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County Extension

  • 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. 

  • Organic gardening takes more time, effort and forethought

    We have received several questions about organic gardening. Following are some thoughts on the subject.
    Home gardeners who want to try their hand at growing organic vegetables should lower their expectations just a little and be prepared to put in more sweat equity.
    Plan ahead
    Growing organic vegetables takes extra planning. If you use organic fertilizer sources or organic soil amendments, these need to be tilled into the garden well in advance to be effective. Ideally, this process should begin in the fall prior to spring planting.

  • Now spring weather is here, it’s time for garden rehab

    Last week’s summer-like temperatures helped our shrubs and flowers catch up a bit after lingering a couple of weeks behind the usual blooming times.
    Now, with more seasonal temperatures, we should be able to enjoy all of the spring color before the hot times arrive. Get out and enjoy all of the azaleas, flowering dogwoods, crabapples, cherries, wisterias and the fresh and colorful new growth of Japanese maples.