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County Extension

  • A cactus will stick around after the holidays

    Ask most folks about a plant at Christmas and they’ll mention poinsettias or Christmas trees. Both of those are traditional parts of our holiday celebrations, but neither usually sticks around much past early January. 

    If you want a great Christmas plant that will do great year after year, consider what is now called a “holiday cactus.” These natives of the tropical rainforests of Central and South America boast colorful blossoms in shades of pink, red and white at the tips of each arching stem. 

  • Make good plant choices; read labels

    Tom Woods 
    Master Gardener

    Reading nutritional labels can help you make the best food selections for your body’s needs. Taking time to read plant labels can help you to do the same for the plants.

    Before you buy a plant, you need to read and understand information on its label. This is as important for plants as it is for seed, fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides. 

  • Evergreens drop leaves and needles, too

    Pine trees aren’t the only trees that shed needles. Evergreen trees have many needles that change color or turn brown in the fall. This often causes alarm to homeowners who don’t know evergreen trees drop needles.

  • Noticing the native plants

    By SUSAN BROWN
    EXTENSION HORTICULTURAL AGENT

    Winter is slowly on its way. It is becoming harder to find interesting color in the garden. Have you noticed the pockets of color along the roadside? 

    Being a Raleigh native and new to the area, I was unsure of what to expect in the fall. It is always a tradition for me to visit Asheville and see the palate of color the leaves create. The rich, reds, bright, yellows and brilliant, oranges are always so vibrant and well worth the trip. 

  • Therapeutic garden time killing

    Even though the fall has been fairly mild this year, the list of chores in the garden is much shorter—no grass to mow, fewer weeds to fight. There’s always football, basketball, hockey, eating too much and all of those parties and family get-togethers during the holiday season to fill the time, but there’s nothing more therapeutic than getting some dirt under those fingernails. 

  • Students explore Life on the Farm

    Nearly 500 students from Bolivia Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Town Creek Elementary, Belville Elementary and Supply Elementary attended the 2010 4-H Life on the Farm program at Funston Farm in Winnabow on Sept. 21, 22, 24 and Oct. 6, 7 where a day in the classroom outdoors-style was accompanied by a hayride and tour of the farm owned by Wilbur and Mary Earp.

    The tour educated students on crops and animals grown on the farm, which included swine, beef cattle, corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. 

  • Students take part in state fair

    Once again, youth gathered at the North Carolina State Fair to show off their top turkey hens they had raised during the North Carolina Youth Market Turkey Show program.

  • Students take part in national horticulture convention

    Twelve youth delegates representing the state of North Carolina attended the 76th annual National Junior Horticultural Association’s (NJHA) annual convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 8-11.

    Founded in 1934, NJHA was the first organization to provide a national platform for youth to build a basic understanding and skills in the art and science of horticulture. Through national contests, projects, field trips and workshops, NJHA connects young people to careers in the horticulture industry and develops their appreciation for the importance of plants in our daily lives.

  • Autumn is here, get out your rakes for compost

    Tom Woods 
    Master Gardener

    It’s autumn and that means it’s time to start raking those leaves, but instead of just bagging up foliage and throwing it away, look into ways leaves can be composted.

  • Camellia sasanqua performs well in cool weather

    By Susan Brown
    County Extension Agent

    The cooler weather and shorter days cause many plants to go dormant. One plant that is gearing up to perform is the wonderful camellia sasanqua. Like magnolias, they are a Southern favorite. Sasanquas are evergreen and the foliage alone makes this plant a gem in the garden.