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Fall Flower and Garden Fest

Healthy Living - Healthy Gardening

The 2017 Fall Flower & Garden Fest will be October 13 & 14 at the Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. Crystal Springs is about 25 miles south of Jackson. Hours are from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. both days, and food vendors will have food and drinks available. For more information contact your local Mississippi County Extension office, or call (601) 892-3731.

This is the largest home gardening show in the Southeast with average attendance of 5,000 people over the two-day event. Featured in the 3 acre garden are winners of the prestigious All-America Selections award. Admission and parking are free.

FOOD - There will be lots to choose from -- ribeye steak sandwiches, catfish, BBQ plates, chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and more. For dessert, there will be cookies, cakes, and sweetpotato sweets. The Chautauqua Garden Club will be selling homemade ice cream, and the Copiah County 4-H will serve hot and cold drinks all day.

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Filed Under: Soils, Soil Testing May 25, 2017

New manager of operations Keri Jones recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Laboratory, and she's ready to enhance the unit's efficiency."

"My primary goal is to provide accurate soil analysis in a timely manner," said Jones, an Extension associate who has worked in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences since 2016. "I hope to improve the overall efficiency of the lab as well as update soil nutrient application recommendations."

Real gardeners know the work is hard, but they consider sweat equity a reasonable price to pay to be able to enjoy their landscapes. (File Photo by MSU Extension)
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 22, 2017

In early April, my wife and I had the honor of being part of the 2017 Garden Clubs of Mississippi Spring Pilgrimage, as our little urban farm was one of the tour's stops. It was a treat to open our doors to allow more than 170 visitors to peek behind the curtain at how we garden.

Annual flowering vincas perform well in the landscape and in containers. This Mediterranean Hot Rose has a spreading growth habit that allows it to spill over the edge of a hanging basket. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 15, 2017

Now that our gardens and landscapes are heating up, it is the perfect time to plant annual flowering vinca. This beauty provides hot summer color you just can't beat.

Annual flowering vinca is a solid performer in Mississippi gardens, so I always make sure to plant some in my landscape.

Botanically speaking, annual flowering vinca is Catharanthus rosea. In garden centers, the pot tags sometimes call it Madagascar periwinkle.

Filed Under: Insects-Pests May 12, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University researchers are continuing to study a "crazy" creature found in Mississippi’s coastal counties.

The tawny crazy ant, also known as Nylanderia fulva, is a non-native ant species that has been found in the southern United States, including Hancock, Jackson and Harrison counties in Mississippi. The ants are not widely distributed on the Mississippi gulf coast, but their presence can be overwhelming in areas that contain a crazy ant population, according to MSU researchers who study and monitor the ants.

Both butterflies and aphids are attracted to tropical milkweed in droves. While unsightly, aphids don’t seem to impact growth and flowering. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 8, 2017

It's all the rage to plant butterfly gardens in our home landscapes. This is especially true when we consider the Monarch butterfly, which is said to be under stress from disappearing habitats.

One of the best butterfly-attracting plants for the home landscape is butterfly weed, known botanically as Asclepias. Butterfly weed has a great trio of advantages: it is low maintenance, deer resistant, and attractive to Monarchs and other butterflies.

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