Clemson Univesity Extension Service

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The North Carolina State University Herbarium describes Schweinitiz’s sunflower this way. A perennial rhizomatous herb with one to several hairy purple stems growing from a cluster of carrot-like tuberous roots. It goes on to tell us that the leaves “feel like felt on the underside and rough like sandpaper” on the top.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Shweinitz’s sunflower grows in only a few places in north and south Carolina. Since 1991 it has been on the federal endangered species list; it seems to require a fairly regular fire regime in order to persist. It has an unusual root system for a sunflower, fleshy starchy structures like a sweet potato’s which provide it with the stored carbohydrates needed to resprout vigorously after fires or mowing – now it is often found on roadsides.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Helianthus annuus, the annual flower that produces seeds with commercial value, is native to the prairies of the mid-western area but now is found all over the US and Canada. We have several sunflowers that are evolved in our part of the country. One of particular interest is Helianthus schweinitzii, or Schweinitz sunflower. This plant is endemic to certain parts of North and South Carolina.

Artichokes

Jul 27, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  At a recent funeral in Columbia, the homily included remarks about the thousands of jars of artichoke relish the departed parsishoner had made over the years for an annual bazaar. Artichoke pickles are made from a native sunflower, Helianthus tuberosus. Believed to have first been domesticated by   western native americans, it’s now found in almost every state and in half of Canada.

Uses for Sunflowers

Jul 26, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Our perennial, beautiful and prolific native swamp sunflower, Helianthus angustifolia, is native to the eastern united states and is an important plant for wildlife. But Helianthus annuus, the annual  colorful sunflowers that produce seeds eaten by birds and mammals, including us, is  native to the mid-west prairies, and is now  a plant of world-wide importance. In the US, we think of it as a food to feed birds and to snack on.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. I’m going to suggest that my bird-loving friend Ann Nolte add a large planting of sunflowers to her “big yard” garden outside St. Matthews . Here’s a partial list of birds that feast on the seeds – doves, quail, blackbirds, bobolinks, chickadees, goldfinches, meadowlarks and tufted titmice.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. If I were trying to educate my children by growing sunflowers, I guess I’d plant the pollenless varieties which have a longer vase life and don’t drop yellow pollen on your white table cloth. And until now I ‘ve just picked up seeds based on how pretty the flowers look on the package.

Sunflowers!

Jul 22, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Team Making It Grow recently visited one of the SC Department of Agriculture’s agritourism farms in Anderson. Sol Flowers grows sunflowers to support the local Foothills Community Foundation. We arrived early and meet grower Danielle Roberts, who was already speaking with a young engaged couple and their photographer about having engagement pictures taken. Roberts grows a commercial type sunflower rather than one breed for the florist trade.

Clemson Extension Agent and Host of “Making It Grow, Amanda McNulty is joined by fellow agent Adam Gore who talks about how to properly choose and use fertilizer.

Clemson Extension Agent and Host of “Making It Grow, Amanda McNulty is joined by fellow agent Adam Gore who explains what the numbers on bags of fertilizer represent and mean.

Clemson Extension Agent and Host of “Making It Grow, Amanda McNulty is joined by fellow agent Terasa Lott who shares her ideas of transforming her yard from turfgrass to one that is more habitat friendly. 

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. South Carolina’s watermelon queen for 2019, Courtney Kubo, visited Making It Grow recently. She and other state’s representatives gave out 44,000 containers of watermelon at the Charleston Bridge Run recently and will do the same in Washington, DC, for the Marine Corps Marathon. Watermelon flesh is a great way to rehydrate – it’s almost all water and contains potassium which helps regulate fluid levels.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The US Department of Agriculture Ag Research Service just announced on June 26 a very exciting breakthrough for watermelon growers.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Downy mildew that infects cucurbits overwinters on growing plants in Florida. Every spring, spores are carried by wind and move upward into neighboring states. Different plants are affected by different strains of this pathogen, and some strains are resistant to traditional fungicides. Only expensive and restricted products can be used to save certain crops and require absolute adherence to s spray schedule.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Certain strains of downy mildew are serious diseases of cucurbit family members  – squash, cucumbers, melons and watermelons. Watermelons, in particular, are very important economically for some South Carolina farmers. Infected plants have angular lesions on the tops of leaves but the reproductive structures, resembling a grey, white mold, are on on the underside of the leaves.

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