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

  • Grow a successful vegetable garden

    I have been in the horticulture industry for over 18 years. In that time I have always focused on growing and designing with annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. Just recently I have found a new interest in vegetable gardening. Growing food isn’t easy. We have several things stacked against us. First, we have a hot and humid climate which creates a perfect environment for foliar diseases to develop and insects to persist. Much of our native soils our depleted of nutrients and can always benefit from additional compost and it is either feast or famine when it comes to rainfall. READ MORE

  • There is no one-size-fits-all grass option

    Whether you are establishing a new lawn or renovating an existing one, deciding when to apply fertilizers and fungicides so they are most effective can be a tough call. No one type of grass is best suited for all situations. Your decision should be based on region, climate, intended use and desired appearance. 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

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Weather • Surf City, North Carolina