Friday, June 25, 2010

Hot weather reduces vegetable yields

Recent high temperatures have caused many home vegetable gardens to experience a drop in production. Tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and beans have been particularly hard hit. Blossom end rot, seen left, is a common problem in tomatoes that often occurs during hot weather. Blossom end rot occurs when plants are not able to move enough calcium into their developing fruits. This disorder also occurs in peppers, eggplant, melons, and squash. Other hot weather problems that reduce vegetable yields include blossom drop and poor pollination. Home gardeners can help reduce yield loss during heat waves by keeping their vegetable gardens evenly watered, mulching to conserve moisture, and by avoiding high nitrogen fertilizers.

Find out more! Click here to read the entire article:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Extension gardener newsletter summer edition now available!

The latest issue of the Extension Gardener newsletter in now available online! Extension Gardener newsletter is written by horticultural experts with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Each issue includes statewide features plus a special regional section written specifically for your area of the state.

In the Summer 2010 issue, you can read about:
  • Go Bananas with Hardy Tropicals!
  • Rain Barrels and Cisterns
  • Tomato Problems
  • So You Want to Be a Master Gardener
  • Tips and Tasks for Summer
  • Lawn Watering Q&A
  • Scale Insects and Ground Pearl
  • and more!

Download your copy here today!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bagworms are out!

Do you have shrubs that have been covered with brown, spindle shaped sacks all year? If so, you have bagworms and you need to treat now to prevent serious damage to your ornamental plants.

Bagworms are a type of caterpillar that feed on many evergreen shrubs, especially conifers, such as Leyland cypress. As they feed, they weave a protective bag to hide in out of the plant they are feeding on and silk they produce (picture left). Treating now will stop bagworms from feeding this year and will help prevent another outbreak next year. Both natural and synthetic insecticides are available to control bagworms.

Find out more! Click here to read the whole article on the Pender Extension website:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blueberries - Perfect crop for home gardeners!

Blueberry season is here and it promises to be a bumper crop! Finding locally grown, farm fresh blueberries ready to pick or purchase already harvested is an easy task in our area, considering Pender County is the second highest blueberry producing county in the state. But did you know blueberries are relatively easy to grow in most home gardens? In fact, blueberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow organically, making them the perfect pick for many home gardeners. To start your blueberry patch all you need to know are the best varieties for our area and how to prepare your site for them to prosper.

To learn more about growing blueberries, visit the Pender Extension Master Gardeners at the NC Blueberry Festival this weekend, June 19, in Burgaw! Volunteers will be on hand in the education tent to answer your gardening questions! Visit to find out more!

Click here to read more blueberry growing advice on the Pender Extension website:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gardening Questions? Ask a Master Gardener!

Pender County Master Gardener Volunteers will be on site at the Poplar Grove Farmer's Market next Wednesday, June 9, from 9am to Noon, to answer your gardening questions!

This clinic is part of their monthly 'Ask a Master Gardener' sessions held the 2nd Wednesday of each month, April - October, from 9am to Noon at the Poplar Grove Farmer's Market and the 3rd Monday of each month (April - October) from 9am to Noon at the Hampstead Library.

During these times, you will be able to drop off soil samples, as well as pick up soil testing supplies and gardening publications, get plants, weeds, and bugs identified, and ask questions about plants, lawns, gardens, and more!

Not able to make it to either of these locations? No problem - gardening questions can be answered Mon - Fri, 8am to 5pm by calling the Pender County Extension office at 259-1235, or visiting in person - office location: 801 S. Walker St. in Burgaw. Or post your questions online using our 'Ask an Expert' widget available at

Act Now to Stop Squash Pests!

Two serious pests of squash plants are on the prowl in vegetable gardens in our area. Squash bugs, seen here with eggs, and squash vine borer frequently attack summer squash, zucchini, pumpkins, and winter squash, often causing plant death. Both of these pests are difficult to control once damage shows up. Currently adults of these pests are actively laying eggs, making now the critical time to act to prevent them from damaging your squash crop.

Find out how to manage these pests by reading the entire article, posted on Pender Extension's website: