Educational Opportunities, week of October 20

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2 pm – Getting Dirty with Durham County Master Gardeners Radio Show  – Broadcasts Tuesdays at 2:00pm on WCOM FM 103.5  It can be heard live or replayed any time at

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 6:30 – 8 PM, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson Street
Medicinal Plants: 10 Medicinal Herbs for the Home Garden – Durham Garden Forum
Dr. Jeanine Davis, associate professor of horticulture science and extension specialist, NC State University, will speak on the topic of Medicinal Plants.  Dr. Davis’s research and extension programs are dedicated to sustainable and organic production of medicinal and culinary herbs, vegetables and specialty crops.  She will introduce to us medicinal plants that can be grown in our garden and discuss the research and use of each. This lecture is free for Durham Garden Forum members, all others can attend for a fee of $10.00 ($5.00 for students).

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 9 am-3 pm –  Medicinal Plants in Your Garden 
Dr. Jeanine Marie Davis, associate professor of horticulture and extension specialist, N.C. State University
Plants sustain this planet, providing food, shelter, energy and medicine. Human history is entirely built upon the success of plants; even today many people still depend upon plants as their primary source for medicine. Jeanine Davis’ research and extension programs are dedicated to sustainable and organic production of medicinal and culinary herbs, vegetables and specialty crops.

In the workshop you will be introduced to a roster of 24 medicinal plants that can be grown in your garden and discuss the research and use of each. Then you will make an herbal tincture and propagate a woodland botanical to take home and plant.

Dr. Davis’ numerous professional honors include the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Activist of the Year Awardand the North Carolina Vegetable Growers Association Support Award. She has been recognized five times with theExtension Blue Ribbon Publication Award from the Southern Region – American Society for Horticultural Science.

All program materials and lunch included. Fee: $65; Gardens members $50.


To Do in August

Lawn Care
•    Treat all lawns for grubs with the recommended insecticides if needed.
•    1/3rd of the growth should be removed when mowing warm season grasses. Cool season grasses should be mowed at  3 – 3.5 inches.
•    Try to change direction when mowing your lawn.  This will help strengthen the roots system and expose different sides of the plant to sunlight.

•    Be sure to fertilize strawberries with nitrogen this month.
•    Do NOT fertilize shrubs this month.
•    Now is a good time to take soil samples from your lawn especially if you plan to put out cool season grasses.  Soil boxes can be picked-up at the County Extension office.

•    Vegetables to be planted in August: beets, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, radish, rutabaga, spinach, squash, and turnips.
•    Transplant broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower plants in mid-August.
•    Continue repotting overgrown houseplants.
•    Plant pansy seeds in flats this month so they can be transplanted to the landscape in September.
•    Perennial seeds to sow this month: hollyhock, delphinium, and stokesia
•    Spider lily, colchicum, and sternbergia bulbs should be planted this month.

•    Late summer is NOT a good time to prune trees and shrubs because pruning will stimulate new growth.  That new growth will not have enough time to harden before it turns cold.  Late January and February are the best times to do major pruning.
•    Any dead or diseased wood can be pruned out anytime of the year.
•    Excessive growth on wisteria vines should be stopped to encourage blooms.  Cutting back runners and root pruning can do this.  Use a sharp spade and insert the blade to its full depth in a semi-circle about 6 feet from the main stem.

•    Watch shrubs for the following insects: spider mites, and lace bugs.
•    Use recommended herbicide to control poison ivy, honeysuckle, greenbriar, kudzu, trumpet creeper, and wisteria if desired.
•    Continue with rose spraying program.
•    Continue fungicide program for fruit trees and bunch grapes.
•    Peach and nectarine tree need a trunk spray for peach tree borers at the end of August.
•    Spray the following vegetables if insects are observed: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and squash.
(Pesticides should be used sparingly!  Use only when needed and always follow the label)

Other Activities
•    Prepare a planting plan if you intend on doing some fall landscaping.
•    Now is a good time to construct a compost bin, if desired.
•    Irish potatoes can be dug up this month.

Classes and Presentations, Week of 5/12 – 5/18, 2104

Garden Room Development – Extension Gardener Series
Thursday, May 15, 2014 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Where: Sarah P. Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson Street, Durham, NC, United States

Design an outdoor space that extends your home. Taught by Durham county Extension Horticulturist, Michelle Wallace. Class is free/ registration is required. Sara Smith 919-668-1707

Summer Southern Favorites: Tomatoes & Okra
Saturday, May 17, 2014 10:00am – 11:00am
Where:Durham County Cooperative Extension, 721 Foster Street, Durham, NC 27701

You know it’s officially summer when you harvest your first, sweet, juicy home-grown tomato and sit down to a plate of fried okra. Yum!

Join the Durham Co. Extension Master Gardeners for a FREE 1-hour talk on all the tips and tricks to growing your best ever crop of tomatoes & okra this summer on Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 10-11 a.m. at the Durham County Cooperative Extension Office, 721 Foster Street, Durham NC 27701.

Now that the danger of frost is well-past, it’s time to get your tomatoes and okra plants in the ground! You’ll get many ideas on the best tomato varieties to grow (for slicing, for salsa, for sauces, for sandwiches) and the most tender & productive okra varieties.

This FREE program is open to the public; all are welcome to attend. Please pre-register with Pana Jones at the Extension Office by calling 919-560-0525 or send an email to:

Simple Drip Irrigation for Container Gardens
Sunday, May 18, 2014 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Where: South Regional Library, 4505 South Alston Avenue, Durham, NC, United States

Reduse watering chores by installing a simple drip irrigation system. Class is free/registration is required. Cathy Starkweather 919-560-7410