Making It Grow Minute

Mon-Sat, throughout the day

Amanda McNulty of Clemson University’s Extension Service and host of ETV’s six-time Emmy Award-winning show, Making It Grow, offers gardening tips and techniques.

Archive: Making It Grow Podcasts, January 2011 - September 2014

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Although fall is the best time to plant   trees and shrubs in South Carolina, some of the specialty fruit crops are only available for shipping in the spring. If you don’t have a backyard blueberry patch,  plant one now and know that both you and your yet unborn grandchildren can enjoy it – blueberries are that long-lived.

Growing Blueberrys

Feb 17, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. We get calls over and over on our Making It Grow show from people who’ve bought an old piece of property that has huge blueberry bushes growing there; and that’s not surprising as blueberry bushes can be very, very long lived. But one-year old canes are the most productive so older stands must be thinned and rejuvenated.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Although you probably get tired of hearing us say it, taking a soil sample is the first step to having a successful garden this spring. No matter if you are going to use conventional fertilizer or go organic, getting the pH, or acidity of the soil correct is critical. 

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Frequently people call Extension offices asking what to do with unused pesticides they have at their home. Or a parent has died and the family is faced with a shed filled with outdated products that are no longer recommended for use. These products can’t be taken to your local country landfills and they absolutely should not be poured out on the ground.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. If you wonder why the food at the finest Charleston restaurants is so phenomenally delicious, it’s a combination of superb chefs and the finest and freshest ingredients imaginable.

Grow Food Carolina

Feb 11, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Team Making It Grow headed to the Lowcountry recently to film Grow Food Carolina. A division of the Coastal Conservation League, Grow Food operates as a food hub, providing the infrastructure that connects    local farmers and producers with those who need their products; they want farmers to be successful so that their land can remain in agriculture.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Many organizations in South Carolina are concerned about our aging population of farmers. Charleston-based Lowcountry Local First is dedicated to   supporting local entrepreneurs in business and farming. They describe their organization as a way of life that celebrates and supports the local, independent businesses and farmers who reflect the unique character, flavor, and culture of that special part of South Carolina. 

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  The average age of farmers in South Carolina is 59 and a half years, and although farmers don’t usually retire at early, many of them are looking for someone else to come into the business. To help bridge this need, Clemson Extension’s Agribusiness program offers the South Carolina New and Beginning Farm Program.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The Commissioner’s School of Agriculture, a week-long program held at Clemson University, offers high school students an overview of the multitude of careers associated with agri-business.   According to Clemson’s Katie Black, director of the program, “The goal of the school is to expose ambitious high school students to the array of career and educational opportunities in agriculture, natural resources and life sciences.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The average age of South Carolina’s farmers is 59 and a half years, a sobering statistic when you consider that agribusiness is the largest sector of South Carolina’s economy.  Some of these growers do have family members   interested in continuing these   businesses, but there’re many farms that don’t have a younger person training to take over their operation. 

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Ancient fossil records show some pretty fascinating facts about how both plants and insects responded to changing levels of atmospheric oxygen, fossil records show dragonfly relatives with wingspans of up to three feet during times of very high oxygen concentrations. Cockroaches stayed the same size but the hollow tracheal tubes that carried oxygen through their bodies got smaller, allowing the insects to invest resources in other dimensions.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Usually after several hard frosts, we get a break from cockroach surprises in the kitchen. So I was surprised when a huge palmetto bug ran across the pantry shelf last week. But it could have been worse.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. When ancient clubmosses in the family Lycopodiacaea were growing in what is now the coal fields of West Virginia, over 300 million years ago during the Carboniferous period the weather was much warmer and carbon dioxide levels vastly greater than today. Sometimes carbon dioxide is a limiting factor in plant growth – the ancient relatives of today’s clubmosses, plants like running cedar, grew to enormous heights of over 100 feet in those humid, warm swampy conditions.

Origins of Coal

Jan 18, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Our 1880’s house in St. Matthews was built with coal-burning fireplaces.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. We have old fireplaces in our house but use them sparing since the flues haven’t been relined. Our house was built with shallow fireplaces   designed to burn coal, a much more efficient fuel than wood; although it isn’t as immediately gratifying as a blazing wood fire, coal lasts longer and gives more even warmth.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The roadsides of highway 1-77 near the Congaree River are filled right now with a very showy plant. Baccharis halimifolia, or groundsel, has moved up from the coast along with man’s disturbances. Female plants produce thousands of seeds which grow so prolifically that in some states groundsel is considered a noxious weed, even though it’s native.  

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Baccharis halimifolia,   is a native plant but you might not want it in your yard. It’s striking in late fall when the female flowers develop into seeds with showy white hairs that aid in wind dispersement.    Earlier in the fall, the male plants (Baccharis is dioecious =-- male and female flowers are on separate plants) produce copious amounts of pollen causing hay fever in sensitive individuals. This plant was once grew mostly near the coast.

Tony Melton

Jan 11, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Those of you who watch Making It Grow are familiar with my friend and fellow extension agent, Tony Melton. Tony makes no bones about the hard times his family experienced trying to make a living on those sandy soils when he was growing up in McBee. He started picking cotton and butterbeans in his grandfather’s garden when he was five.

McLeod Farms

Jan 9, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. McLeod Farms in McBee is well-known for its peaches. Located on deep sands, this farm was an early pioneer in drip irrigation, which dramatically reduced water usage compared to traditional overhead watering. They continue as leaders in the agricultural community, always embracing new and improved practices.

Carolina Ruby

Jan 7, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Ilex vomitoria has so many cultivars it must be a breeders dream – maybe it is easier to breed dioecious plants as you don’t have to emasculate the male flower structures.   One in particular is important to us as it was developed right here in South Carolina and it’s beautiful. Carolina Ruby, a female cultivar of Ilex vomitoria, yaupon, was a single seedling from hundreds that came from a a weeping form of yaupon.

Carolina Ruby

Jan 7, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Ilex vomitoria has so many cultivars it must be a breeders dream – maybe it is easier to breed dioecious plants as you don’t have to emasculate the male flower structures.   One in particular is important to us as it was developed right here in South Carolina and it’s beautiful.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. We’ve talked about how incredibly tolerant yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria is. From compacted clay soils, to beach sands, it grows fine and is very drought tolerant, too. So it’s no surprise that it grows densely and intensely in some parts of central Texas. Enterprising beekeepers there pay attention to when it blooms and put their hives nearby to collect nectar from the small but prolific white female flowers.

Gallberry Honey

Jan 5, 2017

Hello gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Team Making It Grow visited the upstate  and went to Bee Well Honey. The proprietor of this company, Kerry Owen,  was selected to be the Swisher Sweet, Southeastern AgExpo South Carolina Farmer of the year for 2016. When he lost his job as a radio disk jockey 20 years ago,,  he told his wife he was going to go into the bee business. Now he tends between 1500 and 2000 hives.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  One of our native plants, Yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria, grows abundantly in the lower half of South Carolina. It is a valuable plant for wildlife and its ability to grow in a wide range of soils and exposures makes it useful for reclamation and stabilization projects. One place it is not welcome, however, is in managed pine plantations.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The regular species plant for Ilex vomitoria is widely variable in size – ranging from 4 feet to a towering 25 feet tall and it can be 15 feet wide. It is most attractive when you grow it as a small tree that you keep somewhat limbed up and open so you can see the very attractive, smooth gray bark on its branches.

Vaupon Holly

Jan 2, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson extension and Making It Grow. One of our native hollies has many uses in our home or business landscapes. The common name for this plant is yaupon holly which sounds a lot nicer than the scientific name – Ilex vomitoria.   Native American people used the small, olive-green evergreen leaves to brew a very, very strong tea. When consumed in copious amounts, it resulted in vomiting and was used as part of purging routines.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. In days long past, the fruits of chestnuts were the most important source of mast in forests of the eastern United States. Today, acorns, fruits of red and white oaks, are the major source of winter food that large number of animals –blue jays, wild turkeys, squirrels, deer, black beer and more rely upon for sustenance.

Hello gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Every year, the natural resource management departments of most states conduct a mast survey. Mast is the fruit of trees in the forests that provides food for wildlife. Hard mast consists of acorns, hickory nuts, and walnuts -- soft mast includes the berries of dogwoods, blueberries and grapes.  Acorns are the food most often thought of mast.

Post Oaks

Dec 22, 2016

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson extension and Making It Grow. There are two magnificent post oaks, Quercus stellata, growing in the yard of an abandoned house in St. Matthews that I admire for their incredible character.  Post oaks are in the white oak family but have their own distinctive appearance as they are gnarly, open in habit, with twisted branches.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. One of many Extension agent heroes during the aftermath of the 1000 year flood was Zachary Snipes. The owner of Rest Park Farm/Pickney’s Produce in Beaufort County saw his vegetable crop wiped out after the October rains. Urbie West said he was so despondent that he wanted to quit farming all together.

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