Articles by Charlotte Glen Special to Topsail Advertiser

  • Pender Gardener: Watering vegetables, fruits and herbs

    Correct watering can make the difference between a bumper crop and complete failure. As we experienced earlier this summer, too much water can result in fruits and herbs having less flavor, increased disease problems, and plants drowning. On the other hand, if there is too little water, seedlings fail to come up, yields are reduced, and plants can die. Because correct watering relies on many factors, including weather conditions, soil type, and what you are growing, how much and when to water is not a simple formula. This article completes a three part series on water wise practices for lawns and gardens, discussing how and when to water vegetables, fruits, and herbs. READ MORE

  • Pender Gardener: Fall webworms making a mess

    Masses of webbing on the ends of tree branches in your yard and along the roadsides are the work of the fall webworm, a species of caterpillar native to our region. Fall webworm outbreaks occur every year in our area and are most noticeable in late summer and fall. This year they are particularly prolific, but fortunately they cause little lasting damage to trees and shrubs. READ MORE

  • Order perennial bulbs now for spring color

    Spring blooming bulbs are some of our earliest flowering perennials, bursting into bloom at a time most of us are desperate to see colors other than brown and gray. While late fall (mid-November through mid-December) is the best time to plant spring blooming bulbs in our region, early fall is the time to order or buy them, but not all varieties are equally long lived. Make the most of your bulb planting experience by seeking out these reliably perennial varieties. READ MORE

  • Keep those plastic pots out of local landfills

    Fall is planting time; for pansies, perennials, trees, and shrubs, fall is the best time to plant in the south. But there is a problem. Almost every plant you purchase comes in a plastic pot. After the plant is in the ground, you are left wondering what to do with the pot. Don’t just throw it in the landfill, where it will join the 30 million tons of plastics Americans dispose of each year. There are better options! Keep pots and other types of plastic out of the landfill by recycling. READ MORE

  • Kudzu bugs seeking a place to spend the winter

    If insects placed personal ads, kudzu bugs would probably run something along these lines right about now, “Small, brown, square bug seeking a cozy place to spend the winter with a few hundred of my best friends. No food required. Will be out by spring.” If kudzu bugs are knocking at your door seeking a place to overwinter, your best defense may be a vacuum cleaner, since pesticides have little impact on this persistent invader. The good news is they will not damage your home and their rush to find winter housing will likely be over by Thanksgiving. READ MORE

  • Keep it real with a living or live-cut Christmas tree

    Ready or not, Christmas is on the way. Keep the holidays real this year and support North Carolina farmers by purchasing a locally grown living or live cut Christmas tree. Which is best for you will depend on how long you wish to keep the tree inside and whether you have somewhere to plant it outdoors after the holidays. Keep the following tips in mind as you untangle the lights, haul out the ornaments, and head toward your local garden center or tree farm. READ MORE

  • Enjoy evergreens safely, indoors and out

    Christmas is a traditional time to bring fresh cut evergreens indoors for natural decorations. There are many landscape plants that make great cut greenery for arrangements and decorations, though a few should be approached with caution. Continue reading to find out which plants you can enjoy and which you should avoid as you deck the halls this holiday season. READ MORE

  • Master Gardener: Temperature ups and downs wear on plants

    Cold damage is not uncommon in eastern North Carolina lawns and landscapes, even though our climate is relatively mild. Symptoms of cold damage include brown leaves on evergreens, dead patches in lawns, twig dieback on trees and shrubs, and in extreme cases, complete death of a plant. Most years, extremely cold temperatures are not the cause of plant injury during our winters. Instead, it is usually a combination of fluctuating temperatures along with factors related to plant care. While little can be done to moderate temperature changes, there are things we can do to minimize their effects on our lawns and landscapes. READ MORE

  • Master Gardener: Year-round gardening challenge not as hard as it sounds

    I have a challenge for you: Grow at least one type of vegetable each season of 2014. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Vegetables can be grown outside in southeastern N.C. from late winter through late fall. And, if you are willing to invest in a low cost cold frame or frost protection cloth, harvesting through the winter is easily possible. Plus, I will help you by sending out regular vegetable gardening email updates if you sign up for the challenge. READ MORE

  • Plant flowers for pollinators — and for show

    Flowers serve a much greater purpose than just decorating your landscape. Did you realize that planting flowers in your yard can help support local agriculture, ensure the availability of fruits and vegetables, and protect thousands of plant and animal species? All of this is true if you plant flowers that sustain pollinators, and the added bonus is they also make your yard more attractive. READ MORE

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Weather • Surf City, North Carolina