April Garden Tips
- Fertilize shrubs if not done in March.
- Once you can determine whether your fruit trees have any fruit, you can decide how much fertilizer to give them.
- Many gardeners prefer to transplant azaleas in April so they can group the plants according to their flower color.
- The following vegetables can be planted this month: beets, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard,broccoli, cauliflower, onion, and potatoes.
- Prune spring-flowering plants like azalea, lilac, forsythia, spirea, and weigela after the flowers fade.
- Prune berry producing shrubs like holly and pyracantha while in flower to prevent complete removal of all of this season's berries.
- If needed, trim spring flowering trees like Bradford pear, flowering cherry and redbud.
- Cut out any winter damage that may have occurred this year.
- Maintain mowing height of fescue and bluegrass at 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches.
- Do NOT fertilize.
- This is a good time to layer new plants by lowering a branch of your favorite shrubs and covering it with soil and a stone.
- Visit your local garden centers and nurseries to see what plants and products are available.
- Mulch all of your landscape plants as needed. Pine needles, cypress mulch and pine bark are good mulches.
Get Your Hay Equipment Ready for the Field
John Cothren, Livestock Extension Agent, Wilkes County
Hay season is just around the corner. If you haven't already, now is the time to pull out the equipment and get it ready for the hay field. Following preventative maintenance suggestions can reduce stress from downtime and ensure safe working conditions. Consider these practices when completing maintenance:
- Replace broken or worn parts to feed material properly into the bale chamber.
- Replace bent or loose blades on rotary cutters that are more prone to thrown objects.
- Ensure proper clearance between crimping rollers on mower conditioners.
- Do not overlook lubrication. Even though you may have greased all bearings and shafts thoroughly at the end of last season, pump in fresh grease now. This will force out all the moisture, which may have condensed inside during the winter. Wipe all grease fittings clean before applying grease gun; otherwise you may force dirt directly into the bearing along with grease.
- Always lubricate sprockets and chains when the machine is turned off.
- Whether in the shop or out in the field, always ensure the PTO is disengaged and the engine shut off before dismounting to service or adjust the equipment.
- With mowers, square bales and all equipment, wait until all components have stopped moving before work occurs
- Always lock and block the rear gate of a baler if you must be underneath it.
- Be prepared for a fire. Carry a Class ABC fire extinguisher on ALL tractors. Ensure extinguisher are charged and in working order.
- Keep all shields and safety guards in place. Replace immediately after maintenance is complete (don't wait until you are ready to go to the field).
- Consider removing dirt and debris with compressed air; water will cause rust and can reduce life of bearings and moving components.
- Check implement tires carefully. After several months of not being used repairs may be necessary.
- Go over all your machinery and tighten bolts, nuts and cap screws that have worked loose. This simple precaution can prevent serious and costly damage.
Regular maintenance and care extends the life of your equipment and maintains the value.
Alexander County Pesticide Disposal Day
Gardeners, homeowners and farmers; Do you have any unwanted pesticides that you would like to safely dispose of at no charge? Well, here is your one day chance. There will be a free unwanted pesticide disposal day in our County Administration Building Parking Lot Saturday, April 22nd. The Alexander County Administration Offices are located at 621 Liledoun Road in Taylorsville. The hours will run from 9:00 - 1:00. This is for any pesticides (insecticides, herbicide, fungicide, etc.). The North Carolina Department of Agriculture is working with us the Cooperative Extension Service and our local Solid Waste Department to make this possible. We will take any 5 gallon or less labeled liquid pesticides off of your hands. Also, we will take old granular or powdered pesticides as well. This is a one-time chance to get rid of those unwanted pesticides safely and with no hassle. For more information call us at 632-4451.
Alexander 4-H Summer Opportuni
Summer break is just around the corner for many youth...do you have plans for them. Alexander County 4-H has a summer full of opportunities for your y
For a list of available programs click the link below:
Please be sure to fill out the registration form along with the 4-H Enrollment Form, 4-H Medical Form and a 4-H Media Release Form. You can pick these forms up at the 4-H Center or you can find them here:
Payments are accepted in the
form of cash or check.
deposit will need to be paid at the time of registering for camps.
You can pay at the 4-H Center or mail to 376 1st Avenue SW, Taylorsville, NC 28681.
For more information please call 828-632-3125.
4-H Paper Clover Fundraiser
Where- Tractor supply, Taylorsville, NC
The semi-annual Paper Clover Fundraiser at Tractor Supply is around the corner. We invite you to support 4-H by donating $1 at checkout in the local Tractor Supply store to contribute to funds that help Caldwell County 4-H to be able to offer quality youth development programs to the youth of our county.
4-H Clubs will be at Tractor Supply on certain days during the fundraiser. Come out and see our 4-Hers and support them.
4-H Achievement Night
Alexander County 4-H held their Awards Night on Thursday, March 30 at Alexander CVCC Campus. Awards were presented to youth for their accomplishments for 2016.
Club of Distinction: Alexander County 4-H Livestock Club
Amy Shook 4-H Leadership Award: Anna Beth Harris
2016 High Achiever: Sarah Perry
Outstanding Project Work
: Weston Brown, Cooper Crouse, Lanie Crouse, Eowyn Berwick, Finn Berwick, Lukas Moose, Bash Moose, Trent Crouse, Lucas Ritchie, Garrett Brown, Trent Crouse, Kaylor Berwick, Nolan Ritchie and Sarah Perry
County Portfolio: Kaylor Berwick & Sarah Perry
4-H Skillathon Livestock Team: Garrett Brown, Kade Payne, Chloe Lawson & Clate Childers
Top Shots Shooting Sports County Competition: Tucker Bumgarner, Jack Bumgarner, Ben Jolly, Colby Wike, Clate Childers and Nicole Vick
6+ hours of Community Service: Kaylor Berwick, Garrett Brown, Elizabeth Childers, Olivia George, Deanna Light, Sarah Perry, Colby Wike and Laney Wike
2017 Alexander 4-H County Council Officers
President: Anna Beth Harris
V President: Sarah Perry
Secretary: Garrett Brown
Treasurer/Reporter: Kaylor Berwick
Congratulations to everyone and we thank you for all your hard work in 2016!
Healthy Living Series
Monday September 12th, 19th, 26th
Alexander County Extension Learning Center
376 1st Ave SW
Taylorsville, NC 28681
Mark your calendar! Join Aubrey Mast, NC Extension Associate for nutrition from the Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) as she talks prebiotic & probiotics, healthy foods, and shares easy recipe to try out.
The Healthy Living Program, focus on highlighting the benefit of crops research by PHHI faculty and suggesting ways to incorporate the into daily living. For more information, download the healthy living program pamphlet or visit the PHHI website
You can register for one session or all three session by calling (828) 632-3125 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexander County Partnership for Children
2017 Spring Fling "Fit-Fun-Safe"
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
4:00pm - 7:00pm
Matheson Park, Taylorsville, NC
Rain date: Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Come visit us for the 2017 Spring Fling. The Cooperative Extension Services and several different community groups will be having a booth and fun activities for kids play.
The event is free and offer families and their young children an opportunity to enjoy an afternoon filled with fitness fun, free activities, and active entertainment.
For more information or question regarding the event or to apply for a booth, please contact Rhonda Hamby at 828-632-3799 or email@example.com
Call for Volunteer!! Join the Alexander ECA Groups
Have some free time or just wanting to make a difference? Join one of our Extension & Community Association (ECA) group and become a volunteer. The Extension and Community Association extends the reach of Family & Consumer Science and other Extension programs by providing education to their members and the community. Areas of focus include health, family issues, and volunteerism. For more information about ECA visit
the North Carolina Extension & Community Association webpage or call Der Holcomb at (828)632-3125 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexander County Office Closed
Alexander County Offices will be closed Friday, April 14 for Good Friday. We will reopen on Monday, April 17 at 8:00 a.m.
New Publications and Fact Sheets from
NC Cooperative Extension
Publications & Factsheets
Would you like to receive the latest Extension publications and factsheets by email each month? You can subscribe to Extension Publications and Factsheets or to many other Extension websites, such as: Gardening News, Pest News, or Energy News and many more by clicking on the link below.
Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement
2.1. North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, a ge, disability, or veteran's status. In addition, the two Universities welcome all person without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.
2.2. Persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency may request accommodations to participate by contacting Alexander County Extension Director, Lenny Rogers, at (828)632-4451 or
or in person at the County Extension Office at least 14 days prior to the event.