Amanda McNulty

Host, Producer

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.

Ways to Connect

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Davis Sander of South Pleasantburg Nursery came to the show recently with a collection of viburnums. One in particular caught my eye as it has great value for wildlife, especially pollinators and birds. Viburnum dentatum, arrowwood viburnum, gets its common name according to Michael Dirr because the very strong root shoots, this plant can sucker and spread, were used for the shafts of arrows by native Americans.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Durant Ashmore, although a landscape architect and nurseryman by trade, is a naturalist at heart. Recently he brought a native plant to Making It Grow that should be used more in home gardens as it blooms relatively early in the year and is important to those native pollinators that begin foraging when temperatures reach fifty-five degrees.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Although fifty-five degrees feels pretty chilly to me, that’s the magic temperature as spring nears when some native bees and the European honeybees are out foraging for food – and a time when not many plants are in flower. So if you want to attract and support pollinators it’s important for you to install some very early-blooming plants in your yard. We’ve talked about the earliest of the spring bloomers, red maple, Acer rubrum, which also is a larval food host for the Rosy Maple Moth.

Red Maples

Nov 15, 2017
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The University of Georgia publication Pollination: Plants for Year-round Bee Forage begins its list of chronologically arranged pollinator-friendly plants with red maple, Acer rubrum. Red maples have a complicated sex life, some trees have both male and female flowers while others produce only one gender.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. As much fun as it is to plant showy annuals and herbaceous perennials to attract pollinators, a more sustainable path is to add woody plants to our landscapes that will still be providing nectar and pollen for insects, birds, and mammals long after we’re gone. The University of Georgia has a publication called Pollination: Plants for Year-round Bee Forage that lists pollinator friendly plants in the order they bloom.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Frequent Making It Grow guest Durant Ashmore reminds us that although native plants should be added to our landscape to support pollinators and other wildlife, they need to be judiciously woven into an overall design to be pleasing additions to our yards and gardens, we can’t have just one of everything. In the pollinator pasture I’m working on, I’m going to follow the design practice of repetition, repetition, repetition.

Serviceberry Shrubs

Nov 10, 2017
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making it Grow. Long after I’m dead and gone, the serviceberry shrubs I’m planting in my pollinator pasture will be providing flowers for native pollinators and fruits for wildlife. Amelanchier is the genus, the common name service berry is from the mountains as it bloomed when the circuit preacher could begin to travel, in the lower part of the state it’s called shad bush for when the shad run. No matter the name, it is a beautiful, easy to grow, native.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. A plant usually seen as a large shrub that fits into a permanent native pollinator area is sassafras.   It can become a large tree, but is most often seen as on edges of fields and roadsides in a smaller size. Sassafras has male and female flowers on separate plants, female flowers yield carbohydrate rich nectar; pollen from male flowers is high in protein and fat.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. For my permanent pollinator pasture, I’m planting two species of Crataegus, or hawthorn, native to South Carolina and easily grown once established.  Crataegus aestivalis has the common name mayhaw, the fruit of jelly fame. The other is Crataegus marshallii, parsley hawthorn with a dissected leaf. Both are open in habit and flower very early – providing nectar and pollen for the overwintering native pollinator females as they emerge.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Native pollinators are getting the respect they deserve now that the imported European honey bee populations are in decline. The University of Georgia has a fact sheet on pollination titled Establishing a Bee Pasture, which focuses on field borders, unproductive acreage and woodland edges. But we can mimic these practices in our yards with minor adjustments. They give suggestions for three types.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Goats are a special challenge for livestock producers because they’re so clever. Sheep are considered docile for a reason, you can put them in almost any enclosure and they’ll happily stand there all day chewing their cud. But not goats – they are the animal world’s equivalent to the escape artist Houdini.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Sericea lespedeza is an imported perennial legume that can grow in a wide variety of soils. Since it’s a legume, it can change atmospheric nitrogen into a plant usable form through its association with bacteria that colonize its root system. Auburn University has done more research than any other institution on this sericea lespedeza for a variety of uses, from stabilizing eroded areas and road banks to growing it as a perennial hay crop.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Goats and sheep are called small ruminants. Ruminants are animals with four-chambered stomachs, and they regurgitate partially digested food, called cud, and chew it more thoroughly.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Hunnicutt Creek receives most of the drainage water from Clemson’s campus, historically functioning as a  flood plain. Over the past hundreds of years, many changes were made to this natural feature to allow for more traditional farming to occur, and the vegetation changed from native to mostly exotic invasive plants such as privet, honeysuckle, and English ivy.

Goats: 1, Kudzu: 0

Oct 16, 2017
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. When we moved into our new old house thirty two years ago, we had a half acre of kudzu in the side yard. I was busy with three little children and we only had a push lawnmower – so I fully expected to wake up one morning to find that the porch had been overtaken by that aggressive imported vine.    Fortunately, a friend had a brush-eating goat that had cleared out his woods and she came to spend the summer with us.   Gertie took to that kudzu like a duck to water.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Like the Cicada Killer wasp, the large European Hornet also collects insects to feed its larvae, a beneficial habit, but sadly it has a destructive activity of girdling twigs. Removing the bark allows the adults to access the nutritious exuding sap and to collect fiber to build its nest. If the twig is completely girdled, the portion above it dies, a condition called flagging, which makes the plant unsightly and you’ll want to prune away the dead wood.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. It sounds like a tabloid headline – man and dog frantically escape from huge flying wasp! But it’s a true story—I got an email from a gentleman saying that he and his dog was dive bombed by a hummingbird sized wasp that sent them fleeing into the safety of their house.

Cicada Killer Wasps

Oct 12, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Recently, a Sumter County Master   noticed silver dollar-sized holes in her yard with soil piled up at one end and wondered if it was a mole or vole burrow, but there weren’t any of the usual above  ground runs you’d expect to find. At the same time, she found a dead wasp on her porch and brought that to the office. Bingo! She had already solved the puzzle herself.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Unlike the European honey bee which can only sting once, Yellow jackets, which are far more aggressive, have a smooth stinger and can sting you over and over again. Most yellow jacket nests are constructed in the ground, they chew fiber to make cells in which the queen lays eggs, and they are usually partially concealed under decaying tree roots or the protective structure of shrubs and bushes.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Fall brings many delights, cooler temperatures and colorful autumn leaves. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when yellow-jacket populations are at their peak and hundreds of workers are searching for food. Adults eat nectar and rotting fruits but also capture and partially digest insects which they feed to the developing larvae. As fall approaches, their natural food supplies dwindle and they become nuisances at picnics and outdoor events.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Regardless of whether or not you have warm season or cool season turfgrass, you shouldn’t let the fallen leaves sit on top of your lawn for too long. Many homeowners now have companies who do their lawn maintenance, and in some small yards, the maintenance crews actually blow the leaves rather than rake them. Sadly, many times they blow them into the street and pile them by the curb.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The autumn leaves are falling and the days of raking are almost a thing of the past for many gardeners. Mulching and vacuuming mowers are much faster and easier on your back. You should not allow leaves to accumulate over your turf grass, no matter if you want to rake, mow or blow them (raking is of course the most tranquil but do wear gloves or you’ll get blisters (I’m nursing one now). Leaves shade your turf grass from sunlight, you grass is still green and needs to photosynthesize to stay healthy.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. There are a variety of warm season turf grasses that can be grown in South Carolina. The most shade tolerant but the most cold tender is St.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. It’s critical that you know what turf grass you have in your lawn. Cool season turf grasses begin active growth in fall and need fertilizer at that time.   But warm season grasses are preparing for dormancy and should never be fertilized as fall approaches, not after August 15 give or take a week or so depending on your location. Although fall is an appropriate time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide for winter weeds, choose a brand completely free of the growth-stimulating element nitrogen.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Gardening in South Carolina presents lots of challenges, and how to manage our lawns is a major one.   Depending on your needs and location, you can choose from two types of turf grasses for your lawn, warm season or cool season.  Some areas can choose between the two. For those of us in the coastal plain, our only option is to grow a warm season turf grass. These grasses green up in the spring, grow all summer, and then go dormant with the arrival of fall.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. If you visit the website Charlotte Tree Plan and read about the benefits of urban trees you’ll be encouraged to plant the largest shade tree possible in your yard this fall. For us, fall is the best time to add new trees and shrubs to our landscape, the roots can grow during the winter making the plant stronger when next summer’s hot weather rolls around.  At the Charlotte Tree Plan page, you’ll see the many benefits residents of the Queen City receive from their urban forest.

Shade is Cool

Sep 8, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. We enjoyed the solar eclipse from the comfort of our Saint Matthews yard. Although lots of people searched out and set up camp in open fields, I’m not a sun lover and we simply  made periodic forays from our  covered porch out into an  open area of the front yard to observe the progress of the blackout. Numerous shade trees help keep our eighteen eighties home cool, a  value familiar to residents of cities with active urban tree programs.

Inchworms a Threat?

Sep 7, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. We enjoyed the solar eclipse from the comfort of our Saint Matthews yard. Although lots of people searched out and set up camp in open fields, I’m not a sun lover and we simply  made periodic forays from our  covered porch out into an  open area of the front yard to observe the progress of the blackout. Numerous shade trees help keep our eighteen eighties home cool, a  value familiar to residents of cities with active urban tree programs.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The City of Charlotte has one of the best urban tree programs in the country. You can visit their website at Charlotte Tree Plan to learn about how an urban forest provides numerous benefits to a city’s residents. Visitors to Charlotte often wonder why certain trees have what looks like bandages wrapped around their trunks. These are special treatments designed to capture fall cankerworm females.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Making It Grow gets lots of calls from Charlotte, right up the road in North Carolina. Charlotte is rightfully proud of its urban tree program and the City does a lot to protect its valuable tree canopy, which provides numerous benefits to its citizens. As we watch the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, it should serve as an encouragement for all of us to plant trees in our urban areas.

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