Archived Outdoors

Garden questions

By Jim Janke • Special to the Smoky Mountain News

Editor’s note: This is the first of what will become a regular feature on gardening by the Haywood County master gardeners. Look for it every other week.

“I can dig it, he can dig it,

She can dig it, we can dig it,

They can dig it, you can dig it........”

The Friends of Distinction sang those lyrics in “Grazin’ in the Grass.” Forty years later we begin a series of bi-weekly articles about “digging it” — the soil of Western North Carolina — to make things grow. Master Gardeners from Haywood County and local N.C. Cooperaive Extension Agents will write most of the articles. We’ll talk about gardening techniques, favorite plants, insect and disease control, gardening-related events in our area, and other topics. If you have something you wish us to cover in a future column, please let us know.

Related Items

So where else can you go to get answers to gardening-related questions? A number of easy to use resources are available that give research-based information specific to gardening in the mountains. Cooperative Extension Agents and Master Gardeners regularly consult these resources to answer your questions.

Master Your Garden Blog

Tim Mathews and Diane Turner, Agricultural Extension Agents in Haywood and Henderson Counties, respectively, maintain this timely source of information. In 2007 they posted new articles once or twice each week, discussing hemlock wooly adelgid, tent caterpillars, frost damage, water conservation, millipedes, lawn maintenance, tree topping myths, lady beetles, Christmas tree care, Poinsettia & Amaryllis care, and many other topics. You can post questions and comments on each article, and be notified automatically when a new article is posted.

NC State Consumer Resources

NC State University maintains a number of horticultural websites with information for home gardeners. The main site is “Urban Horticulture” and includes horticultural leaflets, information on poisonous plants, Master Gardener program details, chemicals information, disease and insect notes, lawn care, and pest management. The plant fact sheets are particularly useful when you select plants for your home landscape.

Extension’s Successful Gardener

This magazine quality newsletter is published 10 times a year. A monthly email gives tips and hints for North Carolina gardeners. The newsletter is $12.95 per year, but the monthly e-tips are free, and you can subscribe to either or both. You can view the feature articles in each newsletter (back to 2002) directly on the website.

Master Gardener Plant Clinic

Haywood County Master Gardeners host a plant clinic every weekday from 9 a.m. to noon from mid-April through October. We attempt to answer any garden- related question. If we don’t know the answer, we will investigate your question and respond with research-based information. We’ll have more information in this column about the clinic before it resumes in April.

For more information contact the Haywood County Cooperative Extension Service at 828.456.3575.

(Jim Janke is a Master Gardener Volunteer in Haywood County. © 2008 NC State University.)

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