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.
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.
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.
This publication provides information on budding and grafting techniques, which can be used successfully in commercial operations.
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 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.
If you have a home vegetable garden, this publication can help you learn about selecting a site, gardening tools, fertilizer, watering techniques and more.
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.
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.
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.
This publication explains how to plant and take care of fruit trees in the home garden or yard.
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.
Commercial blueberries are generally planted in low areas with high organic-matter content. These sites satisfy the cultural requirements of blueberries for a constant and uniform moisture supply. However, on cold, still nights when radiation frosts occur, heavy cold air from higher surrounding areas "drains" into the low areas causing lower temperatures. Also, the high organic content, especially if the soil is dry, acts as an insulator to restrict heat in the soil from moving up around the plants. The cultural requirement for a uniform soil moisture makes selecting higher sites that are less subject to radiation frosts much less practical than with other fruit crops. This factsheet discusses protecting blueberry plants from freezing.
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.
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 publication covers chemical weed control and weed response to a variety of crops.
This publication provides information to help the commercial grower increase crop production when growing blackberries in North Carolina.
Much success in growing tomatoes can be attributed to use of a few proven techniques. Choosing a variety that has proven to be a true performer should be at the top of every gardener's list. Better Boy, Whopper, Celebrity, and Mountain Pride are among some of the best selections. Better Boy, Celebrity, and Whopper are VFN, which means they carry resistance to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and root-knot nematodes. It is best to experiment with several varieties in order to find the ideal tomato for your taste buds.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This publication covers insect control in a variety of crops, as well as household pests.
Ornamental sweetpotatoes are extremely heat-tolerant, tropical, perennial vines grown as annuals in North Carolina. They look great covering annual beds, hanging over walls or trailing from containers. This publication covers cultivars, how to select the plants, care through the growing season and pests and diseases.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This leaflet covers the training and pruning of thornless blackberry canes for the home gardener.
This factsheet covers propagating (by seed and by transplant) ginseng, which requires a period of stratification before germination.
Weeds are unwanted plants in gardens that reduce available moisture, nutrients, sunlight and growing space needed by crop plants. Their presence can reduced crop growth, quality and yield. In addition, they can make harvest difficult. Weeds also provide cover for diseases, insects and animals (rodents, box turtles, snakes, etc.). Garden weeds are hard to control because they grow rapidly, produce vast numbers of seeds, and spread aggressively by vegetative structures and/or seeds. There are several methods that should be used in a combined, coordinated effort to control weeds. They include cultural, mechanical and chemical methods.
This publication provides information about planning and maintaining a home vegetable garden. Topics include site selection, soil preparation, and pest and disease management.
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.
This comprehensive factsheet for farmers describes recommended practices for producing pickling and slicing cucumbers.
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 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 publication focuses on the management techniques and economic analysis of orchards with more than 150 to 180 trees per acre.
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 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.
Landscapers and home gardeners rely upon plants and shrubs in this size category because of their relatively low maintenance demands. Modern trends in landscaping depict this growing concern by utilizing groundcovers, dwarf, or slow-growing shrubs.
This publication describes ways to minimize nematode problems by employing several control measures such as a rotational scheme, resistant varieties and selected cultural practices.
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 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 discusses the Brussels sprout, a cool season crop, belonging to the cabbage family, and closely related to cauliflower, broccoli, kale, collards, etc. Like cauliflower, it thrives best in a cool humid climate, thus commercial production of this crop is concentrated in the "fog-belt" of California with limited production in the Long Island, New York area. The edible portion of this crop is the "bud" or small cabbage-like head which grows in the axils of each leaf. Occasionally the tops are used as greens.
This publication explains how to start and maintain a successful pecan orchard on a large or small scale.
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.