Featured stories and content


Winter Plant

                Cold, dry winter winds can remove moisture from plant tissue very quickly.  Newly planted plants are especially susceptible to drying out.  Dig a few inches into the soil around them and if the soil is dry, water them.  During periods of cold, make sure your shrubs and trees have adequate moisture. You may have to water your shrubs and tree during predicted col temperatures to protect roots.  Cold temperatures can damage roots that are in dry soil.  Also, watering just before a cold snap will help plants survive bitter temperatures.         Houseplants do not need as much water during the winter months as they do in the summer.  It is a good idea to reduce your watering schedule and use little or no fertilizer as houseplants rest during the short days of winter and become semi-dormant.  Your houseplants will ne ready for vigorous new growth in the comin spring.         If you have a houseplants inside next to a window, make sur you give them extra care on cold nights.  The cold temperature on the windowpanes can damage tender leaves and flowers.  Pull your plants away from the glass or close curtains and blinds at night.

lettuce jan

Edibles in January

              Continue to order garden seed.  When ordering annual seeds be sure to try a few varieties alongside your tried-and-true varieties.  Experimenting is fun and the new varieties might work out.         If you are planning to sew spring cole crops in the piedmont and coastal areas plan to have them in the ground by the end of the month.  Grow cold-tolerant leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and collards. Some may be killed by frost, but it’s worth having fresh greens for salads.  Also, try planting greens with pansies for a pretty winter salad garden.         You can also begin to prepare your vegetable garden for this year by adding compost and working into the soil. Asparagus crowns can be planted this month once the soil is dry enough to work.  Beets, carrots, lettuce, mustard, radish, Irish potatoes and turnips in early February.         This month you want to prune muscadine grapes.  The warm weather may cause the sap to drip but it won’t hurt the grape vine.  Bunch grapes can also be pruned now or in February.  In the piedmont and coastal areas, start pruning peaches and plums.  February would work as well but you need to prune before they bloom.  In the mountains, do not prune peaches and plum until March.

Image of website

Plant Database

Find just the right plant using this searchable database.


*Winter Pests*

        Pine voles cause extensive damage to landscape plants in the winter.  For infomation on managing voles see wildlife damage notes.          Remove and destroy bagworms or tent caterpillars before they hatch in the spring.  See management strategies.         Scout for winter weeds growing in the lawn and control them now before they go to seed.

At the moment, there are no upcoming events listed.
NEWS View All
Garden pea vines with pods

Plant Peas, Please

Temperatures may still be brisk but it is already time to start planning and planting your spring vegetable garden. Garden peas and their relatives, snow peas and sugar snaps, are among the earliest MORE » – from   Chatham County Center

Extension Gardener newsletter

Help Us Improve!

Throughout the year we strive to bring you useful, accurate, and timely gardening information you can trust through the Extension Gardener newsletter, portal, and Facebook page. Please take our short online survey to MORE »


Floriculture InfoSearch

Floriculture InfoSearch is a powerful, but focused search engine designed to bring you floriculture information from the scientific literature, trade and association magazines/websites, NC State University, and the American Floral Endowment Floriculture Archive MORE »

Porcupine with a sweet potato body and green bean spines.

Veggie Varmint

The “Veggie Varmint” contest, hosted at the Burke County fair each year, is delightful, creative way to connect children with produce. Without the pressure to “EAT IT”, children (and adults) are encouraged to MORE »

Downy Mildew
Image by Gerald Holmes, courtesy of Bugwood

Downy Mildew

Downy mildew is here! Look on the tops of leaves for angular, yellow to brown wounds that stop at a leaf vein. Management suggestions: • Plant early in the season so you can MORE »

Greenstriped Mapleworm1398055Bugwood

Greenstriped Mapleworms

Greenstriped Mapleworms Greenstriped mapleworms are found in the piedmont the end of June and early July. As their name suggests their preferred hosts are maple trees, but they are also found on boxelder MORE »

Emerald Ash Borer 
(Image Courtesy of Bugwood)

Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer, a beautiful but extremely destructive, exotic insect pest, has now been detected in North Carolina. These beetles kill ash trees by feeding on the trunks. So far Person, Granville, MORE »

More News