How Extension Can Help You Garden in 2013

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Ask a Master Gardener sign

Extension Master Gardener Volunteers can help answer your gardening questions.

If your plans and resolutions for the New Year include growing or caring for plants, your local Cooperative Extension office can help you be more successful. Whether you want to start a vegetable garden, renovate your lawn or landscape, garden more sustainably, or volunteer in your community, Extension has resources and opportunities for you!

Classes and Resources

If you would like to learn about gardening or landscaping in our area, ask your Cooperative Extension office about upcoming classes and learning opportunities. We are currently determining what type of learning opportunities and resources are most needed in this area for the coming year. You can help us by taking a brief survey to share your educational needs and preferences. The survey is available online at:

Solutions to Your Gardening Problems

Southeastern North Carolina is a challenging place to garden. Poor soils, extreme weather, and abundant pests work against your efforts to grow vegetables, fruits, lawns, and ornamental plants. Gardening problems are often complex and require expert help to diagnose. This help is available from your local Cooperative Extension office, usually free of charge.

If you have a plant or bug you would like identified or a problem you would like diagnosed, call or stop by the Extension office in your county. Be prepared to describe the problem, including when it started, if it is spreading, and what the symptoms look like. For the best diagnosis, bring a sample that includes several leaves attached to the stem, or the whole plant or insect if possible. Samples should be taken from plants that are still living rather than those that have already died.

Become an Extension Master Gardener

If you would like to do more than learn about gardening just for the benefit of your own yard, you should become an Extension Master Gardener! Master Gardeners are volunteers who help Cooperative Extension teach youth and adults about gardening by assisting with classes, maintaining demonstration gardens, and holding plant information clinics. Learn more about EMG’s here:

To become an Extension Master Gardener you must first complete a volunteer training course designed to teach you the basics of gardening in our area and how to answer common gardening questions. Training courses begin soon in Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties and applications are currently being accepted.

More information about the Pender Extension Master Gardener Program and training course is available online at

Grow Your Own Food

Want to grow fruits, vegetables or herbs in 2013? Cooperative Extension can help you stay up to date on planting times, recommended varieties, insect and disease problems, and how to sustainably manage pest outbreaks with our weekly FoodGardener email news service. To sign up for Food Gardener News, send an email to Leave the subject line blank. In the body of the message put: subscribe foodgardener .

Care for Your Lawn and Landscape

Want to receive regular email updates on lawn and landscape care? Sign up for the Pender Gardener News. Posts in 2013 will include exciting new plants and proven performers for our region, information about controlling lawn and ornamental insect and disease problems using less pesticides, and ways your yard can help the environment. To sign up for Pender Gardener News, send an email to Leave the subject line blank. In the body of the message put: subscribe pendergardener .

Most of the news postings sent to Food Gardener and Pender Gardener subscribers are also posted on the Pender Gardener Blog,, providing another way you can to stay up to date on the latest gardening news for our region.

Learn More!

Use Extension Search to find research based information from Cooperative Extension systems across the U.S.

Visit your local Cooperative Extension office to learn more about gardening and landscape care. Go to to find your county Extension center or call to get expert advice from an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer