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County Extension

  • Have you noticed a lack of blooms on flowering plants?

    Recently we have received several calls on the Extension Master Gardeners Hot Line concerning lack of blooms on various types of plants. 

    Following are some possible reasons but sometimes there are just no explanations. 

    Shrubs and flowers that are supposed to bloom but don’t often frustrate gardeners. Someone recently reported nothing in their yard would bloom, and went on to name several species that normally flower well in this area. 

  • Go green: Add a rain garden to your landscape

     Rain gardens are a great way to treat stormwater runoff from roofs, parking lots and driveways. 

    Rather than piping all of that water to a stormwater pond, these depressions in the landscape trap the water and allow it to infiltrate just as it did in its natural state. 

  • Local youth makes bid for North Carolina 4-H President

     Each year during the third week in July youth from throughout North Carolina meet on campus at North Carolina State University to celebrate. The event is known as North Carolina 4-H Congress. 

    Youth ages 9-19 make presentations on a number of topics and compete to represent the state in several national competitions.

    Last week, a delegation from Brunswick County included Justin Simmons of Supply, who made bid for state president. Simmons, a home school graduate,

  • Now is an excellent time to take soil samples

    It is again time for the annual soil sampling promotion. Now is an excellent time to take soil samples. Submitting samples now results in receiving your analysis in three to four weeks or less rather than submitting in the winter that will take 12-16 weeks minimum for results to be received. 

  • Great lawn expectations, even with turfgrasses

     If you haven’t already figured it out, Southeastern North Carolina is one of the worst places in the world to grow turfgrasses. We sometimes have winter temperatures that cause injury to warm-season grasses like centipede and St. Augustine. It’s just too blasted hot in the summer for even the most heat-tolerant, cool-season grasses like tall fescue to survive. Throw in weeds, ground pearls, high pH, large patch, dollar spot, chinch bugs and all of the other issues and you have tough turf growing conditions.

  • Using vines in the landscape to create screens in limited space

    Sometimes, when there is not enough space for a hedge or a shrub, but a screen is needed, vines may be the answer. 

    Vines help add privacy, camouflage wire fences, hide an unsightly wall, or add character to tight places. They can create a shade buffer from the hot sun on the side of a building or cover a romantic walkway into a garden “room.” There are several vines both popular and appropriate for use in gardens of North Carolina.

  • A little ‘Razzle Dazzle’ in crape myrtle selection

    Crape myrtles are important flowering trees for our landscapes and a personal favorite of mine.

    Hot weather makes me and these tough plants happy. Thanks to some of the good folks at the University of Georgia, there is a whole new reason to get excited about crape myrtles; the Razzle Dazzle series of dwarf selections. 

  • Summertime and gardening in Brunswick County isn’t easy

    Do you feel like it’s just too hot to garden? Your plants are feeling the heat also and there are a few things that you can do to help them feel better. 

    If you work a little bit at a time and use the early morning and evening hours to accomplish these few tasks, you and your garden will appreciate your efforts.

  • Flowering cherries: Consider varieties that hold up well in our county

    When most people think about flowering cherries for the landscape, their thoughts go directly to Washington, D.C.’s tidal basin and the Yoshino cherries that herald spring each year.
    This generous gift from the Japanese government back in the early part of the 20th century makes a spectacular, if short-lived, show, but Yoshino isn’t the easiest plant to grow in our conditions. If you must have flowering cherries, consider several others that tend to hold up better in the heat and humidity of southeastern North Carolina.

  • Ticks are here in Brunswick

    Seems like the ticks are trying to take over the world, at least the Brunswick County portion. If you stay outside much, these pests seem to be everywhere. The Extension agents are reporting what seems to be an inordinate amount of these obnoxious little creatures awaiting a meal, and that meal may be you.
    The Master Gardener Hot Line has received calls concerning ticks. Homeowners with natural landscapes will normally have more of a problem than others.