Thursday, February 24, 2011

Growing Flowers and Vegetables from Seed

You can start vegetable and flower seedlings indoors now - no greenhouse required. Either grow seedlings on a sunny windowsill or beneath a fluorescent light fixture containing one cool and one warm bulb.

If you are impatient to start gardening or want to grow varieties not commonly available from garden centers consider starting your own vegetable and flower transplants from seed this year. You do not need a greenhouse to grow healthy transplants and many varieties can easily be started indoors over the next month to transplant outside in spring.

Many summer vegetable and flower seed can be started indoors 4 to 8 weeks before the last average spring frost, which occurs around April 15th in our area. Flowers and vegetables with large seed are the easiest to grow. They also tend to grow faster than small seeds and only need to be started indoors three to four weeks before planting outside. Easy to grow, large seeded vegetables and flowers include cucumbers, zucchini, squash, melons, okra, cosmos, marigolds, nasturtium, zinnias, and sunflowers. Wait until mid March to sow them indoors. These large seed are also easy to grow when sown directly in the garden and can be seeded outside in mid April. 

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

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Moles - No Easy Answer!

Forget the ground hog, there’s one sure sign spring is on the way popping up in yards all over eastern North Carolina – mole tunnels. Though moles tunnel actively all year, the tunnels they make in spring and fall are usually more obvious because they are closer to the soil surface. Unfortunately there is no easy, fast solution to rid a yard of moles. Instead, effective mole control relies on patience, persistence, and a little knowledge about their habits and behaviors. 

Learn More! Read the rest of the story online from Pender County Cooperative Extension at

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Peas, Potatoes, and More - Plant Now for Spring Harvest!

Garden peas and their relatives, snow peas and sugar snaps, thrive in the cool weather of early spring. Now is the time to plant them and several other vegetables for harvest later this spring. Vegetables that produce during the spring months are known as cool season crops, meaning they can tolerate some frost but do not like hot weather and should be planted outside now to harvest before the heat of summer. Other vegetables that can be planted in February include broccoli, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes. 

Before you plant, be sure to follow the tips available here,, from Pender County Cooperative Extension to ensure you grow a healthy and bountiful vegetable garden this spring.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Take Time to Soil Test!

One of the most important things you can do to be a more successful gardener is to get to know your soil. Digging in the soil and observing how water drains and plants grow will tell you a lot, but to really understand your soil’s ability to nourish healthy plants you need to test it. Soil testing is free in North Carolina, provided by the NC Department of Agriculture, and testing supplies can be picked up from any Cooperative Extension office.  The current turnaround time for samples is nine weeks, so results for samples submitted now should be back just in time for spring planting. 

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