June 2020
Onslow County Center

Photo from NC Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox

Storm Resilient Landscapes
Emilee Morrison, Consumer Horticulture Agent

With hurricane season fast approaching, I hope that many of you have started preparing for the worst. Heavy rains and strong winds associated with hurricanes can take a toll on our property and our landscapes. After Hurricane Florence, many people started removing trees from their landscapes, regardless of the health of the tree. In some cases, tree removal is necessary, especially when life or property are in the direct path of a potential fallen tree. However, in many cases, trees serve as wind buffers, and can also take up excess water from the soil. With some thoughtful planning and picking the right plant for the right place, you can make your landscape more resilient to storms. 

The recent rain has reminded me of the low spots in my yard that tend to be the first to flood during heavy rainfall events. I am in the process of thinking about how I can either redirect the water, or what plants I could incorporate into my landscape that can tolerate and even thrive in those occasionally wet areas.

A good short list of plants that can tolerate these conditions can be found here: https://extensiongardener.ces.ncsu.edu/extgardener-rain-garden-plant-list/

The other concern with hurricanes is the strong winds that can cause extensive damage to property. Trees that are within direct range of your house or other property should be regularly evaluated for dead or damaged branches, which should be removed, and monitored for potential hazards such as decay. But, healthy trees in strategic parts of your yard can serve as a valuable windbreak during storms, especially when clustered together. A few good options for trees in our area are Live Oak, Southern Red Oak, American Holly, and Black Gum.

For more detailed information on tree resilience in regards to hurricanes, check out this article from NC Sea Grant: https://ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/coastwatch/current-issue/summer-2019/dont-cut-down-that-tree-preserving-a-protective-buffer-against-high-speed-winds/

Upcoming Events

Many of our programs have been cancelled due to COVID-19, but we will be scheduling some classes virtually and when possible, in person programs will be scheduled.

Thank you for your understanding, and we hope to see you soon!
Below are events we have going on now!
Please click on the name of the event  you'd like more information for:

Every Wednesday, June 24th-July 29th, 2020
(First session is filled - please sign up for our waiting list)
Understand the natural processes at work on your property, so you can harness them to create a beautiful and healthy garden that is easier and less costly to maintain. The program uses the Landscape for Life Student Manual.

July 6th-July 10th, 2020
$20 per child
(Sign up starts today! Payment needed to complete registration)
A virtual gardening camp for kids! Five days of fun gardening activities

Stay tuned to our social media pages and website for more upcoming classes & events!
Use your smart phone's camera to scan the QR code above to get the links to all of our social media pages, and websites!
June Tips and Tasks

For Trees and Shrubs
Water trees and shrubs that have been planted for less than a year each week if it does not rain.
A second application of slow release fertilizer may be needed in sandy soils by mid month.
Take softwood cuttings for propagation. Many shrubs can be rooted this way, including azaleas, butterfly bush, abelia, and roses. 

For Flowers
Cut back fall blooming perennials by one inch to encourage branching.
Divide bearded iris clumps to prevent overcrowding.
Most spring blooming perennials can be deadheaded after the flowers fade.
Plant flowers to attract bees and other pollinators.

Here are some great pollinator plants for North Carolina:

For Fruits
Figs ripen from June through August. Harvest fruits when they soften and turn downward.
Begin harvesting blueberries, but wait a week after they first turn blue to allow them to develop more sweetness before picking.

Harvest blackberries in early morning for best quality.
Blackberries require "summer tipping." When canes reach 30" to 36" tall, cut off tips to promote side branching.

For Vegetables and Herbs
Keep soil consistently moist and don't over-fertilize to avoid blossom end rot on tomatoes.
Allow some basil plants to bloom to attract bees.
Sow a new crop each month to extend harvest.

If your squash or zucchini plants collapse, they probably have squash vine borer. Inspect stems for borers and squish or drown if you find them.

Vegetables need at least one inch of water each week to remain productive.
In sandy soils, apply ⅓" of water every third day to keep the top 6-8" of soil moist.

For Lawns
A mild winter followed by a cool spring has delayed the green up of many warm-season lawns. Be patient for this process to happen, and be
cautious with herbicides until the lawn has completely greened up. 

Fertilize based on a soil test. In the absence of a soil test, there are recommendations for each type of lawn.
More information can be found at: https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/carolina-lawns

Avoid letting fertilizers and pesticides accumulate on sidewalks, driveways, and other impervious surfaces. Rinse or sweep them off into the grass so they do not wash into waterways during rain events. 

Cool-season weeds like annual bluegrass and lawn burweed will start dying off with increasing temperatures. Spraying these now with an herbicide is ineffective and not necessary. Your best bet is to encourage a dense, healthy lawn, and if necessary apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall to prevent these weeds from germinating next winter.



Our Facebook Gardening Video Series

Episodes 1-6 are now streaming!

Episode 1: Different Types of Gardening

Episode 2: Gardening in Containers

Episode 3: Potting Mix

Episode 4: Seed Storage & Germination

Episode 5: Succulents

Episode 6: Harvest Salad Veggies/Fresh Salad Recipe

More episodes will be uploaded to Facebook on our Gardening in Onslow County, Onslow County Cooperative Extension page soon!

Click here , to watch #InTheGardenNow!
Farms, Farmers Markets & Garden Centers are Open For Business

If you would rather do your grocery shopping at the farm or farmers market rather than the grocery store or if you want to find transplants and start growing your own vegetables, those options are available to you. 

Farmers markets are spacing vendors further apart, encouraging produce to be pre-packaged, asking customers not to handle produce they aren't purchasing and making hand sanitizer readily available to customers and vendors. 

Remember that  all recommended practices to avoid COVID-19  still apply. 

DO NOT shop if you are sick, may be sick or 
have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. 

Stand at least 6 feet apart.

Avoid high touch surfaces.

Wash or sanitize your hands regularly.

Avoid touching your face.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension has came up with a list of local  farms farmers markets , and  other local growers that have fresh produce available for you!

Make sure you  call ahead  as some of these businesses have chosen to close for their own reasons or may have limited hours or availability.

For resources in Onslow and surrounding counties, click here.

For resources in the entire state of North Carolina, click here.

Would you like to add your business to the list? 
We're collecting as many contacts as possible from businesses, produce stands, farms, etc that have  fresh  produce, meat, dairy, or grains in North Carolina.

If this is something you would like to contribute to, submit your information now!
Click here and fill out the form

The Onslow County Farmers' Market has opened it's 2020 Season!

For more information on operation times, product availability, and vendor applications please 

Like their Facebook page: 
Visit their website: 

2020 Season
Saturday, April 18 - Nov 14
830am - 130pm
4024 Richlands Hwy, Jacksonville, NC

Tues, April 21- July 28
930am - 130pm
512 New Bridge St., Downtown Jacksonville, NC

Marie Bowman
Local Foods Coordinator
4024 Richlands Hwy, Jacksonville, NC
(910) 455-5873


Our North Carolina Cooperative Extension - Onslow County Center has started a hashtag 
#GrowOnslow to show our support of our Local Farmers, A griculture , Family and Consumer Education , 4-H & Youth Development , and  Community & Rural Development

Show your support by using  #GrowOnslow
in your related Facebook and Instagram photos and posts!

Have lawn, landscape, or gardening questions?
Contact your local Cooperative Extension office.

For Onslow County
1. Call  910-455-5873 

*Due to COVID-19 our Master Gardeners are temporarily out of the office*

2.Visit us online at  http://onslow.ces.ncsu.edu
While you are there, you can post your questions to be answered by email using the "Ask an Expert' widget (in the upper left hand corner).

3.  Email a Master Gardener your questions or sample photos at  onslowplantclinic@gmail.com

North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status or disability.  In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.  North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.  
Emilee Morrison, Extension Agent, 
Agriculture - Horticulture
4024 Richlands Hwy, Jacksonville, NC 28540