Articles by Charlotte Glen Special to Topsail Advertiser

  • Choose these easy vegetables and herbs for this year’s gardens

    Many vegetables and herbs can be grown in our area, though some are easier than others. If you are a beginning gardener or are simply looking for a few easy crops, consider the following suggestions for your garden this year. READ MORE

  • Read the label before using any pesticide

    Have you ever hesitated to use a pesticide because you were not sure how to mix it, where or when it should be applied, or what threat it posed to bees, wildlife, pets or people? All of this, along with other essential information, is listed on every pesticide label. Reading the label before you buy or use a pesticide will help you decide which product is right for your pest problem, how to correctly apply it, and what risks are involved. READ MORE

  • Is it time to plant?

    It only takes one warm weekend for gardening fever to become an epidemic, making everyone anxious to plant. But is it too early? The answer to this question depends on what you are planting, where you are located, and how much risk you are willing to take. READ MORE

  • Improve Your Soil with Compost and Cover Crops

    As you get ready to plant this spring, don’t forget about adding organic matter to the soil. Organic matter, such as compost, improves all soil types, which results in naturally healthier plants. You can purchase compost in bags or in bulk or make your own at home with yard debris and kitchen scraps. You can even grow your own by planting certain cover crops, known as green manures, and tilling them into the soil. READ MORE

  • Is there anything deer will not eat?

    High populations and disappearing woodland habitat are forcing deer to seek food in our backyards and gardens. One of the easiest ways to minimize deer damage in your yard is to landscape with plants deer prefer not to eat. While no plant is deer proof, there are many good landscape plants for this area that deer find less palatable — a solution that is both effective and relatively low-cost, once you know which plants to choose. READ MORE

  • Kudzu bugs are back on the move

    The return of spring has tempted more than gardeners to venture outside and enjoy the warm weather. Kudzu bugs, a new insect first seen in our area in 2011, are coming out from their winter hiding places by the thousands. Slightly larger than a lady bug, with olive green or brown flattened, square bodies, kudzu bugs are strong fliers and often gather in large groups. If you spend time outside in the next several weeks chances are you will run into them. READ MORE

  • Control insects with natural products

    Natural insect control products are derived from plants, microorganisms and other naturally occurring materials. These products can successfully control many insect pests in gardens and landscapes when applied properly. You will find simply substituting natural products for synthetic insecticides may not provide the same results. READ MORE

  • Finding the right fertilizer depends on plants, soil

    There are lots of choices when it comes to fertilizing plants. Garden center shelves are lined with products that promise beautiful, healthy, lush plant growth. Which is best for your yard or garden depends on the type of nutrients your plants need and how quickly they need them. READ MORE

  • Aphids on river birch attract ladybugs

    River birch is a tough and adaptable native tree that is also a popular landscape plant throughout the south. If you notice some of the leaves on your river birch have become thickened, distorted, or discolored in the last few weeks don’t be alarmed. While caused by a type of aphid, these symptoms are not a sign of serious damage and can even be an indication of good things to come to your yard. Understanding aphids READ MORE

  • Check gardenia for whitefly before they settle in for summer

    Almost every yard in the south has at least one gardenia. Planted by generations of gardeners for their exotically fragrant white blossoms, these tough evergreen shrubs are salt tolerant, drought tolerant and deer resistant. One thing they cannot resist is the tiny whitefly. These petite pests cause gardenia leaves to turn yellow and plants to appear dark or sooty. If this describes the gardenia in your yard now is the time to check for whitefly and determine if treatment is needed. READ MORE

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