Friday, December 12, 2014

Henderson County 2015 Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program - Last Call

Last Call - Application Deadline is December 18th

Are you interested in becoming an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer in Henderson County? Do you enjoy gardening AND sharing with others? If so, this is your last chance to get in on the 2015 Extension Master Gardener Volunteer training program. E-mail Kerrie Roach at or call 697-4891 today to get an application!

Check out this website for more information:

Take the "Oh No!" Out of Your and Your Pets' Holiday "Ho-Ho-Ho!"

Check out this great information about pets and the holidays!
by Carmela Stamper, DVM, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA

Yes, it’s that holiday time of year again. While you’re busy decorating, baking, wrapping gifts, and preparing your household for guests, remember to watch out for holiday temptations for your pets. Don’t let a pet disaster turn both your and your pets’ Holiday “Ho-Ho-Ho!” into a Holiday “Oh No!”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christmas in the Mountains Workshop TOMORROW

Christmas in the Mountains

Christmas is right around the corner! At this holiday workshop, learn how to make nutritious food, simple and easy crafts, and wreaths with festive bows. 

WHEN: Friday, November 21, 2014
WHERE: Henderson County Cooperative Extension
TIME: 10 a.m. - 12 noon
PRESENTERS: Renay Knapp & Sue Estridge, FCS Extension Agents
COST: $20

Pre-registration is required. Please call  TODAY (828) 697-4891 to register.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pest News Alert

Check out the latest issue of Pest News...


From: Steve Frank, Extension Entomologist

Azalea Caterpillars

Azalea caterpillars, Datana major, are among our most attractive caterpillar species. They feed primarily on Rhododendron spp., but this week we also found them on blueberries. They are most evident late in the summer. There is one generation of this pest each year. Adults lay eggs on the underside of azalea leaves where the small caterpillars feed gregariously. As they grow the caterpillars take on the coloration seen in the picture below. Unfortunately, by the time they are noticed azalea caterpillars can consume a lot of foliage and defoliate a shrub. Scout for these caterpillars by scanning shrubs for bare twigs then look closer to investigate. If you find a group of them, prune the branch out. In larger infestations or nurseries there are several insecticides active on caterpillars, but any product works best on small stages.

azalea caterpillars by adam dale.jpg
Azalea caterpillars. Photo: Adam Dale, North Carolina State University.

Redheaded Pine Sawfly

This week we had a clinic report of pine defoliation on campus. The culprit is probably the redheaded pine sawfly, Neodiprion lecontei. It is a pest of pines in ornamental landscapes, nurseries, and plantations. Adults emerge in spring and a second generation occurs in mid-summer. Eggs are laid on many two and three needled pine species such as Jack pine, loblolly pine, and red pine. Sawflies are not flies and the larvae do not turn into butterflies. They are non-stinging herbivorous wasps. They can defoliate trees and bushes in the landscape. Since they are gregarious it is sometimes possible to prune an infested branch and remove all the larvae. Management for sawflies is similar to caterpillar management though not all the insecticides will work so check the label. Horticultural oil is a good bet especially for small larvae. Formulations that contain azadirachtin or spinosad are also effective. For sawflies and caterpillars, management of full grown caterpillars is generally not warranted. The damage is already done and they are hard to kill.

Redheaded pine sawflies on Pinus uncinata. Photo: S. D. Frank.

From: Mike Munster, Ornamental Pathologist, Plant Disease and Insect Clinic

Box Blight Confirmed in Wake County

Box blight has been confirmed in boxwood plants originating in a nursery in the North Carolina mountains and offered for sale at the North Carolina State Farmers Market in Raleigh. The disease also has been confirmed at the Raleigh home of the vendor. A small number of customers may have purchased infected plants between the beginning of July and mid-August 2014.

Box blight is a destructive fungal disease of boxwood leaves and twigs. Symptoms include brown leaf spots, dark streaks on twigs, and extensive leaf drop. Sarcococca (sweetbox) and Pachysandra can also become infected. A fact sheet ( is available with additional information about identification and management of this disease. Note that sanitizer information is currently being updated. For most bleach formulations the correct ratio of bleach to water is now 1:14.

Personnel from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are attempting to trace the sales of these plants from the Farmers Market. Careful removal and destruction of all infected shrubs may help keep losses to a minimum and prevent further local spread. If you believe you may have purchased one of the plants in question, please contact the office of Phil Wilson, Plant Pest Administrator for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services at 919-707-3753. Other parties with questions about box blight should direct them to their local County Cooperative Extension Service office.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mosquitoes Mosquitoes Mosquitoes!!!

Just received this update from Dr. Waldvogel about mosquito populations...

"The abundant (or over-abundant)  rains that we've received the past week will help boost mosquito populations with the addition of more flooded areas and objects that people overlook on their property.  NOW is the time to remind people get out in their yards and do some "tip and toss" - empty (or discard) those objects that filled with rainwater and probably leaves and debris that make them idea mosquito breeding sites.  Remove storm debris from gutters and make sure water does not pond beneath the gutter downspouts.  Debris-clogged drainage ditches along roads will have water for days/weeks and so they need to be cleared so the water flows and drains as quickly as possible.  Even with this effort, there will be unseen breeding sites and so most of all - remind people to use common sense in using EPA-registered repellents and follow the label instructions.  As I've stated previously, the preferred way to use mosquito repellent is to children is by applying the product to your hands and then rubbing it on the child's arms, legs, neck and other exposed parts of the skin (never under clothing). If people decide to treat their yards, remind them to remove or cover children's toys, grills and cooking utensils, pet food and water bowls, etc. *before* they spray and to avoid spraying flowering plants if bees are actively pollinating.  If they spray around a vegetable garden, either use a product that is also labeled for use on those vegetables or direct the spray in a way that avoids drift onto the plants."

Mike Waldvogel

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

EPA Introduces New Graphic on Insect Repellents

Update from the EPA on a new graphic for insect repellents!

  EPA Pesticide Program Updates


     From EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs

July 17, 2014

In This Update:

EPA Introduces New Graphic to Help Consumers Make Informed Choices about Insect Repellents 

repellency graphic
The EPA today unveiled a new graphic that will be available to appear on insect repellent product labels. The graphic will show consumers how many hours a product will repel mosquitoes and ticks when used as directed.
The EPA’s new graphic will do for bug repellents what SPF labeling did for sunscreens. This new graphic will help parents, hikers and the general public better protect themselves and their families from serious health threats caused by mosquitoes and ticks that carry debilitating diseases. Incidence of these diseases is on the rise. The CDC estimates that there are nearly 300,000 cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year. Effective insect repellents can protect against serious mosquito- and tick-borne diseases.
The EPA is accepting applications from manufacturers that wish to add the graphic to their repellent product labels. The public could see the graphic on products early next year.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2016 Garden Tour

Now that the 2014 Garden Tour is behind us, it is time to begin looking forward to our next tour in 2016. I know that sounds like a long time away but it will be here before you know it! I have already been given one perspective garden to look at and I would like to have other suggestions so that we can look at them over the summer.

If you know of a garden that you think should be included on the 2016 Garden Tour, please let me know by emailing me at or call 828-456-3575.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Late Blight Positively Identified in Henderson County!

Tomato late blight, caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans, was confirmed today (July 11, 2014) in a tomato sample from Henderson County, North Carolina and confirmed by the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic and the Quesada Lab at NCSU.

For more information, check out the latest posting here:


Over the past month, I have watched as an arborvitae about a mile from my house has been decimated by bagworms. It is not a pretty sight. Then, yesterday, as I was returning from my mailbox I happened to see out of the corner of my eye, something moving in my Blue Spruce. When I stopped to get a closer look I saw several very small bagworms hanging from my tree. The more I looked, the more I saw! I pulled several off and disposed of them but I suppose I'll be doing the same thing this afternoon when I get home. Thankfully, they seem to be concentrated at one location on one side of the tree. I hate bagworms!

For information on bagworms, their prevention and control, see the following link:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Coming Along!

The Canton Giving Garden is coming along. We had another planting day and got our warm season crops in the  ground. Everything is still a little small but in a few weeks, when everything fills out, it is going to look nice. If you live in the Canton area and are interested in helping with this effort, let me know or call the Canton Library! Our next program at the library will be Tuesday, June 17th. I will be talking about vertical gardening. Hope to see you then.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Canton Library Giving Garden

Things are starting to come together at the Canton Community Giving Garden. After a lot of delays due to getting materials delivered we finally have the beds built and the soil in them and ready to go! We have scheduled a planting day for Tuesday, April 22nd for those who want to come out and help get things started. Of course, we will only be planting the cool season plants at that time. It will still be a few weeks before we can get the warm season plants in the ground. Take a look at these pictures and you can see how far we have come in a short period of time. I'm looking forward to the programs we have scheduled at the library this summer.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Haywood County Garden Tour

Haywood County (NC) Garden Tour: “Forests, Flowers & Food”

The Master Gardeners of Haywood County present their biennial garden tour: “Forests, Flowers & Food” on Saturday, June 21, 2014 from 9am to 4pm (rain or shine.) Visit three extensive private gardens, a perennial garden maintained by church volunteers, and an elementary school teaching garden.

Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance by calling 828-456-3575. Or reserve your tickets for “will call” on the day of the tour by emailing  Garden Tour proceeds fund education-related horticultural projects in Haywood County.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Starting New Community Garden Project

Today we started work on the new community garden project at the Canton library. The weather didn't cooperate but we did have a few brave Master Gardener Volunteers brave the cold and get started on installing a couple of raised beds. I'm looking forward to seeing this project move forward! Thanks to those who came out today!

Here is most of the gang after we finished the first raised bed. 

Tom, Rich, and James were doing all the carpentry work. I just dug the holes for the trellis poles.

Rhonda helped too. I'm not sure why she needed the sun glasses?