Making It Grow

Mon-Sat, throughout the day

Amanda McNulty of Clemson University’s Extension Service and host of ETV’s six-time Emmy Award-winning show, Making It Grow, offers gardening tips and techniques.

Archive: Making It Grow Podcasts, January 2011 - September 2014

Ways to Connect

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. We like to think of nature as being in balance and generally native plants can survive feeding from native insects due to coevolution.  Bee keepers who want to produce palmetto honey  have to move hives into coastal areas thick with sabal species, unfortunately they fairly frequently have poor yields when the cabbage palm caterpillar, the larva of an owlet moth, has large outbreaks. Unlike most Lepidopteran larva, these caterpillars don’t eat the palmetto leaves.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Years back we were showering off outside after swimming at Pawley’s Island,   right under a palmetto tree that was in full flower and swarming with honey bees, so much so that the kids were unreasonably afraid of getting stung. Now I’ve found that one of the most popular varietal honeys in our part of the world comes from European honey bees visiting Sabal palmetto, or cabbage palmetto, our state tree.   The honey that comes from these flowers is light in color and somewhat thin.

Types of Honey

Dec 14, 2017
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The value of the European honey bee’s contribution towards pollination of crops in the US is estimated to be fifteen billion dollars. That doesn’t include the value of honey gathered and sold by bee keepers. There are two main types of honey – The first is poly or multi floral varieties that results from honey bees visiting whatever flowers in their neighborhood are in bloom.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The European honey bee industry in the United States is credited with totally or partially being responsible for the pollination of certain crops at a value of fifteen billion dollars. At a recent meeting of Certified Crop Advisors, Gilbert Miller, watermelon specialist at Clemson’s Edisto Research and Education Center, told us that watermelons are among crops completely dependent on pollinators for fruit set. Watermelons have separate male and female flowers on the same plant.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Clemson’s Public Service & Agriculture division publishes a magazine called Impacts available by request to South Carolina residents. A recent article focused on the efforts of the US Department of Agriculture, the state land grant universities, and bee keepers themselves in collecting data on the causes of the national decline in honey bee hives.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. When thinking about adding native plants to our yards, the Ladybird Johnson Wildlife Society and the US Forestry Department both encourage us to find locally sourced plants. They say that locally sourced plants represent specialized ecotypes – a subset within a variety that is adapted to particular environmental conditions – the soils types, the date of the first frost, the rainfall patterns.

Linden Tree History

Dec 8, 2017
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The genus Tilia, with the common name basswood, lime, or linden is found across the Northern hemisphere with the most species diversity in Asia. In Europe there are examples of extremely old specimens, The Najevnik linden tree in Slovenia,   700 years old with a trunk diameter of 35 feet, is the site of an annual gathering to celebrate democracy. It also has an association with Carl Linnaeus, founder of the binomial system of nomenclature.

Uses for Basswood

Dec 7, 2017
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Tilia americana has the common names of linden or basswood. Basswood, b a s s is a corruption of bast – b a s t. Bast is the fibers from the phloem of woody plants, the outer layer of the vascular system. If you search a plant at NRCS Plant Guide, you get the North American ethnobotanical uses of the plant. :    Native Americans and settlers used the fibrous inner bark ("bast") as a source of fiber for rope, mats, fish nets, and baskets.

Tilia Americana

Dec 6, 2017
Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The genus Tilia sometimes has lots of species associated with it, but the AC Moore Herbarium’s SC Plant Atlas lists just one in South Carolina, Tilia americana with several subspecies following it. This tree is the only member of the Malvacea family in North America, and notes I found said that the buds are edible but mucilaginous – okra famously for its slimy potential is also in that family.

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. A group of us was talking recently about trees that buzz – that are so attractive to bees that you can hear them from under the canopy. Tilia americana, basswood or linden, is one of those trees and it also has a beautiful fragrance. This is not a tree that you can use in all places, however, it gets to eighty feet eventually and has a dense, shade producing crown extending thirty feet across.   It performs best on rich, moist soils with room to spread and can take shade from surrounding trees.

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.

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