The major fruit crop in Mississippi is blueberries, with more than 2,000 acres in production. Since blueberries are native to the Southeast and grow well in the pine belt of south Mississippi, commercial production of blueberries has been important to the horticultural economy of Mississippi since the 1970s. Mississippi State University Extension personnel work with blueberry growers to achieve maximum production, but they also strive for management practices that are sustainable. Although blueberries are the dominant crop, other fruit crops are important on a smaller scale, such as bunch grapes and muscadines, tree fruits (apples, peaches, pears, plums, and nectarines), citrus (kumquat, satsuma, Meyer lemon), blackberries, strawberries, and various other alternative fruit crops like figs, mayhaws, and persimmons.
Interest in gardening has nearly kept pace with social distancing and self-isolation rates across the country as the COVID-19 pandemic has circled the globe.
2020 marked Bill Fitts’ 27th consecutive appearance at the annual North Mississippi Producer Advisory Council meeting.
Although we still have some cold weather in store, now is the time to start thinking about pruning. Late winter and early spring are the times to prune fruit trees, including apple and pear trees.
The invasive species of fruit fly, Spotted Wing Drosophila, can wreak havoc on the state’s largest commercial fruit crop – blueberries. But homeowners likely won’t find it to be a significant problem.
Video by Michaela Parker
Muscadines are a great fruit to grow at your home, especially here in Mississippi. They thrive in warm, humid weather, making them the perfect fruit to grow in your backyard! If you have been thinking about setting up a muscadine vineyard, here are a few tips to get you started.