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News By Department: Plant and Soil Sciences

Trial gardens in bloom
June 13, 2022 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Gardeners can enjoy a half-day horticulture event at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs June 21.

Passion fruit grown on a vine.
May 27, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Local Flavor, Farmers Markets, Local Food System Economies, Marketing and Business Planning, Specialty Crop Production

The U.S. passion fruit industry is small, but a team of researchers want to help it grow through a grant awarded to Mississippi State University. Eric Stafne, fruit and nut specialist with the MSU Extension Service, is leading a research project aimed at gathering input from growers, marketers, consumers and buyers. The research team wants to better understand the current industry and its future direction.

A cotton plant in a field.
May 27, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Early May delivered favorable weather conditions for most of Mississippi’s cotton producers, allowing them to get their crops in the ground at the ideal time.

Green tomato with buckeye rot.
May 26, 2022 - Filed Under: Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Food, Vegetable Gardens

Tomatoes are a popular crop for home gardeners, but they can be tricky to grow. Insects, disorders, and diseases can all cause problems with tomatoes. 

People gardening in hay bales.
May 26, 2022 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

Summertime means everyone is hard at work on their gardens. Gardening can be quite the tiresome project and can even be difficult for those who can’t bend over easily. That’s where hay or straw bales come in handy!

Yellow coreopsis flowers.
May 23, 2022 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Smart Landscapes

Native plants are great to have in the landscape because they often do not require watering, fertilization, or maintenance. They grow naturally in the region and are adapted to the overall climate and soil conditions. Native plants also provide food and shelter for wildlife and pollinators! 

White and pink native azaleas.
April 25, 2022 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Smart Landscapes

There’s no plant more iconic in the springtime than azaleas. Their bright, colorful blooms are exactly what we need to welcome the warm weather after a dreary winter. 

Blue and purple hydrangeas.
April 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

Hydrangeas are a favorite among many Southerners. Their colorful blooms are a classic staple in many landscapes. They typically come in a variety of colors, including blue, purple, white, and pink. But did you know you can change the color of certain hydrangeas? With a little work and a lot of patience, you can change the color of bigleaf and mountain hydrangeas by adjusting the soil pH. How cool is that?!

Hairy crabbed
April 8, 2022 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Weed Control for Lawn and Garden

With warm weather arriving, many people are starting to think about their landscape plan for the spring and summer. It’s so exciting to get those colorful flowers planted. But with warmer weather, we also get unwanted, pesky weeds. It’s inevitable to have some type of weed pop up in your flower beds, gardens, or lawn at some point during the summer.

Soil in egg carton.
February 25, 2022 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

With spring right around the corner, many people have gardening on their minds again. To get your gardening fix, start seeds indoors for spring planting now! Have you tried egg cartons to get your plants started instead of purchasing seedling trays?  There are many benefits to trying this alternative container instead.

Pink roses on a bush.
February 11, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

Roses are wildly popular flowers – both for planting in your yard and for gifting to a special someone. Native to the northern hemisphere, roses come in a variety of different colors and types. With over 50 different rose cultivars that grow well in Mississippi, there’s a rose that is sure to meet all your needs and preferences. 

February 7, 2022 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Floral Design, Flower Gardens

Pat Scace, floral display supervisor at the Missouri Botanical Garden will give a lecture on March 21 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center. It will conclude with a recognition ceremony for the newest group of certified MSU Extension Service Master Floral Designers. Deadline to register is March 14.

Frozen plants.
January 4, 2022 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

January and February often bring harsh winter temperatures to us in Mississippi. Sometimes cold snaps even come in March and early April! One sudden drop in the temperature can unfortunately damage many of your tender landscape plants. Make sure the freezing temperatures do not harm your plants by taking a few preventative measures: 

paperwhite narcissus
December 17, 2021 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

When people think of holiday houseplants, poinsettias usually come to mind. Rightfully so! They’re one of the most popular plants on the market during the holidays. One plant many people overlook for decor during winter months is the paperwhite narcissus. 

Red poinsettias
December 8, 2021 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

Other than the Christmas tree, there’s no holiday plant more sought-after than the poinsettia. Although the most popular color for this winter favorite is Christmas red, you may find white, pink, yellow, maroon, and multi-color versions at your local garden store. Poinsettias are fragile and finnicky indoor plants, but they can add a bit of holiday cheer to any space with the right care! Here are a few tips on how to choose the best-looking poinsettias, and how to maintain them throughout the season.

Frost on a plant.
November 30, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Trees

It’s hard to believe we will be closing out another year at the end of the month. If you’ve followed our monthly garden checklist, we know it’s been a busy year for you! Staying on top of the chores in your yard and garden is quite the undertaking, but isn’t it rewarding? To wrap up the year, here are a few things to take care of:

Pink flowers
November 12, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

As cold weather makes it way to Mississippi, the vibrant colors of summer and fall begin to fade. Winter months are traditionally very bland in terms of landscape, but they don’t have to be! There are several colorful plants that work well in cold temperatures, and many of them are low maintenance. Here are five annual plants you can incorporate into your flowerbeds or containers to add a nice pop of color into your winter landscape: 

Trees waiting to be planted.
October 26, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Trees

It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of 2021. With cooler weather arriving, that means there’s not as much to do in your garden besides constantly raking leaves to ensure they don’t take over your landscape. However, there are a few additional tasks you can complete to prep your space for spring! 

colorful fall leaves
October 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Trees

Autumn is the time of year when nature graces us with a perfect landscape of red, orange, and yellow leaves to enjoy. As you take in the beautiful scenery, you may wonder: What causes the leaves to change colors in the fall months? Many people believe frost is the reason, but that’s actually a myth! 

Different colored pumpkins in a line.
October 8, 2021 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a fall staple and a great way to add a bit of festive decor to your home. I’ve had a pumpkin display out at my home since mid-September. I’ll keep this fall arrangement up until after Thanksgiving and then replace it with Christmas lights and decor.

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