Barking Up The Right Tree

pine-bark

Aged pine bark is the one of the most common organic substrate components in the US, with bark from loblolly and longleaf pines being the most prominent in the southern U.S.  Aging is a modified composting process (no nitrogen source added) in which the bark is piled on the ground in windrows and allowed to age for a period of time, usually six months to one year. Aging time can vary between suppliers, or even for the same supplier, based on factors such as space shortages, product demand, or preference. The resulting end-products from these various procedures are all sold to the consumer as the same product, but are completely different in terms of percent fines, water holding capacity, air space, and nutrient immobilization, which will cause them to act differently when used in a growing mix. Fresh bark (bark that is sold shortly after removal from a tree, then ground, and screened to an appropriate particle size), may also be sold as a growing mix, and is preferred by some growers. Continue reading

JC Raulston Arboretum 2016 Summer Interns

JC Raulston Arboretum 2016 Summer Interns

Photograph: Kamen Dedmon (top left), Patrick Hamilton (top right), Zoe Carmon-Rogers (bottom left), Maddie Ciszewski (bottom center), and Tori Parker (bottom right)

A special welcome to the JC Raulston Arboretum’s summer interns!  When you visit the arboretum, be sure to say hello to these NC State University students, who are working alongside JCRA staff this summer. In addition to helping with the very large job of maintaining a public garden, they are very busy propagating plants for the JCRA Annual Plant Distribution, building structures, teaching, and planting new gardens. Continue reading

Welcome Matt Lenhardt

matt-lenhardtPlease join us in welcoming Matt Lenhardt (malenhar@ncsu.edu) to the South Central District and Iredell County. Matt began as the Iredell County Horticulture Agent on June 6th. He moved to North Carolina from Brevard County, Florida, where he served as a commercial horticulture Extension agent for the University of Florida / IFAS Extension. Matt earned a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Leadership from the University of Georgia. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Clemson University. Join us in welcoming Matt to the South Central District Team! 

Online Plant Identification Courses

Online Plant Identification Courses

Do you want to learn how to identify and appreciate commonly used landscape plants on your own schedule? The NC State University Department of Horticultural Science has partnered with Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA to provide a unique fully online survey of plants. Our three plant identification courses will expose you to plants that can be grown throughout the country. The courses include some old garden favorites and also a few new introductions from the research and breeding programs at Longwood Gardens and North Carolina State University. The use and key identifying characteristics of these plants is conveyed through photo stories, presentations, online fact pages, and beautiful images taken at Longwood. You can see some examples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/WLMXnOHh9Wc Continue reading