gardening

Ag and Art

Jun 8, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Clemson Agribusiness Agent Ben Boyers and his partner Strauss Shiple of the Old English District Tourism Commission have exciting events planned in ten South Carolina counties for each of the five weekends that we have coming up in June., Ag and Art Tours. Here is a quote from their website: The South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is a free, self-guided tour of farms and markets featuring local artisans at every stop!

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Elderberry stems are semi-woody, the interior is filled with pith. The late John Fairey, renowned botany professor at Clemson, told his students that this pith was collected and used to pack delicate scientific instruments and by repairmen to hold tiny parts of watches, back in the day when people actually fixed mechanically-run timepieces.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Professor Greg Reighard, Clemson researcher and international fruit specialist, explained that elderberries are primarily wind-pollinated. Although the flowers are extraordinarily showy, which you think would be a sign that they are attracting all sorts of pollinators, don’t produce nectar so insect visitors are only be collecting pollen.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Elderberries grow in Australia Europe, Japan, parts of south America and in North America into the far east coast reaches of Canada and across the entire United States. The species with black fruits, Sambucus canadensis are the ones we find in our part of the country, which is fortunate, as the blue berries are toxic. Actually, all parts of the plants contain toxic compounds but when heated the ripe black berries make delicious wine or a pie.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Some people have horrible commutes; highways clogged with traffic and slow moving traffic even with speed limits of 70 miles per hour. My hour spent traveling from St. Matthews from Sumter is mostly a delight as I pass fields filled with row crops growing vigorously on those Fort , red clay enriched soils. Then I cross the Congaree and head into a long flat traverse with more fields and woodlands until I descend into  the Wateree flood plain.

Moths and Yucca

Jun 1, 2019
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.

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.

Spanish Bayonet

May 30, 2019
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.

Roses in Bloom

May 11, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. A rose I thought was native that’s blooming now, I’ve always heard it called Cherokee Rose. Now I find out that this single white, high climbing rose, with the scientific name Rosa laevigata, is exotic, not native, and in some places considered invasive. Jonathan Windham, a specialist at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center in Florence, who provides information on genetically modified organisms, is also a rose enthusiast.

Rose Rosette Virus

May 10, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Knockout Roses took the South by storm as they bloomed happily without requiring treatment for black spot fungus. Sadly, they and other garden roses are falling prey to rose rosette virus. Infected plants can have reddish stems, misshapen leaves and stems, and other growth abnormalities. A tiny, 1/200dredth of an inch long, eriophyid mite spreads the virus if it feeds on your roses.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. A viewer wrote to us about a problem with her roses. I referred her to Clemson’s Home & Garden Information Center where horticulture experts take phone calls helping people with problems in their yard or garden. Just Search Clemson HGIC for that phone number and then press zero to get to a real, live person.

Rose Chores

May 8, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. One of my favorite visits last year was to Pat Henry’s beautiful home in Laurens. You can see this segment by searching Making It Grow/YouTube/Pat Henry’s Rose Garden. Because of vole pressure, she forms a screen wire cage around each plant’s root ball before planting it. This fits in with her overall approach of growing roses without spending hours and hours fighting pests and diseases.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Last year, team Making It Grow visited Pat Henry up near Laurens, SC. Pat is a world-renowned rosarian and partner at Roses Unlimited. She maintains a beautiful yard devoted to a half dozen small gardens devoted to those plants, watered by hand as she doesn’t have irrigation. Amazingly, she doesn’t spray for black spot or Japanese beetles.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The nightshade family, Solanaceae, includes some of our favorite vegetables (although they’re fruits in the botanical framework). One important gardening and farming practice is crop rotation. If you plant the same crop over and over again, diseases that favor that plant family will build up in the soil. So it’s important to keep gardening dairies and to know what plants are related to each other so you can rotate effectively.

Bumblebees

May 3, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Mated female bumblebees overwinter in sheltered underground locations. In spring, they emerge and collect pollen upon which they lay eggs. The resulting new bees take over the work of collecting pollen and nectar and the hive increases. Although they are social insects, bumblebees are relatively docile and usually not a threat to people.

Clemson Extension Agent and Host of Making It Grow Amanda McNulty talks with fellow Clemson Extension Agent Laura Lee Rose about plants that are great food sources for birds.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Field grown tomatoes can be effectively pollinated by wind but the addition of powerful buzz-pollinating bees, bumble bees and the much-maligned carpenter bees, improves the outcome. When growing tomatoes in greenhouses, the producers can either use mechanical pollination or maintain colonies of bumblebees. Effective mechanical pollination requires workers to vibrate each fruiting cluster with devices, sometimes battery-powered toothbrushes.

Clemson Extension Agent and Host of Making It Grow Amanda McNulty talks with fellow Clemson Extension Agent Laura Lee Rose about edible plants for the home landscape.

Clemson Extension Agent and Host of Making It Grow Amanda McNulty talks with fellow Clemson Extension Agent Laura Lee Rose abut her creation of a rain garden in Beaufort, SC with the help of Beaufort County and Master Gardeners.

"Buzz" Pollinators

May 1, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Tomatoes  need movement for pollination. Their pollen containing anthers have slits or pores in them and release the pollen  then stimulated by wind or vibrations. As wind moves the flowers the pollen is released and falls on the female stigma. The best insect pollinators are not honey bees but bumble bees and carpenter bees. These insects which have super strong chest muscles,frequently visit flowers in the nightshade family.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Growing the delicious garden tomato becomes more and more elusive for me. Back in the day,  my parents would put a few tomato plants in amongst the foundation plantings and we’d have plenty of those summer treats. Now with increased disease and insect pressure, I‘ve become an aficionado of cherry tomatoes which seem easier to grow; although you need a really sharp knife  if you are going to slice them for BLT’s.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. I’ve been noticing Chickasaw plums on my drive to Sumter recently. I see them on the dry, open woodlands as I drive down towards the Wateree flood plain. They’re modest in size, open and twiggy trees that you wouldn’t call spectacular, as even in bloom their beauty is somewhat ephemeral.  They do make small fruits that are enjoyed by wildlife as they aren’t picky about the damage caused by the plum curculio like we are.

Chickasaw Plum

Apr 12, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. A much less noticeable member of the genus prunus which is native to South Carolina is Prunus angustifolia, with the common name of Chickasaw plum. In South Carolina, we find it in mixed stands growing in medium to dry soils, often in dense thickets. It has good tolerance to drought, and in its western range is extremely important as a food and shelter source for animals.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Both Prunus serotina, black cherry, and Prunus caroliniana, cherry laurel, contain prussic acid, cyanide, and the wilted leaves especially are harmful to horses and cattle. If you crush the leaves of black cherry, you can really smell that acrid compound. On the other hand, if you rub cherry laurel glossy evergreen leaves together between your hands, they smell just like maraschino cherries.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Cherry laurel Prunus caroliniana is one of our native members of the genus prunus. Unlike its deciduous relative, Prunus serotina, this evergreen plant with dense foliage is somewhat cold sensitive and is found in the coastal plains of the gulf and Atlantic states from North Carolina to Texas. In past centuries, this fast growing plant was used extensively for hedges.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. We have several native members of the genus Prunus in South Carolina. We’ve talked a good bit about the one that’s getting attention now for its unsightliness – black cherry, Prunus serotina, the favorite larval food source for the eastern tent caterpillars whose webs are highly visible. 

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Our native black cherry tree, Prunus serotina, produces showy, elongated racemes of individual white, perfect, flowers in early spring. These flowers have pollen and nectar coveted by insects and are pollinated by native bees, flies, and honeybees. In early summer they ripen and have a sweet, pungent taste. If you’re interested in foraging, you might want to look in the old cookbook Charleston Receipts for the cherry bounce recipe.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Our native black cherry, Prunus serotina, is usually defaced this time of year by a large web of silk that houses several hundred leaf-eating Eastern tent caterpillars. If you can reach the web, use a small rake to pull the mass to the ground. Then you can actually stomp on the caterpillars and destroy them. If you don’t, they will march right back up the tree. If you can’t reach the nest, don’t fret, as the tree will produce new leaves and continue photosynthesizing for the rest of the season.

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