare bones” of your landscape design. Gone are all the wonderful distractions of overflowing hanging baskets, profuse blossoms and lush herbaceous plants. What you see now is the framework of your gardens. Now you can really see the basic structure of your landscape and make plans for any changes you deem necessary.

  • Culinary herb gardening

    By Susan Brown
    Brunswick County Extension

    These days with the struggling economy, people are looking for ways to save money. One way to cut corners is to grow your own food. It might actually be the first time you could answer questions like where was your food grown, what type of soils and fertilizers were used in its production and were any pesticides or fungicides applied to the plant material? 

  • Start the year by enjoying the benefits of nuts, seeds

    By Melissa Hight
    Brunswick County Extension

    Nuts and seeds are powerhouses of both nutrition and taste. Packed safely in their own natural shells, nuts and seeds are nutrient-rich because they contain everything that a new plant needs to grow: energy, protein, vitamins, minerals  and ‘good’ fats, such as heart-healthy omega-3 and monounsaturated fatty acids. The following ideas provide some ways you can enjoy nuts every day of the year:

    Vary the types of nuts and seeds

  • Weeds and the silly season

    I was listening to meteorologist Joe Bastardi on the radio several days ago talking about the cold December on the East Coast. He said this pattern repeats itself every 11 years based on sunspot activity. I do seem to remember that December 1999 was pretty cold, but December 1988 was too long ago for my synapses to fire on that. Whatever the reason, it looks like December will be either the coldest or the second coldest on record. 

  • Food safety class begins Jan. 10

    Learn the right techniques for handling, preparing, serving and storing foods safely during the ServSafe Food Safety for Restaurant Managers class offered in four sessions on Jan. 10, 24, 31 and Feb. 7 at the Training Center in the Cooperative Extension building (Building N) at the Government Center Complex in Bolivia. The four-hour classroom sessions begin each day at 12:30 p.m. 

  • Bountiful bark

    By Susan Brown
    Brunswick County Extension

    Winter can be a drab, blah time in the garden but it certainly doesn’t have to be. In spring and summer, it is easy to find color for any spot in your landscape. There aren’t many plants that bloom this time of year. To add interest during the off-season, focus on interesting textures, colors and shapes. Evergreen trees and shrubs are a good choice to liven up a winter landscape. It is not hard to find a variety that will suit your needs.