Making It Grow Minutes

Amanda McNulty


Gardening and horticulture news and tips, as well as agricultural information from Amanda McNulty, the host of SCETV's "Making It Grow" and Clemson University Extension Agent. Produced by South Carolina Public Radio.Making It Grow Minutes are produced by South Carolina Public Radio, in partnership with Clemson University's Extension Service.

Available on


188 episodes

A native honeysuckle

Lonicera sempervirens is a native, non-aggressive honeysuckle wonderfully attractive to pollinators, including hummingbirds and butterflies.

Mar 25
Bignonia capreolata for hummingbirds

For a home garden, you may want a medium-sized trellis as it tends to flower at the ends of vines.

Mar 24
"Apple blossom" clematis

Clematis armandii, named ‘Apple Blossom’ has buds that are a lovely soft pink, and even when the flowers open, the lower part of the petals retain that color against the pure white center.

Mar 23
Varieties of jessamine

Swamp jessamine doesn’t have the sweet fragrance of yellow jessamine, but it blooms in the spring and the fall.

Mar 22
Yellow jessamine

Our state flower is actually a vine. Yellow Jessamine, Gelsemium sempervirens.

Mar 20
Redbuds for my arrangements

Common seedling redbuds can grow to twenty feet pretty quickly and that makes it hard for me to reach the flowers which are at the ends of the branches.

Mar 11
Redbud cultivars

Redbuds make our woodlands beautiful with their early purple/pink flowers. Breeders have gone to town with this native and all sorts of cultivars are available.

Mar 10
Native redbuds feed native bees

Cercis canadensis, our native eastern redbud, is an early bloomer. With protein rich pollen and sweet nectar, it’s an important food source for many native bees, including the blueberry bumble bee.

Mar 09
"Judas tree"

When people from the the Mediterranean areas of Europe came to North America and saw native redbuds, they called them by the familiar name of Judas tree.

Mar 08
A redbud variety that loves full sun

Well, as soon as you think you’re giving the right information, you find something that makes you back track. Our native redbuds prefer partial shade but driving down Devine Street in Columbia recently, I marveled at the beauty of the redbuds growing in absolute full sun.

Mar 07
South Carolina's redbuds are in bloom

Cercis canadenis, redbuds are in bloom in South Carolina and what a distinctive and lovely understory tree they are.

Mar 06
Sap sucker diet

Like many birds, they also enjoy fruits and berries, in season, which are a consistent part of their diet.

Feb 11
Yellow-bellied sap suckers nesting

Male sapsuckers spend several weeks drilling out a nesting cavity, preferring trees with heart-rot fungus if possible as they are softer to drill into.

Feb 10
Tree damage by yellow-bellied sap suckers?

If you are worried about a tree used by sapsuckers, you can wrap small gauge chicken wire or such around the trunk.

Feb 09
Yellow-bellied sap sucker migration

Amazingly migratory, this bird nests in our part of the country as well as in Alaska and Canada and drills sap wells into trees, over years they are lined up perfectly above the depressions of earlier drilling.

Feb 08
Yellow-bellied sap suckers suck sap

This is the only woodpecker that doesn’t actively drill in tree trunks looking for insects to eat

Feb 07
What's in a name?

Well, the poor yellow-bellied sapsucker gets a bad rap, as it sounds like these are cowardly birds when really their name comes from their attractive, light yellow breast.

Feb 06
Walking in nature

It is a day of joy when my puppy Blue and I walk with my friend Ann Nolte. She and her husband Hank Stallworth live on a portion of what was his family farm.

Jan 27
Depleted aquifers

In my home county of Calhoun, a heavily irrigated farming area, the aquifer is dropping, and many people are having to redrill their wells, so this is not just a west coast problem.

Jan 25
Polluted river = polluted ocean

If trash is not removed from the LA river culvert, it goes straight into the Pacific Ocean.

Jan 24
The Los Angeles river - a sad story

We know from our storm water experts, that when water flows over soil, many of the pollutants can be removed and microbes in the ground can safely decompose them. In the case of the Los Angeles River, everything goes right into the Pacific Ocean.

Jan 23
Reclaiming a river bed

There is now a movement to enhance any space on the LA river that could be considered an urban park where people could get a glimpse of nature in a profoundly densely-packed city.

Jan 17
History of asparagus farming in South Carolina

During the twenties, thirties and through the forties tons of asparagus vegetables were shipped to northern markets.

Jan 14
The flexiblel bald Cypress

When Hurricane Hugo came through South Carolina, Sumter County was really hit hard. The magnificent Swan Lake Gardens lost several hundred pine trees exposing camellias and azaleas to unwelcome sunlight. But only a few bald cypresses were lost. If you come across a young bald cypress, shake it and you’ll find that is flexible, even adult trees are not brittle like pines.

Jan 13

Dendrochronology is the study of information obtained from tree ring growth. It is used in several different fields – archaeologists can date wooden artifacts, dendrologist – tree scientists – can use tree rings to determine the local climate. But perhaps the most interesting is climate science.

Jan 12
Very old bald Cypress trees in Congaree Swamp National Park

You can easily see large majestic bald cypress trees if you walk the boardwalk at the Congaree National Park. But retired DNR wildlife biologist John Cely who has explored the Park extensively, you might enjoy his blogs (at Friends of the Congaree Swamp) had found large cypress inaccessible except by boat and took Professor Dave Stahle, the world’s expert on bald cypress, to that area.

Jan 11
The science of dating trees

I attended an outdoor lecture at the Congaree National Park last month, an appropriate site as Dave Stahle, Professor of Geography at the University of Arkansas, and the world’s authority on bald cypress gave the talk, and the Park is home to the state-record holding cypress tree. Stahle takes very small and minimally damaging core samples from trees and studies them to age trees and document climate change -- he has sampled trees that are two thousand years old.

Jan 10
Congaree National Park: Thousands of acres

If you feel cramped or overwhelmed, you should visit the Congaree National Park right outside of Columbia. Of its 26,000 acres, the core protected area is fifteen thousand acres.

Jan 09
Using "amaryllis" flowers in arrangements

"Amaryllis" have hollow stems and you need to take certain steps if using them as cut flowers.

Dec 31, 2022
"Amaryllis" cultivars

There are a zillion different amaryllis cultivars out there – a plethora of colors and flower shapes – singles or doubles, extra large or some smaller options. They make the best show in a garden if grouped and need about a foot of space between each large-sized bulb.

Dec 30, 2022