Fantastic Figs are in Your Future this Fall

NOTE: Amy Hill knows figs are the fruit I’ve been waiting to grow. After previewing her fig story I was tempted, but then Amy sent me some of her super yummy fig recipes and I was off to the garden center for my first fig plant.

Sustainable gardening relies on selecting the right plant for the right place and now is the time to plant figs.  Amy Hill introduces us to the fig tree, Ficus carica, which is well suited for our region. Amy tells us simple strategies for being successful with this southern favorite.

 

Key Points

  • Be sure to plant figs early in the fall so they will have enough time to get established before our cold weather sets in
  • Figs need full sun —that’s at least 8 hours of sun
  • Once established, figs are drought tolerant but will drop fruit in dry weather
  • A good crop requires constant moisture so add a layer of mulch and water during drought
  • Over fertilizing can reduce crop production

Resources

  • Tips for growing figs
  • Amy’s favorite way to enjoy figs
  • Other great ways to use figs
    • http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/summer-fig-watermelon-salad-feta
    • http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/fig-bars-0
    • http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/fig-glazed-roast-turkey-with-cornbread-stuffing-recipe.html
    • http://www.southernliving.com/food/entertaining/fig-recipes/rosemary-flank-steak-with-fig-salsa_2
    • http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/small-batch-fig-jam

 

 

TRANSCRIPT Continue reading

Last Days of Summer

Sumer will soon draw to a close and now is a good time to begin planting your fall garden.  Learn how to add wildflowers and figs to your landscape.  We’ll also take you on a tour of a couple of places to visit as the weather cools down —the Japanese Tea House at Duke Gardens and the Mason Farm Biological Reserve.  And finally, find out what to do with all those leaves that will soon be falling.

 

 

RESOURCES

  • 2015 North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association conference – September 21-22, Cary, NC
  • Welcome WPVM 103.7 FM listeners in Asheville, NC on Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM
  •  Duke Gardens – Japanese Tea House
  • Wildflowers to Feed a Bee
  • NC Botanical Garden – Mason Farm Biological Reserve
  • What to do with all those figs?
  • Gardening Chores for September

 

 

TRANSCRIPT  Continue reading

August – In the Heat of Summer

This month we take you on a tour of the Dig It exhibit at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and continue our tour the Asiatic Arboretum at Duke Gardens by visiting the new expansion area.  You’ll also learn how to extend your vegetable growing season with a second sowing and how to keep cut flowers fresh indoors.  You’ll meet the Ginkgo tree and learn how to keep your tomatoes upright.

 

 

TRANSCRIPT Continue reading

A Second Season Sowing

August is a good time to get a second crop of vegetables into the ground.  With a bit of planning you can enjoy vegetables well into the fall months.  Amy Hill brings us some timely tips on getting the most from your vegetable bed this season.

Key Points

  • Start with average first frost date for your location, count back the number of days to maturity as indicated on your seed packet, and add three weeks for shortened day length later in the season.
  • Rotate your crop locations

Resources

  • Flowers and vegetables to consider growing from seed

 

 

TRANSCRIPT Continue reading

Will We Lose the Monarch Butterfly?

Monarch populations have plummeted more than 80% since the 1990s. Choices you make in your garden can have a real impact.  Amy Hill brings us some timely tips for things you can do to help create habit and save these iconic beauties.

 

 

Key Points

  • Monarchs migrate from their winter feeding grounds in Mexico across the US and up into Canada.
  • Monarch larva feed exclusively on Milkweed
  • Habitat destruction has greatly reduced their population and Monarchs hover near extinction

Resources

  • Journey North – Participate in citizen scientist project to track Monarch Butterfly migrations
  • Monarch Watch – Participate in campaigns to grow Milkweed and improve butterfly habitat areas.  See if your organization qualifies for free Milkweed plants
  • The Xerces Society – See their butterfly conservation programs

 

 

TRANSCRIPT  Continue reading

Hello, Summer

Summer is here! Monarch butterflies have started their migration and you can help lessen some of the challenges they face.  Your kitchen scraps have a lot more value than you may realize –meet some people who are unlocking their value.  Its possible to grow roses without chemicals, find out how.  Do you know any champion trees?  Learn more about these giants.  Native plants have a lot to offer gardeners if you give them a chance to succeed.

Starting Seeds

Amy Hill, Durham Master Gardener

Starting seeds is rewarding and gives you the opportunity to raise unique plants for less cost.  This month, our Timely Gardener, Amy Hill will give you some tips for starting your seeds off right.

  • Testing Seed Viability
  • Paper Towel Method – description and photographs from Amy Hill