With training and pruning, fruit trees will develop the proper shape and form to yield high-quality fruit sooner and will live longer. Learn how to train your trees for productivity and prune to remove dead, diseased or broken limbs. This publication includes descriptions of dormant pruning, summer pruning, types of pruning cuts and different training systems.
In central North Carolina almost any type of vegetable or fruit can be grown successfully provided you choose appropriate varieties and plant at the right time. This publication covers climate, season and potential pests that all affect the selection of what and when to plant. Also included is a planting chart and calendar.
Propagation by stem cuttings is the most commonly used method to propagate many woody ornamental plants. Stem cuttings of many favorite shrubs are quite easy to root. Typically, stem cuttings of tree species are more difficult to root. However, cuttings from trees such as crape myrtles, some elms, and birches can be rooted.
This publication provides information on budding and grafting techniques, which can be used successfully in commercial operations.
This publication covers the keys to a successful community garden of individual plots including forming a strong planning team, choosing a safe site accessible to the target audience with sunlight and water, organizing a simple transparent system for management and designing and installing the garden. Appendices offer a sample layout, sample by-laws, sample budgets and a list of resources.
If you have a home vegetable garden, this publication can help you learn about selecting a site, gardening tools, fertilizer, watering techniques and more.
Stems that are still attached to their parent plant may form roots where they come in contact with a rooting medium. This method of vegetative propagation is generally successful, because water stress is minimized and carbohydrate and mineral nutrient levels are high. The development of roots on a stem while the stem is still attached to the parent plant is called layering. A layer is the rooted stem following detachment (removal) from the parent plant.
This manual, updated every year, covers pesticide use and safety information, chemical application equipment, fertilizer use, insect control, chemical weed control, plant growth regulators, animal damage control and disease control.
This publication explains how to plant and take care of fruit trees in the home garden or yard.
Some, but not all, plants can be propagated from just a leaf or a section of a leaf. Leaf cuttings of most plants will not generate a new plant; they usually produce only a few roots or just decay. Because leaf cuttings do not include an axillary bud, they can be used only for plants that are capable of forming adventitious buds. Leaf cuttings are used almost exclusively for propagating some indoor plants. There are several types of leaf cuttings.
This publication provides basic information on the nutrient needs of trees and shrubs, types of fertilizers to apply and recommended methods and times of application.
This publication provides information to help the commercial grower increase crop production when growing blackberries in North Carolina.
This publication offers tips on marketing and selling, timber terminology, examples of timber sale agreements and advice on seeking professional help from a consulting forester. By using this guide, landowners can make their next (or first) timber sale a pleasant and profitable experience.
Blueberries can be grown in home gardens anywhere in North Carolina if the right species and proper soil modifications are used. Blueberries are typically used in the landscape as hedges for screening purposes, but they can also be used in cluster plantings, or as single specimen plants. Blueberries are an ideal year round addition to the landscape. They have delicate white or pink flowers in the spring, the summer fruit has an attractive sky blue color, and the fall foliage adds great red and yellow colors to the landscape.
Frost forms on solid objects when the water vapor in the atmosphere changes from its vapor phase to small ice crystals. Frost is not frozen dew. If you see frost than you know that the temperature of the object it is on reached 32°F or lower. However, the air temperature, measured at five feet above ground in the vicinity of this object, is likely several degrees higher. Conversely, not every air temperature recorded at or below 32°F means frost formed on solid objects in the area. In spite of this, the average date of the last spring air temperature of 32°F has traditionally been called the last frost date. The dates presented in this leaflet are the average date of the last recorded air temperature at 32°F or lower for the period 1951 - 1980.
This guide provides techniques for small-scale outdoor cultivation of shiitake mushrooms on logs. Tree selection and log preparation, spawn selection, inoculation, fruiting, pest and disease management and harvesting are covered.
Growing apple trees in the home garden can be fun and rewarding. Several factors are important to consider before planting for successful apple production. Apple variety and rootstock, site selection, proper planting, training and pruning, adequate fertility, and pest control all contribute to healthy and productive trees. A brief discussion of these considerations follows.
Growing your own transplants from seeds indoors can give you a head start on the growing season. In some cases, it may be the only way to obtain plants of a new or special cultivar (variety) that is not widely available through garden centers. To obtain vigorous plants, start with high-quality seed from a reliable source. Select cultivars which provide the plant size, color (flower, foliage, or fruit), and growth habit you want. Choose cultivars adapted to your area. Many vegetable and flower cultivars are hybrids. They may cost more than open pollinated types, but they usually have more vigor, more uniformity, and better growth than non-hybrids.
Flowers have traditionally been used in many types of cooking: European, Asian, East Indian, Victorian English, and Middle Eastern. Early American settlers also used flowers as food. Today, there is a renewed interest in edible flowers for their taste, color, and fragrance. Many herbal flowers have the same flavor as their leaves, though others, such as chamomile and lavender blossoms, have a subtler flavor.
Muskmelons, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, watermelons and okra are vegetable crops that have shown significant increases in earliness, yield, and fruit quality when grown on plastic mulch. Some less valuable crops such as sweet corn, snap beans, southern peas and pumpkins have shown similar responses. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of using plastic mulches are outlined in this publication.
Organic farmers cite weed management as their number one research priority. This publication in the Organic Production publication series describes weed control strategies for organic farms based on weed characteristics and an integrated cropping system approach. A special section on cultivation practices that limit emerged and future weeds is based on research by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems.
This publication explains how to start and maintain a successful pecan orchard on a large or small scale.
This final publication in the Pruning Trees & Shrubs series gives tips for pruning specific plants.
This production guide covers all aspects of commercial staked tomato production--from varieties and transplants to site selection, cover cropping, production systems, fertilization, pest management, and harvesting. An online appendix of tomato pests includes color photographs to assist growers in identifying insect and disease pests.
This factsheet covers propagating (by seed and by transplant) ginseng, which requires a period of stratification before germination.
This publication focuses on the management techniques and economic analysis of orchards with more than 150 to 180 trees per acre.
Muscadine grapes are well adapted to the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, where temperatures seldom fall below 10°F. Considerable injury generally occurs where winter temperatures drop below 0°F. Muscadines have a high degree of tolerance to pests and diseases that makes the production of bunch grapes nearly impossible in eastern North Carolina. There is no other fruit with such strong personal associations for so many native North Carolinians.
This 21 chapter handbook covers research-based gardening information that helps readers be successful gardeners and good stewards of the environment. Chapter titles include: Soils and Plant Nutrients, Composting, Botany, Insects, Diseases, Weeds, Diagnostics, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Lawns, Herbaceous Ornamentals, Woody Ornamentals, Native Plants, Propagation, Small Fruits, Tree Fruits and Nuts, Vegetable Gardening, Organic Gardening, Plants Grown in Containers (Houseplants and Outdoor Containers), Landscape Design, Wildlife, Youth, Community, and Therapeutic Gardening. Included also are a glossary and appendix topics: Garden Journaling, Pesticides and Pesticide Safety, History of Landscape Design, Permaculture Design, and Greenhouses.
This lawns chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook will review installation and care of turfgrass as well as management strategies for turfgrass problems. This chapter also reviews options for turfgrass alternatives.
This comprehensive factsheet for farmers describes recommended practices for producing pickling and slicing cucumbers.
This guide presents basic facts about seeds, including how they develop, how to store and germinate seeds successfully and the factors that influence seed quality. It also summarizes the North Carolina laws that affect seed collecting and distribution.
This publication covers chemical weed control and weed response to a variety of crops.
This publication discusses growing and harvesting head lettuce, the most important salad vegetable grown in the United States. Per-capita consumption exceeds 25 pounds annually. In North Carolina, the crop can be grown as both a spring and fall crop in eastern North Carolina and even during midsummer in western North Carolina at elevations higher than 3,000 feet.
This publication explains how to determine the volume of a tree using a scale (Biltmore) stick and provides a template for making a scale stick.
An herb is any plant used whole or in part as an ingredient for health, flavor, or fragrance. Herbs can be used to make teas; perk up cooked foods such as meats, vegetables, sauces, and soups; or to add flavor to vinegars, butters, dips, or mustards. Many herbs are grown for their fragrance and are used in potpourris, sachets, and nosegays; or to scent bath water, candles, oils, or perfumes. More than 25% of our modern drugs contain plant extracts as active ingredients, and researchers continue to isolate valuable new medicines from plants and confirm the benefits of those used in traditional folk medicine.
Many vegetables are well adapted to planting in the summer for fall harvest. Planting a fall garden will extend the gardening season so you can continue to harvest fresh produce after earlier crops have finished. The fall harvest can be extended even further by providing protection from early frosts or by planting in cold frames or hotbeds.
A properly planted tree or shrub will be more tolerant of adverse conditions and require much less management than one planted incorrectly. Planting technique impacts water quality as it minimizes water, fertilizer and pesticide use. When making decisions on planting techniques, one should consider how the plant was grown in the nursery, the plant's drainage requirements, the soil type and drainage characteristics, and the availability of irrigation water. The plant should be specifically appropriate to the site, or the site should be amended to specifically fit the plant.
This Soils and Plant Nutrients Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook examines the physical and chemical properties of soil as well as the important role organic matter plays. The chapter discusses how to submit a soil sample for testing and how to read the report to apply necessary fertilizers.
Strawberries are a welcome addition to any home garden. They are relatively easy to grow, require a minimum of space, and virtually no chemicals are needed. From as few as 25 transplants to start a matted row, a berry yield in excess of 50 pounds can be achieved one year after planting. Strawberries require a site that is open to direct sunlight most of the day. Try to avoid very low-lying areas prone to spring frosts, and you should definitely plan to purchase a white spunbonded row cover to protect open strawberry blossoms from spring frosts/freezes. The same cover may be used for bird control during harvest.
Seed dormancy is nature's way of setting a time clock that allows seeds to initiate germination when conditions are normally favorable for germination and survival of the seedlings. For example, dogwoods produce mature seeds in the fall, but conditions are not suitable for seedling survival at that time. Thus, dogwoods have developed a mechanism that keeps the seeds dormant until spring when conditions are favorable for germination, as well as, seedling growth and survival.
This publication covers insect control in a variety of crops, as well as household pests.
This Landscape Design Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook discusses the principles design as well as guiding readers through the steps to create an environmentally friendly landscape design.
This publication tells gardeners why they should test their soil, how to obtain a soil test and interpret the results and how to use the soil test to improve their soils.
This publication describes ways to minimize nematode problems by employing several control measures such as a rotational scheme, resistant varieties and selected cultural practices.
Field corn was grown in North America before 200 BC. Field corn is produced primarily for animal feed and industrial uses such as ethanol, cooking oil, etc. In contrast, sweet corn is produced for human consumption as either a fresh or processed product.
This publication covers site selection, variety selection, weed control, pruning, diseases and insects and harvesting for peach growers in North Carolina.
Several decades ago, when orange-fleshed sweet potatoes were introduced in the southern United States, producers and shippers desired to distinguish them from the more traditional, white-fleshed types. The African word nyami, referring to the starchy, edible root of the Dioscorea genus of plants, was adopted in its English form, yam. Yams in the U.S. are actually sweetpotatoes with relatively moist texture and orange flesh. Although the terms are generally used interchangeably, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that the label "yam" always be accompanied by "sweetpotato." The following information outlines several differences between sweetpotatoes and yams.
This Propagation Chapter from the Extension Gardener Handbook explains how and why to grow new plants from seed (sexual reproduction) and from cuttings (asexual propagation).
This publication offers a guide to growing edible plants year-round in containers. Includes planting and harvest guides.
Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are native to the eastern North American mountains. They can be found growing in patches in rich, moist, deciduous forests and bottoms from as far north as Canada, west to Missouri and Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee. In early spring, ramps send up smooth, broad, lily-of-the-valley-like leaves that disappear by summer before the white flowers appear. The bulbs have the pleasant taste of sweet spring onions with a strong garlic-like aroma.