Matthew Brown


Twitter: @cnbMatthew

Articles by Susan Brown Special to Topsail Advertiser

  • 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

  • A new year brings new garden resolutions

    Well, it is almost a new year and a new beginning for the garden. In the months of January and February the weather is cooler and there is less work to be done. It is a great time to plan for the upcoming spring. READ MORE

  • Timing is essential for proper pruning

    Pruning is an essential gardening skill. When you prune correctly, you encourage healthy growth and flowering as well as an aesthetic appeal. For most shrubs and trees, it helps to prune at the right time. Some are best pruned in winter; some right after flowering. READ MORE

  • Dividing perennials multiplies your garden

    Purchasing enough plants to fill all the empty spots in your landscape can quickly become expensive. One way to minimize the number of plants you need to buy over the long term is to purchase perennials. Perennial plants return from the same roots each year. Most multiply and spread, and can be divided every few years to make new plants. Most perennials are not temperamental and, if properly divided, will fare well whether they are divided in spring or fall. READ MORE

  • Enjoy color in your garden all season long

    The weather keeps playing tricks on us, but soon enough it will be time to plant those beloved annuals. So what is the difference between an annual or perennial? READ MORE

  • Quest for tasty tomatoes can be a challenging one

    “Ain’t nothing better than a home-grown, one-slicer tomato sandwich,” commented the exasperated gardener visiting Cooperative Extension’s Plant Clinic last week, “but all my plants either die before I get even one tomato or stop producing when it gets hot.” READ MORE

  • 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

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Weather • Surf City, North Carolina