Featured stories and content

Hort Science Newsletter

Hort Science

Hort Science Newsletter[/caption] The NCSU Department of Horticultural Science has launched a quarterly on-line Newsletter Subscribe to see great horticulture images, learn about faculty and staff, find out about the latest research, extension and teaching as well as upcoming events.

Hort Science Newsletter

Hort Science

Hort Science Newsletter[/caption] The NCSU Department of Horticultural Science has launched a quarterly on-line Newsletter Subscribe to see great horticulture images, learn about faculty and staff, find out about the latest research, extension and teaching as well as upcoming events.

Ice Christmas Tree

Timely Tips for

We wish you a joyous holiday season! Gift Ideas Low on cash, but still young and strong?  Give gardening gift certificates.  Offer your manual labor to a loved one in need of help with gardening chores. Gift plants to consider are Christmas cactus, poinsettia, amaryllis, paperwhite narcissus, cyclamen, tulips, rhododendron species, rosemary. Christmas Trees Support North Carolina Christmas tree growers: buy a Fraser fir or other tree from our local growers.  Saw 2 inches off the trunk end of the tree and place the newly sawed end in a bucket of water.  Check the reservoir often since these trees draw water quickly.  A tree can use up to a quart of water per day for each inch of stem diameter. Never mist Christmas trees.  Serious electrical damage may occur. Lawns Treat annual bluegrass, henbit, chickweed and other cool-season weeds now, before they become hard to manage next spring.  Treat wild onions and wild garlic now and again in February. Fallen leaves are a gold mine!  Use your lawn mower to mulch them and "leave" them alone. Ornamentals Use mulch from the old compost pile and continue to add leaves and other organic material to the new compost pile.  December is a great time to improve appearances by mulching. Landscape with container and balled-and-burlapped plants as soil conditions allow. Did you plant new trees this past fall?  Now is the time to remove stakes, ties and guy wires to prevent girdled branches and trunks. Bundle up and walk through a park, arboretum, forest or the neighborhood.  Scout for beautiful plants and try identification this time of year.  It's a great way to plan improvements in your landscape. Fruits and Vegetables Apples can be pruned now.  Wait until after January 1 to prune peaches and plums. Prune muscadine grapes now if you need some clippings for decoration; otherwise, wait until January. Figs in the piedmont seem to do better if mulched heavily. Spread a thick layer of  leaves around the fig. A soil test would tell you if a fig bush needs lime. Propagate blueberries during the winter by digging a side shoot from a plant.  A good root system on the shoot would be best but blueberries will regenerate a root system even with only a small portion of roots available. Mulch blueberries. The three most common perennial vegetables grown in North Carolina are asparagus, rhubarb and Jerusalem artichokes. Asparagus is best known for sandy soil but will grow in most home gardens.  Rhubarb will grow in the cooler parts of the state, but tends to be short-lived in the piedmont and coastal plains.  Jerusalem artichoke will grow across the state.  In fact, it is native or naturalized from the mountains to the coast. The dormant season is the time to order asparagus so it will arrive in February for the coastal plains or in late March for gardens farther inland. There are numerous complicated soil preparation and planting schemes that make asparagus seem more difficult than it is. Make sure the bed has good drainage and prepare the soil like you would for any bulb or heavy-feeding perennial. Plant asparagus 8 inches deep but cover it only 2 inches deep to start with.  Add soil as it grows. Jersey Gem and Jersey Knight are good asparagus varieties for home gardeners. Ice Storms As we head into the winter season, we can expect bad weather.  Ice storms often take care of many tree hazards such as weak crotch angles and excessive end weights.  However, the storms may create additional hazards. The following rules of thumb assume the tree has a target to hit and is large enough to cause damage: Any tree that has been root sprung or is unnaturally leaning from the ground up should be considered hazardous. Soil cracks or heaving is a clue that the roots can no longer be trusted to hold the tree. Any large tree with an injury covering more than 30% of the circumference of the trunk can create a hazardous situation as it decays.   An injury that goes several feet up the outside of a tree trunk can lead to a weak tree.  On the other hand, a tree can become 70% hollow and still retain 80% of its strength as long as the decay isn't exposed to the outside. Remember that landscape trees should be removed when they become hazardous, which is often years before they die. For other questions regarding your home landscape, contact your Cooperative Extension Center in your county. If your home experiences loss of electricity this winter, Cooperative Extension’s family and consumer education agents can provide guidelines on food safety (what to keep and what to throw out).    Visit www.ces.ncsu.edu for local contacts.

Coastal Planting Guide

Native Plants for
Coastal North Carolina Landscapes

http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/plantbiology/ncsc/Coastal_Planting_Guide.pdf Funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and developed through a collaboration between the US Fish & Wildlife Service and researchers at the North Carolina State University Herbarium, as well as numerous partners, including the Beach Vitex Task Force, the North Carolina, Aquarium, and Sea Grant. To request a hard copy, please contact:Dale Suiter (USFWS) http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/plantbiology/ncsc/Coastal_Planting_Guide.pdf[/caption]


December Tips for the
Gardener - 9 minute video

Check out this 9 minute video on Poinsettias, Christmas Cactus, Christmas trees and more. Featuring Linda Blue

Public Gardens Map

Public Gardens

Check out the Map of Public Gardens on the NCSU Gardening Portal *  Click on a marker for detailed information about that garden. * Use the zoom tool on the left to focus in on a particular area or to view a larger area. * Click and drag to reposition the view. *  Click a type of garden in the key to view only gardens of that type. *  Scroll down below the full size map for an alphabetical listing of gardens.

At the moment, there are no upcoming events listed.
NEWS View All

All about Poinsettias popular

Everything you want to know about Poinsettias How to choose the right poinsettia for you? Decorating with poinsettias Growing poinsettias in the home/reflowering poinsettias Poinsettia history Poinsettias are not poisonous Poinsettia Open House, December MORE »

Brochure Costa Rica

Extension Master Gardeners Headed to Costa Rica in 2015

North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (EMGVs) are launching an International Travel Study program with a trip to Costa Rica 2/20/2015 to 3/2/2015. EMGVs and other interested individual are welcome. A payment of $2,895 (does NOT include airfare)  is due MORE »


Backyard Composting

Instead of disposing of yard trimmings and kitchen scraps, you can compost them in your own backyard. Composting is an easy, fascinating, and natural way to recycle. Compost can be made from most MORE »

AG-790  Choosing and Using Edible Flowers

Choosing and Using Edible Flowers

Enjoy the Flavor, Color, and Texture That Flowers Can Bring to Food. “Choosing and Using Edible Flowers” by Cyndi Lauderdale and Lucy Bradley is available on-line for free. Full of guidance on how MORE »

More News