Thursday, October 28, 2010

Plant a trick, not a treat, for deer!

In addition to being a tough, drought tolerant perennial, Mexican bush sage is one of many ornamental plants deer prefer not to eat that thrive in our area
If deer have been trick or treating in your landscape lately then you know how devastating their nightly foraging can be. Deer populations are higher than ever in our area and native habitat is disappearing rapidly as more woodland areas are developed into subdivisions, forcing deer to seek food in backyards and gardens. While there are several options for reducing deer damage in the landscape, including fencing, repellants, and even guard dogs, one of the easiest is to give deer a trick by landscaping with plants they 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.

Find out more! Read the rest of the story on the Pender Extension website, .

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Foliage Color for Coastal Landscapes

While the coastal southeast may not be as well known for beautiful autumn foliage as other parts of the country, it is possible to have stunning fall foliage in local landscapes if you choose the right plants. For example, the leaves of our native dogwood trees reliably turn crimson every fall, and red berries extend the show into winter.

In our area, fall color usually peaks in November, though some varieties have started coloring early this year thanks to our recent cool night temperatures. Several trees and shrubs with great fall color can be grown in our area, and now is the perfect time to plant!

Learn more! Read the rest of the story on the Pender Cooperative Extension website:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Improving Sandy Soil

Drought tolerant plants like these, 'Color Guard' Yucca (front), Texas sage (middle), and pink muhly grass (back), thrive in improved sandy soils will no additional watering. 

Fall is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs in the south. If you are planning any landscape projects this fall, make sure the time and money you put into new plantings is well spent by improving problematic soil conditions before planting. One of the most common problems gardeners face in SE NC is poor sandy soil. Fortunately sandy soils are usually easy to work, so getting your soil into good shape should not wear you out. And, once you have improved a sandy site, you will find these soils can be quite productive, producing prolific vegetables and robust trees, shrubs and flowers. 

Learn more! Read the rest of the story here on the Pender Cooperative Extension website: .

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mushrooms in Landscapes and Mulch

Nuisance growths sometimes found on mulch and in landscape beds include this 'dog vomit' slime mold. Mushrooms and other fungi often appear during mild, damp weather but are rarely damaging to plants.

The recent wet weather experienced throughout eastern NC is likely to lead to an increase in harmless mushrooms in yards and mulched beds. While mushrooms are easily recognized by most people, some of their relatives that are often found growing on hardwood mulch may not be as familiar. From time to time, some of the more noticeable of these organisms may catch a gardener’s attention and cause them to wonder about their identity.

Find out more! Read the rest of the story on the Pender Extension website:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Time to Plant Onions and Garlic!

Interested in cultivating sweet, home-grown onions and flavorful garlic in your own backyard? If so, now is the time to plant. Growing onions from seed and garlic from cloves is easy to do in home gardens. Onions and garlic have few pest problems, and crops started now will be ready for harvest in spring. Ensure your success by properly preparing your soil and choosing varieties recommended for our area. 
Find out more! Read the rest of the story on the Pender Cooperative Extension website: