Container Garden Information and Local Honey, Norway Spruce Trees and Arborvitaes Questions
It has been a busy week for gardeners and farmers in the county. The warm weather means it’s time for planting. Farmers have been busy planting corn and are now planting soybeans. Once the soybeans are planted, it will be time to make hay, and then it will be time to harvest wheat. Gardeners are also in the full swing of planting too, transplanting tomatoes and planting beans, cucumbers, squash, and sweet corn.
I think it is something truly magical to see a seed you have planted germinate and grow. I think it is just as magical whether you are planting 100’s of acres or just a small garden. In fact, even space limited folks can have a productive container garden. Nothing is too small. For more information about small container gardens, see our factsheet (http://go.ncsu.edu/containergardenedibles).
With gardening and farming, like so many other endeavors, if there is a will, there is a way.
This week has also been busy at the Caldwell Extension Center. We have been fielding many questions from growers and homeowners. I thought I would share some of the questions we have been asked.
Question: Where can I purchase local honey?
Answer: Keeping bees is more of a challenge in recent years with the introduction of small hive beetles, tracheal mites, varroa mites, as well as other challenges. However, there are still many beekeepers in the county. Certainly there is often local honey at the Farmers Markets in the county. However, the ultimate would be to learn to keep your own bees and enjoy the challenges of beekeeping. Anyone interested in keeping bees would be interested in Caldwell County Beekeepers Association. The group meets the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm in meeting room 2 of the Caldwell Agricultural Center/Public Library.
Question: We have a Norway Spruce tree that looks like it’s dying on one side. What is wrong?
Answer: The problem is winter damage. Many plants were damaged by the cold weather we experienced this past winter. Cold damage can also be caused by early or late-season frosts. Early frosts in the fall and late frosts in the spring can cause damage.
If plants are in pots, cold temperatures can be especially damaging. Even with plants considered cold hardy, roots can be killed when temperatures get below 28F.
Many evergreens are showing bronze or purple needles or scales because of the extended cold temperatures. These trees and shrubs should recover.
Question: Our arborvitae have gotten super tall, close to 30′. I am concerned a heavy wind might send one down close to our home. Is there any way to prune them at this point? I really like the wind hedge it creates. There are about 6 in a row.
Answer: You can prune them back, but I would not cut back more than 1/3 of the total height.