Burke County Center
  June, 2016
Burke County Center
Pests of the Lawn & Garden
Saturday, June 4th

Garden pests are always going to be around but they can usually be controlled. Most do little to no damage, but there are some that need quick action. If you are having trouble deciding what to do in your garden, this workshop is for you.
This free workshop will be held on Saturday, June 4th at 10:00am at Ace Hardware in Morganton. We'll talk about what insects are in the garden now and what to expect as the growing season continues. We'll learn about what the gardener can do to protect his crops and landscape from damaging insects.
Tomatoes or Walnuts? 
You Decide

It's a tough choice to have to make. As southerners, we hold our tomato plants in high esteem and go to great lengths to have the biggest and best plants around. But, then again we also think highly of banana nut bread and black walnut pound cakes too. Why do we have to make a choice? Because of a disease called walnut wilt.  
Black walnut trees give off a toxin through their leaves, nuts and roots. This toxin is used by the tree to kill off other plants that might be competing for water and nutrients.  
Tomatoes might grow successfully in the vicinity of a black walnut tree for a while but as the tree grows, so do its roots and eventually the roots will reach the garden. Tree roots can stretch out many feet past the drip line of the tree. Symptoms of walnut wilt are sudden and dramatic. One day, a plant with nice, green tomatoes is beautiful and healthy. The next day it is severely wilted and within a few days it's dead. Once the disease has affected a plant there is no remedy. Growing in raised beds can help for a while as long as soil is brought in from another location. But, eventually this soil is affected also. Even though tomatoes are the best know victims of walnut wilt, other plants such as potatoes, asparagus, azaleas, blueberries and rhododendron along with many others can be injured when grown in the vicinity of the black walnut tree.
Getting rid of the walnut tree is the only solution but even that solution is not a quick one. After the tree is gone, roots in the soil will continue to give off the toxin for at least two years.
The Farmer's Markets Are Open

Morganton Farmers Market
300 Beach Street
Open Saturday from 8:00am - 12:00 noon

Morganton Mini-Market
111 North Green Street
Open Wednesday from 1:00 - 5:30 pm

Valdese Farmers Market
Faet Street
Open Wednesday from 9:00am - 12:00 noon & Friday from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Hildebran Farmers Market
201 South Center Street
Open Tuesday from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Building a Family Through Mealtime

Do you ever wish your family could take time from their busy schedules to just be at home and spend time together? For busy families with many different overlapping schedules, sitting down to a family meal may open up the seemingly scarce opportunity to spend time with each other and have conversation. Eating meals as a family has proven to have many benefits to families, inside the home and out. When families eat together regularly, children have better grades, less behavioral problems, better relationships with their parents, and are less likely to become abusers of drugs and alcohol. They also learn to make healthier food choices. Studies show that children who are involved in family meals at home choose to consume less soda and high calorie snacks and in return, eat more fruits and vegetables. This summer, try setting aside some time to eat meals as a family, have conversation, build stronger relationships, and create healthy habits that last a lifetime.
Burke County Beekeepers 
June 14th at 6:30pm  
Regular Monthly Meeting  

The Burke County Beekeepers Association (BCBA) meets monthly at the Burke County Agricultural Building located at 130 Ammons Drive in Morganton.  There is a featured speaker each month and the public is invited to attend. The BCBA is a chapter of the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association.
Steps to Health  

Low fat, low sodium, low sugar recipes on a budget.

Fresh Salsa
2 cans sweet corn (drained)
2 cans black beans (drained)
2 cans low sodium diced tomatoes (don't drain)
1 small (15.5 oz) jar salsa (any flavor)
Cumin to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro to taste 

Mix all ingredients and serve with low sodium tortilla chips.

Visit and "Like" Steps to Health on Facebook at NCSU Steps to Health
Myths, Legends & Solutions

Every southerner finds it necessary to grow one or more varieties of squash in his garden. It's the thing to do and as there are a multitude of different varieties available, everyone can find a squash that they like.
But, once the seeds are planted, all sorts of tales start passing around the neighborhood about how best to grow this summer veggie. One of the most prolific myths is that squash, cucumbers and cantaloupes can cross-pollinate with each other, leaving the gardener with an odd looking, inedible half cantaloupe, half squash vegetable. This is not true; the female flowers of each can only be fertilized by pollen from that same species. But, varieties from within a species can cross-pollinate. For example, crookneck squash will cross-pollinate with acorn squash. The vegetables themselves will not reflect this cross-pollination but the seeds that come out of the vegetable would be affected. This is also true of cucumbers and cantaloupe. Corn is a different matter. It also cross-pollinates and the ears of corn that we would eat are affected, but remember that we are actually eating the seeds when we eat corn on the cob.
Let's continue our squash discussion. Early summer calls come in to the office from gardeners complaining that their squash blooms are falling off and not setting fruit. Curcubits (squash, cucumbers, cantaloupes, etc.) are monoecious which means that one vines grows both male and female flowers. The female squash flower usually blooms first and with no male flower to pollinate the female, it fails to set fruit and falls off. A little later, both flowers begin to bloom and the problem solves itself.
Vining plants require lots of water and in order for plants to continue to bear, water must be provided during dry periods. Pick often to encourage continued fruit set. Squash and cucumbers do very well when grown from either seed or when planted as transplants. Give them ample room to grow and spread and you'll be able to supply the neighborhood this summer. Staggering plantings at two week intervals will insure tender, fresh vegetables until frost.
Let's take a look at a couple of squash pests that plague the garden. First, we need to talk about squash vine borers. The squash vine borer eggs are lain on the squash plant in early summer and hatch just as plants start to vine. The larvae bore in to the stem of the plant at the soil line, causing vines to wilt and die. Two applications of pyrethrine spray at seven-day intervals during the first two weeks of June and again in early August will control this insect. Next we need to look at squash bugs. This insect can devastate squash vines during their most productive time. All stages of the squash bug are damaging and the best way to control them is to spray when they are first sighted and continue to spray at seven-day intervals. The same Bonide product will be effective on the squash bug.
4-H Summer Fun Starts in June!

Are you looking for some exciting and educational activities for your kids to do this summer?  Burke County 4-H has plenty of options for you to choose from and you don't have to be a member of 4-H to participate. Here is the June schedule:

Monday, June 13 from 9:00am - 3:00pm
Hands to Service Project for ages 12 & up
Cost:  $10

Tuesday, June 14 from 9:00am - 12:00noon
Zumba! for ages 9 & up
Cost:  $8

Wednesday, June 15 from 9:00am - 3:00pm
Hands to Service Project for ages 12 & up
Cost:  $10

Thursday, June 16 from 9:00am - 12:00noon
Fitness Boot-Camp fro ages 9 & up
Cost:  $10

Friday, June 17 from 9:00am - 12:00noon
Get up and DANCE! for ages 5 & up
Cost:  $8

Tuesday, June 21 from 10:00am - 12:00 noon
Me, You and Some Glue! for ages 5 - 8
Cost:  $8

Tuesday, June 21 from 2:00 - 5:00pm
Creative People for ages 9 & up
Cost:  $30

Wednesday, June 22 & Thursday, June 23 from 9:00am - 12:00noon
Beginning Sewing for ages 5 & up
Cost:  $15

Wednesday, June 22 & Thursday, June 23 form 1:00 - 4:00pm
Advanced Sewing for ages 10 & up
Cost:  $25

Tuesday, June 28 from 9:00am - 4:00pm
West District Horse Clinic form ages 9 & up
Cost:  $20

Thursday, June 30 from 9:00am - 2:00pm
Perry's Berry's for ages 5 & up
Cost:  $12

For a complete schedule including registration information and details on each activity, please visit our 4-H Summer Fun 2016 page.  

Time to Treat for Bagworms

Bagworms are common throughout North Carolina and seem to prefer juniper and arborvitae as their home, although they can be found on other shrubs and trees.
Bagworms hatch in May and June and travel from one plant to the other by silk threads and wind. They will attach themselves to the stem of a shrub and begin to spin a bag using parts of the plant for re-enforcement. They also begin to eat foliage and can defoliate a plant when large numbers are present.

Effective contol with insecticides such as Spinosad, Sevin or Insecticidal Soap must take place during June and early July while the bagworm is actively feeding and spinning it's bag. Once the bag is spun and the worm is enclosed, chemicals cannot penetrate. When this has taken place, the only effective control is to cut the bags off the branches of the shrubs with scissors and then destroy the bags.  
Upcoming Holiday

Our office will be closed on Monday, July 4th for the Independence Day Holiday. 

Burke County Center
130 Ammons Drive, Morganton, NC 28655