Danelle Cutting: Spring is a busy time for gardeners

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 11, 2016

I am going to admit it — I am as busy as a bee. I will go ahead and apologize to my clients because with this warm weather, I am swamped. I am in and out of the office with programs, phone calls, visits, etc. However, I will get to each and every one of your needs. Here are a few questions from the week.

Question: Do you have any gardening classes starting? I am very interested in raised beds and would like to learn how to do them myself.

Answer: This is the perfect time to tell you about our DIY Home Gardening Series. The first class will teach you how to build your own raised beds. It will be Saturday, March 19, from 1-3 p.m. at the Cooperative Extension office (2727 Old Concord Road). The Extension Master Gardeners decided to do an afternoon program in response to clients wanting a date and time that would match their schedules. This class is free, and students will learn how to build different types of raised beds, including a handicap accessible bed. The program will show you how to start and finish a bed. RSVPs are required, so please call 704-216-8970 to register. Additional gardening programs are set for the future; keep reading my column every week to find out about the next DIY topics (Vermicomposting, April 23; How to Garden in Poor Soil, May 21; Herb Gardening, June 20; and Gardening for Pollinators, Aug. 27).

Question: How are the honeybees this year? What can we do to help bees in our yards?

Answer: I am going to be facetious, but you could wait to mow your weeds until after they bloom. But all joking aside, that is an option that most homeowners do not want to do. Some additional ideas are planting flowers that are attractive to bees, butterflies and other pollinators. But if you are reading the news and listening to the radio, it is not hard to hear the plight of the honey bees. We should also pay attention to the native bees and pollinators (moths, butterflies, etc.). For more information on beneficial plants for pollinators, look at one of our Extension publications: https://growingsmallfarms.ces.ncsu.edu/growingsmallfarms-pollinatorresources/

Question: Can I still prune my muscadines?

Answer: Yes, but we are getting to the end of pruning season for our fruits. If the warm weather continues, more plants will start to bud and bloom, and the major pruning will need to wait. Keep an eye on the weather, and make your decisions based on the plant.

If you have any questions concerning gardening, pollinators, or pruning, call your local agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970 or email her at danelle_cutting@ncsu.edu