Amanda McNulty

Mistletoe in Past Cultures

By Amanda McNulty

Making It Grow logoHello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow . Parasitic plants with the common name mistletoe occur almost worldwide and in many cultures were associated with myths and pagan religious rites. The Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer wrote a comparative study of mythology and religion. In his book T he Golden Bough which is one of the common names for mistletoe, he wrote extensively about the European mistletoe, Viscum album. In the American South, many people collect mistletoe by blasting it out of trees with shotguns. When the ancient Druids...

Mistletoe: a Holiday History

By Amanda McNulty

Making It Grow logoHello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow . While filming at Historic Columbia recently, I learned that it wasn’t until the 1850’s that British and American Christians began seriously decorating their homes for Christmas. Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, brought his Germanic holiday traditions to England. Along with decorating a tree came the custom of hanging mistletoe over a doorway. In those days of strict rules of behavior, a gentleman could kiss a lass if she paused under that bit of greenery. It was important to have mistletoe collected from a...

"Sunburned" Vegetables and Fruits

By Amanda McNulty

Making It Grow MinuteHello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow . My new sunscreen has zinc oxide in it; it actually forms a physical barrier to protect my skin from sunburn. Believe it or not, sunburn is a serious issue for many fruits and vegetables, too. Sunburn necrosis occurs when vegetable’s skin or peel which receives direct sunlight reaches a certain temperature and the tissue is killed. It’s the temperature of the fruit’s skin – not the air temperature – that’s critical. For example, cucumbers suffer this injury when the exposed side of the fruit reaches a temperature...

Keeping That Yard Under Control

By Amanda McNulty

Making It Grow MinuteHello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow . My two- and-a half acre yard is getting to be more than I can handle. When we moved here, thirty-three years ago, most of it was an old field, with just two large beds of camellias and an island of pines. We hired someone to bush hog it several times each summer and had just a small area to cut with a push mower. With youthful enthusiasm, I changed that by planting beds of assorted shrubs and trees, large and small. Those now mature clumps of woody plants are perfect places for the birds to drop the seeds of vines...

Best Practices for Planting a Tree

By Amanda McNulty

Making It Grow MinuteHello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow . Mulching trees is the best thing you can after you’ve planted them properly; some research shows it can double the rate of growth for newly established trees. A good tip when mulching trees is to think of doughnuts – there’s a hole in the middle. Mulch should start from four to six inches away from the tree’s trunk, if it touches the trunk it promotes disease and decay. Let the mulch extend out at least three feet, six would be even better as it makes the soil easier for those new roots to penetrate. If you use...

More on Pollinating Pawpaws

By Amanda McNulty

Male Pawpaw blossoms.Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow . At the Musser Farm at Clemson we filmed a segment on their pawpaw orchard. Search Making It Grow Youtube Pawpaw and see our interview featuring fruit specialist Dr. Greg Reighard. This orchard had huge clusters of pawpaws, called hands, and sometimes growers actually thin them to prevent branches from breaking. But not all pawpaws are planted in areas with the required species of beetles and flies who serve as pollinators for their peculiar smelling flowers that have all sorts of obstacles to pollination; self-...