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copost bin oct

Soil and Site
Clean-up

        Compost your yard waste! As you cut back perennials in preparation for the winter, think about returning that bounty to your garden as compost.  Compost is nature’s favorite fertilizer and soil conditioner.  Recycle grass clippings, leaves and healthy (not diseased) garden refuse.          Use shredded leaves as mulch, Fallen leaves contain lots of nutrients, but they decompose slowly.  Help the process along by grinding up your leaves and using them in vegetable or flower gardens, rather than sending them to the dump.  Don’t have a shredder? Rake the leaves into rows and run over them with a mower, preferably one with a bagger attachment.         Be sure to rake up debris around and under rose bushes.  Black spot disease can overwinter in fallen leaves and appear next spring.         Now is also the time for site analysis! Walk around your yard, noting what need to be worked on, cleaned up or removed.  Mark these areas on a map of the yard so they can be worked on later this winter.

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copost bin oct

Soil and Site
Clean-up

        Compost your yard waste! As you cut back perennials in preparation for the winter, think about returning that bounty to your garden as compost.  Compost is nature’s favorite fertilizer and soil conditioner.  Recycle grass clippings, leaves and healthy (not diseased) garden refuse.          Use shredded leaves as mulch, Fallen leaves contain lots of nutrients, but they decompose slowly.  Help the process along by grinding up your leaves and using them in vegetable or flower gardens, rather than sending them to the dump.  Don’t have a shredder? Rake the leaves into rows and run over them with a mower, preferably one with a bagger attachment.         Be sure to rake up debris around and under rose bushes.  Black spot disease can overwinter in fallen leaves and appear next spring.         Now is also the time for site analysis! Walk around your yard, noting what need to be worked on, cleaned up or removed.  Mark these areas on a map of the yard so they can be worked on later this winter.

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Ag crops - 40-1

Fall Vegetable
Garden

    In the piedmont and coastal plain, garlic, spinach and onions can be planted now, although harvest won’t be till next spring.  The rest of the mountains and much of the piedmont are likely to have a frost by the end of the month.  Sometimes, protecting tender vegetables will you an extra week or two of harvest.  Full size tomatoes can be picked up and ripened inside even if green when picked.         Be prepared to use season extenders on your garden by the end of the month.  A few hours of frost protection can sometimes extend the growing season for 2 to 3 more weeks.         In the vegetable garden, insect control can be a challenge on fall-grown cabbage family crops.  Fortunately, the best controls are organic!  For aphids, use insecticidal soap.  Don’t miss the lower leaf surfaces.  For cabbage worms and other caterpillars use weekly applications of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).         Plant a cover crop in your vegetable garden. Legumes, such as clover and alfalfa will enrich the soil by nitrogen fixation.  Cover crops also prevent erosion and can be turned over into the soil to provide needed organic matter.         Fall Pumpkins!  Have you been pumpkin shopping yet? Find a nice one, bring it home and dip it in 10% bleach and water solution to kill the bacteria that encourages it to rot. Then, sit it where it will not touch the ground or concrete.  A piece of cardboard can help.  This should help keep your pumpkin looking good for 2 to 3 months.

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Plant Database

Find just the right plant using this searchable database.

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NC Cooperative Extension Cut Flower Portal

Cut Flower Portal

NC Cooperative Extension Cut Flower Portal[/caption] Comprehensive Cut flower information including new cultivar evaluation, production strategies, postharvest handling and more.

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bulbs oct

Tips for October

This is the best time of the year to move plants.  If you have to dig and transplant a plant, make sure that you water the soil thoroughly to make digging possible.  Then you will have to water the plant regularly in its new location. Bulbs are typically planted in October.  Healthy bulbs from well-adapted plants can be planted in December or January.  Some spring-flowering bulbs are good choices for our landscapes.  In general, spring-flowering bulbs avoid the most drought-prone times of the year by going dormant in summer and early fall.         There is no need to fertilize dead grass and currently there isn’t enough moisture for new grass to get started.  This could change if you are under a rainstorm or two, but most people will need to hold off planting cool-season grass until warmer temperatures in the late winter or early spring.

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NEWS View All
Bags of grass seed.

Time To Seed Tall Fescue popular

This week’s rain and cooler temperatures are providing the perfect conditions for cool season grasses such as tall fescue to germinate. If you plan to establish or renovate your lawn with a cool MORE » – from   Chatham County Center

http://floricultureinfosearch.ces.ncsu.edu/

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 »

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EVENTS View All
Pollinator Gardening Workshop & Garden TourWed Oct 1, 2014 Today
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM Where:
Pittsboro, NC
— 16 minutes ago
Pollinator Gardening Workshop & Garden TourSat Oct 4, 2014
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM Where:
Pittsboro, NC
— 3 days away
Pollinator Garden TourWed Oct 8, 2014
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM Where:
Pittsboro, NC
— 1 week away
Plantsmen's Tour - JCRA 2nd Tuesday of Month 1pm - RaleighTue Oct 14, 2014
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Where:
4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
— 2 weeks away
Residential Rain Garden WorkshopWed Oct 22, 2014
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Where:
Chatham County Extension Center, 65 E. Chatham St., Pittsboro
— 3 weeks away
Residential Rain Garden Certification Thu Oct 23, 2014
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM Where:
Chatham County Cooperative Extension, 65 E. Chatham St., Pittsboro
— 3 weeks away
Plantsmen's Tour - JCRA 2nd Tuesday of Month 1pm - RaleighTue Nov 11, 2014
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Where:
4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
— 1 month away
Plantsmen's Tour - JCRA 2nd Tuesday of Month 1pm - RaleighTue Dec 9, 2014
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Where:
4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
— 2 months away
More Events