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Propagation by stem cuttings is the most commonly used method to propagate many woody ornamental plants. Stem cuttings of many favorite shrubs are quite easy to root. Typically, stem cuttings of tree species are more difficult to root. However, cuttings from trees such as crape myrtles, some elms, and birches can be rooted.
In central North Carolina almost any type of vegetable or fruit can be grown successfully provided you choose appropriate varieties and plant at the right time. This publication covers climate, season and potential pests that all affect the selection of what and when to plant. Also included is a planting chart and calendar.
This article describes and defines the different types of insects that sting and are also often mistaken for honey bees.
This Soils and Plant Nutrients Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook examines the physical and chemical properties of soil as well as the important role organic matter plays. The chapter discusses how to submit a soil sample for testing and how to read the report to apply necessary fertilizers.
This comprehensive guide offers information on different grasses for North Carolina lawns, as well as how to establish, care for, maintain, and renovate a new lawn.
Stems that are still attached to their parent plant may form roots where they come in contact with a rooting medium. This method of vegetative propagation is generally successful, because water stress is minimized and carbohydrate and mineral nutrient levels are high. The development of roots on a stem while the stem is still attached to the parent plant is called layering. A layer is the rooted stem following detachment (removal) from the parent plant.
This diseases and disorders chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook discusses how to keep plants healthy through cultural practices. The types of plant pathogens including: fungi, bacteria, nematodes, viruses, and parasitic plants are discussed. Strategies are reviewed for managing diseases using an integrated pest management approach.
This leaflet covers the training and pruning of thornless blackberry canes for the home gardener.
Some, but not all, plants can be propagated from just a leaf or a section of a leaf. Leaf cuttings of most plants will not generate a new plant; they usually produce only a few roots or just decay. Because leaf cuttings do not include an axillary bud, they can be used only for plants that are capable of forming adventitious buds. Leaf cuttings are used almost exclusively for propagating some indoor plants. There are several types of leaf cuttings.
Many vegetables are well adapted to planting in the summer for fall harvest. Planting a fall garden will extend the gardening season so you can continue to harvest fresh produce after earlier crops have finished. The fall harvest can be extended even further by providing protection from early frosts or by planting in cold frames or hotbeds.
This lawns chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook reviews installation and care of turfgrass as well as management strategies for turfgrass problems. This chapter also reviews options for turfgrass alternatives.
This Tree Fruit and Nuts chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook explains how to select, plant, and maintain home orchard trees. This chapter also discusses common problems and integrated pest management solutions.
This Entomology Insect Note discusses identifying spiders and how to control them indoors.
This publication provides information about planning and maintaining a home vegetable garden. Topics include site selection, soil preparation, and pest and disease management.
This factsheet provides instructions on how to properly care for tall fescue grass year round. It also includes information on grasscycling and integrated pest management.
The following management practices will help you care for your lawn throughout the year. Location, terrain, soil type and condition, age of the lawn, previous lawn care, and other factors affect turf performance, so adjust these management practices and dates to suit your particular lawn.
This manual, updated every year, covers pesticide use and safety information, chemical application equipment, fertilizer use, insect control, chemical weed control, plant growth regulators, animal damage control and disease control.
This insects chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook will teach readers to identify insects, understand the value of insects in the garden, and recognize damage caused by insects. Guidance on minimizing insect damage is available in the integrated pest management chapter.
This factsheet covers the type of scorpions found in North Carolina and measures to take to control them, both indoors and outdoors.
As urban development continues to expand across the state, it is important that North Carolinians recognize the value of reptile and amphibian populations and learn how to conserve them.
This native plants chapter of the Extension Gardener Handbook defines the term native, why gardeners would want to use native plants, basic principles of gardening with natives and also reviews common misconceptions around native plants.
This publication describes ways to minimize nematode problems by employing several control measures such as a rotational scheme, resistant varieties and selected cultural practices.
This calendar provides detailed information for the proper care of centipedegrass.
This 21 chapter handbook covers research-based gardening information that helps readers be successful gardeners and good stewards of the environment. Chapter titles include: Soils and Plant Nutrients, Composting, Botany, Insects, Diseases, Weeds, Diagnostics, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Lawns, Herbaceous Ornamentals, Woody Ornamentals, Native Plants, Propagation, Small Fruits, Tree Fruits and Nuts, Vegetable Gardening, Organic Gardening, Plants Grown in Containers (Houseplants and Outdoor Containers), Landscape Design, Wildlife, Youth, Community, and Therapeutic Gardening. Included also are a glossary and appendix topics: Garden Journaling, Pesticides and Pesticide Safety, History of Landscape Design, Permaculture Design, and Greenhouses.
You can attract the many butterflies found throughout North Carolina to your backyard by following the simple practices described in this publication.
This weeds chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook discusses weed life cycles, how to properly identify weeds, and how to manage them using an integrated pest management approach.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of Japanese beetle adults, which feed on many species of ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowers.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of the cicada killer wasp, a beneficial insect that can also be a pest of lawns and turfgrass.
This Plants Grown in Containers chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook teaches gardeners about selecting appropriate plants and containers, and their maintenance. Both indoor houseplants and outdoor container gardening are covered.
An introduction to soil acidity and liming for farmers and gardeners to increase crop income and improve lawn and garden performance. Topics covered include soil pH, soil testing, liming standards and application and incorporation of lime into soil.
In western North Carolina, almost any type of vegetable or fruit can be successfully grown provided you choose appropriate varieties and plant at the right time. This publication covers climate, season, and potential pests that all affect the selection of what and when to plant. Includes a planting chart and calendar.
This publication for homeowners and landscapers describes how to mow, fertilize, irrigate, and control weeds in a zoysiagrass lawn.
The glossary for the Extension Master Gardener Handbook defines terms that are found in the text of the chapters.
Muskmelons, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, watermelons and okra are vegetable crops that have shown significant increases in earliness, yield, and fruit quality when grown on plastic mulch. Some less valuable crops such as sweet corn, snap beans, southern peas and pumpkins have shown similar responses. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of using plastic mulches are outlined in this publication.
This factsheet covers propagating (by seed and by transplant) ginseng, which requires a period of stratification before germination.
Pumpkins were used by American Indians long before Columbus visited our shores, and pumpkins readily found their way to the first Thanksgiving table. Pumpkins were used by early settlers much as we use them today – for food and decoration. This factsheet covers growing and harvesting pumpkins in North Carolina.
This Landscape Design Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook discusses the principles design as well as guiding readers through the steps to create an environmentally friendly landscape design.
Gummy stem blight, a fungal pathogen of cucurbits, is discussed in this vegetable pathology factsheet.
This Entomology Insect Note outlines the proper scouting procedures for detecting grub infestations and provides guidelines for timing insecticide applications.
Growing apple trees in the home garden can be fun and rewarding. Several factors are important to consider before planting for successful apple production. Apple variety and rootstock, site selection, proper planting, training and pruning, adequate fertility, and pest control all contribute to healthy and productive trees. A brief discussion of these considerations follows.
Muscadine grapes are well adapted to the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, where temperatures seldom fall below 10°F. Considerable injury generally occurs where winter temperatures drop below 0°F. Muscadines have a high degree of tolerance to pests and diseases that makes the production of bunch grapes nearly impossible in eastern North Carolina. There is no other fruit with such strong personal associations for so many native North Carolinians.
Small and intermediate size trees play an important role in the landscape. They can be quite functional and offer seasonal beauty. These trees are generally very easy to maintain and require a minimum of pruning.
A properly planted tree or shrub will be more tolerant of adverse conditions and require much less management than one planted incorrectly. Planting technique impacts water quality as it minimizes water, fertilizer and pesticide use. When making decisions on planting techniques, one should consider how the plant was grown in the nursery, the plant's drainage requirements, the soil type and drainage characteristics, and the availability of irrigation water. The plant should be specifically appropriate to the site, or the site should be amended to specifically fit the plant.
This integrated pest management (IPM) chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook familiarizes readers with a systematic approach to managing insect and animal garden pests in an environmentally responsible manner.
This small fruits chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook reviews selection, planting, and maintenance of strawberries, caneberries, blueberries, grapes, and kiwis.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of dogfennel.
This vegetable gardening chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook explores the different types and techniques as well as how to select and implement a vegetable garden that fits the needs of the gardener. It explores seed selection, proper sowing, transplanting, and maintenance techniques as well as harvesting guidelines. The chapter concludes with a section on herb gardens.
North Carolina's native plants provide well-adapted food and cover for the state's wildlife. This publication describes how to develop a landscape of native plants that attracts a diverse mix of wildlife to your property.
Much success in growing tomatoes can be attributed to use of a few proven techniques. Choosing a variety that has proven to be a true performer should be at the top of every gardener's list. Better Boy, Whopper, Celebrity, and Mountain Pride are among some of the best selections. Better Boy, Celebrity, and Whopper are VFN, which means they carry resistance to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and root-knot nematodes. It is best to experiment with several varieties in order to find the ideal tomato for your taste buds.
North Carolina’s climate and soils are well suited to grow many types tree fruits. This publication will focus on the three main tree fruits produced for market in North Carolina: peaches, apples, and pecans. In addition to these main crops, information on pears, persimmons, plums, nectarines, Asian pears, and figs is presented as they grow well in North Carolina’s temperate climate. These tree fruits require similar management regimes described in this publication.
In eastern North Carolina, almost any type of vegetable or fruit can be successfully grown provided you choose appropriate varieties and plant at the right time. This publication covers climate, season, and potential pests that all affect the selection of what and when to plant. Includes a planting chart and calendar.
This propagation chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook explains how and why to grow new plants from seed (sexual reproduction) and from cuttings (asexual propagation).
This publication discusses growing and harvesting head lettuce, the most important salad vegetable grown in the United States. Per-capita consumption exceeds 25 pounds annually. In North Carolina, the crop can be grown as both a spring and fall crop in eastern North Carolina and even during midsummer in western North Carolina at elevations higher than 3,000 feet.
There is growing interest in the use of short-season summer annual legumes or grasses as cover crops and green manures in vegetable production systems. Cover crops can provide a significant source of nitrogen (N) for subsequent crops; reduce erosion, runoff, and potential pollution of surface waters; capture soil N that might otherwise be lost to leaching; add organic matter to the soil; improve soil physical properties; impact insect and disease life cycles; and suppress nematode populations and weed growth. There can be potential drawbacks, such as cooler soils in the spring, and the additional cost of seeding the cover crop. These factors must be considered depending on the particular cash crops and cover crops being grown.
Annual flowers offer the gardener a chance to experiment with color, height, texture, and form. Besides providing a massive display of color, annuals are useful for filling spaces where perennial flowers have died, to cover areas where spring-flowering bulbs have died back, and to fill planters, window boxes, and hanging baskets. Annual flowers bloom more quickly and for a longer period than any other group of plants. They are easy to grow, sturdy, and relatively inexpensive.
This publication covers insect control in a variety of crops, as well as household pests.
Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) Identification and Management: Brief Description: Japanese stiltgrass (also known as annual jewgrass, bamboograss flexible sesagrass, Japanese grass, Mary’s grass, microstegium, Nepal microstegium, or Vietnamese grass) is a summer annual commonly found in shady, moist areas, and is spreading rapidly in woodlands as well as shaded landscapes and low maintenance turf throughout the southeastern U.S., Mid-Atlantic States and north to New England. Japanese stiltgrass germinates in early spring, several weeks before crabgrass, yet flowers and seeds much later, from mid-September through October. It has broader, shorter leaves than most other annual grasses; somewhat resembling broadleaf signalgrass or spreading dayflower. After frost, the foliage and wiry stems turn a distinctive light tan in color and persist through the winter. Vegetative identification characteristics include: rolled vernation, a very short membranous ligule, and leaf blades that are shorter and broader than most other grasses.
Southern peas originated in India in prehistoric times and moved to Africa, then to America. In India Southern peas are known by 50 common names and in the United States are called "Field peas," "Crowder peas," "Cowpeas" and "blackeyes," but Southern peas is the preferred name. This publication covers growing and harvesting Southern peas in North Carolina.
Herbs should be harvested when the oils responsible for flavor and aroma are at their peak. Proper timing depends on the plant part you are harvesting and the intended use. Herbs grown for their foliage should be harvested before they flower. While chives are quite attractive in bloom, flowering can cause the foliage to develop an off-flavor. Harvest herbs grown for seeds as the seed pods change in color from green to brown to gray but before they shatter (open). Collect herb flowers, such as borage and chamomile, just before full flower. Harvest herb roots, such as bloodroot, chicory, ginseng, and goldenseal, in the fall after the foliage fades.
Many farmers and home gardeners have reported damage to vegetable and flower crops after applying horse or livestock manure, compost, hay, or grass clippings to the soil. The symptoms reported include poor seed germination; death of young plants; twisted, cupped, and elongated leaves; misshapen fruit; and reduced yields. These symptoms can be caused by other factors, including diseases, insects, and herbicide drift. Another possibility for the source of these crop injuries should also be considered: the presence of certain herbicides in the manure, compost, hay, or grass clippings applied to the soil.
This publication provides basic information on the nutrient needs of trees and shrubs, types of fertilizers to apply and recommended methods and times of application.
Landscapers and home gardeners rely upon plants and shrubs in this size category because of their relatively low maintenance demands. Modern trends in landscaping depict this growing concern by utilizing groundcovers, dwarf, or slow-growing shrubs.
Sooner or later most home gardeners think about growing roses. Landscape uses are quite varied because of the many different types of roses. They can be mass planted in beds, used as specimen or trained plants, planted as screens or hedges, or located near fences or arbors and allowed to climb. Several miniature cultivars can even be used as a ground cover or as edging material. Roses are available in almost any color imaginable and are suited to a number of sites.
Lagerstroemia, crapemyrtle as it is commonly known, is a favorite small tree or large shrub for many southern gardeners. The common name crapemyrtle was derived from the crinkled petals on the end of a long, narrow stem and the similarity of the leaves to a myrtle. Crapemyrtle, also known as "Flower of the South," performs beautifully in all areas of North Carolina except in the highest elevations of hardiness zone 6.
Water is an essential component for plant growth. In turfgrasses it comprises 75 to 90 percent of the fresh weight of the plant, and irrigation is a key cultural practice in turfgrass management. Only 1 percent of the water absorbed is utilized for metabolic activity. By considering the factors that contribute to water loss, turfgrass managers can devise effective irrigation plans for specific sites.
This Wildlife Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook teaches readers to recognize the value of wildlife in the landscape and how to create a suitable back yard wildlife habitat. It also examines wildlife challenges and strategies discouraging pest, game, non-game, and federally protected migratory bird species.
This calendar offers suggestions regarding management practices for all-season care of a bermudagrass athletic field.
This woody ornamentals chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook reviews the types of vines, shrubs, and trees as well as proper landscape design, plant selection, planting, staking, and pruning practices. It also reviews common insect and disease problems of woody ornamentals.
Frost forms on solid objects when the water vapor in the atmosphere changes from its vapor phase to small ice crystals. Frost is not frozen dew. If you see frost than you know that the temperature of the object it is on reached 32°F or lower. However, the air temperature, measured at five feet above ground in the vicinity of this object, is likely several degrees higher. Conversely, not every air temperature recorded at or below 32°F means frost formed on solid objects in the area. In spite of this, the average date of the last spring air temperature of 32°F has traditionally been called the last frost date.
Field corn was grown in North America before 200 BC. Field corn is produced primarily for animal feed and industrial uses such as ethanol, cooking oil, etc. In contrast, sweet corn is produced for human consumption as either a fresh or processed product.
Pole beans are grown commercially in the mountain counties and, on a limited scale, in a few of the eastern counties. They are produced in home gardens throughout the state. Pole beans are grown for their distinctive flavor, long pods, high yield, long harvesting season, and high price.
The collard is a cool season crop that should be grown during early spring or fall. The mature plant will withstand frosts and light to medium freezes. It is one of the most popular garden vegetables in the south and is rapidly becoming a delicacy in northern states as well.
Cabbage is grown commercially in eastern North Carolina as both a spring and fall crop, and in the mountains as an early summer and fall crop. Cabbage acreage in North Carolina averages 10,000 to 12,000 acres. The biggest problem in growing this crop is insect control.
Fresh market (slicer) cucumbers have been produced commercially in North Carolina for many years. The average yield from commercial fields has been 850 to 950 bushels per acre or 2 to 3 times the average yield from non-trellised fields. This publication covers growing and harvesting fresh market cucumbers.
Summer squash are grown throughout North Carolina in both the spring and fall. A major portion of the state's production is located in Sampson and Henderson counties and adjoining areas. Summer squash are harvested as immature fruit, have soft skin, and are very perishable (1- to 2-week shelf life).
This publication presents plans and instructions for an easily constructed greenhouse that costs approximately $100 and may be used for many purposes.
Large trees are dominant features in the landscape. Many plans rely on trees for several design functions: to provide background, enclosure, define spaces, help reduce noise and unsightly views. Trees also provide needed shade, channel breezes, and break forceful winds. They also help the environment by filtering pollutants and exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide.
If treated properly, many herb plants will survive in the garden for a number of years. Others are sensitive to frost or severe cold weather and must be brought indoors, protected, or replanted each year. Annual herbs will be killed with the first hard frost in the fall. Remove dead plants in order to minimize overwintering insects and disease problems. Some frost sensitive herbs, such as basil and geranium, can be brought indoors for the winter. Take cuttings to root or pot the entire plant.
Several decades ago, when orange-fleshed sweet potatoes were introduced in the southern United States, producers and shippers desired to distinguish them from the more traditional, white-fleshed types. The African word nyami, referring to the starchy, edible root of the Dioscorea genus of plants, was adopted in its English form, yam. Yams in the United States are actually sweetpotatoes with relatively moist texture and orange flesh. Although the terms are generally used interchangeably, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that the label "yam" always be accompanied by "sweetpotato." The following information outlines several differences between sweetpotatoes and yams.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the chinch bug and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
This factsheet describes the identification and treatment of tomato late blight.
This factsheet covers downy mildew disease in cucurbits, including identification, transmission and disease management and control.
This publication discusses growing and harvesting bloodroot, a spring wildflower used to produce natural red, orange, and pink dyes, in North Carolina. It can grow in full sun, but is more often found in semi-shaded, light-wooded areas with moist, acidic soil. The root, consisting of a thickened rhizome covered with fibrous roots, is known for its reddish-orange color.
Commercial blueberries are generally planted in low areas with high organic-matter content. These sites satisfy the cultural requirements of blueberries for a constant and uniform moisture supply. However, on cold, still nights when radiation frosts occur, heavy cold air from higher surrounding areas "drains" into the low areas causing lower temperatures. Also, the high organic content, especially if the soil is dry, acts as an insulator to restrict heat in the soil from moving up around the plants. The cultural requirement for a uniform soil moisture makes selecting higher sites that are less subject to radiation frosts much less practical than with other fruit crops. This factsheet discusses protecting blueberry plants from freezing.
The identification and management of basil downy mildew is discussed in this factsheet.
This publication describes how to build and maintain a composting pile to use the compost in your yard or garden.
This Composting Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook will explain the benefits of and strategies for composting and vermicomposting.
Establishing and maintaining quality annual color beds requires a plan to prevent and control weeds. Weeds compete with ornamental plants for water, light, and nutrients, reducing aesthetic quality and plant growth. To minimize these problems, this publication presents a weed management program that should be developed and implemented prior to planting.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of fire ants and addresses how to control them as an insect in turf.
Basil is a popular herb known for its flavorful foliage. The fresh or dried leaves add a distinctive flavor to many foods, such as Italian style tomato sauces, pesto sauce and salad dressing. The essential oils and oleo-resins may be extracted from leaves and flowers and used for flavoring in liqueurs and for fragrance in perfumes and soaps. This factsheet discusses growing and harvesting basil in North Carolina.
Beets have been cultivated for centuries. Though grown mostly for the roots, beet greens are also popular in many areas. Beets are a common item in vegetable gardens, but few are produced in North Carolina. This publication covers how to grow and harvest beets.
Luffa sponge products are readily available in the cosmetic and bath section of department stores, discount stores, pharmacies, and specialty shops. This factsheet covers planting, harvesting and processing luffa gourds.
This factsheet discusses how to identify and conserve squash bees, an important pollinator of squash, zucchini, pumpkins and many gourds.
In most of the south, sweet corn can be produced from early spring until fall. However, sweet corn does have some specific environmental and cultural needs that must be met for the plant to produce high-marketable yields. Corn is a warm-season crop that requires high temperatures for optimum germination and rapid growth. In general, sweet corn does not tolerate cold weather, and frost will injure sweet corn at any stage of growth. Other stressful climatic conditions, such as drought or flooding, can reduce yields and cause small, deformed ears.
Being related to cotton, okra can be a poor competitor with weeds, particularly early in the growing season. As the crop is harvested, more sunlight can reach the soil and increase late-season weed interference. Learn about the cultivation options and herbicides that growers can use for weed control in okra.
This organic gardening chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook provides systematic approach to fertilization, soil, and pest management that views a garden as a working ecosystem.
There are several vines which should interest North Carolina gardeners and landscapers. Vines, when used correctly, can be quite an aesthetic and functional addition to the landscape. Basically, there are three types of vines: those that climb by attaching tendrils to a means of support, those that climb by attaching rootlike arms to a wall, and those that climb by twining. The type of vine which is planted will determine the necessity for a supporting fence, arbor, or wall.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of goosegrass.
This pest control guide was a project of the Southern Nursery IPM Working Group (SNIPM) and collaborators. It is intended to provide up to date information about pest control products used in nursery crops and ornamental landscape plantings, and as a supplement to the more comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM) manuals for trees and shrubs. Recommendations for the use of agricultural chemicals are included in this publication as a convenience to the reader.
Maple spider mites are a common arthropod pest of landscape and nursery-grown maple trees, most commonly red maple and red maple x silver maple hybrids (Freeman maples). This pest factsheet provides an integrated pest management approach to identify, monitor, and manage maple spider mites.
Turnips and rutabagas are among the most commonly grown and widely adapted root crops. They are members of the Cruciferae or mustard family and belong to the genus Brassica. The two are similar in plant size and general characteristics. Turnip leaves are usually light green, thin and hairy, while the rutabagas are bluish-green, thick and smooth. The roots of turnips generally have little or no neck and a distinct taproot, while rutabaga roots are often more elongated and have a thick, leafy neck and roots originating from the underside of the edible root as well as from the taproot.
Manual removal of weeds is time consuming, expensive, and often results in damage to landscape plants when intertwined roots of both the weed and the ornamental plant are pulled up. Nonselective herbicides (which must be selectively applied to avoid injury to desirable plants) are typically used for postemergence annual and perennial weed control. This publication covers choosing the right herbicide for this situation.
This herbaceous ornamentals chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook reviews the selection, bed design, planting, and maintenance of annuals, biennials, perennials, flowering bulbs, and wildflowers. It also discusses common insect and disease problems of herbaceous ornamentals.
Turfgrass, trees, and shrubs are desired in most landscapes because they are attractive and useful. Unfortunately, growing turfgrasses in the presence of trees and shrubs can be a formidable task because each plant group competes with the other for the light, water, and nutrients that are essential for survival and growth. The desired effects of trees sometimes make it difficult to grow turf. When trees and shrubs are used to provide screening and privacy, the reduced wind movement and sunlight often increase the chance for disease. Even so, homeowners can take steps to improve the performance of a lawn growing in shade.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of dichondra.
Weeds are unwanted plants in gardens that reduce available moisture, nutrients, sunlight and growing space needed by crop plants. Their presence can reduced crop growth, quality and yield. In addition, they can make harvest difficult. Weeds also provide cover for diseases, insects and animals (rodents, box turtles, snakes, etc.). Garden weeds are hard to control because they grow rapidly, produce vast numbers of seeds, and spread aggressively by vegetative structures and/or seeds. There are several methods that should be used in a combined, coordinated effort to control weeds. They include cultural, mechanical and chemical methods.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of doveweed.
This factsheet discusses the identification of Botrytis gray mold, a fungus of tomatoes.
This publication is a home gardener's guide to planting, maintaining and harvesting blackberries.
This annual guide supplies information concerning pesticides that can be used for controlling pests in turfgrasses. Revised for 2018.
Gloomy scale is an armored scale insect pest of ornamental trees, most commonly red maple trees. These pests are much more abundant and damaging in urban landscapes than natural forests. This insect note describes an integrated pest management approach to identifying, monitoring, and managing these pests.
This guide is designed to help identify the most troublesome diseases associated with cool-season turfgrasses. This includes such grasses as tall fescue, fine fescue (chewings, creeping red), Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. A description of the disease symptoms, a list of specific management practices that can be used to prevent or reduce turfgrass injury by disease and a chart to indicate when the disease is most likely to occur are presented.
Pruning a plant reduces its ultimate adult size and the crop yield in at least the following season. To compensate for this loss of bearing area and yield, other factors, largely economic, must be considered in planning a pruning program.
This publication offers general recommendations for the timing, methods, and rates of applying fertilizer to shade trees.
This factsheet covers commercial goldenseal production in North Carolina, a highly valued medicinal herb which has been collected from the forests in North America for hundreds of years. The historical range for goldenseal in the United States was very broad, ranging from as far north as Vermont and Wisconsin, south to Alabama and Georgia, and west to Kansas. It can still be found growing in patches in moist, rich, hardwood forests in much of this area.
Carrots can be produced almost year-round in parts of North Carolina. Both fresh market and processing types hold potential. This publication will assist commercial farmers with growing and harvesting carrots.
This publication covers the identification, distribution and control of mulberryweed, an erect, branching, summer annual weed of landscapes and container nurseries that resembles a mulberry tree (Morus spp.) seedling. A native of eastern Asia, it was introduced into North America in the latter half of the 20th century.
This publication offers information on the Jerusalem artichoke, (Helianthus tuberosus L.), also known as sunchoke, which can be produced throughout the United States. However, the plant is better adapted to the northern two-thirds of the country than the southern third. Most areas of North Carolina are satisfactory for producing the crop although yields are not as good as in cooler climates where the crop is better adapted. Jerusalem artichokes are also often used for pickling purposes.
An herb is any plant used whole or in part as an ingredient for health, flavor, or fragrance. Herbs can be used to make teas; perk up cooked foods such as meats, vegetables, sauces, and soups; or to add flavor to vinegars, butters, dips, or mustards. Many herbs are grown for their fragrance and are used in potpourris, sachets, and nosegays; or to scent bath water, candles, oils, or perfumes. More than 25% of our modern drugs contain plant extracts as active ingredients, and researchers continue to isolate valuable new medicines from plants and confirm the benefits of those used in traditional folk medicine.
This guide is designed to help you identify the most troublesome diseases associated with warm-season turfgrasses. These include such grasses as bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass. A description of the major disease symptoms, a listing of specific management practices that can be used to prevent or reduce turfgrass energy by disease, and a chart to indicate when the disease is most likely to occur are presented.
This diagnostic chapter of the Extension Gardener handbook outlines a 10-step guide to diagnosing plant problems. It also helps gardeners recognize which plant symptoms are normal and which can be problematic, and how to determine if the problem is biotic or abiotic.
Muskmelon is commonly known in the trade as a cantaloupe. However, no cantaloupes are actually grown commercially in the United States, only muskmelons. Cantaloupes are a rough warty fruit while muskmelon have the characteristic netting on the fruit rind. This publication covers the growing and harvesting of muskmelons in North Carolina.
Spinach is a cool-season crop and belongs to the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae) as do beets and Swiss chard. This crop is becoming more popular as evidenced by increases in consumption of both fresh (salads) and processed spinach. Spinach reaches edible maturity quickly (37 to 45 days) and thrives best during the cool, moist seasons of the year.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of algae.
Community gardens have been part of the American landscape since the mid-1700s. Today, community gardens continue to make positive contributions in neighborhoods across North Carolina. Winner of an American Society for Horticultural Science, Extension Division, 2017 Educational Materials Award, Collard Greens and Common Ground: A North Carolina Community Food Gardening Handbook is a practical guide to community gardening. Based on experience and research, it is packed with best practices, tested strategies, and useful checklists. The guide covers every step in the community gardening process, from starting a new garden to sustainable long-term garden management and policy. Whether you are new to community gardening or a seasoned veteran, Collard Greens and Common Ground will help your community garden flourish.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of spring dead spot.
Muskmelons, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, watermelons, and okra are vegetable crops that have shown significant increases in earliness, yield, and fruit quality when grown on plastic mulch. Some less-valuable crops such as sweet corn, snap beans, southern peas, and pumpkins have shown similar responses. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of using plastic mulches are outlined below.
The Holly (Ilex) genus is very popular among landscape architects, nurserymen and home gardeners. Horticulturalists recognize approximately 20 American Holly species, 120 Oriental species, and nearly 200 varieties of the English Holly.
Cool-season leafy greens face a different weed spectrum than warm-season crops. The presence of weeds in harvested greens can result in lower prices or rejection at market. Learn about the cultivation and herbicide options that growers can use to avoid weed competition and contamination.
Frost forms on solid objects when the water vapor in the atmosphere changes from its vapor phase to small ice crystals. Frost is not frozen dew. If you see frost than you know that the temperature of the object it is on reached 32°F or lower. However, the air temperature, measured at five feet above ground in the vicinity of this object, is likely several degrees higher. Conversely, not every air temperature recorded at or below 32°F means frost formed on solid objects in the area. In spite of this, the average date of the last spring air temperature of 32°F has traditionally been called the last frost date. The dates presented in this leaflet are the average date of the last recorded air temperature at 32°F or lower for the period 1951 - 1980.
This Insect Note describes the biology and management of greenstriped mapleworm, a caterpillar pest of maple trees.
This calendar contains suggestions designed to help in the care and maintenance of St. Augustinegrass throughout the year.
Flowers have traditionally been used in many types of cooking: European, Asian, East Indian, Victorian English, and Middle Eastern. Early American settlers also used flowers as food. Today, there is a renewed interest in edible flowers for their taste, color, and fragrance. Many herbal flowers have the same flavor as their leaves, though others, such as chamomile and lavender blossoms, have a subtler flavor.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of bahiagrass and addresses how to control it as a weed.
Caladiums are grown for their long-lasting, colorful foliage. Color combinations include various shades of red, pink, white, green, and yellow-green, with prominently colored midribs and contrasting margins. There are two basic types of caladium cultivars: fancy- and strap-leaved.
This publication provides guidelines for the NC State Extension Master Gardener program, including how to become a Master Gardener volunteer.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of Bermudagrass and addresses how to control it as a weed.
This publication discusses the Brussels sprout, a cool season crop, belonging to the cabbage family, and closely related to cauliflower, broccoli, kale, collards, etc. Like cauliflower, it thrives best in a cool humid climate, thus commercial production of this crop is concentrated in the "fog-belt" of California with limited production in the Long Island, New York area. The edible portion of this crop is the "bud" or small cabbage-like head which grows in the axils of each leaf. Occasionally the tops are used as greens.
To insure a successful azalea planting, cultural requirements, planting techniques, and maintenance should be understood.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of brown patch.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the cutworm and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
The onion is a cool season crop that will withstand moderate freezes. It may be grown either by seeding directly in the field, or by setting transplants. North Carolina growers have an excellent market opportunity in June and July when very few onions are available. Yield will range from 400 to 800 (50-pound) sacks per acre depending on the year and cultural practices. A premium is paid for large onions during our harvest season.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Dimension (dithiopyr).
This factsheet offers information to produce earlier peppers with higher yields and better quality.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of lace bugs, including the azalea lace bug, hawthorn lace bug, rhododendron lace bug, and sycamore lace bug.
There are a number of reasons to prune woody plants. One of the most important is to maintain a healthy, safe plant. This is particularly true of trees since dead limbs, topped branches and poor form can lead to unsafe conditions. You can reduce the amount of pruning needed by selecting the right tree for the site. Trees can range in size from 20 to more than 100 feet, and many can get large very quickly.
This publication gives guidelines that will help you obtain good yields of disease-free vegetables.
Dahlias, are a popular addition to the landscape because they have a wide height range (1 to 6 feet) and a variety of flower shapes and sizes (2 to 12 inches). Color range includes orange, pink, purple, red, scarlet, yellow, and white. Some flowers are striped or tipped with a different color. Dahlias begin blooming in early summer and continue to frost. Flower production may slow with high summer temperatures and moisture stress.
This publication discusses a number of options that are available to the greenhouse manager for controlling weeds such as creeping woodsorrel, hairy bittercress, spotted spurge, and others. Not only are these persistent problems in greenhouses but they detract from the perceived quality of plants produced, and also are known to harbor insects, such as whitefly and thrips, and other pests such as mites, slugs and snails.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of pythium root rot.
Strawberries are a welcome addition to any home garden. They are relatively easy to grow, require a minimum of space, and virtually no chemicals are needed. From as few as 25 transplants to start a matted row, a berry yield in excess of 50 pounds can be achieved one year after planting. Strawberries require a site that is open to direct sunlight most of the day. Try to avoid very low-lying areas prone to spring frosts, and you should definitely plan to purchase a white spunbonded row cover to protect open strawberry blossoms from spring frosts/freezes. The same cover may be used for bird control during harvest.
Shrubs in this category are useful in landscape situations as hedges, small screens, accent plants, large mass plantings, and large foundation shrubs. These plants can be pruned periodically and maintained at a reasonable size.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of dollar spot.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of wild violet.
Phytophthora leaf blight and root rot is a devastating disease which causes a leaf blight and root rot on ginseng. The disease is caused by a fungus, Phytophthora cactorum, which produces spores that are spread by wind, rain, splashing water, and surface water runoff. Root rot is the most serious form of the disease. Therefore, if foliar symptoms are present, preventing spread of the disease from foliage to roots is essential.
A rainwater harvesting system captures stormwater runoff, often from a rooftop, and stores the water in a cistern for later use. In this guide for homeowners, the authors describe the components of a rainwater harvesting system and how they work together. Guidelines for choosing, sizing and installing the components are included.
This guide is designed to help turf managers identify the major turfgrass pests found in North Carolina and better understand their life cycles, symptoms, and biology.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of virginia buttonweed.
Garden mums are a traditional fall crop and are fairly easy to grow. They also can be profitable. This factsheet discusses some of the cultural guidelines to follow in growing garden mums.
Ornamental grasses are becoming quite popular for North Carolina landscapes. Designers and gardeners realize the fine accent and architectural effect this group of plants contributes to a garden. As one applies the principles of good design — repetition, variety, balance, emphasis, sequence, and scale — along with the design qualities of color, texture, line and form, one appreciates the many uses and functions of ornamental grasses. (The term "ornamental grass" is really a catchall term used to describe all grasslike plants. These would include sedges, reeds, rushes, and a wide host of others.)
This final publication in the Pruning Trees & Shrubs series gives tips for pruning specific plants.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of gray leaf spot.
This publication, chapter 9 of Collard Greens and Common Ground: A North Carolina Community Food Gardening Handbook, focuses on planting strategies and planting times for various crops in food gardens.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of twospotted spider mites on ornamental landscape plants.
This Youth, Community, and Therapeutic Gardening Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook helps volunteers understand how these types of gardens can be sucessful and the steps needed to be an effective mentor.
The term perennial is frequently used by gardeners to refer to herbaceous perennial flowers. Most herbaceous perennials grow and flower for several years. Some perennials are short-lived – surviving for only three or four years. In the fall, the tops of herbaceous perennials (leaves, stems, and flowers) die down to the ground while the root system persists through the winter. In the spring, the plant grows new leaves from its crown or roots. Plants that grow from bulbs and bulb-like structures are also herbaceous perennials but are often classified separately as flowering bulbs.
This factsheet covers celery, which could be a very profitable crop in North Carolina. A harvest period in late June or early July, and one in October, would fill market voids when other major celery producing areas are not harvesting. Celery, however, is not an easy crop to grow. Although it is a cool season crop, exposure of juvenile plants to temperatures below 40 to 50ºF for more than 5 to 10 days can cause premature bolting, making the crop unsalable. Special attention must be given to maintaining a steady water supply and providing the proper amount of nutrients to allow for constant growth.
Peonies are long-lived, perennial flowers that produce large flowers in the spring. Colors include black, coral, cream, crimson, pink, purple, rose, scarlet, white, and yellow. By planting early, mid-season, and late flowering cultivars, you can have peonies flowering for 6 to 8 weeks. Two types of peonies are grown in North Carolina: garden peonies (Paeonia valbiflora or Paeonia officinalis) and tree peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa). This leaflet covers the planting, care and maintenance and potential problems associated with growing peonies in North Carolina.
Among the early spring-flowering trees, the dogwood is regarded by most North Carolinians as unrivaled in attractiveness either in its natural woodland habitat or in cultivated landscape gardens. This small, ornamental tree offers landscape interest for all seasons, beginning with its floral display in spring and followed by pleasant green foliage (casting a light shade) in summer. Fall in North Carolina is enhanced by the brilliant show of red, orange, and scarlet foliage along with the bright-red fruit borne in small clusters. In winter, button-shaped buds are prominent on the tips of the twigs. The interesting bark texture and branches help create an excellent winter silhouette.
This appendix from the Extension Gardener Handbook will help readers to understand the impact of pesticides on our environment, know when to use a pesticide, how to read its label, and how to apply it safely and to understand the signal words and their associated levels of toxicity.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of bagworms, a common ornamental plant pest.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of summer patch.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of yellow nutsedge and addresses how to control it as a weed in turf.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the cicada killer wasp and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
Cauliflower is a cool season crop, closely related to broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnips, and mustard. It is more exacting in its climatic requirements than most other crops in this family. It grows best in a comparatively cool temperature with a moist atmosphere. With proper management cauliflower can be grown in North Carolina as either a spring or fall crop, although the fall crop will generally produce better quality.
Recommended maintenance practices for a lawn that consists of a blend of tall fescue, hard (fine) fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass are the same as those for a tall fescue lawn. The following management practices will help you care for your lawn throughout the year.
Recommended maintenance practices for a lawn that consists of a blend of tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass are the same as those for a tall fescue lawn. The following management practices will help you care for your lawn throughout the year.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of pythium blight.
This Season Extension and Greenhouse appendix is part of the Extension Gardener Handbook. It reviews ways gardeners can can extend their growing season by protecting plants through cold frames, hot beds, row covers, high tunnels, cloches, and greenhouses.
This publication describes how homeowners can create backyards and other urban habitats that attract a variety of songbirds.
This publication covers the identification and control of black rot in sweetpotatoes.
This publication alerts prospective gardeners to some of the most common contaminants in urban soils, such as lead and other toxic metals, solvents, pesticides and total petroleum hydrocarbons. This will help minimize potential risks to gardeners and to those who consume garden produce. The document includes information regarding site characterization, common contaminants, soil testing, interpretation of results and strategies for reducing exposure risks.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the annual bluegrass weevil and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
Precision seeding is defined as the placing of desired numbers of seeds at a precise depth and spacing. Precision seeding has many advantages for the vegetable grower over conventional dribble (Planet Jr.) or multiseed drop-plate seeding systems (most corn planters). However, the seeding accuracy is not a substitute for proper land preparation, irrigation, and other crop management practices necessary to obtain a good stand of a vegetable crop. Precision seeding simply allows the vegetable grower to reduce cost and increase reliability of his crop production.
This publication tells gardeners why they should test their soil, how to obtain a soil test and interpret the results and how to use the soil test to improve their soils.
Never before has the demand for energy been as high -- and never before have homeowners become so increasingly aware of the energy savings possible with landscaping. Although it is not possible to control temperature, wind, and other natural elements, certain landscape practices can help modify the climate in and around the home.
This series of publications provides information about how to grow, harvest, and prepare a variety of fruits and vegetables from your garden. Each publication features recipes, recommended uses, nutrition information, and more.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of spotted spurge.
Gourds are very closely related to cucumbers, squash and melons. They have been grown for both ornamental and utility purposes for many years. Several societies have been established to bring together people who are fascinated by the uniqueness of these plants.
This third in a series on pruning offers general tips on pruning most landscape plants.
There are several selected pines species which are used in North Carolina landscapes, most being large tree forms. Pines are important to North Carolina not only for the ornamental value but also for lumber, watershed management, resin, turpentine and Christmas trees. There are more than 100 species of the genus Pinus recognized worldwide, of which 36 are native to the United States.
Harvested squash and pumpkins are still very much alive even though they are mature and have been removed from the vine. The objective of curing and storing is to prolong the storage life of the fruit by slowing the rate of respiration and protecting against storage rots.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the Japanese beetle and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
Bearded iris is a hardy, long-lived perennial that requires a minimum of maintenance. The flowers have six petals; three upright petals (called standards) and three hanging petals (called falls). A fuzzy line or beard runs down the middle of each fall. Flowers come in many colors including blue, pink, purple, reddish, white, yellow, and bi-colors. This leaflet offers some information on growing irises for the home garden.
This publication covers growing and harvesting eggplant in North Carolina. Eggplant is a warm season plant that is very susceptible to frost. It requires a relatively long growing season to produce profitable yields. Growth is checked by cool weather. Proper cultural practices can yield 500 bushels per acre.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of buckhorn plantain.
Blueberries are a native North American fruit, and North Carolina is one of the largest producers of highbush blueberries. Although commercial production is mostly limited to southeastern North Carolina, blueberries can be grown anywhere in the state if the right blueberry species and proper soil modifications are used. Limiting factors include pH, water availability and cold-hardiness.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of green kyllinga and addresses how to control it as a weed in turf.
Junipers are grown all across North Carolina, in just about every landscape situation: around ski villages at Beech Mountain or around ocean-front cottages on Bald Head Island. There are more than 170 species and varieties being grown by American nurserymen. North Carolinians typically choose certain junipers found in the species J. chinensis, J. horizontalis, J. sabina, J. communis, J. procumbens, J. conferta, and of course, J. virginiana - commonly known as Red Cedar.
This appendix from the Extension Gardener Handbook includes tables to help gardeners identify common problems and management strategies for fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants.
This factsheet describes the identification and management of sweetpotato scurf.
This publication discusses how to ensure efficient supplemental water management to maintain turfgrass growth by evaluating irrigation system performance. Completing an audit of an irrigation system provides the information needed to set irrigation controllers to deliver the proper amount of water.
The North Carolina Agricultural Research Service tested selected tulip and daffodil (Narcissus spp.) cultivars for four years. Trials were conducted in three climate zones so that results could be extrapolated to most of the United States. This publication for gardeners explains how to prepare the site for planting, how to select the right cultivars, how to fertilize and provides the trial results for spring-flowering bulbs.
This publication, chapter 8 of Collard Greens and Common Ground: A North Carolina Community Food Gardening Handbook, discusses soil management in community food gardens.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of globe sedge and addresses how to control it as a weed in turf.
By routinely measuring the electrical conductivity (EC) and pH of growing media and irrigation water for container-grown nursery crops, growers can monitor nutrient availability and scout for problems. Learn how to use the pour-through extraction procedures as part of your nursery's quality control program.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of white clover.
Growing your own transplants from seeds indoors can give you a head start on the growing season. In some cases, it may be the only way to obtain plants of a new or special cultivar (variety) that is not widely available through garden centers. To obtain vigorous plants, start with high-quality seed from a reliable source. Select cultivars which provide the plant size, color (flower, foliage, or fruit), and growth habit you want. Choose cultivars adapted to your area. Many vegetable and flower cultivars are hybrids. They may cost more than open pollinated types, but they usually have more vigor, more uniformity, and better growth than non-hybrids.
When onions are harvested in the green or immature stage they are called "green bunch onions." These onions are sold in bunches tied with a rubber band. This is a popular crop for home and market gardeners in the fall, winter and early spring. Acreages are usually small because of the amount of hand labor required for planting and preparation for market.
Keeping weeds out early in the season is very important for cole crops that are marketed by size. Learn how to use both cultivation and herbicides to achieve good early-season weed control and avoid losses in yield and profits.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of purple nutsedge and addresses how to control it as a weed in turf.
Leafy greens, such as turnips, mustard, collards, kale, and spinach are cool season crops. They should be grown during early spring or fall for maximum yields and quality, but this season can be extended if markets warrant. Kale and spinach can withstand temperature into the upper teens and are often harvested through winter in the east. The other greens may withstand medium frosts.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of fairy ring.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of tall fescue.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of carpetweed.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of hop clover.
This Entomology Insect Note offers tips for baiting ants in an around homes.
Chives belong to the same family as onions, leeks, and garlic. Although they are native to Asia and Eastern Europe, by the sixteenth century chives were common plants in herb gardens throughout Europe. Chives are hardy, draught tolerant, perennials, eight to twenty inches tall, that grow in clumps from underground bulbs.
This publication covers growing and harvesting lemon balm, a lemon-scented member of the mint family. A native to southern Europe, it is a perennial which will over-winter in hardiness zones 4 to 5. The plant develops many branches and grows to a height of about two feet. The leaves are 2 to 3 inches long, oval to almost heart shaped, shiny and wrinkled with scalloped edges. Small light blue to white flowers appear in late spring through midsummer.
This Appendix from the Extension Gardener Handbook will explain a brief history of land development and its influence on landscape design.
This Permaculture Appendix from the Extension Gardener Handbook will explain the benefits of and strategies for creating an ecologically sustainable home landscape.
This publication reports the results of an annual survey of sod growers in North Carolina to determine and track relative inventory levels and project price changes for the year.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of cats ear dandelion.
Maintenance contracts for turfgrass areas should be written to provide security for all parties involved. The person or company receiving services (the contractor) should be aware of everything it has agreed to and therefore is required to do. This publication provides basic guidelines on how to write a good contract regarding turfgrass maintenance.
This publication offers a guide to growing edible plants year-round in containers. Includes planting and harvest guides.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of prickly lettuce.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of broadleaf plantain.
We depend on plants to solve our functional and aesthetic needs in various landscape situations. A popular group of plants being recommended and used in modern landscapes is intermediate and small-sized trees. The trees in this category mature to a particular size and are quite "well-behaved" in the landscape. Generally, the trees, both evergreen and deciduous, mature to a height of 35 feet or less.
Identification and management of Phytophthora in annuals and herbaceous perennials in greenhouses and in the landscape is discussed in this disease fact sheet.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of thin paspalum.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of annual bluegrass.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of indian mock strawberry.
This publication for property owners and landscapers describes how to prune trees and shrubs properly, which results in attractive, healthy trees and shrubs.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of pythium root dysfunction.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of cudweed.
Homeowners and professional landscapers depend on mulch in the ornamental plantings for several reasons. Functionally, mulches discourage weeds from growing, conserve moisture during drought periods, allow better use of water by controlling runoff and increasing water-holding capacity of light, sandy soils. Mulches help maintain a uniform soil temperature. A 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch can add to the aesthetic value of a garden while protecting the base of plants from being injured by mechanical equipment.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of leaf spot.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of nimblewill.
Seed dormancy is nature's way of setting a time clock that allows seeds to initiate germination when conditions are normally favorable for germination and survival of the seedlings. For example, dogwoods produce mature seeds in the fall, but conditions are not suitable for seedling survival at that time. Thus, dogwoods have developed a mechanism that keeps the seeds dormant until spring when conditions are favorable for germination, as well as, seedling growth and survival.
This appendix from the Extension Gardener Handbook describes the value of garden journaling and different strategies a gardener may use to start one.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of the azalea leafminer.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of a synthetic auxin (SA) herbicide injury.
This series of publications provides information about how to grow, harvest, and prepare a variety of fruits and vegetables from your garden. Each publication features recipes, recommended uses, nutrition information, and more.
This publication describes restricted-use pesticides, the safe use of pesticides and evaluating the potential for groundwater contamination.
This factsheet provides instructions on how to properly care for carpetgrass grass year round. It also includes information on fertilization and integrated pest management.
This series of publications provides information about how to grow, harvest, and prepare a variety of fruits and vegetables from your garden. Each publication features recipes, recommended uses, nutrition information, and more.
This factsheet discusses the identification and management of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Sclerotinia minor, a fungal pathogen of lettuce and other vegetable crops.
Growing season is defined as the number of days without an air temperature of 32°F or lower. This leaflet offers tables indicating the average growing season, as well as he standard deviation (the amount of dispersion around the average) for cities around North Carolina.
This review presents the key steps involved in pruning a mature Carlos vine for maximum production of top-quality fruit.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of red leaf spot.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of annual sedge and addresses how to control it as a weed in turf.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of carolina geranium.
Fortunately, most insects found in turf do not cause damage. However, those that are harmful to grass often escape detection until after serious damage has occurred. This document tells when to look for insect pests, how to detect them, and how to decide if control is necessary. This guide can be used in different ways. The calendar tells which insects to look for each month and suggests which insect may be responsible for a given problem. Once a specific insect is suspected, the detection guidelines can be used to actually find the insect.
A careful selection of plants is very important for coastal landscapes as plants must be tolerant of extreme adverse conditions in the natural environment. The most influencing force is salt spray. Sand, temperature and wind are also influencing factors in plant choice.
The fig is native to the Mediterranean Basin. You may already be familiar with some members of the fig family, such as the ornamental rubber tree, the mulberry, and the Osage orange or hedge apple. Figs are grown over much of eastern North Carolina and westward into the Piedmont. If your soil is well-drained and reasonably fertile, you most likely will have success growing figs in North Carolina.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of the herbicide, glyphosate.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of large crabgrass.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of common vetch.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of prostrate knotweed.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of nematodes and addresses how to control them in turf.
This publication describes the evaluation of plant survival and vigor on 11 extensive green roofs in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina and provides plant selection guidelines for future green roof installations.
Potato blight, the pathogen best known for causing the Irish potato famine, is described in this factsheet.
Radish is a cool-season crop which grows best in spring and fall. It requires 3 to 6 weeks from seeding to harvest. This factsheet covers growing and harvesting radishes in North Carolina.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of green foxtail.
This appendix is part of the Extension Gardener Handbook and gives users to the tools to implement a youth, community, or therapeutic garden.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of nuisance ants and addresses how to control them as an insect in turf.
The growing media chosen to grow vegetable transplants should be sterilized to prevent seedlings from being killed by the fungi that causes damping-off disease. A growing mix well suited for growing transplants can be prepared by using one part loamy garden soil, one part shredded peat moss, and one part sand. Sterilize this soil-peat-sand mix by baking it in an oven for about one hour at 210°F.
Worms can turn food scraps into a soil amendment called vermicompost — worm castings — which increases plant growth and reduces attacks by plant diseases and pests. Vermicomposting is easy, involves little work and can be done indoors or outdoors. All you need is a container, bedding, worms and worm food.
The appropriate uses of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener name and emblem are covered in this factsheet.
Grapes are welcome summer treats that can be eaten fresh, processed into jellies, jams, juice or even fermented into wine. Grapes are adapted to many soil types, and can be quite long-lived. There are basically two kinds of grapes grown in North Carolina, bunch grapes and muscadine. Bunch grapes produce berries in large clusters, and grow best in the mountains and piedmont areas. In coastal plain areas, Pierce's disease kills or shortens the life expectancy of many popular bunch grapes. Muscadine grapes, exemplified by the Scuppernong variety and noted for having smaller clusters, are not affected by this disease.
The per-capita consumption of processed tomatoes has increased steadily in recent years. This has been due to changes in eating habits and development of new and better products. Over 8 million tons of processed tomatoes are produced in the United States annually. Average yields for the United States are 25 tons per acre while the range is 9 to 40 tons per acre. North Carolina growers can produce high yields of processing tomatoes. Satisfactory color, pH, sugar and acid content needed to produce a fine quality canned product can be attained if tomatoes are grown according to recommended practices.
This publication offers recommended tall fescue cultivars in North Carolina based on NC State University research.
This factsheet covers the identification and management of Rhizopus soft rot of sweetpotatoes.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of centipedegrass.
Learn about grafting techniques that growers can use to unite the disease resistance and enhanced vigor of hybrid tomato cultivars with the high fruit quality of heirloom varieties. The authors describe the benefits of grafting and provide a step-by-step guide to grafting tomato transplants, healing and acclimating them to growing conditions and planting them in the field.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of ground pearls and addresses how to control them as an insect in turf.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of dallisgrass.
The Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a true bulb that originated in the tropical areas of South America. Thus, it is a tender bulb. It performs best when grown under warm (70 to 75°F) temperatures for 9 to 10 months to promote flowering and vegetative growth, followed by 2 to 3 months of either cool (55°F) dry storage or cool (55°F) growing conditions. The use of one of the latter conditions is required to promote reflowering of the bulb.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of copper spot.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of anthracnose.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of corn speedwell.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of an ALS inhibitor herbicide injury.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of annual ryegrass.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of a photosystem II (PS II) inhibitor herbicide injury.
One of the most important considerations in developing a landscape plan is maintenance. Currently, many homeowners desire a low-maintenance landscape. A popular project for home gardeners is the reduction of lawn areas and problem spots by the incorporation of the "natural area." This is most easily accomplished with a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch such as pine needles, compost or pine straw. Although the area is to appear natural, it should not detract from the overall landscape appearance.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of fall armyworms and addresses how to control them as an insect.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of sooty molds, fungi that grow microscopic threads that form easily visible black spots on many plants.
This publication covers the keys to a successful community garden of individual plots including forming a strong planning team, choosing a safe site accessible to the target audience with sunlight and water, organizing a simple transparent system for management and designing and installing the garden. Appendices offer a sample layout, sample by-laws, sample budgets and a list of resources.
Each of us are subjected to stresses and pressures every day in our home, work, and living environment; plants are no different. Unfortunately, there is no "stressless" environment, and there is no totally stress-resistant bedding plant. Each site has its stress level and each plant has its tolerance level. There are steps that can be taken to reduce or avoid stress in the landscape. However, no program can prevent all problems, and the key to successful landscape color using bedding plants is to match the particular site with specific plant species.
This factsheet offers information on growing and harvesting upland cress, a green often eaten like spinach or kale; however, in some areas, it is frequently eaten raw as a salad or garnish.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of hornets and addresses how to control them as an insect in turf.
In this publication you will find ideas to get you started growing your own edibles. Included are simple designs and potential settings for a single container, a small group of containers and a larger grouping of containers. The benefits and challenges of various planting options will also be explored.
Boxwoods have been an important part of North Carolina landscapes since colonial times; the first plants were introduced to American gardeners in 1652. Boxwoods are suitable for formal and informal landscape use as edging, hedge, screen, accent, and specimen plants. While boxwoods are considered an essential component of historical and colonial gardens, they can also be used in traditional and contemporary landscape designs.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of the crapemyrtle aphid, a common pest of crapemyrtles that reduces plant vigor.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the millipedes and addresses how to control them as an insect in turf.
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Guidelines is an overview of the Master Gardener program in North Carolina.
Japanese maple scale is an exotic, armored scale insect pest of several ornamental trees and shrubs, most commonly in urban landscapes. This insect factsheet provides an integrated pest management approach to identifying, monitoring, and managing Japanese maple scale.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of aphid pests of ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowers.
2,4-D herbicide injury described and management provided.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Envoy Plus (clethodim).
List of items that can and cannot be composted at home.
Field preparation using low-till practices, cover crops and soil amendments improves quality of both soils and ornamentals plants during production. Correct planting techniques and useful planting density scenarios are suggested. Guidelines for pruning during production are given so growers can create a niche by improving plant quality during field production of nursery stock.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of smooth crabgrass.
As one travels across North Carolina it is quite evident that azaleas are favorite ornamental plants for home gardeners and professional landscapers. Azaleas offer a wide range of size, form and color, and can be used as specimen plant accents or as a mass planting. Flowering dates are from late March to late June with both ever-green and deciduous types available. Azaleas can be grown all across the state (Zones 6, 7, 8, 9), but in order for these shrubs to grow, mature, flower profusely, and generally contribute to the total landscape, an understanding of the different kinds of azaleas, the culture, and environmental factors is necessary.
Summer and fall flowering bulbs provide another dimension to gardening. They add beauty and interest to the landscape and, since most of them are tender, they offer a unique challenge to the gardener. There are a large number of different types of bulbs, offering variations in forms, fragrances, colors, and lasting brilliance which many summer annuals cannot achieve.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of purple deadnettle.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of perennial ryegrass.
This leaflet includes a list of recommended trees that have demonstrated particular resistance to harsh growing conditions, diseases, and insects in North Carolina. It should be emphasized, however, that even these trees have their limits. No single species is suited for all sites and consideration should be given to soil conditions, local occurrence of diseases and insects, microclimate, hardiness zone, and mature tree size when selecting any plant.
The use of wildflowers in the landscape has increased since Lady Bird Johnson first promoted them in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Wildflowers were further popularized by the "Meadow in a Can" seed collections that were marketed in the early 1980s. A number of books have been written that describe methods for planning and planting wildflowers, however, few recommendations are available regarding maintenance and long-term weed management. In wildflower plantings, weed management is a complex system that requires knowledge of the specific wildflowers and weeds, environmental conditions, and control methods. Therefore, the objective of this leaflet is to discuss weed management strategies that can be applied to the planning, establishment, maintenance and renovation stages of a naturalized wildflower planting.
The nutritional content, freshness, and flavor that vegetables possess depend upon the stage of maturity and the time of day at which they are harvested. Overly mature vegetables will be stringy and coarse. When possible, harvest vegetables during the cool part of the morning, and process or store them as soon as possible. If for some reason processing must be delayed, cool the vegetables in ice water or crushed ice, and store them in the refrigerator to preserve flavor and quality. The following guidelines can be used for harvesting vegetable crops.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of the brown marmorated stink bug, insect pests of trees and shrubs as well as homes.
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Guidelines covers policies of the Master Gardener program.
The tomato is a warm season crop. With special production practices you can produce your first tomatoes in 60 days. This crop can be grown for production from June through November by choosing the right varieties and production practices. Generally, tomatoes require a large investment in time and labor, but increase in intensity of management is repaid by increased yields and profits.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of johnsongrass.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of large patch.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of yellow foxtail.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of white patch.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of cutleaf evening-primrose.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of common lespedeza.
Infestations of algae and moss in the turf are associated with unfavorable conditions for growing healthy, dense turf. This publication offers control options.
This factsheet covers the planting, harvesting and uses of carraway, a hardy, biennial herb which is native to Europe and Western Asia. First year plants resemble carrots, growing to about 8 inches tall with finely divided leaves and long taproots. By the second year, two to three foot stalks develop topped by umbels of white or pink flowers, which appear from May to August.
This publication offers recommended Kentucky bluegrass cultivars in North Carolina based on NC State University research.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of orchardgrass.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the sod webworm and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of cylindric sedge and addresses how to control it as a weed in turf.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of mugwort.
Most commercial onions produced in North Carolina are seeded in the fall and harvested in mid- to late-June. Weed competition can reduce onion yields up to 96 percent, and weeds must be controlled throughout the growing season. Learn about the cultivation and herbicide options growers can use to keep onions weed-free in both wide and narrow rows.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of japanese stiltgrass.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of parsley-piert.
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Guidelines provides an overview of Master Gardener roles.
This guide provides home gardeners with instructions for growing strawberries, blueberries, brambles (blackberries and raspberries), and grapes.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of red thread.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of red sorrel.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of persian speedwell.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Devrinol (napropamide).
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Guidelines provides an overview of Master Gardener training.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the clover mite and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
Wet, poorly drained soils present one the most difficult challenges for growing plants in the landscape. Excessive moisture displaces oxygen in the soil and plant roots can suffocate as a result. Many plants are intolerant of having their roots submerged for extended periods of time. Even though standing water may not be present, poor drainage is often responsible for reduced growth and survival of plants in our landscapes.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of blackseed plantain.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of common dandelion.
This Entomology Insect Note describes the biology and control of formica ants, an insect pest of lawns and turf.
Many people who live in an apartment, condominium, or mobile homes do not grow a vegetable garden because space is not available for a garden plot. Lack of yard space is no excuse for not gardening, since many kinds of vegetables can be readily grown in containers. In addition to providing five hours or more of full sun, attention must be given to choosing the proper container, using a good soil mix, planting and spacing requirements, fertilizing, watering, and variety selection.
Fuller rose beetle is a generalist herbivore pest of many ornamental trees and shrubs. These pests feed are primarily nocturnal and feed on leaves, although they are not often economically damaging. This insect note describes an integrated pest management approach to identifying, monitoring, and managing these pests.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of pink purslane.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of common chickweed.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of damping off.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of yellow woodsorrel.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of a lipid biosynthesis (Acetyl CoA carboxylase or ACCase) inhibitor herbicide injury.
This Garden Tools appendix is part of the Extension Gardener Handbook and gives readers information about common garden tools and their care.
An espaliered plant is one that has been trained to grow in one plane. In the 17th century, 'espalier' originally referred to the frame or trellis on which the plant was trained. Today, espalier refers to both the two-dimensional tree or shrub or the horticultural technique of actually training the plant.
This publication, chapter 4 of Collard Greens and Common Ground: A North Carolina Community Food Gardening Handbook, discusses step-by-step methods for designing a new community food garden.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of cellulose-inhibiting herbicide injuries.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Gemini (isoxaben + prodiamine).
For healthy, aesthetic plants, the soil must serve as a reservoir for water, oxygen, and nutrients. While this sounds very straightforward, providing these three essentials can be quite challenging. This leaflet describes the steps to take to ensure these essentials are met in the proper amounts.
The florists' hydrangea has been an important greenhouse crop for many years. Its popularity and production have both been increasing in the past few years. This leaflet outlines procedures for the greenhouse forcing of dormant, pre-cooled hydrangeas.
Sprouts from mung bean (Phaseolus aureus) have been used for food since ancient times. These sprouts have a nutrient value similar to asparagus and mushrooms, which contain high quantities of Vitamin A. Sprouts can be canned or frozen in addition to eating them fresh. Mung bean seeds can be purchased from mail-order commercial seed companies and health food chain stores. (Caution: Regardless of the source, do not use seeds that have been treated with a fungicide. Treated seeds are not edible and can be recognized by the coating of pink or green dust on the seed coat.)
This factsheet provides information on how to keep a lawn healthy and attractive and how to protect the environment by reducing runoff and trapping pollutants. Fertilizer facts and rates, a mowing guide and watering recommendations are included.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of zoysiagrass.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of broomsedge.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of slime mold.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of carolina false dandelion.
Proper tree care is an important part of a homeowner's investment. This publication guides consumers through the process of selecting and contracting an arborist. It provides several websites that list certified professionals and it advises what key items should be included in a contract.
This publication offers 5 lessons for a school curriculum on the importance of vermicomposting, setting up a worm bin, anatomy of earthworms and how to reduce waste and recycle. Lesson objectives an activities are provided.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of creeping bentgrass.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of yellow tuft.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the mole cricket and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of common ragweed.
Geraniums are among the most popular flowering plants. Outdoors, they are used as annual bedding plants, in hanging baskets, in pots and in window boxes. Indoors, they are cultured as houseplants in sunny locations. Common geraniums are actually members of the genus Pelargonium, while members of the genus Geranium include native wildflowers and herbaceous perennials.
This publication describes how water stress affects plants and ways that plants adapt to drought. It includes some suggestions for drought-resistant plants.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can be defined as a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining cultural, biological, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, aesthetic, health, and environmental risks. A first step in implementing an effective IPM program is to maintain healthy, vigorous plants, which are much less likely to have pest problems. Therefore, an integrated pest management program will also consider cultural practices that lead to healthy and resilient plantings.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the hunting billbug and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of hairy buttercup.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of ground ivy.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of root-inhibiting herbicide injuries.
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Guidelines provides and overview of Extension in North Carolina.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of curly dock.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of fine fescue.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of ivyleaf speedwell.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of a protoporphyrinogen oxidase inhibitor herbicide injury.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of St. Augustinegrass.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the scoliid wasp and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of microdochium patch (pink snow mold).
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of spiny sowthistle.
This publication discusses how to successfully build, install and maintain nest boxes for songbirds.
This factsheet discusses the biology and control of ocellate gall midges, which cause red and yellow spots on the surface of red maple leaves.
This Entomology Insect Note discusses how to identify and manage common armored scale insects that feed on ornamental plants in landscapes and nurseries.
Each year, a portion of the state's fruit and vegetable crop is lost to low temperature damage. Protection methods exist. This leaflet seeks to explain the occurrence of frosts and freezes and to provide information on protection methods.
Almost any indoor environment is more pleasant and attractive when living plants are a part of the setting. In apartments, condominiums and single family residences, plants add warmth, personality and year-round beauty. Shopping centers, hotels and resorts take full advantage of the colorful, relaxed atmosphere created by green and flowering plants. Offices, banks and other commercial buildings rely on interior plants to "humanize" the work environment and increase productivity.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of the yellow jacket and addresses how to control it as an insect in turf.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of Kentucky bluegrass.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of lawn burrweed.
In the case of specialty or non-traditional small fruit crops in the Southeast, red raspberries seem to get the most interest and coverage by newspapers and popular press. In North Carolina, red raspberries developed in northern United States and southern Canada have difficulty in our hot, humid summer climate of the piedmont and coastal plain. And, in the foothills and mountains of western North Carolina, the raspberry 'floricanes' are especially prone to winter freeze injury as temperatures in these areas may fluctuate in January and February by as much as 40-50°F in a given 24 hour period.
Broccoli-raab (also known as rapa, rapine, rappone, fall and spring raab or turnip broccoli) is a rapidly growing annual when grown in spring, but a biennial in fall plantings. The leaves with the seed-stalks, before blooming, are cut for greens and are sold to ethnic markets (primarily Italian).
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of voles and addresses how to control them in turf.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of buffalograss.
This factsheet summarizes the characteristics of rust.
This checklist is provided to help growers recognize components of a drip or trickle irrigation system and to assist in planning and installing such a system. A grower should always consult an irrigation specialist or irrigation company that designs and installs drip or trickle systems to ensure the system is properly engineered and designed for his water source and field topography.
This publication addresses the two major soil problems found on residential properties and how to rectify them: lack of the three necessary nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium) and soil pH.
During the winter months it is necessary to offer protection to certain North Carolina landscape plants. Winter protection does not mean to keep plants warm, as this is virtually impossible but to provide protection from damaging wind, heavy snow and ice, the alternate freezing and thawing of the soil beneath the plants and heat from the sun on very cold days.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of a metribuzin herbicide injury.