Matthew Brown


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

  • Wet weather promotes fungal diseases

    Much of the Southeast has recently experienced the typical summer pattern of frequent late afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Heavy rainfall combined with high humidity creates a favorable environment for plant diseases. Our wet, warm weather adds up to fungus “heaven” in our lawns, landscapes and gardens. READ MORE

  • Sustainable landscapes cost-effective, environmentally friendly

    Millions of dollars are spent each year designing, implementing, and maintaining our landscapes. Unfortunately, long-term problems are caused when we as gardeners make decisions based on our needs and wants without considering the environmental impact. You may have heard the term sustainable landscaping. What does a sustainable landscape mean? READ MORE

  • Fall needle drop not always cause for alarm

    Every year during the first few weeks of November, New Hanover County residents stop by the plant clinic carrying plastic baggies containing brown interior branches of one sort of conifer or another. All of them experiencing the same problem and asking, “What’s causing my plant to die?” Those that don’t bring the actual parts of their trees in often described the symptoms. “My tree was fine last week and suddenly it started turning brown.” Or “The needles are all turning yellow and dropping to the ground.” 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

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