News on the garden front

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Hemp production has been legalized in North Carolina, but only as part of the state's pilot program as allowed under federal law. As such, it will still be awhile before the first fields are planted. The N.C. General Assembly passed

Senate Bill 313
in 2015, but dictated that an Industrial Hemp Commission would need to be established to develop the rules and licensing structure necessary to stay within federal laws. The Commission will be appointed and can begin to meet after $200,000 of non-state monies is raised to fund itself. The law was modified in 2016 in House Bill 992.

Monarch Waystation Certification Program
Each fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to overwintering areas in Mexico and California where they wait out the winter until conditions favor a return flight in the spring. The monarch migration is truly one of the world's greatest natural wonders, yet it is threatened by habitat loss in North America - at the overwintering sites and throughout the spring and summer breeding range as well.
Check out the link below.

butterfly image


Cornflower  Centaurea cyanus

Prohibited by the State of North Carolina. One of many people favorite wildflowers is this true blue beauty, also called Bachelor Button. So easy to grow, so beautiful in a vase, and so famous in gardens, it a wildflower (native to Europe) many people really enjoy in their wild meadows. However, it is aggressive in the southeast, and one state, North Carolina, has actually prohibited it.

Winter Garden News

Sometimes gardeners forget that plants, specifically evergreens continue to take up moisture in the winter. Evergreens are plants such as junipers, leylands, pines, cypress, hollies, etc. When the ground is frozen or during a dry period, moisture is not available to plant roots. Winter winds and warm sun on cold days dries out evergreen’s foliage and will increase the amount of moisture the plant needs to survive. You can protect susceptible plants by planting them in a sheltered area, providing additional water during dry periods, and watering before an expected hard freeze. To check the moisture condition of your soil, scrape off a few inches of the topsoil.

If it is dry, water is needed. Mulches, drip irrigation and soaker hoses help ease the task of watering. Another factor to be concerned about in the winter is injury from ice and snow falling from the roof on frozen branches. Wrap wide tape or cloth/burlap around an evergreen to prevent broken branches. This technique is helpful for boxwoods and arborvitaes. If branches are bent and broken over by heavy ice or snow, wait a few days before pruning or cleaning up. Branches often will recover. Here are some other steps to protect your plants from cold damage: Only plant plants that are hardy to our hardiness zone.

Plant tender plants in the highest part of the landscape because cold air settles in lower lying areas. Protect plants from cold winds with a fence or an evergreen hedge of tall trees. Shade plants from direct winter sun, especially early morning sun. The south side of the house without shade is the worst place for tender plants. Plants that freeze slowly and thaw slowly will have the least amount of damage. Stop fertilizing plants in late summer and let them harden off for the winter. For more information,

call the Wilson County Master Gardeners Wednesdays from 1-3 PM at 252-237-0113 or email anytime at

drought map

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