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County Extension

  • Is it possible to have flowers during the cold winter months?

    As a person who needs to be outside at least part of every day, cold weather always darkens my mood. I know they have pills for that (thank you, Lexapro), but if you’re not into better living through chemistry, another way to brighten a cold winter day is with plants that bloom now. 

  • How to grow, care for the Confederate rose

    Tom Woods 
    Master Gardener

    Donald Adams of Oak Island provided much of the information in this article on how to propagate, grow and enjoy the Confederate rose.

    The time is approaching when it is time to take cuttings. After frost and cold temperatures end the flowering season for the beautiful Confederate rose (Hibiscus Mutabilis), the plant should be cut back to approximately 4 inches above the ground. 

  • Prepare your own food to control your sodium intake

    Melissa Hight
    County Extension Service

    Trying to lower your blood pressure or reduce your sodium intake? If you read food labels, you will see most prepared and processed food items are full of sodium. Why not try preparing your own favorite dishes and season them with herbs? With a little creativity, you’ll get great flavor, less sodium and a healthier meal.

    How much seasoning do you use?

  • Enjoying Christmas cacti

    Susan Brown
    Horticulture Extension Agent

  • Growing old man’s beard

    One of my favorite things to do is visit plant nurseries. It’s always fascinating to see the innovations and all of the great plants. And, the people are some of the best folks around. It’s even more fun when I get introduced to a new, or just improved, plant. In recent weeks, I have seen a new selection of Shantung maple and an improvement of our native fringe tree or Old Man’s Beard.

  • Tips on gardening for N.C. newcomers

    Tom Woods 
    Master Gardener

    Humid weather, high rainfall and nutrient-deficient soils are just a few of the challenges you might face as a gardener new to Brunswick County, but North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension specialists and agents agree there are also upsides to gardening here.

    If you recently moved to North Carolina and want to start a garden, you need to forget everything you know about gardening. No longer can you stick a plant in the ground and expect it to grow.

    Clay and sand

  • Celebrate the poinsettia

    By Susan Brown
    Horticulture Extension Agent

    It’s that time of year again to celebrate and consume a great deal of food. Time to hang those lights, decorate those Christmas trees and shop until we drop. Work in the garden has started to wind down. Some days of winter can be dreary and cold. 

  • An early cold spell

    If you speak Spanish, the word to describe the weather of late is “freo.” That’s “cold” to those of you who don’t habla the Español. Whatever your language of choice, the temperatures have been abnormally low in the last week or so. What does the cold mean for our garden plants?

    The short answer to that question is, “Not too much.” While the temperatures haven’t been pleasant for those of us who prefer the feel of sweat rolling down our backs, the plants are doing just fine. 

  • Learn how to indulge without guilt during the holiday season

    NCSU Cooperative Extension will present “I’m Dreaming of a Light Holiday” from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, at the training center, NCSU Cooperative Extension, Building N), at the Government Complex in Bolivia.

    A study suggests most folks gain weight between Halloween and New Year’s and this free lunchtime class will look at healthy eating strategies for this holiday season. The goal is to weigh the same on Jan. 2 as you do now. That way you aren’t losing ground.

  • Trees provide color in spring, fall keep a garden bright

    Susan Brown
    Horticulture Agent

    Most of our coastal trees are showing their fall color. Those not showing color yet will either turn fast or show no color change at all. 

    When a homeowner purchases a tree, interest is in the mature size, what the light requirements are for that particular plant and when and how long they will bloom. Often times the fall color of a tree can be overlooked. Some trees can provide a homeowner color in spring and again in fall.