Thursday, March 28, 2013

Improve Your Soil with Compost and Cover Crops

Buckwheat - a summer cover crop.
As you get ready to plant this spring, don’t forget to add organic matter to the soil. Organic matter, such as compost, improves all soil types, resulting in naturally healthier plants. You can purchase compost in bags or in bulk or make your own at home with yard debris and kitchen scraps. You can even grow your own by planting certain cover crops, known as green manures, and tilling them into the soil.

Find out more by reading the whole article posted on the Pender Cooperative Extension website or attend a free class on this topic, Saturday, April 13, 10am - 11am at the Pender Extension Center, 801 S. Walker St. in Burgaw. 

This class coincides with the final day of the Pender Extension Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale, which begins Thursday, April 11. Plant sale hours are April 11, 2pm – 6pm; April 12, 8:30am – 6pm; and April 13, 8:30am – noon. For more information visit or call 910-259-1235.

Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale!

Thursday, April 11, 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Friday, April 12, 8:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday, April 13, 8:30am – 12:00pm

Pender County Cooperative Extension Center
801 S. Walker St.
, Burgaw

A fantastic selection of affordable, high quality, locally grown plants that flourish in southeastern North Carolina will be available at the 2013 Pender Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association Spring Plant Sale, including vegetables, blueberries,  Japanese maples, annuals, perennialsherbs, and more! Be sure to check out the ‘Master Gardener Grown’ tent where you will find different and unusual varieties of plants propagated and grown by Pender County Extension Master Gardeners!

Other items that will be available to purchase include the Pender Extension Master Gardener Zone 8 Garden Planner and our ‘Gardener’s Table’ cook book. New this year we will be accepting payment by debit and credit cards in addition to cash and checks.

In addition to buying plants, this year’s sale features several exciting opportunities to learn about gardening. Signage for all plants will help gardeners select the right plant for the right place and will indicate plants adapted to five common garden challenges in our area: deer, sandy soil/drought tolerant, clay soil/moisture tolerant, shade, and salt spray, as well as great plants for butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators. 

Extension Master Gardeners will be on site to answer your gardening questions throughout the sale and will lead several live demonstrations on Friday, April 12th. All are free:
  • 9:30am, ‘Wacky Containers’ with Meredith Smith
  • 10:45am, ‘Propagation’ with Sandra Brown
  • 12:00pm, ‘Japanese Maples’ with Para-Ash of Ash’s Japanese Maple Nursery
  • 1:15pm, ‘Container Gardens with Style’ with Janet Autrey
  • 2:30pm, ‘Easy-to-do String Gardens’ with Debby Shackelford
free class on composting and cover cropping will be held Saturday, April 13th, 10am – 11am. Led by Pender Extension horticulture agent Charlotte Glen, this class will cover all you need to know to start composting in your yard and how to grow cover crops to improve your soil.

All proceeds from this sale benefit Pender County Cooperative Extension’s educational programs. For more information call Pender Cooperative Extension at 910-259-1235.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Is It Too Early To Plant?

Wait a few more weeks to plant tomatoes.

It only takes one warm weekend for gardening fever to become an epidemic, making everyone anxious to plant. But is it too early? The answer to this question depends on what you are planting, where you are located, and how much risk you are willing to take.

Cool season crops can be planted before the last frost date, which averages around the end of March for coastal communities and mid April further inland. These crops include lettuce, spinach, radish, and cilantro. For some cool season vegetables like potatoes and garden peas it is actually too late to plants. Warm season crops include tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, cucumbers, and squash. Wait until after the average last frost date to set these outside. If you are willing to risk losing a few plants you can plant earlier than recommended. Some years this will pay off, others it will not. To learn more read the whole article posted on the Pender Cooperative Extension website:  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fruits and Berries You Can Grow

Blueberries are easy to grow in moist, acid soil. 
Thinking of planting fruit trees or berry bushes? Your chances of success have a lot to do with which fruits you choose to grow. Many garden centers in our area currently have fruit and berry plants for sale. Before you rush in to buy, take the time to plan ahead to ensure the money you spend is not wasted.

Figs, blackberries, Asian persimmon, and blueberries are among the easiest fruits to grow in our area. Apples and peaches are the most difficult. Cherries, bunch grapes, and apricots should not even be attempted. For all fruits, you need to know their pollination requirements and which varieties are adapted to our area before you plant. Learn more! Read the whole article posted on the Pender Cooperative Extension website:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Why You Should Read the Label

Have you ever hesitated to use a pesticide because you were not sure how to mix it, where or when it should be applied, or what threat it posed to bees, wildlife, pets or people? All of this, along with other essential information, is listed on every pesticide label. 

Reading the label before you buy or use a pesticide is important for all types of pesticides, including organic products. It will help you decide which product is right for your pest problem, how to correctly apply it, and what risks are involved. And it is the law! Learn more about pesticide labels and information they contain - read the whole article on the Pender Cooperative Extension website: