County Extension

  • Have you pruned your tomatoes?

    By Sam Marshall
    Horticulture Agent
    Now is the time of year to consider pruning your tomato plants. For several reasons, pruning is a good way to ensure that your tomato plants produce as much fruit as possible. Pruning excess vegetation will encourage more of the plant’s energy to go into fruit production and ripening.

  • Grandma called it ‘roughage’

    Your grandmother probably called it “roughage”. They’re now calling it fiber. I remember once I had to try to teach a group of third graders about why they should eat fiber…that’s a delicate subject. But, we all know we should be getting more fiber in our diets, but we can only eat so much whole wheat bread or prunes.

  • Don’t beat around the bush about activity

    Jumping to conclusions…wading through paperwork…making mountains out of molehills…putting your foot in your mouth…opening a can of worms…picking up the pieces.
    If this is the only type of exercise you’ve gotten lately, you may need to rethink your workout plan. We’ve probably all done these things, but they’re not effective ways to increase your activity level and improve your health.

  • Yogurt is easy to digest, improves immune system

    If you’re looking for a little culture in your life (or maybe I should say diet), pick up some yogurt. If you haven’t looked in the yogurt section of the grocery store lately, you’ll be amazed at the quantity and types of yogurt now available.

  • Large patch now appearing in turfgrasses throughout Brunswick County

    By Sam Marshall
    Horticultural agent

  • Tips on how to walk off that ice cream cone this summer

    Summer is officially here and it’s time for ice cream. Whether it’s stopping by a fast food place for a quick cone at the drive-through, taking guests to one of those special ice cream stores at the beach or do-it-yourself at home, the ice cream cone is a real symbol of summer.
    Have you ever wondered how long you would have to walk to “burn off” the calories in that ice cream cone? I know, I take all the fun out of it (sorry).

  • Tips on how to select a high-quality landscape tree

    By Charlie Spencer
    Master gardener
    Trees are the most permanent plants we grow. Many will live and enhance the landscape for a hundred years or more if they are given a chance.
    Because of the permanency of trees and their importance in the landscape, care must be taken to select the best tree for each situation. The wrong tree, or one planted in the wrong spot, can actually detract from the overall landscape.

  • Is it worth the cost of preserving summer food?

    The rising cost of food is affecting everyone. Some folks are trying to beat these costs the old-fashioned way—by growing and preserving food at home. This may save money for some, but not for everyone.
    The other day I stood behind a woman at the checkout at one of our local discount stores. She was obviously planning on making jam. She had several packs of brand new jam jars and lids, a couple bags of sugar and powdered pectin. Her bill was close to $50 and that didn’t include the fruit. You can buy a lot of jam for that amount of money.

  • Spring gardening: Now is the time to prune, trim and control

    By Judy Koehly
    Master gardener
    Bring some early springtime beauty into your home. Cut branches of forsythia, quince, spirea, redbud, dogwood, witch hazel, magnolia, flowering cherry and pussy willow to put in a vase of water and place in a warm, bright spot to force out the blossoms.

  • Great food-preservation resources are available; classes also slated

    I can tell the weather is getting better, just by the phone calls and questions coming into the extension office about preserving foods.
    So far, people have been mostly interested in making jams and jellies, but I anticipate we’ll soon be getting the freezing and canning questions. That’s great. We don’t mind the calls because they are an important part of what we do.