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General Gardening Topics

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The topics below are relevant to a variety of home gardeners.

Soil & Compost

Healthy soil ensures you can grow healthy plants in your garden. It’s a great place to start for any gardener!

Publications on Soil

Soil Testing Resources

Soil testing kits are available from your local N.C. Cooperative Extension office.

Composting Resources

Printable list of resources on soil and composting.

Soil with hoe


I have lots of weeds in my garden! What are they and how do I control them? A good place to start is our publication, Identifying and Managing Landscape Weeds.

dandelion flower


Pruning questions are some of the most common questions we receive, from both new and experienced gardeners. Check out this article about pruning trees and shrubs in the landscape.

Plant Propagation

These resources focus on propagating landscape plants by methods other than seed propagation.



Dirr, M.A. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture.

Printable list of resources on plant propagation.

Tool Care

Most gardeners have a certain tool (or tools) that she/he reaches for all the time. By taking proper care of your tools, including cleaning and sanitizing, you can extend the life of the tools and possibly your plants as well. Read our article about tool care, which is a great task to complete in the winter or on a rainy day, but can be done in any season.

Garden tools hanging in garage


Pesticides should be the last step in your integrated pest management (IPM) plan. Try other methods for managing garden pests (insects, weeds, diseases, etc) before you reach for a pesticide. If you are using a pesticide, always read the label for information on how to properly use the product. For more assistance on choosing and using pesticides safely, see our homeowner pesticide resource page.