County Extension

  • 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.

  • Growing flowers and vegetables from seed rewarding in several ways

    Carol Weaver
    Master gardener
    There are many reasons to raise your own annual flowers and vegetables from seed. Aside from the personal satisfaction you gain from successfully propagating your own plants, you can grow varieties that are not readily available at the local nursery or big-box store. Growing from seed may also be more economical than purchasing small plants at retail prices.

  • Strawberry season is here; tips offered on how to preserve them

    I love it when the signs go up and I hear the news that it’s strawberry picking time.  Local fresh berries are a treat.  I always make a trip or two to the local berry patches to pick a few pounds for the freezer.

  • Three of top five germy places in your home are in kitchen

    The folks from NSF International have a great article on kitchen cleanliness posted on its website. It’s called the “Top Five Germiest Places in the Home.”
    NSF is a nonprofit organization that provides health and safety standards for equipment used in the home and food service industry.
    The article on germy kitchens is part of NSF’s consumer-safety program to educate consumers on how to keep their lives safer every day.

  • The kudzu bug, unfortunately, is back in Brunswick County

    By Sam Marshall
    Horticulture agent

  • Tips on how and when to move landscape plants and trees

    By Charlie Spencer
    Master gardener
    There have been a large number of calls to the hot line recently concerning moving plants. Generally speaking, the optimum time for moving plants is during the dormant period.
    Following are a few suggestions:
    Most shrubs and trees should be moved during their dormant season. For some, this will be just after they shed their leaves. Others, such as azaleas, will require waiting until late fall, winter or early spring. For this area, dormant season is January through March.

  • Take this quick test to find out if your kitchen is bacteria-laden

    Many people worry about the safety of foods cooked in restaurants, but foodborne illness can happen at home, too. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 21 percent of foodborne illness outbreaks can be linked to food cooked in the home. Food safety concerns at home revolve around three main functions: food storage, food handling and cooking.
    How safe is your home? Answer these questions to see how your family does in the “clean kitchen test” courtesy of Clemson Cooperative Extension.