Matthew Brown

Email: matthewb@crestviewbulletin.com

Twitter: @cnbMatthew

Articles by Susan Brown Special to Topsail Advertiser

  • Pender Gardener: Attract beneficial insects by making a few minor changes

    Each year I plan my garden and get started as soon as the temperatures warm up. In the spring my plants flourish with little care. As the season progresses, I begin to spend more time in the garden, pulling weeds, deadheading perennials, and watering more often. Then the heat of the summer hits and the battle begins. I find aphids on my roses and hornworms on my tomatoes. Flea beetles attack my sweet potato vine and thrips create streaks all over my annual vinca blooms. Should I panic? Reach for the soapy spray? Will my helpers come to my aid again this year? Without fail, a few days later I notice several lady beetles wandering among the aphids, dining contently. READ MORE

  • Pender Gardener: The right way to water your landscape

    Editor’s note: This article is the second in a three-part series on proper watering practices for lawns and gardens. Next week’s article will finish out the series with a discussion of watering vegetable gardens. READ MORE

  • Pender Gardner: Wet weather promotes fungal diseases

    Recently our region has been stuck in a pattern of frequent late afternoon and evening thunderstorms. This frequent rainfall, combined with high humidity, has created the perfect environment for plant diseases, turning our lawns, landscapes and gardens into a fungus heaven. As a result, gardeners need to keep a close watch for symptoms of foliage disease, such as brown, red, purple, or yellow spots on plant leaves. READ MORE

  • Master gardener: Extinguish fire ants this fall

    Did you know that fire ants were not always found in the Southeast? READ MORE

  • Pender Gardener: Fall is for planting

    If you think spring is the only season to do major yard work, think again. Fall is the best time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials in our region. That means the next few months are the perfect time to work on landscaping. The weather is cooler, making it more enjoyable to work outdoors and less stressful on new plantings. READ MORE

  • Container plants provide interest, color to fall and winter landscapes

    Planted pots belong in every garden and can be a great way to express your personality. Whether you have sun or shade, live in an apartment or a house, you can introduce striking textures, forms, and colors with container plantings. The approach of winter does not mean your containers need to go dormant. There are many exciting plants you can grow in containers to provide interest and color to your fall and winter landscape. READ MORE

  • Master Gardener: Fall color options for coastal landscapes include native trees

    As winter approaches, it is becoming harder to find interesting color in the garden. Most perennials and shrubs have finished blooming and warm season annuals have succumbed to frost. But have you noticed how colorful many of the trees along the roadside are? When trees experience the cooler temperatures and shorter days of fall the process of color change takes place. Many of our native trees that are currently showing fall color would make excellent additions to your landscape. READ MORE

  • Pender Gardener: Poinsettia is the most popular flowering plant sold in the U.S.

    It’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate and consume a great deal of food. Time to hang the lights, decorate the Christmas tree and shop till we drop! Speaking of shopping, did you know the poinsettia is the most popular flowering plant sold in the United States, with more than 70 million sold nationwide each year? With work in the garden winding down and the dreary and cold days of winter upon us, what better way to spice up your life than with a poinsettia? READ MORE

  • Master Gardener: New year resolutions help gardeners plan for spring

    In January and February there is less work to be done in the garden, making these cooler months a great time to plan for the upcoming spring. As gardeners, there are many things we can do to improve the environment and ecosystems around us. Consider adopting one or more of the following resolutions for your garden in the New Year. READ MORE

  • Master Gardener - How to avoid common tree-pruning mistakes

    During my career as a horticulturist I once worked as a landscaper. We had demanding clients who took pride in their pristine landscapes. One of my duties was to prune trees. I remember being terrified of cutting a huge hole into a tree or cutting a branch too close to the trunk. My boss use to always tell me “you can cut more off but you cannot glue it back on.” These are words to prune by. READ MORE

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