Friday, October 30, 2009

Great Evergreens for Screens and Hedges

'Spartan' Junipers (seen here) make a great drought tolerant, narrow hedge for tight spaces. Several varieties of shrubs are readily available that make great hedges, so look beyond the common disease plagued Leyland Cypress when choosing plants for screening! Local garden centers carry many different great evergreens for this purpose and fall and winter are the perfect time to plant them. When choosing a variety to plant as a hedge, consider its mature width and height, growth rate, and preferred growing conditions to select the varieties best suited to your needs and site conditions.

Find out about more great shrubs to use for screening and hedges in SE NC! Click here to read the entire article on the Pender County Cooperative Extension website.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Gardening Chores

Cooler temperatures make gardening and landscape maintenance much more pleasant in the fall and there are several important jobs to do at this time of the year. Tasks like cleaning up will help your landscape get off to a healthier start next season, while soil testing will let you know what nutrients your lawn and landscape need to support healthy growth. Fall is also a wonderful time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials, as well as spring blooming bulbs and hardy annuals like pansies and ornamental cabbages. So enjoy the beautiful weather during the next couple of months by getting out in the yard and having fun while caring for your landscape.

Read the entire article on the Pender County Cooperative Extension Website

Friday, October 16, 2009

Plant a Deer Resistant Landscape!

Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is a popular native, drought tolerant, ornamental grass for sunny areas. Like all grasses, it is rarely bothered by deer. Other plants deer prefer not to eat include ferns, palms, plants with strong fragrances like rosemary, and those with thorny leaves and stems.

Deer frequently visit area landscapes, where their foraging can cause serious and costly damage. There are several options for reducing deer damage in the landscape, including fencing, repellants, and even guard dogs, but one of the easiest ways to reduce their impact is to landscape with plants deer prefer not to eat. Though no plant is deer proof, there are many good landscape plants for this area that deer find less palatable - a solution that is both effective and relatively low-cost, once you know which plants to choose.

Click here to read the entire article on the Pender County Cooperative Extension website. . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Improving Problem Soils

Common soil problems in SE NC include poor, sandy soils as well as heavy, compacted soils that drain poorly. The most effective way to address these common soil problems is to incorporate organic matter, such as compost, into your soil.

Fall is the best time to plant in the southeast, but for plantings to be successful, gardeners must first prepare the soil so it can support healthy plant growth. In Pender County our soils vary considerably, and include nutrient poor, dry sands and heavy, poorly drained clays. Each of these extremes causes problems gardeners must first deal with before they can successfully grow a wide range of plants.

Learn how to improve problem soils by reading the entire article posted on the Pender County Extension website . . .