News From 2018
I'm becoming a fan of salvias for their performance in the landscape.
This group of plants has such a wide variety of selections available from annuals to perennials that I'm sure you can find the perfect plant for your garden. Today, I want to tell you about the salvias I'm growing in my own home landscape.
Rockin' Playin' the Blues salvia is a selection I grew as a trial last year, and it didn't disappoint. The plant produced beautiful blue flowers all summer long.
In today's technology-rich culture, we have come to expect instant communication with others, even if they are across the globe from us. But what if there were no texts, emails, blogs or instant messages? What if there were no words? How would humans communicate?
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- 2017 marked a 54-year low for wheat acreage in Mississippi, and 2018 is not much better.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports an estimated 50,000 acres in winter wheat for 2018, an increase of 11 percent. Production dropped to 45,000 acres last year, just three years after wheat growers planted 230,000 acres in 2014.
LEAKESVILLE, Miss. -- South Mississippi homeowners with private wells will have an opportunity next month to learn how to improve the functionality of their drinking water sources.
The Mississippi Well Owner Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will hold a workshop at the Extension office in Greene County May 8 at 2 p.m.
PINEY WOODS, Miss. -- Mississippi producers will receive training on irrigation practices during an April 20 field day.
The Alliance of Sustainable Farms will hold its Drip Irrigation and Plastic Mulch Laying field day on the National Center for Appropriate Technology demonstration farm at the Piney Woods School. The workshop will provide information on ecologically sound and profitable production practices.
Along with drip irrigation and plastic mulch laying, the workshop will also include transplanting demonstrations.
There’s no doubt that spring is here when the Southern indica azaleas start to put on their show.
These showy -- some may even say gaudy -- flowering shrubs seem to just take over our southern landscapes before fading back into an evergreen supporting role for the rest of the year.
But this column is not about the beautiful Southern indica azaleas, which, by the way, are from Asia. This column is about a couple of azaleas native to Mississippi and other southeastern states -- the deciduous azaleas.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Rains may delay field work, but they don’t dampen farmers’ optimism for 2018.
Along with plantings that have already taken place, another sign of the new season is the release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Prospective Plantings report. Released at the end of March every year, this report estimates planting acres for state and national crops.
Brian Williams, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said most of the crop markets are steady at year-ago levels.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Researchers at the Mississippi State University Deer Lab have one simple answer to almost every question land managers ask: Nutrition.
How do you improve the health of a deer herd? How do you attract more deer? How do you grow bigger bucks or larger racks? Improve nutrition, and most everything else will take care of itself.
I took a look at my landscape this weekend trying to decide how many plants, if any, I’m going to have to renovate or replace after our hard winter. I have to say I was really impressed at the regrowth so far this spring.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Flowers are blooming, hardwood trees are budding and flowering, songbirds are singing, and wild turkeys are mating. Mississippi has to be the prettiest place on Earth, especially in the springtime, making it my favorite time of year.
Mississippi’s wild turkeys are majestic game birds that have always been important to people in the South. The earliest North Americans probably used the turkey as food. Since that time, the turkey has held an important niche in our economy and in the environment.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Sharks of the northern Gulf of Mexico have a strong advocate in Mississippi State University Extension Service fisheries specialist Marcus Drymon.
Drymon, originally from Kentucky, has been fascinated with sharks from a young age. His dad, an airline pilot, took him on annual scuba diving trips to watch sharks. His college career focused on marine sciences, leading him to a career in marine biology, first at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A new moth has become a serious pest to the greenhouse and nursery industries since it entered the state in 2010.
Blake Layton, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the European pepper moth was detected in California in 2004 before showing up in Mississippi six years later. Its caterpillars attack a wide range of ornamental plants and vegetables.
This past weekend, I had the great pleasure of speaking at the Jackson Garden Extravaganza. They had a huge selection of colorful plants on display and for sale, and I left with quite a number of colorful annuals to plant before I hit the road again this weekend.
Gardeners can buy native and naturalized heirloom plants during the annual Metro Master Gardeners plant sale April 28.
This time of year seems to be a never-ending battle with Mother Nature. As the rain pours down, water levels in ditches, creeks, rivers and storm drains rise rapidly, increasing flood risk in urban and rural areas.
PITTSBORO, Miss. -- Emergency responders and farmers will learn grain bin safety practices and rescue procedures during two workshops on April 17.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting the grain bin rescue training programs at the Calhoun County Extension Office. Both programs are coordinated with the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.
Training for producers and farm laborers will be held from 2-4 p.m. Agricultural workers will learn preliminary steps to take when someone gets trapped in a grain bin.
An afternoon field day will help livestock producers learn about the latest research related to forage production.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- The Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science recognized what Mississippi gardeners already knew: Rick Snyder’s monthly gardening column is informative, entertaining and high quality.
Snyder, a vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, received a Blue Ribbon Extension Publication Award in February for his work. Since 2005, Snyder’s column has appeared monthly in Mississippi Gardener magazine.
One of my favorite spring flowering trees is our native redbud.
This small tree flowers early in the spring before most other trees have started to leaf out after their winter naps. It’s good that redbuds blooms so early because they are usually found as understory trees. While driving around the state, it’s common to see a redbud framed or silhouetted by leafless hardwoods.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- How much water do we use each day? This may sound like a simple question until we consider the direct and indirect ways we use water.
Direct water use includes the indoor and outdoor water that we physically use when we turn on a faucet in our bathrooms, kitchens or gardens. It is what most of us think of when we are asked how much water we use, but the truth is that we consume a lot of water indirectly too.
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