NC Handbook for Gardeners

Book NCHandbookAmong the perks of being an Extension Master Gardener is receiving a comprehensive manual that accompanies you through the initial 40 hours of training and remains a trusted companion in the years thereafter. Now, for the first time, the North Carolina Extension Gardener Handbook, newly revised in April 2018, is available to all.

Written by a team of the state’s leading horticulture experts, the Handbook is a fundamental reference for anyone gardening in North Carolina or a neighboring southeastern state. It contains a wealth of information about the basics of gardening from soils and composting to vegetable gardening, garden design, and wildlife management. It covers maintenance of lawns, ornamentals, fruits, trees, and containers and specific management strategies for insects, diseases, weeds, and other pests.

The 728-page hardcover edition is enhanced with hundreds of color images, detailed graphics, diagnostic tables, case studies, and frequently asked questions. It normally retails for $60, but is currently on sale at  UNCPress.org for a 40 percent discount. (Use promotion code 01Holiday.)

A few more favorites

Here are a few more favorite gardening books chosen by this blog’s regular contributors.

The Southern Gardener’s Book of Lists: The Best Plants for All Your Needs, Wants, and Whims, by  Lois Trigg Chaplin. “This is an oldie but a goodie! Published in 1994 it has a plant list for everything in your garden. A few examples: Perennials for an Alkaline Garden; Trees with ‘Perfect’ Form, Shrubs that Bloom in the Shade, Perennials for Heavy Clay Soil … the lists go on and on!” – Kathryn Hamilton

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, by Douglas W.  Tallamy. “This book is both a motivational book and a quick reference for gardening with native plants in your area. The appendices are easy to use and the native plant lists for each area of the country are divided into different plant types for easy reference for your specific gardening needs: Shade and Specimen trees, Shrubs and Understory Trees, Conifers, Vines, Streamside plants, Ground covers and Herbaceous perennials, both dry & moist sites, Grasses, sedges and rushes and Ferns. I already gave my friend in British Columbia the list of natives for the Pacific Northwest. I go back to his native plant lists and butterfly host plant lists when I am trying to decide between two viable natives to plant and use his suggestion to increase the benefit to wildlife. The photographs of the insects are fascinating.” – Wendy Diaz

“The Triangle region is blessed with many places to explore nature – state, county and regional parks, or nature preserves like those managed by Triangle Land Conservancy. When I’m enjoying these places, I like to bring along Wildflowers of North Carolina by William S. Justice, C. Ritchie Bell and Anne H. Lindsey as a field guide. It contains 500 native or naturalized plants and though the entries are brief – two per page – there is a color image of each plant and enough pertinent information to help identify them in the wild.” – Andrea Laine  

Resources:

Purchase the Extension Gardener Handbook at:
https://www.uncpress.org/book/9781469641256/north-carolina-extension-gardener-handbook/

Learn more about the UNC Press Holiday Sale
https://www.uncpress.org/holiday-sale/

The North Carolina Extension Gardener Handbook is also available online in an open access format:
https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/extension-gardener-handbook

 

 

New Dates Announced for Master Gardener Information Sessions

Storm conditions last week caused us to cancel two information sessions which are the first step in the application process for becoming an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer in Durham County. The sessions have been rescheduled for Monday, September 24 at 2 p.m., and Tuesday, September 25 at 6 p.m.

Applicants must attend one information session. Remaining sessions are as follows:

September 18th, 10-11 am
September 20th, 6-7 pm
September 24th, 2 pm
September 25th, 6 pm

All sessions take place at the Durham County Extension office at 721 Foster Street in Durham.  Advance registration is required. Call 919-560-0521 to register for a session.

Durham County Extension has nearly 100 volunteers in the Extension Master Gardener program. We help county residents learn more about a myriad of gardening topics, answer questions, conduct demonstrations and workshops, and help maintain a community garden at Briggs Avenue.

Once interns have completed their initial training, they volunteer 40 hours of their time to the community every year. Beyond their initial training experience, they are able to attend lectures and workshops offered by state and national experts. To find out more about the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program visit http://www.ncstategardening.org.

 

How to Prepare for a Hurricane

According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Florence is forecast to be a very powerful, major hurricane on its path to the coast of the southeastern U.S. Wednesday and Thursday. Central North Carolina is at increasing risk for damaging wind, tornadoes, and prolonged, extremely heavy rainfall. Residents are urged to prepare now.

Here are some general tips on preparing for a hurricane and its aftermath. Links to additional resources appear below:

  • Keep the radio and television tuned for the latest information, or follow storm forecasts online.
  • If you have a home garden, harvest all the vegetables that are ripe or close to being ready. (The crop may be destroyed by wind. Vegetables exposed to floodwaters must be discarded.)
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include first aid and emergency supplies.
  • Locate flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and radios. Purchase a supply of batteries for each.
  • Fill necessary prescriptions.
  • Get cash from your bank account.
  • Prepare a three-day supply of water; Include one gallon per person per day.
  • Check your food supply. Make sure you have some packaged foods that can be prepared without cooking.
  • Fill your bathtub with water for cleaning and flushing.
  • Look around your house and yard. Is there anything that might become airborne in strong winds (container plants, hanging baskets, tools, lawn furniture, toys, bicycles, bird feeders, playhouses and doghouses, etc.) Bring unsecured items indoors or tie them down.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. (Keep your devices charged!)
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Review your evacuation plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Never drive through flooded streets. Water may be deeper than you expect.

September is National Preparedness Month; Now seems like a good time to practice getting ready for a hurricane. Please be safe.

Additional Resources:

NC Disaster Information Center
https://ncdisaster.ces.ncsu.edu/

Ready.gov https://readync.org/EN/index.html

Foods that require no cooking
https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/foods-that-require-no-cooking

Meal preparation and food safety after a power failure
https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/meal-preparation-and-food-safety-after-a-power-failure

Link  to 50+ fact sheets on the subject. Obtain information specific to your interest and situation.  https://ncdisaster.ces.ncsu.edu/publications/

Apply Now to be an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

What Are Extension Master Gardener Volunteers?

The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program began in North Carolina in 1979, and has grown to 88 programs in counties across our state. Extension Master Gardeners Volunteers are trained to help connect North Carolinians with the vast reservoir of horticultural knowledge and research developed at North Carolina A&T University and NC State University. Durham County Extension has nearly 100 volunteers in the Extension Master Gardener program. They help Durham residents learn more about a myriad of gardening topics, answer questions, conduct demonstrations and workshops, and help maintain Durham’s community garden at Briggs Avenue.

Once interns have completed their initial training, Extension Master Gardeners volunteer 40 hours of their time to the community every year. Beyond their initial training experience, they are able to attend lectures and workshops offered by state and national experts. To find out more about the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program visit http://www.ncstategardening.org.

How To Apply

The Durham County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program conducts a 15-week training program once every two years. The next program will be conducted January-April 2019 on Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Durham County Extension Office, 721 Foster Street in Durham.

In order to apply to the program you must:

1. Attend one information session (dates listed below).
2. Submit your application by October 10, 2018.
3. If you are selected, pay the $120 registration fee by December 31, 2018. This fee covers your training materials.

Information Sessions
To begin the process, attend one information session conducted at the Durham County Extension office at 721 Foster Street. Advance registration required.

August 21st, 2-3 p.m.
August 30th, 10-11 a.m.
September 12th, 6-7 p.m.
September 14th, 2-3 p.m.
September 18th, 10-11 a.m.
September 20th, 6-7 p.m.

Call 919-560-0521 to register for an information session.

Pesticide Collection Day – May 1

Residents of Durham and surrounding counties may dispose of pesticide products at Pesticide Collection Day – Tuesday, May 1, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 721 Foster St., Durham, NC 27701.

Nearly all pesticide products will be accepted. For liquid pesticide containers larger than five gallons or for unlabeled pesticides, please contact the Cooperative Extension Office in advance (Monday – Friday, 919-560-0532) for information before bringing it to the collection event. No gas cylinders are accepted at the event; however, assistance information can be provided.

Pesticide Collection Day is made possible by North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in cooperation with Durham County Cooperative Extension Services.

For more information contact Darnell Parker, Small Farms Agent for Durham County Cooperative Extension Services, at (919) 560-0532.