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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Easy Does It: Gently Loosen Potted Plants

Easy Does It - Pam BeckThe image on the left above is NOT a good horticultural practice! To remove a plant from its container, gently tip your plant while supporting it at the soil line with your free hand.
Be kind to your transplants. Don’t tear a developing plant out of its original container by its leaves, stems, or trunk risking ripping off foliage and roots. It pays […]

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Take Baby Steps for Success When Choosing A Pot Size

Baby Steps for Success - Pam Beck
When choosing a pot size for your young transplant, it can be tempting to take a small plant and put it into a very large pot in order to encourage it to grow. However, because the potting medium surrounding a young transplant may hold more water than would be utilized by the plant, this quick fix could result in root […]

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Start Spreading the News: Recycle Newspaper In the Garden

Pam Beck - Start Spreading the NewsPreferred newsprint for your garden will have used nontoxic soy-based ink.
Layering yesterday’s news onto your garden is a great way to recycle newspaper in the garden while building wonderful soil. Simply take a section of the paper running at least 8-10 pages thick, and apply it to either a new or existing bed. Be sure to overlap these sections in […]

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Avoiding A Spring Cold By Measuring Soil Temperature

Pam Beck - Avoiding a Spring ColdYour soil’s temperature will be more accurate when taken by a professional.
Eager gardeners often forget that the slowly raising temperature of the soil is a more important environmental factor for successful springtime gardening than fickle air temperatures. Measuring soil temperature can help ensure successful transplanting. Seeds and transplants planted during optimum soil temps quickly develop healthy roots necessary to take […]

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Wrap Up with Climbing Rex Begonia Vine

Climbing Rex Begonia Vine - Pam BeckIf allowed to grow outdoors in summer, the Rex Begonia Vine can reach 12-feet in height.
If you are excited by the prospect of growing a unique vine indoors, there is none more interesting than the climbing Rex Begonia Vine, Cissus discolor. The leaves of this quick-growing vine are deep green, decorated uniformly with silvery brushstrokes, and when flipped, the leaves […]

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Colorful Crotons For Indoors Now and Outside Later

Big Croton - Pam BeckCrotons will brighten a shady patio as well as any interior room.
Eye-catching Crotons easily chase away wintertime blues because the warm colors of their variegated leaves intensifies in cooler temperatures and bright sunlight. During winter months keep Crotons out of drafts and fluctuating temperatures to avoid leaf drop, hold back on fertilizer until spring, and remember to only use tepid water. You can begin […]

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Spiky, Snaky, Sensational Snake Plants

Sansevieria - aka Snakes PlantsSnake plants look fabulous outdoors, too, but only during the heat of summer.
Sansevieria (aka Snake Plants or Mother-in-law’s tongue) are architecturally dramatic houseplants. Native from environs as extreme as the nutrient-competitive jungle floor to arid deserts, this plant definitely doesn’t need pampering.
Sansevieria thrive indoors in bright to low light, with minimal watering, so be sure to grow them in a porous potting soil, such […]

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Cleaning Your House Plants

House Plant Bath - Pam BeckSpray your favorite houseplants off in the sink or shower to keep their leaves healthy and dust free.
The cold months are the perfect time to wash away dust and grime that may have accumulated on the leaves of your houseplants by giving them a gentle hosing with tepid water in your tub, shower, or kitchen sink. Washing them will clear the pores […]

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