Clemson University

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The expressive capabilities of a lone guitar are not lost on Jason Vieaux. In 2015, the guitarist’s recordings for the album Play (Azica Records) won him that year’s Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. But for this versatile artist, it’s not all about solo performance; Jason finds rich rewards in the collaborative atmosphere of chamber music as well.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Blueberries, figs,  and muscadines are plants good for  backyard orchard s–   you don’t have to do much as far as insect or disease control goes. Elderberry is another plant you might add to your backyard if you have some room. In other parts of the country, there are lots of both commercial and home orchards of elderberry but for some reason we haven’t used them much in the south. But Dr.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. In the New World, the first kaolin clay mined for shipment back to England to be used in fine china came from the colony of South Carolina, and today we are second only to Georgia for kaolin extraction. We spoke about how kaolin clay sprayed on vegetables and fruits helps prevent insect feeding, but it also can prevent sunburn. Just like zinc oxide protects my nose from the sun, a coating of this white clay film protects tomato fruits from sunscald and tissue necrosis.

Why No Fruit?

Aug 16, 2018
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Lots of calls are coming to   Extension offices about vegetable plants that have lush and plentiful foliage    but are not setting fruits, especially beans and tomatoes. There are several factors at play. One is high night time temperatures. Tony Melton explains that plants cool themselves by a process called transpiration – basically sweating.

Using Kaolin Clay

Aug 15, 2018
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Kaolin clay is a nuisance in garden soil; unlike red clay, it’s basically inert, low in electrical charges that hold nutrients and water, and is even more gluey and sticky if you can image that. However, it has a several uses for commercial growers and home gardeners. When kaolin clay is sprayed on plants, it forms a barrier, coating the leaves and fruits with a white film which protects them from damage by certain insects, including thrips and other leaf and fruit eating pests.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. My new sunscreen has zinc oxide in it; it actually forms a physical barrier to protect my skin from sunburn. Believe it or not, sunburn is a serious issue for many fruits and vegetables, too. Sunburn necrosis occurs when vegetable’s skin or peel which receives direct sunlight reaches a certain temperature and the tissue is killed. It’s the temperature of the fruit’s skin – not the air temperature – that’s critical.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. I spoke with a young mother last week whose husband works for the US Forestry Department. He’s been sent out west to help fight the dangerous and extensive fires that are burning thousands of acres in that part of the country. In addition to the dangers that automatically come to mind, fire fighters are at risk for getting skin irritations from encountering poison ivy. More seriously, they may inhale smoke from burned plants which contains the urushiol compound which causes reactions in most people.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Many people have trouble telling poison ivy and Virginia creeper apart., Both are native vines in the cashew family, both are deciduous, have compound leaves and produce berries that are an important food for birds in the winter. Poison ivy, however, has three leaflets per leaf, leaves of three –- leave it be -- while Virginia creeper has five leaflets and is actually quite pretty and  planted frequently for beauty and erosion control.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Recently   I noticed a red spot on my wrist which I attributed to an insect bite. Sadly, that was a misdiagnosis – turns out that in my summer mission to get unwanted vines and such out of established beds, I mistook a poison ivy vine for Virginia creeper and ended up with a bad outbreak on my arms. Both these native vines have hairy stems when mature and climbing on trees.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. My two- and-a half acre yard is getting to be more than I can handle. When we moved here, thirty-three years ago, most of it was an old field, with just two large beds of camellias and an island of pines. We hired someone to bush hog it several times each summer and had just a small area to cut with a push mower. With youthful enthusiasm, I changed that by planting beds of assorted shrubs and trees, large and small.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. With my sixty-eighth birthday coming up, combined with a need for stronger reading glasses and various aches and pains, I’ve been feeling a little long in the tooth. But after a case of poison ivy sent me to educational websites, I’m readjusting.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Mulching trees is the best thing you can after you’ve planted them properly; some research shows it can double the rate of growth for  newly established trees. A good tip when mulching trees is to think of doughnuts – there’s a hole in the middle. Mulch should start from four to six inches away from the tree’s trunk, if it touches the trunk it promotes disease and decay.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Beautyberry can seed down like crazy and be somewhat weedy, but people who like to do arrangements always are grateful to have it when the stems are covered with purple-pink clusters of fruits. If you grow it or have access to some naturalized plants, I suggest you prune it in early spring each year. Callicarpa blooms on new wood and if you cut it low to the ground, it will send out longer shoots, better for arranging, in response to that pruning.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. For many years Ruthie Lacey and I decorated for parties. I was charged with bringing stuff you couldn't order, things gathered from the wild that added more variety and interest to arrangements that also contained typical florist flowers. So sticks, grass seed heads, wooly mullein stalks and such were my contributions. In the fall, our "most favorite" a category that changed with the seasons, plant material was stems of beautyberry, Callicarpa americana.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The USDA NRCS Plant Guide is one of my favorite places to find out neat stuff about native plants. Their page on beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, tells us that this plant is adapted to dry or moist open woods in areas with hot, humid summers and moderate winters. No wonder it was especially prevalent in the zoo portion at Brookgreen Gardens when we visited recently. The small clusters of flowers give no indication of the fabulous clusters of shiny purple-pink flowers that will follows.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. We spent a few days near the coast recently and visited Brookgreen Gardens, where the plants are as interesting as the sculptures. You can use your pass for several days which was perfect - w e got there relatively early one morning and spent a few hours looking at sculpture leaving when the temperature got too high. The next day, we returned to see the native animals housed in the zoo. As most of those exhibits are in a wooded understory situation, we were spared the blazing rays of the sun.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Blueberries, figs,  and muscadines are plants good for  backyard orchard s–   you don’t have to do much as far as insect or disease control goes. Elderberry is another plant you might add to your backyard if you have some room. In other parts of the country, there are lots of both commercial and home orchards of elderberry but for some reason we haven’t used them much in the south. But Dr.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. In the history plant pharmaceuticals, elderberry was an essential medicine across Europe, including Russia and the Scandinavian countries, and among the Native Americans of North America. The traditional uses included numerous respiratory ailments, especially congestion and allergies, digestive problems – especially if a laxative was needed, and to for headaches, fever reduction, and a host of other ailments.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. A Clemson botany professor, the late Dr. John Fairey made learning about the local flora fun with his unusual and often fascinating comments about plants.   We learned that the stems of elderberry, in glorious bloom now, are “weakly lignified.” The outer portion of the stem is truly woody while the interior is filled with pith. Dr. Fairey told us that in the days before synthetic packing material, elderberry pith was used to pack delicate scientific instruments.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. If you’ve been out driving recently, you should have noticed one of our showiest wild flowers in bloom. Elderberry has a coarse texture due to its large, pinnately compound leaves held on stems eight to twelve feet tall. It’s the flowers and fruits that are so eye-catching though. The flowers, although individually small, are borne in flat, broad clusters and with their white color contrasting with the green leaves, are very noticeable.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Elderberries are decorating South Carolina roadways and river banks right now. These clumps of bright green foliage, often eight to twelve feet tall, are topped with large, flat clusters of white flowers. You see them most often in relatively open areas where there is organically rich soil associated water – along ditches or bordering streams and rivers. Interesting, those large clusters of flowers, botanically categorized as corymbs, are not particularly attractive to pollinators.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Some yuccas deservedly have the name Spanish Bayonet or dagger because of the sharp points at the ends of their leaves. But we have two native yuccas that are much less threatening and still have beautiful blossoms. Both Yucca filamentosa and Yucca flaccida are smaller and have somewhat softer foliage than their big relatives, and flowering stalks that top out at five feet. The leaves have threads, filaments, along the leaf margins, like fabric unraveling.

Moths and Yucca

Jun 15, 2018
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Some hummingbird moths, so named because of their size, visit yucca flowers at night to enjoy their nectar. But the important pollinators are yucca moths. Relatively small white insects, the female moth enters yucca flowers and uses special mouthparts called tentacles to collect pollen, which she rolls into a ball to transport. She lays her eggs in the ovary of a yucca flower, and then places some of the fresh pollen onto the female stigma.

Spanish Bayonet

Jun 14, 2018
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Like Yucca aloifolia, Spanish Bayonet, the plant called Spanish Dagger, Yucca gloriosa, also is native only to the lower southeastern states. Although it has a similar size and flower display, its leaves aren't quite so stiff and have a less lethal point at the end. John Nelson tells me the margins of Yucca gloriosa leaves are smooth and won't cut your fingers.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Many people who have cut grass with push lawnmowers think that there should be a special place in the hell for yucca plants, as they have backed into them and suffered a painful stab wound. As a matter of fact, an Australian hospital reports it has treated dozens of persons with serious ear injuries incurred while working around yucca plants. The most dangerous yucca we have in South Carolina is Yucca aloifolia, or Spanish Bayonet.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Right now, striking plants that are grown in many yards, and in cemeteries, and along roadsides are capturing our attention. Yuccas are tough, hardy plants that can persist for years and years without care and right now are blooming their hearts out. With flowering panicles that can be three feet by two feet and supported on stalks that can reach twelve feet in height, their masses of showy white blossoms top the charts for the WOW factor.

Managable Wistarias

May 26, 2018
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The world, or rather the United States, would be a better place if we could get rid of all the Asian wisterias that have gone rogue and are taking over woodlands and abandoned and yards and houses (I’ve seen it growing into an attic when a window pane was gone). Our much less aggressive native wisterias are still vigorous vines that need a well-built trellis to support them but they’re not going to go haywire.

Making It Grow Minute
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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The National Park Service Exotic Plant Management Teams are responsible duties related to invasive plant species growing in 230 national sites. Recently the seventeenth team was created just for the Southeast coast.  Lauren Serra heads this   team   from her base at the Congaree National Park.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The National Park Service staff wear a variety of hats. One responsibility that we might not think of is keeping invasive species at bay in what are described as some of the most iconic and ecologically important areas of the country. The Exotic Plant Management Teams were created to meet this challenge. Among the plants they must battle are Asian wistarias which overtake trees and shrubs in many locales. Here is their description of the damage they’ve observed.

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