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 publication provides information on budding and grafting techniques, which can be used successfully in commercial operations.
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 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 publication provides information about planning and maintaining a home vegetable garden. Topics include site selection, soil preparation, and pest and disease management.
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 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.
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.
This guide presents basic facts about seeds, including how they develop, how to store and germinate seeds successfully and the factors that influence seed quality. It also summarizes the North Carolina laws that affect seed collecting and distribution.
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 leaflet covers the training and pruning of thornless blackberry canes for the home gardener.
This publication explains how to plant and take care of fruit trees in the home garden or yard.
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.
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 focuses on the management techniques and economic analysis of orchards with more than 150 to 180 trees per acre.
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.
With training and pruning, fruit trees will develop the proper shape and form to yield high-quality fruit sooner and will live longer. Learn how to train your trees for productivity and prune to remove dead, diseased or broken limbs. This publication includes descriptions of dormant pruning, summer pruning, types of pruning cuts and different training systems.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 explains how to start and maintain a successful pecan orchard on a large or small scale.
This Botany Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook discusses plant taxonomy or how to name plant, plant anatomy of cells, leaves, stems, buds, roots, flowers, seeds and fruit, and the physiology of plants including photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, and plant growth chemicals.
The glossary for the Extension Master Gardener Handbook defines terms that are found in the text of the chapters.
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.
This factsheet covers propagating (by seed and by transplant) ginseng, which requires a period of stratification before germination.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The commercial apple industry worldwide is in the midst of a major change in fruit production management systems. With size-controlling rootstocks tree size has been reduced and the number of trees per acre, referred to as tree density, has increased significantly. Some orchards in Europe have exceeded 5,000 trees per acre. However, in North Carolina, tree densities that are being commercially evaluated are around 450 trees per acre with a maximum of approximately 1,100 trees per acre.
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.
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 comprehensive factsheet for farmers describes recommended practices for producing pickling and slicing cucumbers.
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 small fruits chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook reviews selection, planting, and maintenance of strawberries, caneberries, blueberries, grapes, and kiwis.
Blueberries can be grown in home gardens anywhere in North Carolina if the right species and proper soil modifications are used. Blueberries are typically used in the landscape as hedges for screening purposes, but they can also be used in cluster plantings, or as single specimen plants. Blueberries are an ideal year round addition to the landscape. They have delicate white or pink flowers in the spring, the summer fruit has an attractive sky blue color, and the fall foliage adds great red and yellow colors to the landscape.
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.
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 guide provides techniques for small-scale outdoor cultivation of shiitake mushrooms on logs. Tree selection and log preparation, spawn selection, inoculation, fruiting, pest and disease management and harvesting are covered.
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.
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.
This final publication in the Pruning Trees & Shrubs series gives tips for pruning specific plants.
This factsheet offers information on the chilling requirements for a variety of peach trees.
This publication covers site selection, variety selection, weed control, pruning, diseases and insects and harvesting for peach growers in North Carolina.
This publication for commercial raspberry growers describes how to improve raspberry production. It includes information on varieties, growth and development.
This publication describes how to build and maintain a composting pile to use the compost in your yard or garden.
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.
Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are native to the eastern North American mountains. They can be found growing in patches in rich, moist, deciduous forests and bottoms from as far north as Canada, west to Missouri and Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee. In early spring, ramps send up smooth, broad, lily-of-the-valley-like leaves that disappear by summer before the white flowers appear. The bulbs have the pleasant taste of sweet spring onions with a strong garlic-like aroma.
This publication discusses how to set up a worm-growing business.
This Composting Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook will explain the benefits of and strategies for composting and vermicomposting.
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.
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.
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.
This guide for farmers describes the advantages and disadvantages of using plasticulture to grow vegetables. It includes information on equipment needed, recommended ways to set up a fertigation system and best management practices.
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 review presents the key steps involved in pruning a mature Carlos vine for maximum production of top-quality fruit.
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.
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.
To apply restricted-use pesticides to agricultural commodities, you must be certified or be supervised by someone who is certified. Anyone who accepts compensation for applying any pesticide on someone else's property must be licensed. This factsheet covers certification and licensing for private and commercial pesticide applicators in North Carolina.
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 factsheet for business owners describes North Carolina waste reduction programs that can benefit a business. It includes some recommended practices for reducing waste and a list of organizations that can provide information and assistance in planning and conducting a waste reduction and recycling program.
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.
If you have a home vegetable garden, this publication can help you learn about selecting a site, gardening tools, fertilizer, watering techniques and more.
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.
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.
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 publication, chapter 7 of the 2016 Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of various trellis systems for blackberry and raspberry production.
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.
North Carolina has one of the most varied climates of any eastern state, and a diverse number of grape species and varieties can be grown. But to be a successful commercial winegrape grower, it is critical that you select varieties that grow well in your region and that have an established market.
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.
This factsheet explains how you can set up and maintain a worm composting bin for your home or office. Worm composting reduces the amount of material that ends up in the landfill and provides compost that can enrich the soil.
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.
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.
Asparagus has been grown for many years. The Ancient Greeks and Romans relished this crop. It originated in Asia Minor and is a member of the lily family. California, Michigan, and Washington are the major producing states, but there is some commercial production in many of the northern and western states. Warm regions such as Northern Mexico and Southern California also grow it. This publication covers recent research that has shown that asparagus can be grown at a profit in North Carolina.
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 provides information to help the commercial grower increase crop production when growing blackberries in North Carolina.
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.
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.
The grape and wine industry in North Carolina is now worth in excess of $30 million dollars. To assist North Carolina growers in the production a quality grapes for quality wines, a newly revised 196 page guide has been written for winegrape growers, called the North Carolina Winegrape Grower’s Guide. This publication provides grape growers with practical information about choosing an appropriate site for a vineyard, establishment, and operation of commercial vineyards in North Carolina.
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.
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 publication is a home gardener's guide to planting, maintaining and harvesting blackberries.
Broccoli is a cool-season crop, closely related to cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and mustard. It can be grown as either a spring or a fall crop. Broccoli is a high-quality vegetable for fresh use and is one of the more popular frozen vegetables. This publication covers growing and harvesting this highly nutritious vegetable.
This publication covers various aspects of growing pears in North Carolina, including soil, varieties, disease and insect control and harvesting and storage.
This publication provides information on six basic steps in the landscape design process.
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.
This guide for blackberry and raspberry growers in the Southeast provides information on bramble cultivars, growth, and production practices. Topics covered include recommended cultivars, site selection and preparation, plant establishment, trellis systems, fertility management, harvesting, and postharvest management.
To insure a successful azalea planting, cultural requirements, planting techniques, and maintenance should be understood.
This publication offers general recommendations for the timing, methods, and rates of applying fertilizer to shade trees.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 benefits of fruit and vegetable gardening with children. It includes age-appropriate activities for childcare providers to engage young children using fresh produce from the garden for cooking and eating.
Commercial apple orchards with trees planted close together on dwarfing or size-controlling rootstocks are referred to as high density plantings. When size-controlling rootstocks are used, tree densities increase from traditional densities of 150 to 250 trees/acre to 500 to 1,000+ trees/acre. Benefits of planting higher-density orchards include earlier production (especially with "fad" varieties); quicker return on investment; training, pruning and harvesting from the ground; potential increased fruit quality; and greater pesticide application efficiency.
This publication provides guidelines for the NC State Extension Master Gardener program, including how to become a Master Gardener volunteer.
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.
Sophisticated propagation structures are not always required to successfully root ornamental plants. Summer propagation of many woody ornamentals can be accomplished by rooting softwood or semi-hardwood shoots in inexpensive frames equipped with an intermittent mist system. During high summer temperatures, leafy soft shoots root more readily if structures are equipped with mist.
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.
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.
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.
Black cohosh is a member of the Ranunculaceae family. It is a native medicinal plant found in rich woodlands from as far north as Maine and Ontario, south to Georgia, and west to Missouri and Indiana. In North Carolina it can be found at elevations up to 4,000 feet and is most common in the western part of the state. It is an herbaceous perennial reaching a mature height of over four feet tall and can grow 18 to 22 inches per month during the growing season.
This publication will outline sustainable management practices that are appropriate for strawberry growers in the Southeast, the benefits of these practices, and how they may be incorporated into plasticulture production systems.
The oriental persimmon is an easy-to-grow tree which is adaptable to much of North Carolina. The tree has a compact spreading growth habit and low maintenance requirements. The ornamental beauty of its orange fruit and bright red foliage in the fall makes it an attractive plant in the home landscape. The tree is winter-hardy in eastern North Carolina, as well as the Lower Piedmont and Coastal Plain areas.
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 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.
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.
Intensive Vegetable Production refers to a system of marketing and producing vegetable crops in which great attention is placed on detail and optimization of resources such as land, capital, labor, equipment, transportation to market and management time. The objective of such a system is maximum profit for the farm. The system you choose should take into account your location, availability of markets, production seasons and personal interest. This publication covers irrigation, plastic mulch, pest management, precision seeding, market preparation and many other facets of intensive vegetable production.
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 third in a series on pruning offers general tips on pruning most landscape plants.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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.
Pansies have become the most popular annual for mid-fall to late-spring color in the Southeast. Intensive breeding programs that have selected for unique flower colors, large flower size, greater flower number, and temperature tolerance have led to many new and exciting cultivars to select from for use in the landscape. This leaflet was written to give growers production advice for pansies.
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.
The objective of this leaflet is to discuss orchard floor management options in pecan orchards, along with herbicide considerations, and potential herbicides. It should be used as a guide for producers making orchard floor management decisions.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of the preemergence herbicide Barricade, Prodiamine or Regalkade G (prodiamine).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Producing asparagus crowns for sale or use is simple and profitable. Careful attention to details described here is important so that all requirements for certified plant production can be met. Certified plants are most saleable and bring a premium price. One-year-old crowns will produce a healthy asparagus planting.
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.
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 factsheet offers information to produce earlier peppers with higher yields and better quality.
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.
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.
This appendix from the Extension Gardener Handbook includes tables to help gardeners identify common problems and management strategies for fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants.
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.
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.
This chapter discusses the principles of grapevine dormant pruning, reviews reasons for vine training, and describes systems appropriate for use in North Carolina. Profitable grape production requires that grapevines be managed so that a large area of healthy leaves is exposed to sunlight. Such vines are likely to produce large crops of high-quality fruit each year. Grapevines must be trained and pruned annually to achieve this goal. The training system chosen generally dictates how the vines are pruned. Thus, pruning practices and training systems are discussed together in this chapter.
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 appendix from the Extension Gardener Handbook describes the value of garden journaling and different strategies a gardener may use to start one.
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 publication offers a guide to growing edible plants year-round in containers. Includes planting and harvest guides.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Boxwood, thought to have been introduced to the United States in 1652, has long been associated with colonial architecture across North Carolina. It's suitability for formal and informal landscape use as edging, hedge, screen, accent and specimen plants makes boxwood a favorite of homeowners, landscape contractors and nurserymen.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Dimension (dithiopyr).
This publication discusses the best techniques for growing quality ginseng. It includes descriptions and stages of growth, and information on general culture, site preparation and mulching.
Providing a proper nutritional program is essential for growing top quality plants. Sampling the root substrate for pH and electrical conductivity (EC) with the PourThru extraction method is a quick and simple check of the nutritional status of a crop. The PourThru extraction method allows rapid on-site determination of pH and EC values. The values provide clues about a crop’s performance before deficiency or toxicity symptoms appear.
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 publication provides an overview of how to design and manage a composting system to process municipal organic materials.
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.
This Permaculture Appendix from the Extension Gardener Handbook will explain the benefits of and strategies for creating an ecologically sustainable home landscape.
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 pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Marengo (indaziflam).
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.
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 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 covers the basics of constructing a propagation / winter protection structure in a quonset design.
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 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 muscadine grape production guide will help the increasing number of North Carolina farmers who are considering growing and marketing this fruit as a farm diversification option.
This publication provides basic information for small or medium-scale North Carolina egg producers to start marketing their products to retail stores.
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.
Boron deficiency of strawberries is described and corrective information provided.
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 publication specifically discusses fresh-market basil, examining the selection, production, harvesting and marketing of the product.
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.
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.
Potassium deficiency of strawberries is described.
This publication for property owners and landscapers describes how to prune trees and shrubs properly, which results in attractive, healthy trees and shrubs.
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.
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.
Interest in growing herbs for the retail and wholesale market has increased greatly over the past few years. Growers who have had success in the production of bedding plants have found another profitable avenue in herb production. Herbs have cultural requirements similar to bedding plants and it should be easy for greenhouse growers to add herbs to their production schedule. The majority of herbs discussed in this article can be sown, transplanted, and finished by the grower. This publication will focus on the production of the “top twelve” herbs and provides general guidelines for seed propagation.
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.
Winter injury/cold injury is described and management provided.
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.
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.
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 preemergent herbicide Princep, Simazine (simazine).
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 publication provides introductory information about growing and wild-harvesting medicinal herbs in North Carolina. The practices suggested here apply to all raw herbal plant material used to make herbal products, dietary supplements, cosmetics, foods, and drugs.
This guide provides home gardeners with instructions for growing strawberries, blueberries, brambles (blackberries and raspberries), and grapes.
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.
Okra is grown throughout North Carolina in home gardens and for commercial markets. It is a warm season crop that belongs to the cotton (Mallow) family and should not be planted until the soil has thoroughly warmed in the spring. Okra is referred to as 'Gumbo' in some areas.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of the herbicide Dismiss (sulfentrazone).
List of items that can and cannot be composted at home.
Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are chemicals used on a wide range of floricultural crops. This publication was designed to help growers understand how and when to use PGRs in greenhouse floriculture operations.
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.
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 chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Guidelines covers policies of the Master Gardener program.
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.
Celebrating, learning and loving everything about muscadine grapes. This guide provides activities for families to discover and learn about muscadine grapes native to North Carolina.
Iron deficiency symptoms and corrective procedures for strawberries are discussed.
How to manage pesticides to control insects, diseases, weeds, and other crop pests in watermelons in North Carolina is covered in detail; this is part of the Crop Profiles for North Carolina Agriculture series.
This Appendix from the Extension Gardener Handbook will explain a brief history of land development and its influence on landscape design.
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.
Magnesium deficiency of strawberries is discussed.
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Guidelines is an overview of the Master Gardener program in North Carolina.
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 Garden Tools appendix is part of the Extension Gardener Handbook and gives readers information about common garden tools and their care.
This publication, chapter 4 of the 2016 Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide, discusses soil testing, nursery stock, and spacing for blackberry and raspberry production.
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.
Field heat should be removed from fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers as quickly as possible after harvest. Each commodity should be maintained at its lowest safe temperature.
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.
Geraniums require an adequate supply of the essential nutrients and a slightly acidic pH. This leaflet covers some of the basic considerations for fertilizing zonal, ivy, and regal geraniums.
New Guinea impatiens have steadily increased in popularity since their introduction into the United States in 1972. Today's varieties offer a wide range of flower colors as well as variegated foliage types. The versatility of this plant allows for its sale as bedding plants, 4 inch potted plants, and up to 12 inch hanging baskets. This factsheet offers advice on growing impatiens.
Calcium deficiency of strawberries is discussed.
Ethylene is an odorless, colorless gas which acts as a plant hormone. Thus it can be a growth regulator or a harmful pollutant of horticultural crops. Major losses caused by the “death hormone” can occur with high value crops such as greenhouse-grown potted plants and cut flowers, and fresh fruit and vegetables. Economic losses to greenhouse growers from ethylene pollution are reported each year and many more probably occur, but are not correctly diagnosed. This leaflet discusses ethylene sources and symptoms of damage, and how to prevent them
The appropriate uses of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener name and emblem are covered in this factsheet.
This publication for nursery managers and homeowners describes how to protect nursery plants and keep them healthy through the winter.
Organic farmers cite weed management as their number one research priority. This publication in the Organic Production publication series describes weed control strategies for organic farms based on weed characteristics and an integrated cropping system approach. A special section on cultivation practices that limit emerged and future weeds is based on research by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems.
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.
Water quality and quantity issues are extremely important in container production of plants. This article addresses both quality and quantity issues for greenhouse and nursery production from a best management practices view.
This publication focuses on easy-to-grow, child-friendly, warm-season fruits and vegetables suitable for childcare center gardening. This is the third of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.
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.
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.
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.
Residential camps generate food scraps from meal preparation, plate scrapings, and leftover or spoiled food. Many camps have horses, resulting in manure to manage. Composting and vermicomposting are viable options for managing food scraps, horse manure, and other types of organic waste materials.
The kiwifruit is a large, woody, deciduous vine native to the Yangtze Valley of China. In the Eastern United States, kiwifruit vines have fruited at Virginia Beach, Virginia, and at several locations in South Carolina, and are part of evaluation programs in Alabama and Georgia. The first commercial shipments began in 1980 from a planting in South Carolina located about 30 miles north of Augusta, Georgia. This publication discuses the history of kiwifruit planting in North Carolina and considers the potential to grow the fruit in the state's climate.
This publication describes how water stress affects plants and ways that plants adapt to drought. It includes some suggestions for drought-resistant plants.
This publication focuses on developing fruit and vegetable production gardens in the Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) of childcare centers. Included are basic garden design and layout to help childcare centers get started in year-round gardening activities. This is the second of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.
Grapevines require 16 essential nutrients for normal growth and development (Table 9.1). Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are obtained as the roots take in water and as the leaves absorb gases. The remaining nutrients are obtained primarily from the soil. Macronutrients are those used in relatively large quantities by vines; natural macronutrients are often supplemented with applied fertilizers.The micronutrients, although no less essential, are needed in very small quantities. When one or more of these elements is deficient, vines may exhibit foliar deficiency symptoms, reduced growth or crop yield, and greater susceptiblity to winter injury or death. The availability of essential nutrients is therefore critical for optimum vine performance and profitable grape production.
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.
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.
Boron toxicity symptoms are described and management options discussed.
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.
The slicing cucumber is an important crop to North Carolina, with yearly production fluctuating between 5,000 to 8,000 acres, depending on season and market conditions. North Carolina slicing production accounts for approximately 10% of the U.S. production acreage.
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.
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 appendix is part of the Extension Gardener Handbook and gives users to the tools to implement a youth, community, or therapeutic garden.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Broccoli is a popular vegetable for use both fresh and frozen. The edible portion of the broccoli plant consists of the upper stem and the unopened flower buds. Broccoli is a cool-season crop that is closely related to cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard, and turnips. It can be grown in western North Carolina as either an early (spring) or a late season (fall) crop at the lower elevations (below 2,500 feet) or during mid-summer at elevations above 2,500 feet.
This publication offers guidelines on planning a garden and buying bulbs, as well as planting planting techniques to ensure healthy flowers.
Grapes grown in North Carolina are sometimes exposed to unfavorable climatic conditions and biological pests that can reduce crops and injure or kill grapevines. Climatic threats include low winter temperatures, late spring frosts, excessive summer heat, and unpredictable precipitation. Biological pests include fungal pathogens and insects that attack the foliage and fruit of vines, as well as birds, deer, and other wildlife that consume fruit and shoots.Vineyard site selection greatly affects both the frequency and severity of these problems and is one of the most important factors affecting profitability in viticulture.
This publication, chapter 2 of the 2016 Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide, covers the characteristics of recommended blackberry and raspberry cultivars in the Southeast.
Proper plant nutrition is essential for successful greenhouse production of floricultural crops. As growers move towards substrates that do not contain mineral soil, micronutrient status of substrates and plants becomes more important. This bulletin outlines the major micronutrient problems that can be encountered in greenhouse production and outlines application treatments to correct micronutrient imbalances.
Asparagus has been considered a garden delicacy since Roman times. Any home gardener can grow and enjoy this spring vegetable. Asparagus is a perennial. If you plant and manage properly it will produce for 15 years or more. Since this crop will occupy the land for many years you should start the asparagus bed properly -- location, soil type, soil fertility, size and age of crowns and correct planting are important.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of a photosystem II (PS II) inhibitor herbicide injury.
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Guidelines provides and overview of Extension in North Carolina.
Use of bedding plant color beds continues to increase. A recent indicates that over 15% of the flowering bedding plants produced in this country are utilized by commercial landscapers. However, success with color beds requires planning, proper bed preparation, and an intensive maintenance program--all of which are outlined in this publication.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Fusilade II (fluazifop-P-butyl).
Many greenhouse-grown floricultural crops tend to grow taller than desired and require height control measures to prevent excessive internodal elongation. This leaflet is designed to introduce commercial growers to the alternatives available for height control and suggest appropriate methods for different situations.
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).
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 publication, chapter 6 of the 2016 Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide, discusses how and when to prune blackberry and raspberry canes.
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.
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.
This publication describes the composting process, how to make compost that meets National Organic Program standards, and how to apply and utilize compost.
Copper deficiency of strawberries is discussed in this guide.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of root-inhibiting herbicide injuries.
There are a number of popular bedding plants used in the landscape today; some deserving the attention they get, others not-so-deserving. This publication offers a chart with some under-utilized bedding plants in North Carolina, including characteristics such as temperature and light preferences.
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.
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.
Vineyard establishment involves careful planning, thorough site preparation, vineyard design, planting, and trellis construction. Unlike dormant pruning or other annual activities, designing and establishing a vineyard must be done correctly the first time. In addition, the process must be tailored to the particular site and the grower’s intentions. This chapter discusses the basic steps in establishing a vineyard and offers suggestions for practical methods and materials.There are many alternatives. Although this chapter may be used as the sole source of information for vineyard establishment, it is advisable to obtain and compare information from additional sources before beginning. References provided here include more detailed information on particular aspects of vineyard establishment, such as trellis construction. It is also helpful to visit existing vineyards to examine their design, compare trellising materials, and discuss plant and row spacing.
Blooming and ripening timing of apple varieties with overlapping periods are optimal in apple production; for example 'Gala' and 'Empire'. While some varieties do not require pollinizers, fruit size and fruit set will be greater if cross pollinated with 2 to 3 apple varieties with overlapping blooming periods per season.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Gallery (isoxaben).
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 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.
This eight-page publication explains how you can build and maintain a compost pile to manage organic yard waste at home.
Flowering crabapples have tremendous potential as small/medium sized flowering trees that can be grown all across North Carolina. These deciduous, spring flowering trees are adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions and have a variety of ornamental characteristics to choose from, including an assortment of flower color and fragrance, fruit size and color, and tree form.
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 factsheet presents the advantages and challenges of growing apple, peach, and pecan trees.
Phosphorus deficiency of strawberries is discussed.
Sulfur deficiency of strawberries is discussed in this factsheet.
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.
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.
How to manage pesticides to control insects, diseases, weeds, and other crop pests in sweetpotatoes in North Carolina is covered in detail; this is part of the Crop Profiles for North Carolina Agriculture series.
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Guidelines provides an overview of Master Gardener training.
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 publication will help you start selling fluid milk directly to grocery stores. Approaching retailers, labeling, invoicing, vendor requirements and delivery are covered.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of the herbicide, glyphosate.
Zinc deficiency of strawberries is described in this guide.
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 section of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Guidelines provides information about social media, particularly Facebook.
Wind damage of strawberry is described.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Casoron (dichlobenil).
General guidelines on how to conduct a bioassay for herbicide residues in soil
This publication details how to achieve accurate and uniform application of herbicides using hand-held applicators in container nursery settings.
This publication includes simple recipes that childcare center cooks and educators can use to engage children in snacking and cooking with fresh cool-season fruits and vegetables from on-site production gardens and elsewhere. This is the sixth of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.
This appendix of the 2016 Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide, offers more comprehensive information on soil nutrients and the signs and symptoms of nutrient deficiencies.
SmartFresh℠ (1-methylcyclopropene, MCP) is a relatively new tool for postharvest management of apples. In 2002, SmartFresh was approved for commercial use on apples by the Environmental Protection Agency under a reduced risk program because of the very low toxicity of the product and the fact that treated fruit have no detectable residue. It is thought to bind irreversibly to the ethylene receptors in plant tissues making the crops insensitive to ethylene and subsequently retarding many of the ethylene mediated responses such as fruit softening in apples. SmartFresh can maintain apple firmness and acidity and decrease scald and greasiness even when stored under less than ideal storage temperatures.
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.
Growing Chardonnay grapes, the number one vinifera variety grown in North Carolina, can be a profitable venture in certain areas of the state.The profitability analysis in this chapter, based on 2005 costs, shows that it will take an estimated $12,876 per acre to bring a vineyard up to full production in the fourth year.The vineyard would begin to yield $1,097 per acre in the eighth year, and the producer may be able to break even by the eighth year.
This publication, chapter 2 of Collard Greens and Common Ground: A North Carolina Community Food Gardening Handbook, guides readers through several initial steps in starting a community garden.
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.
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.
This publication is a how-to guide for starting a garden-related standard compost bin in a childcare center Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE). Included is guidance on design, construction, and management of compost bins as well as curriculum connections. This is the seventh of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.
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 factsheet describes the symptoms of a synthetic auxin (SA) herbicide injury.
Manganese deficiency of strawberries in discussed in this guide.
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 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.
Growing strawberries as an annual crop on black plastic requires a different weed management strategy than the perennial matted row strawberries. When black plastic is combined with fumigation by methyl bromide, excellent control of most weeds in the row can be expected. However, weeds that have hard seed coats, such as vetch and clover, emerge for long periods of time and can establish in the row. They emerge in late fall or spring, grow under the plastic for a period of time, and emerge from any holes in the plastic.
This publication, chapter 1 of the 2016 Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide, offers an introduction to caneberry (blackberry and raspberry) production in the Southeast.
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.
This publication is a compilation of ideas from a few specialists based on research, reports in the landscape, experience, and intuition on how to manage storm and disaster damage in landscapes and nurseries.
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.
Cover crops are pivotal parts of every organic farmer’s management scheme. They are crucial to the main goals of building soil health and preventing soil erosion. Cover crops are also important tools for increasing fertility and controlling weeds, pathogens, and insects in organic crops. In this publication, we will discuss planting, growing, and incorporating cover crops as amendments into the soil.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a form of direct marketing in which a community of individuals pledges to support a farm. At the beginning of the growing season, CSA members pay for a subscription to the CSA. In return, farmers provide the members with a weekly share of the harvest. Both growers and consumers have found this relationship to be mutually beneficial. Members receive a variety of fresh, local produce and have the satisfaction of knowing where their food comes from and how it is produced. Farmers, in turn, benefit by receiving funds upfront to buy seeds and inputs. They also are relieved of most of the task of marketing by having a guaranteed market and price for what they will produce.
With the increasing diversity of North Carolina agriculture, it is important to document and assess the presence of the commodities produced in the state. Crop data are publicly maintained on only the top 20 or so specialty crops, yet state and federal decisions impact hundreds of individual crop species. Because little information is available for most specialty crops, it must be gleaned from many different sources.
This guide describes symptoms of nitrogen deficiency in strawberries.
This publication discusses best practices for managing and controlling weeds in container nurseries and greenhouses, focusing on woody plant propagation and containerized liner production.
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.)
High-quality wines — those that command premium prices — can be produced only from high-quality grapes. Grape quality can be defined in various ways, but ripeness and freedom from rots are two of the chief qualities. Producing ripe fruit with minimum rot and maximum varietal character is not easy in North Carolina. As described elsewhere in this publication, the combination of climate, soils, and vine vigor often leads to excessive vegetative growth. For reasons that will be discussed, luxurious vegetative growth can reduce vine fruitfulness, decrease varietal character, degrade other components of fruit quality, and hamper efforts at disease control. Canopy management practices can help alleviate these problems.
Vegetables are 80 to 95 percent water. Because they contain so much water, their yield and quality suffer very quickly from drought. When vegetables are sold, a "sack of water" with a small amount of flavoring and some vitamins is being sold. Thus, for good yields and high quality, irrigation is essential to the production of most vegetables. If water shortages occur early in the crop's development, maturity may be delayed and yields are often reduced. If a moisture shortage occurs later in the growing season, quality is often reduced even though total yields are not affected.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Devrinol (napropamide).
This factsheet covers growing and harvesting potatoes for commercial sale in North Carolina.
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.
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 second in a series on pruning offers tips on selecting the right tool for the job and for evaluating a tool’s quality.
Most garden asters are cultivated varieties of the fall-blooming wildflower, Aster novi-belgii, or Michaelmas daisy. They are native to the United States and can be seen blooming along roadsides during the fall. From the wild types, Danish breeders have selected for new colors and compact shape. As a floriculture crop, they can be grown for cut flowers, an indoor pot crop in four-inch or 6-inch pots, or an outdoor perennial in 6-inch pots or larger. This leaflet covers the commercial production requirements for perennial garden asters.
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.
When it comes to weeds, “start clean – stay clean” should be the moto of every nursery manager. This is especially true for producers of herbaceous perennials. Although we can control most grassy weeds with postemergence herbicide; otherwise, we have few herbicides to use when weeds get out of hand. Furthermore, the herbicides labeled for use in herbaceous ornamentals are either safe on many ornamentals and do not control many weeds, or control lots of weeds but are safe on only a few ornamentals. Consequently, to manage weeds effectively a comprehensive nursery weed management program including exclusion, sanitation, preemergence herbicides, some postemergence herbicides and hand weeding will be needed.
This publication focuses on easy-to-grow, child-friendly, cool-season vegetables suitable for childcare center gardening. This is the fourth of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Guidelines provides an overview of Master Gardener roles.
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.
Like other perennial plants, mature grapevines have extensive root systems and therefore, unlike shallow-rooted annual plants, they are fairly tolerant of mild droughts. Nevertheless, a certain amount of moisture is necessary to support growth and development. Lacking sufficient moisture, vines will suffer water stress, which can reduce productivity as well as fruit quality. Supplemental moisture can be provided by permanent (solid-set) or temporary irrigation systems. Drip irrigation has become the standard water delivery system for North Carolina vineyards in recent years. Drip irrigation can represent a substantial investment (see chapter 2 for details), but the benefits can far outweigh the costs in many vineyards. In 2005, it was estimated that drip irrigation would cost $22,743 to purchase and install the equipment required for a 10-acre drip system, or $2,274 per acre. Drip irrigation can be as effective on steep slopes as on rolling and flat surfaces.
Sweetpotato production should be planned as a part of your total annual farm management scheme. Sweetpotatoes should not be grown just "once in a while" or just in those years you think you'll be able to "get rich quick." Commitment to an ongoing production program is required in order for you to be a successful grower.
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.
Solar radiation provides the energy to warm our atmosphere and allow plant growth and animal life to exist on earth. The amount of “possible solar radiation” does not depend on the weather and is constant for a given date from year to year. The variation in “possible solar radiation” by date throughout the year is due to the earth’s axis of rotation, which affects the hours of daylight and the angle (directness) of the sun’s rays. The amount actually received, however, does vary, mainly due to the variation in amount of cloudiness.
Sodium toxicity of strawberries is discussed in this publication.
This publication describes how communities can develop and implement backyard composting programs that reduce the amount of waste in the landfill and return nutrients to the soil.
Proper nutrition is essential for growing top quality geraniums. Sampling the root substrate for pH and electrical conductivity (EC) with the PourThru extraction method is a quick and simple check of the nutritional status of the crop and can provide immediate clues about a crop’s performance before deficiency or toxicity symptoms appear.
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Guidelines provides descriptions of the various Master Gardener position classifications.
This first of four publications in the Pruning Trees & Shrubs series introduces basic pruning concepts and key terms. Subsequent publications in the series provide more information on woody plant biology, necessary tools and pruning guidelines for general purposes and specific species.
High pH water and high alkalinity in water can be limiting factors in container production of greenhouse and nursery crops. An understanding of both is needed to accurately treat water with a high pH.
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.
Two hydrangea species are native to the southeastern United States -- Hydrangea arborescens and Hydrangea quercifolia. Both are bold-textured, deciduous shrubs which produce small, fertile flowers. Many selections are considered more garden-worthy than the native species because they display large, sterile florets.
The objective of this leaflet is to discuss weed-control considerations and herbicide options for grape vineyards in the Southeastern United States. It should be used as a guide for growers making vineyard floor management decisions. It should not be used as an alternative to a pesticide label.
This article contains an overview of weed management practices and recommendations for pansy and viola plantings
Molybdenum deficiency of strawberries is discussed in this guide.
This section of the NC State Extension Master Gardener Program Guidelines provides information for Master Gardener volunteer recertification.
This publication, chapter 8 of the 2016 Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide, discusses growing blackberries and raspberries in high tunnels, semi-permanent structures made of steel pipe arches and covered with polyethylene plastic.
Gramoxone herbicide injury is described.
This field note for farmers published by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) describes the composting process, how to make compost, and how to use it. Included are instructions for determining an application rate and the results of research by CEFS on integrating cover crops and compost.
Gardens bring communities together. Not only are community gardens a good way to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in our diets, they also allow us to be active outdoors and build a strong community.
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 pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Surflan (oryzalin).
In the southeastern United States the potential for a drought during the growing season is a very real probability. The length and severity of droughts vary greatly and cannot be predicted, so planning is critical in order to minimize the effects of a drought.
Use this form to maintain records of pesticide applications in compliance with the USDA Restricted-Use Pesticides Regulations and the Worker Protection Standard. Records of all pesticide applications must be maintained for at least 2 years. This form is available online in three versions: Adobe PDF, RTF (for word processing programs), and Microsoft Excel.
Even the best herbicides will not provide effective weed control if they're not applied accurately and uniformly. This publication describes the steps required to calibrate hand-held spreaders commonly used in container nurseries.
Grapes are subject to attack by many different pests, including nematodes, fungal, bacterial, and viral pathogens, insects, and wildlife, such as deer and birds.Weeds, which compete with the vines for soil moisture and nutrients, may also be included in this list. Recognizing and understanding the nature of these pests is essential to minimizing crop losses.This chapter briefly describes the major pests that routinely threaten bunch grapes in North Carolina and discusses control measures.
This publication is a how-to guide for starting a garden-related vermicomposting bin in a childcare center Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) or indoors. Included is guidance on design, construction, and management of vermicomposting bins as well as curriculum connections. This is the last of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Sureguard (flumioxazin).
This publication lists sources of shiitake mushroom spawns for cultivation.
This chapter of the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program Guidelines provides information on the Master Gardener procedures.
This publication lists some of the companies that supply medicinal herbs and botanicals by mail order in the United States.
This publication discusses ways that gardeners can protect water quality and avoid runoff and soil erosion.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of an ALS inhibitor herbicide injury.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Ornamental Herbicide II (oxyfluorfen + pendimethalin).
Deer are among the most beautiful and graceful but troublesome wildlife in North Carolina. Over the past 10 to 15 years, damage to ornamental plants in landscapes and nurseries, by white-tailed deer has increased dramatically in all 100 counties. This situation has become a problem due to the increase in the size of the deer population in North Carolina and to the urbanization of rural areas. Conflicts between deer and landscaped spaces are expected to increase, as more rural areas will be developed.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Pennant Magnum (S-metolachlor).
This publication includes simple recipes that childcare center cooks and educators can use to engage children in snacking and cooking with fresh warm-season fruits and vegetables from on-site production gardens and elsewhere. This is the fifth of eight publications about childcare center production gardens.
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 pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Goal and GoalTender (oxyfluorfen).
Annual sunflower is a native of North America with an original range from the Great Plains to the West Coast. Pot sunflowers have been popular in Europe for a number of years. Pot sunflowers are a quick crop to produce and offer an opportunity for growers to capitalize on the current consumer demand for the plant.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Pendulum, Aquacap, Corral (pendimethalin).
Crop prediction or estimation is the process of projecting as accurately as possible the quantity of crop that will be harvested. Why estimate the crop? The most obvious reason is to know how much crop will be present for sale or utilization. Beyond that fundamental reason, it is also important to know whether vines are undercropped or overcropped. In the absence of methodical crop estimations, the experienced grower can rely on past vineyard performance.This approach is subject to error, however, especially in grape regions subject to spring frosts or winter injury, which can greatly affect a vineyard’s productivity from year to year.
This publication discusses keeping mite pests at bay in worm beds for vermicomposting.
This publication introduces producers to general principles for successfully creating new value-added products and where to find specific guidance at each developmental stage.
This factsheet discusses the symptoms and treatment of catfacing, an abiotic disorder in strawberries that causes misshaped fruit.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Tower (dimethenamid-p).
New and current grape growers will find practical information on site appraisal, establishment, and operation of commercial winegrape vineyards in the North Carolina Winegrape Grower’s Guide. This publication focuses on production of vinifera and hybrid wine grapes.
Weeds reduce the aesthetic qualities of landscape plantings and compete with nursery crops for nutrients, water, and light. Root systems compete for nitrogen and water. Even seemingly non-competitive weeds like bittercress (Cardamine spp.) have been shown to reduce growth of container-grown plants. Tall weeds and vines shade crops, reducing photosynthesis and growth. Vining weeds such as morningglory (Ipomoea spp.) are particularly damaging because they disfigure stems and new growth. In landscape plantings, weeds must be controlled or removed to maintain quality aesthetics. Weeds may also need to be removed for health and safety reasons
This publication, chapter 1 of Collard Greens and Common Ground: A North Carolina Community Food Gardening Handbook, offers an introduction to and overview of community gardening.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of Lontrel (clopyralid).
This publication offers a list of companies and nurseries that carry goldenseal seeds or plants for cultivation.
Every nursery needs to have someone who routinely checks Electrical Conductivity (EC) also called soluble salts, and pH of container crops, potting inventories and irrigation water. Checking EC and pH should be considered part of the quality control and scouting program in the nursery. Results from testing 3 to 5 containers in a irrigation zone each week can be used to schedule irrigation the following week. Comparing leachate solution collected from containers to water collected from irrigation nozzles provides a good insight into nutrient levels in the containers. Checking EC and pH of nursery crops grown in containers doesn't have to be time consuming, complicated or difficult. The intention of this article is to review the procedure and update growers on the Virginia Tech Extraction Method (VTEM), also called the PourThru extraction procedure.
This publication, chapter 13 of the 2016 Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide, offers tips on harvesting and handling blackberries and raspberries postharvest.
This factsheet describes the symptoms of cellulose-inhibiting herbicide injuries.
Terbacil herbicide injury is described.
Frost injury in strawberries is described and frost prevention strategies provided.
There are many species of bamboo sold in the nursery trade, some more invasive than others. The plants spread by thick, tough, underground stems (rhizomes). These rhizomes are resilient to adverse environmental conditions and most herbicides. To control such aggressive weeds you must eradicate or contain the entire infestation. Bamboo control programs will require an intensive control strategy over several years.
This pesticide factsheet covers the use and characteristics of the postemergent herbicide Acclaim Extra (fenoxaprop-p).
This publication, chapter 5 of Collard Greens and Common Ground: A North Carolina Community Food Garden Handbook, offers a step-by-step guide for preparing a new garden site.
How to manage pesticides to control insects, diseases, weeds and other crop pests of pecans in North Carolina are covered in detail.
This section of the NC State Extension Master Gardener Program Guidelines contains information for Master Gardener volunteer students and interns.
This publication, chapter 3 of the 2016 Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide, discusses the benefits and limitations of selecting various sites to plant blackberries and raspberries.
This publication, chapter 5 of the 2016 Southeast Regional Caneberry Production Guide, offers information on the growth cycle of blackberry and raspberry plants for proper training and pruning.
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.
The decisions of when to turn an irrigation system on and off for frost protection are complex and difficult. This guide presents a procedure to follow in making these decisions. This guide is based on the assumption that you have completed certain tasks prior to the night of the decision making. These tasks encompass important planning decisions that are made well ahead of the frost season.
The most important key to quality maintenance of fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers is careful handling; Tender Loving Care! Symptoms of injuries incurred during harvesting, handling, grading, and packaging usually are not evident until the products reach retail or consumer levels; too late to do anything about your quality image. Bruises and other mechanical damage not only detract from the appearance of the product, but are good avenues of entrance for decay organisms.
In our drive to meet the food and fiber needs of ever-increasing populations, we are taxing the resilience of the planet’s natural resources. This fevered quest to pursue ever-increasing crop yields has had devastating impacts: widespread soil erosion, atmospheric pollution, over- grazed forage areas, over-cultivated fields, salinated water supplies, cleared land that is unsuitable for crops, and desertification —the loss of agricultural land to desert. The serious degradation of our soil resources has motivated some researchers and farmers to investigate management systems that are less input-intensive and generally more sustainable.
This publication shows how to build a simple, economical bale press and gives instructions on baling plastic bottles and jugs.
Ornamental sweetpotatoes are extremely heat-tolerant, tropical, perennial vines grown as annuals in North Carolina. They look great covering annual beds, hanging over walls or trailing from containers. This publication covers cultivars, how to select the plants, care through the growing season and pest