making it grow

Clemson Extension Agent Amanda McNulty travels to the USC Lancaster Native American Studies Center and talks with Dr. Stephen Criswell, Director of Native American Studies, about all the exhibits and events they offer the public.

Clemson Extension Agent Amanda McNulty talks with Dr. Matt Hersom, Director of the Campus Farms Research Education Center which includes 8 farms around Clemson University. Their topic: the importance of land grant college’s mission of research, teaching and extension.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The family, Solanaceae, has the common name of nightshade, which sounds like something to avoid like the plague, includes some of our favorite vegetables. Besides tomatoes, other members are peppers, eggplants, and potatoes, and still an important agricultural crop, tobacco. Flowers include Datura, brugmansia, petunias and nicotiana. One important gardening and farming practice is crop rotation.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Mated female bumblebees overwinter in sheltered underground locations, emerging in early spring to find a nesting site, collect pollen to lay eggs. Newly hatched bees take over the pollen and nectar gathering and the hive increases. Although social insects, bumblebees are relatively docile and generally not a threat. They don’t make much honey as the colony, which may reach several hundred individuals, dies when winter comes.

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 insects, 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.

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 which release ripe pollen when stimulated by wind or vibrations. As wind moves the flowers pollen is released and falls on the female stigma. The best insect pollinators are not honey bees but bumble bees and carpenter bees.

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 and others as well. 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.

Clemson Extension Agent Amanda McNulty talks Clemson University Associate Professor Dr. Jim Faust about floriculture and other research projects he is working on in the Clemson Greenhouses.

Ogeechee Lime

Feb 8, 2020

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Although the AC Moore Herbarium list of South Carolina’s plant distribution shows Ogeechee lime, Nyssa ogeche, as documented in only Jasper and Beaufort counties, there is a specimen growing at Moore Farms Botanical Garden in Lake City.  It’s obviously a female tree, which has mostly female flowers but also some perfect ones, as it produces fruits.

Honeydew Honey

Feb 7, 2020

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  If you like the pine resin flavored Greek wine retsina, I have a honey suggestion for you. At Honey Travelers Single Flower honey page, they talk about forest or honeydew honey. Honeydew is the substance that aphids excrete – it is the bane of many gardeners as it coats the surface of lower leaves this sweet substance upon which sooty mold grows.

Honey Varietals

Feb 6, 2020

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. I’m not very picky about honey although Maynard Door near Sumter gave me some special honey he didn’t mix in with others  as its flavor was so delightfully floral. Lots of people are honey aficionados and have their favorites for different purposes. There are even listings for honey varietals, just like wine! For example, the website Honey Travelers has information on a honey competition in the Mediterranean region.

Ogeechee Honey

Feb 5, 2020

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. If you look at the USC Herbarium’s plant distribution list, you’ll see that only in Jasper and Beaufort Counties has Ogeechee lime, Nyssa ogeche, been documented. It’s greatest distribution is in a swath of Georgia and the upper panhandle of Florida. Bee keepers take hives into these sites,  sometimes floating them on platforms, to produce this very valuable white ogeechee honey.

Nyssa Ogeche

Feb 3, 2020

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The rarest of the North American Nyssa trees is Nyssa ogeche. The species name comes from the Ogeechee River in Georgia, a blackwater river, like our Edisto River in South Carolina. It, too has beautiful bald cypress trees growing in it. But In its massive drainage basin, you’ll also find this Nyssa species, with the common name Ogeechee lime, which only grows in four states.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Nyssa sylvatica has two varieties. On drier sites, you’ll find Nyssa sylvatica var sylvatica. In wet areas, often growing with bald cypress, the variety biflora is found. Both exhibit beautiful fall color, have small flowers very important to pollinators and produce fruits relished by birds and certain mammals. Also, their leaves are browsed by certain animals.

Hollow Trees

Jan 31, 2020

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Today we fret over hollow trees, although educational websites say that those trees can be almost as strong as a tree still filled with heartwood. Trees near trafficked areas or buildings should be evaluated by an arborist. But for wildlife, hollows serve as homes for bats, birds, mammals, and reptiles. We’ve been talking about early farmers used sections of blackgum tree hollows to make bee hives.

Pages