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News By Department: Plant and Soil Sciences

A rake in orange leaves.
September 29, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

As of September 23, it’s officially fall! Cue the pumpkins, apple cider, and bonfires! The weather normally takes a while to realize that it’s actually fall but isn’t this cooler weather glorious!

A close-up of an ear of corn.
September 15, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Crops, Corn

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The favorable weather that kicked off planting season for Mississippi corn producers stayed in play throughout the growing season and is helping growers wrap up harvest. Mississippi producers planted 790,000 acres of corn, up from the 700,000 acres forecast just before farmers began planting in mid-March. The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates 770,000 of those acres will be harvested for grain.

Southern Brown Turkey Fig
September 8, 2023 - Filed Under: Fruit

Figs are in season from July to October. So, now is the perfect time to find some figs to eat and cook with! There are two main fig varieties found in Mississippi: Celeste and Southern Brown Turkey.

Orange, purple, and yellow mums.
August 29, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

September is one of my favorite months. The scorching hot temps will soon turn into nice cool weather, and the leaves will start to change colors.

Blue hydrangea bush.
July 31, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

August is typically a busy month for many people! The kids are back in school, and people are returning to their fall routines after summer.

July 3, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

And just like that, our mild, rainy summer has turned hot and steamy. 

Grass with brown spots.
June 28, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Turf Diseases, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

A lot of time and energy is put into caring for your lawn: mowing, fertilizing, watering, and everything in between.

Pink and yellow lantana.
May 30, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Design and Management

Summertime is officially here! Kids are out of school, and many people are gearing up for summer adventures with the family.

Young rice plants stand in a field.
May 26, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- After taking a break from rice last year, Mississippi producers who typically grow the crop have returned to it this year. Hunter Bowman, Mississippi State University Extension Service rice specialist, said growers in the state have planted 119,000 acres of rice. That’s well over the 84,500 acres planted in 2022.

Tomatoes on a vine.
May 24, 2023 - Filed Under: Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Vegetable Gardens

There’s nothing as divine as a homegrown tomato. I’m a sucker for a tomato sandwich or a BLT during summer.

A black lawn mower mowing a yard.
April 28, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design

May is here and you know what that means, it’s go time! 

A monarch butterfly on an orang flower.
April 25, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

There’s nothing as magical and whimsical as a garden filled with colorful butterflies. They’re fun to watch, but they also play an important role in our environment.

Black swallowtail caterpillar on a plant.
April 21, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Did you know that certain plants provide food to certain butterflies? Just like adult and baby humans eat different things, the same applies to butterflies!

White daisies.
March 31, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Landscape and Garden Design

After an unseasonal cold snap in March, spring has officially started and the warmer weather is here to stay– at least for a little while. Hopefully, the cold didn’t damage your plants! Working on your yard is a great excuse to spend time outside now that the weather is nice. Here are a few things you can work on in your landscape for the month of April:

Alt Text: Close-up of freeze-damaged blueberries
March 27, 2023 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit, Local Flavor, Specialty Crop Production

POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi blueberry producers expect to see substantial yield losses in the state’s largest commercial fruit crop after the hard freeze that hit the state on the weekend of March 18. Eric Stafne, fruit and nut specialist with the MSU Extension Service, said growers will see significant losses. The condition of the crop is poor based on what commercial growers are reporting to him and his observation of damage to blueberry plants at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville, where he is based.

March 20, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Floral Design

MERIDIAN, Miss. -- Gardening and floral design enthusiasts and professionals can enjoy a floral design demonstration and reception at Merrehope in Meridian. Petals & Prosecco will feature Jim DelPrince, a horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. He will show attendees how to make 19th century-style mantel garlands.

Frayed Daffodils
March 17, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

For a few short weeks, daffodils grace the planet with their beauty and remind us of warm weather right around the corner.

Orange milkweed.
March 3, 2023 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

I woke up to a dusting of yellow pollen on my car this week, the true sign that spring is on its way! Several flowers are blooming, making the world a little more vibrant after a cold, gray winter.

Bradford pear tree blooms
February 24, 2023 - Filed Under: Landscape and Garden Design, Trees

If you have Bradford pear trees on your property, you are quite familiar with the odor they release. How could such a beautiful tree smell like rotting fish? The odor isn’t the only thing that makes this tree undesirable.  

Yellow, purple, and blue pansies.
February 3, 2023 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

The weather has been brutal lately. Cold and dreary one day, warm the next. Nevertheless, signs of spring are starting to pop up. Yellow daffodils have already started to bloom, providing everyone with a reminder that the cold weather will soon be moving out of the area.