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

Ways to Connect

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.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture has a commitment to our major row crop farmers but new programs provide support for niche farmers and entrepreneurs who are finding ways to join in the local foods movement. The South Carolina Specialty Foods Association has a free catalog available if you call the Ag Department or find it on line.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. I’m been looking into different kinds of butt rubs recently. Now this is not a cure for cellulite or a remedy for diaper rash – butt rubs are actually cherished family recipes used to enhance the flavor of meats – pork roasts, steaks, or even hamburgers. Often developed by men who love to barbecue, these seasoning mixes are a fun way to add interest to outdoor cooking.

Amanda suggests an evergreen for making indoor arrangements of greenery.

  

Fighting Gripeweed

Dec 2, 2016

Amanda offers several useful strategies for fighting Gripeweed.

Plants put in the ground in the Fall don't need to grow foliage, so, don't fertilize them.

Hummingbirds survive on nectar, right? Well, not entirely...  

Once plentiful, and valuable for food and timber, the American Chestnut was all but wiped out by Chestnut Blight.

Don't try to sweep up those Japanese Ladybugs who have invaded your home. Grab your vacuum cleaner and a knee-high lady's stocking!

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and ​and Making It Grow. If I were collecting acorns to plant, I sure wouldn’t pick up the ones that had been gnawed or pecked at by squirrels or blue jays. Turns out I’d be wrong!  Thank goodness a group of scientists decided to study   the germination rates of acorns that were partially eaten or left intact by squirrels or jays and found that the sprouting rates were equal or even higher among the nuts that had been damaged. 

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Blue jays put  even the remarkably industrious Johnny Appleseed to shame when it comes to planting trees – oak trees that is. Several ornithologists watched a group of eastern blue jays for a month as they stored acorns for winter. After 28 days, these fifty birds had transported 150,000 nuts – that’s 110 acorns a day for each jay. For ease of planting, the jays most often chose soft moist soils – just the right conditions for good germination and growth.

Acorn Flour

Nov 23, 2016

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Here is a new word for you, or it is for me, balanophagy – the practice of eating acorns. Although the word may be new, for thousands of years, acorns were an important food source for people and/or for their domestic animals. The Maidu Native American peoples of California   collected acorns and stored them woven structures called granaries.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Many of our farmers are still in business this year because of the Farm Aid Relief Bill. After the devastating floods of October 3, 2015 which brought over 25 inches of water in one day, entire crops, everything that certain farmers were growing, were laid waste with nothing to salvage.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Tony Melton says you should rake leaves off your turf grass as they can insulate the grass, keeping it from going dormant which prepares your turf for winter. But don’t bag them and send them off to the landfill! Leaves are full of nutrients and make great organic matter.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Rather than sending  the limbs and branches you pick up after a storm to the landfill,  use that material to make a brush pile on your property. Put the largest limbs down first and then come back at a ninety degree angle with similar sized material for the frame work. Then begin to add smaller debris, especially with leaves still attached. Keep the pile as loose as possible.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Another type of dead wood that should be left in wooded areas when it doesn’t threaten timber value is large logs. In rural areas bears and turkey vultures can find shelter in them and mice, amphibians, lizards, snakes and such use their rotted interiors or crevices beneath them as places of refuge. One interesting fact is that the humidity associated with these rotting, moist pieces of wood is that is creates micro-environments for such moisture requiring amphibians as salamanders and certain frogs.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Although tree farmers must keep their stands healthy, a few snags, upright dead or dying trees, usually don’t pose a risk and are critical to the lifecycle of many animals. Primary cavity creators like woodpeckers and brown-headed nuthatchers are the top of a group of animals that benefit from snags. A raft of secondary creatures then enjoy these hollow spaces – such as  Owls, bats and certain songbirds.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. If you are fortunate enough to have a woods as part of  your property, you can support wildlife by management decisions. I’ve seen many newcomers who want their pines or hardwoods to be as tidy as their shrub borders – a practice that destroys many places birds, mammals and reptiles need for their lifecycle. Three types of dead wood are critical for a wildlife nurturing woodland.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has fact sheets that give detailed and fascinating information about native plants. An extremely comprehensive resource, it begins with a thorough description of the entire plant. Most interesting to me is the history of its uses by native people and others for medicinal and utilitarian purposes.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Dogwoods are not long-lived trees and the ones in my yard are showing their age. One planting goal for this fall is to plant more of those native trees that have high value to wildlife. Dogwoods are monecious so all trees will have the red fruits that are an important part of the winter diet of our overwintering birds.

Pages