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County Extension

  • Recent dry times have some lawns struggling in Brunswick County

    Our lawns and gardens have been struggling through some dry times lately, so lots of folks have been firing up those irrigation systems or dragging hoses to make up the difference.
    Newly planted trees, shrubs and lawns and vegetable gardens need the most help. Well-established trees and shrubs will be just fine even if they do drop a few leaves. Just remember to water thoroughly and deeply each time and wait for slight signs of stress to time your next watering.

  • Summer flower show just beginning

    Southern magnolias have already begun their summer show and the early-blooming crape myrtles like Natchez won’t be far behind. Included are a few of the things I learned after observing these plants over the years.
    Little Gem continues to be the most popular southern magnolia in the trade. There are some perfectly good reasons for that. It fits better into most gardens since it only reaches about 30 feet or so. Little Gem also blooms heavily at an early age. That’s something many of the southern magnolias don’t do.

  • Mosquitoes, ticks: more than pests

    It is that time of year again when the smallest of creatures can cause the biggest health problems. Mosquitoes and ticks can be found just about everywhere in North Carolina posing a serious threat to the public’s health.

  • All you wanted to know about butterflies: Part I

    Butterflies are some of the most beautiful creatures around. They range in size from very tiny to quite large. In the coastal Carolinas, some you may see are swallowtails, whites, sulphur, gossamer-wing, metalmarks, brush-footed, skippers, and if you are lucky, monarchs.

  • It’s strawberry time at local farms

    It’s strawberry picking time in southeastern North Carolina. That always brings some questions about growing those big, juicy berries in the home garden. Unfortunately, you can’t grow the strawberries that you see grown commercially in the fields of local producers such as Waccamaw River Farm in Ash, Holden Brothers south of Shallotte and Indigo Farms in Calabash.

  • The dirt on soil: What makes a good potting mix

    Almost any article on plants ends with “and make sure you use a good potting mix.” Great advice, but what does it mean?
    The main functions of a potting mix are: 1) to hold moisture and nutrients around your plants roots, acting as a reservoir for these critical elements of life in your container garden, 2) to provide enough air for growing roots to be able to breath and not rot once you plant your container and 3) to support your plant, providing anchorage for the roots.

  • ‘Beautiful and easy’ is possible in the garden

    One question that natives and transplants both ask is: “What’s something I can plant in the garden that’s beautiful and easy?”
    Beautiful and easy is pretty tough to come by in most aspects of your life, but I do have some suggestions for the garden. Two vines are blooming right now that fit our criteria: Tangerine Beauty crossvine and Amethyst Falls wisteria.

  • Encore, Encore! Celebrating the hybrid Encore azalea

    Since 1998, 23 Encore azalea selections have been released to the public and have become one of the nursery world’s favorite plants to applaud. The Encore extends the usual azalea blooming season into the fall.
    The new hybrids provide the traditional spring display during March and April, but they also bloom again in the fall.

  • A look at spring flowers: spotlight on azaleas

    The flower show from our evergreen azaleas got started a bit late this year, but it has been spectacular. Even those of us who have struggled with these sometimes-finicky plants can be seduced by the sheer volume and beauty of the flowers.
    Want to know the secret to growing great azaleas? The secret is really no secret at all. You have to do a good job of preparing the soil and choose the right location.

  • 4-H hosts annual fashion show

    Youth dazzled the audience once again at the annual 4-H Entertains Talent Show March 29 at the Brunswick County Cooperative Extension Office. 

    Twenty Brunswick County 4-H’ers showed up to demonstrate their talents. 

    James and Joshua Hooven played the mandolin and guitar; Rosie Yurgel demonstrated magic tricks; and the 4-H Hot Steppers, including Savannah and John Macon Michaux, Janzen Jones, Kirra Jones, Lexi Jones and Haley Lantrip, performed a jump rope routine.