The Transylvania Times -


By Laura Ledford
Transylvania Extension Master Gardener 

Transylvania Garden Clinic Answers Practical Questions


TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY,N.C. Why are my azaleas covered in white, powdery spots? What sort of insect is making a meal out of my spring produce? Why do I have one droopy rhododendron in a bed of healthy ones?

Get the answers to these questions and more at the Transylvania Extension Office garden clinic.

The Transylvania Extension Master Gardener telephone clinic is available to answer your gardening questions from March through October on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until noon at 884-3239. Walk-ins are also welcome during those hours at the Community Services Building, 98 E. Morgan St. in Brevard.

Extension Master Gardener volunteers are available to research inquiries ranging from plant disease diagnosis to insect prevention techniques to tree, plant and weed identification.

Before you call or visit, there are several factors to consider that will help get the best answers for your problem. The more information you can provide about the growing conditions of your ailing plant or shrub, the better.

Consider the directional aspect of your plant. Could prevailing winds be too strong where it’s sited? Is it in sun or shade? What about soil drainage conditions – too wet or dry? Could pets or wildlife have caused damage?

Also consider the possibility of your plant having come into contact with some sort of chemical substance. Have you washed your porch or deck with a strong cleanser that may have run off into your flower bed? Has your neighbor recently used a pesticide or herbicide that may have drifted onto your yard?

Perhaps your question concerns insect infestation. Evidence of pests could include black or yellow spots on foliage, leaves with holes or pieces missing or new plant growth that is distorted or twisted.

Master Gardener volunteers make recommendations on pest control using integrated pest management (IPM) techniques. IPM methods combine the use of both natural ecosystems and pesticides to regulate pest populations.

The garden clinic staff can also provide plant or tree identification. Do you have a plant growing in your yard and are not sure whether it’s a flower or a weed? Bring a cutting into the lab for the volunteers to research.

If you’ve recently moved to the area from another part of the country, the garden clinic is a good resource for information on local growing conditions. Transylvania County is known for above-average rainfall, steep and shady lots and acidic soil with high clay concentration. Learn which plants grow best under those conditions.

Wildlife such as deer or rabbits can cause significant damage to your garden. The Master Gardener volunteers can offer advice about which plants attract deer and which plants they tend to leave alone.

The county Extension Office also offers free soil testing. This test is a valuable tool for determining any lime or fertilizer amendments your soil may need.

In addition to the telephone clinic, Master Gardener volunteers participate in a number of programs for the public

Take advantage of all the resources the Transylvania County Extension Office provides to make your garden healthy and beautiful this growing season.

(Do you have a question for the Master Gardeners? Send your questions to the Transylvania Times or email us c/o The Master Gardener Telephone Clinic is also available to answer your garden questions from March through the end of October on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon at 884-3239. Walk-ins are welcome during those hours at the Community Services Building, 98 E. Morgan St ., Brevard. Master Gardeners work at the gardens of Silvermont every Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. Drop by the ask questions, help or just enjoy the gardens.)

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