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Holiday Houseplants

1-IMG_5020A bright white cyclamen makes an attractive seasonal floral centerpiece.
Stumped about what small token of appreciation to take to a holiday open house, a close friend’s party, or your annual family gathering this festive season? Consider gifting the host and hostess with a traditional winter flowering houseplant as a long-lasting reminder of your thoughtfulness.
One of the most popular holiday houseplants associated with our wintertime holidays is the colorful Poinsettia, named in honor of South […]

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Southern Summer Annual Herbs

1-borageA beautiful borage flower ready for picking.
Defining an herb can be so confusing. Botanists say if something is “herbaceous” it is a seed-bearing, non-woody stemmed plant, but this term refers to all non-woody flowering plants. Herbalists, consider plants to be herbs as long as their leaves or stems benefit mankind in some way as medicine, dye, pest deterrents, perfumes, or, for our most popular modern herbs, for flavoring food. (A spice, in contrast, is […]

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Tips for a Four-Season Garden

1-IMG_4711A dramatic yucca blends beautifully with this summer perennial garden and becomes a featured soloist in winter.
Every gardener wants a colorful garden that can be enjoyed throughout the entire year. Spring is easy as it emerges onto the scene with bright white and pastel flowers among newly budding leaves. Sunny annuals fill the color niche […]

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Repotting Houseplants

1-IMG_5075Before repotting, bathe smooth-leaved house plants in tepid water to help remove dirt or dust.
It is midwinter. You are occasionally stuck indoors, but your fingers are itching to play in the dirt. Why not channel that frustrated gardening energy into repotting some of your indoor house plants? As most houseplants appreciate being bumped up into a larger pot every couple of years, this activity could be beneficial for both you and your green cohabitants.
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The African Violet, America’s #1 Houseplant

A myriad of colorful African violets await adoption at your local garden center.A myriad of colorful African violets await adoption at your local garden center.
African Violets (Saintpaulia hybrids) are America’s favorite houseplants according to the African Violet Society of America (AVSA). The beloved African violet’s immense popularity is most likely due to its irresistibly fuzzy rounded leaves, wide spectrum of cheerful reblooming flowers and ability to thrive in typical household environments. These members of Gesneriaceae, a large […]

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Craig LeHoullier’s (aka NC Tomato Man’s) Top Six Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes are always popular at the North Carolina State Farmer's Market in Raleigh.Heirloom tomatoes are always popular at the North Carolina State Farmer’s Market in Raleigh.
I hated tomatoes as a child. You couldn’t get me to eat one, even with sugar sprinkled on it. The only tomato-based products that passed my lips were ketchup on a hamburger or watery spaghetti sauce. Then I married a wise man who insisted that our […]

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How to Grow Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of the most heat-loving of all garden vegetables! (Photo by Llez)
Since North Carolina leads the nation in sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) production, and I have lived in the Old North State for 33 years, you would think that I would know a thing or two about growing edible sweet potatoes – this essential staple of Southern cuisine.
Honestly, the only edible sweet potatoes […]

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Aug 8-9: 2012 Summer Green Road Show in North Carolina

CLICK HERE to read Pam Beck’s full summary of this event.
Sun Gro Horticulture’s District Manager of Southeastern Retail Products Scott Pace and Black Gold Community Expert Garden Writer Pam Beck were featured speakers for at the 2012 Summer Green Road Show in Hickory, North Carolina at the Hickory Metro Convention Center.

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The Scoop on Good Dirt: OMRI

You buy certified organic seed. You search for organically-grown vegetable seedlings to transplant into your containers. But, have you read the fine print on the bag of your potting medium to see if it is free of manufactured chemicals? If you are uncertain whether you need to protect yourself by wearing gloves when handling a certain potting medium, or should even consider growing edibles in a particular soil mix, check the bag first for an OMRI Certification. What is an […]

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Black Gold At the Summer Green Road Show in Hickory, NC

Summer Green Road Show - Photo by Mike BeckTeamwork at the Summer Green Road Show provided by: (left to right) Wayne Bagwell, Sun Gro Professional Products Rep. for North Carolina; Pam Beck, Black Gold Community Expert Garden Writer; Scott Pace, Sun Gro Horticulture’s District Manager of Southeastern Retail Products; and, Lee Urwick, Buffalo Horticultural Sales representing Fafard products in N.C.
August was the perfect time […]

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