Monday, January 27, 2014

Master Gardener Training Classes To Be Offered This Spring

     Watauga County Agriculture Extension Office is excited to announce that it will be offering The Master Gardener Program this spring, starting April 1, 2014.  Classes will be held on Tuesdays from 8:30-12:00 for 11-13 weeks.  As a class participant you will receive 40 hours of training in subjects including botany, plant propagation, houseplants, lawns, plant insects, diseases, weeds, fruits and vegetables, flowering plants, houseplants, and landscape design.  Both organic and traditional methods will be discussed.  The program will include hands on activities, field trips, and guest speakers.  After successfully completing your training, passing a final exam, and returning a like number of hours in volunteer service, you will be certified as a Master Gardener. For an application and more information on this great program contact Paige Patterson, Consumer Horticulture Agent at 828-264-3061. Or  You can also learn more about this program at

Friday, January 24, 2014

How To Recycle Your Nursery Containers

     If you do any amount of gardening you inevitably have a pile of plastic pots cluttering up your yard.  Cleaning up the clutter is a great activity for one of our warmer winter days.  Winter is a great time for this activity for a couple of reasons, one of course being there are not many other things to do in the garden when the soil is either frozen or too wet to work with.   The other advantage is that living things such as ants, bees and snakes that like to hide out in a pile of pots, are inactive in the cold weather.

     You may want to save some pots for things such as starting seeds, transplanting seedlings, or dividing plants to give to friends.  Lets face it though, you usually have more than you can use.  There are several options in Watauga County for recycling the pots that you don’t need.  Pots that are #1 or #2 plastic, as indicated by the symbol on the bottom of the pot, can be taken to your Watauga County Convenience Center or placed in your curbside recycling bin in the city of Boone.  Often 1 gallon or larger black nursery pots are #2 plastic.  Most smaller nursery pots or trays are #6 plastic.  These will have to be taken to Watuaga County Old Landfill Convenience center on Old Landfill Road.  .   Local Garden Centers will also take back some of your plastic gardening waste.  The Mustard Seed Market will take back 1 gal or larger pots along with trays.  The Wrens Nest Landscaping and Garden Center will take back all pots and trays along with corrugated plastic pipe.  Grandfather Mountain Nursery will take back 1 gal and larger pots.  Check with others before you take them.  Lowes Garden Center is a one-stop recycler of all your pots, trays, cell packs and tags.  They can be pots from any nursery, they do not have to have purchased from Lowes.  The pots are returned on the trucks to Metrolina Nursery where they are either reused or recycled.  In just a 3 month pilot test at 22 stores Lowe’s recycled 230,00 pounds of plastic, leading them to expand the program to all store locations.  It’s great to see recycling of pots becoming more widespread and available.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Parent-Child Relationships

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Relationships are one of the most significant influences on the growth and well-being of young people and the parent-child relationship is one of the most important relationships of all.  Looking at parenting styles can guide us in reflecting on our relationships with our children and how we interact with them.   Many people believe that the predominant parenting style in our society has moved from the authoritarian style of parenting to a more permissive style.    Research indicates there is a third option that is effective, the authoritative style, which is a balance between the dimensions of strict and lenient.   Two factors are important in parenting styles, parental warmth and control.   Permissive parents are high in warmth and low on control, while authoritarian parents may be high on control and low in warmth.  Authoritative parents are high on control and warmth.  Taking a look at these dimensions may help give us some ideas on exploring how we interact with our children.  Our approach may shift depending on the circumstances.  These styles are useful for us to examine as we work with not only our own children, but other youth as well.  Take a quiz to see where you fall in the parenting style dimensions.  This website has some more information on the parenting styles.  

4-H Camp

4-H Camp Registration Open

Enrollment for 4-H Camp for Summer 2014 is now open.  Watauga County 4-H will escort a group of 8-14 year old campers to Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center.  The center is located above Greensboro in Rockingham County, near Reidsville.   The camping week is July 6-July 11.   You can reserve your spot with a $100.00 deposit and have until June to save up for the rest of the fee, which is $360.00 more (total of $460.00).  The fee covers meals, lodging, t-shirt, transportation to camp and more.  Special programming for 12-14 year olds is an additional $20.00.    Some scholarship money is available.  Contact the 4-H office at 264-3061 for more information or to register or download registration form and return to the Extension office.