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News From 2006

The Firewitch dianthus, or cheddar pink, is a low growing, mat-forming plant with narrow, bluish-gray foliage and brilliant purplish-pink flowers. The blooms cover the plant and perfume the air with a spicy, clove-like fragrance.
January 19, 2006 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you love Bath's Pink dianthus, then you will be delighted with Firewitch, the 2006 Perennial Plant of the Year. The Perennial Plant Association has a strong reputation for selecting perennial plants that perform for the widest area of the United States, and this year's winner is no exception.

January 12, 2006 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many returning soldiers are planning to march down the aisle into a new life of marital bliss, but couples will need patience as they adjust to their life together.

Wartime separations have a long tradition of producing brides, either before soldiers are deployed, when on leave or soon after they return home.

Paul Purser, family assistance supervisor with the Mississippi Military Department, said these weddings mean many returning soldiers will be newlyweds, even if they got married a year and a half ago.

January 12, 2006 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- To many people, a wedding ring, keys to a new car and the title to a house should all quickly follow the college degree, but financial experts urge first-time home buyers to count the cost before making this decision.

Many couples don't like the idea of paying rent, so they try to buy a house as soon as possible, sometimes even before the wedding. They see two incomes and a consolidated set of living expenses, and a home purchase seems like a good idea.

January 12, 2006 - Filed Under: Family Dynamics, Family Financial Management

By Marcus Daniels

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Newlyweds face a variety of challenges, many of which stem directly from the financial decisions all couples must make.

“Problems with family finances are the No. 1 cause of marriages breaking up,” said Susan Cosgrove, area family resource management agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Couples may bring large debt into the marriage or can easily get over their heads in debt very quickly. It takes hard work and a true commitment to achieve financial goals.

January 12, 2006 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Many couples look for ways to reduce wedding costs, but cutting out a professional florist should not be an option.

Lynette McDougald, an instructor in plant and soil sciences at Mississippi State University and manager of the University Florist, said professional florists can guide couples to effective floral displays within any budget.

January 12, 2006 - Filed Under: Family, Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The cake may be beautiful, the table gorgeous and the appetizers terrific, but if the food hasn't been handled and stored properly, guests can go away from the wedding reception with a very bad experience.

Food-borne illnesses are a serious issue, causing more than 80 million illnesses and 5,000 deaths nationwide each year. Symptoms of a food-borne illness can be similar to indigestion, heartburn, a stomach bug or the flu, so many people don't realize what made them sick.

January 12, 2006 - Filed Under: Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Figuring out how much to serve at the wedding reception can be just as hard as coming up with a guest list, but a few tips can take some of the guesswork out of the equation.

Wedding planners know that a reception can be a significant part of the total cost of a wedding. While cake and punch receptions in a church hall are typically not very expensive, costs rise dramatically when a full menu is served.

Zowie! Yellow Flame zinnia and Evolution salvia make a dynamic duo in this landscape. Both make great cut flowers for the vase and can be dried for an everlasting bouquet. Unlike any other zinnia, each Zowie bloom flames with a scarlet-rose center and yellow petal edges. Evolution provides a slightly richer color that Victoria Blue salvia.
January 12, 2006 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Zowie! That is a word that may conjure up memories of the 1960's Batman television series when it may have been used to mean wow, incredible or great Scott. In 2006, it will remind you of an All-America Selections Flower Award Winner, a zinnia called “Zowie! Yellow Flame.”

January 12, 2006 - Filed Under: Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Chemical usage, disaster issues and wildlife are among the topics that will be discussed in the upcoming Integrated Pest Management workshop in Raymond on Feb. 21.

Mississippi State University’s Extension Service is sponsoring the General Pest Management Workshop at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center. Registration is $10 and begins at 8 a.m. for the full-day event to be held in the auditorium.

January 12, 2006 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fruit and vegetable growers can learn how to produce the safest food possible during an upcoming workshop in north Mississippi.

The workshop is slated for Jan. 27 in Hernando at the public library. Participants will review food safety issues including good agricultural, handling and manufacturing practices that will meet food safety requirements during production, harvesting and grading. The afternoon session will be devoted to each producer developing an individualized manual and documentation needed for their food safety programs.

Kathy Ann, a native yaupon holly from Stone County, Miss., reaches 15 to 20 feet in height and is a perfect choice for use as an accent or the focal point to a special garden. The leaves are dark green and large, serving as a good contrast with the white bark that adds further winter landscape appeal. The Kathy Ann is in an elite class as one of the most prolific berry producing hollies.
January 5, 2006 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

As I was buttoning my favorite pair of pants this morning, it became evident the high Southeastern humidity in my closet had caused them to shrink. Unfortunately, it looks like the same New Year's resolution will be at the top of my list again.

Speaking of resolutions, there are several New Year's gardening resolutions we all need to make to have a better and more environmentally friendly garden this year.

January 5, 2006 - Filed Under: Cotton, Insects-Crop Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The Boll Weevil Eradication Program and worm-controlling varieties have allowed tarnished plant bugs to skip to the top spot as cotton's No. 1 pest.

Once growers removed boll weevils from their lists of pests, they began planting transgenic Bt cotton to control tobacco budworms and cotton bollworms. Producers reduced sprays for those insects, and this allowed tarnished plant bug numbers to grow.