making it grow

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.

Basil and Powdery Mildew

Jul 1, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. In our old house we use an attic fan in the summer. That cool air is a blessing but with it comes humidity and some of my shoes are mildewed by the time fall comes. Mildews are aesthetically and economically damaging to some ornamental and vegetables crops. Powderly mildew made it hard for us to grow the  native Phlox paniculatas in hotter parts of the south and the indispensable summer herb, basil has been devastated by downy mildew..

Remontant Hydrangeas

Jun 29, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Summers in South Carolina can seem endless as autumn seems to come later and later each year. The phrase Endless Summer has a happier connotation, however, when it comes to a series of reblooming hydrangeas. The fancy word for reblooming is remontant, meaning a plant blooming or producing a crop more than once a season. The Endless Summer series are the first ever reblooming cultivars producing flowers on both old and new wood.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Clemson horticulture agent Barbara Smith is one of the experts who answer plant problem and food safety calls made to Clemson’s Home & Garden Information Center, HGIC  for short. Each week she also shares through the Clemson HGIC free weekly email newsletter beautiful pictures of flowers or interesting plants she sees at the South Carolina Botanical Garden on Clemson’s campus.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Clemson’s Home & Garden Information Center, or Clemson HGIC for short, is the “go to” site for researched-based information applicable to South Carolina. The selection bar includes the topics Landcape, Fruits & Vegetables, Indoor Plants, Food and Entomology, with subdivisions under each. Right now a useful fact sheet is number 2212, Tomato Diseases and Disorders, with helpful pictures and text.

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