making it grow

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.