Clemson University

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Heirloom vegetable varieties are prized for a number of reasons. Imagine, growing the same pole beans or butter beans that your great grandfather grew. Even if you don’t have seeds from an ancestor, you can enjoy the boost in flavor that many heirlooms have over modern hybrid varieties. But there is a place for new hybrid varieties, too. When exotic diseases make their way across oceans and our entire supply of wheat, or corn or another valued commodity is threatened, plant breeders work frantically to come up with a resistant variety. That “in-breed” resistance can only be duplicated by growing a hybrid population. To do that these plant breeders go back to the stock-piled genetic banks of heirloom varieties that are evaluated to find at least one plant with resistance. Then by crossing and backcrossing, a new resistant hybrid with required traits can be developed.

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Open pollinated or hybrid? What’s the difference? When we talk about heirloom seeds, that means they’re grown on plants that are open pollinated. The female flower structure gets pollen transferred to it by insects, wind, shaking, or other other “natural” means. Open pollinated plants are more genetically diverse and plants from the same pack of seeds will have slight differences in height, vigor, disease resistance, or time of ripening. Hybrid plants are created by selecting two different species or varieties and controlling the transfer of pollen, sometimes with a paint brush or by removing the male flowers from one parent, like with hybrid corn. All the plants from a package of hybrid seeds will be the same height and ripen at the same time, a boon for commercial farmer but not for a backyard gardener who wants to pick beans or cucumbers all summer long.

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Dr. David Bradshaw is the reason I decided to study horticulture. His enthusiasm for working with plants is a little over the top - he told us he waked up about 5:00 am in the summer and had to lie around until the sun came up and he could get out in the garden! He loves heirloom varieties of vegetables and has spent his whole life collecting seeds that have been passed on from one generation to another. You can take advantage of the work he has done if you search Clemson University Heirloom Collection. One variety, the Willow butterbean, has been in Dr. Bradshaw’s family for over 150 years. He says that the leaves are slender, like a willow tree’s, which makes picking the beans easier and seems to discourage the Mexican bean beetle. This is a vigorous grower and needs a strong trellis.

South Carolina ETV Radio and Clemson University have announced that the noontime radio magazine Your Day will end production November 13th, 2014 after fourteen years. Your Day, a radio magazine produced as a public service of Clemson University Broadcast Productions, provided programming in the public radio tradition, but with a South Carolina flavor.  It was broadcast over the stations of the ETV Radio network.

  Amanda McNulty gives us a preview of what's coming up on tonight's Making It Grow! on your local South Carolina ETV station, at 7:00.

Making It Grow! host Amanda McNulty talks about the 100 years anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 and one of the creators of the federal legislation, Frank Lever.