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News By Department: Plant and Soil Sciences

Watering colorful flowers with a blue watering can.
June 22, 2020 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens

And just like that, we’re over halfway through the year. How is that possible? I have spent more time at my home over the past few months than I have in a long time!

A poison ivy vine.
June 18, 2020 - Filed Under: Health, Plants and Wildlife

With many summer attractions closed or limited due to COVID-19, people are heading into the great outdoors. As you’re exploring nature, you don’t want to have a run-in with the dreaded poison ivy.  

June 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Floral Design

When Jim DelPrince became a horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, his goal was to get flowers in the hands of Mississippians.

A cluster of blackberries on a bush.
May 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Fruit, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

It’s starting to get hot out there, y’all! Don’t let the Mississippi heat deter you from taking good care of your garden and landscape.

Closeup of blueberries in various stages of ripeness.
May 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Local Flavor, Farmers Markets, Specialty Crop Production

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a new obstacle for Mississippi blueberry growers in 2020, impacting the labor force for the early-season varieties.

A group of purple, yellow, and red petunias.
April 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens

With so many Mississippians staying at home more than usual, it’s the perfect time to start planning your summer landscape. 

Closeup of a floral arrangement.
April 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Floral Design

Floral enthusiasts and professional floral designers can broaden their design skills in a three-phase horticulture course that has online, in-person, and volunteer components.

A person spreading mulch in a flower bed.
March 26, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens

Everyone’s normal routine is being flipped upside down. Employees are working from home, kids are out of school, and social gatherings are postponed. Boredom and stress are setting in. Gardening to the rescue! 

Small white dots appear on a pruned crape myrtle branch.
March 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases, Trees

If you’ve got crape myrtles, you should be on the lookout for Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. This invasive pest can turn easy-to-care for shrubs and trees into high-maintenance plants covered in a black, sooty mold.

While the insects won’t kill the tree outright, the tree will eventually produce fewer and smaller blooms if the insects are allowed to reproduce year after year.

A closeup of a person with white gloves planting cabbage.
February 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens

The first two months of 2020 have been exceptionally wet and dreary. But don’t lose hope, spring is right around the corner! The daffodils are blooming, and warmer days are in sight. 

A person pruning a tree branch with red shears.
February 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Fruit, Landscape Architecture, Trees

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. 

A group of blueberries.
February 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

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.

A red pruning tool cutting a branch.
February 4, 2020 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Trees

If you’ve got landscape chores on your mind, pruning is no doubt on your list. Crape myrtles are a staple in landscapes across the state because of their low-maintenance beauty.

A person with yellow gloves on planting a shrub.
January 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Management, Vegetable Gardens

It may be chilly outside, but don’t let that deter you from going outside and working in your garden and landscape. Grab a jacket and your gardening tools, there is plenty to be done during February! 

A tree planted in green grass with brown mulch around it.
January 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Trees

If you are planning your spring garden chores, mulching is likely on your list. But you may not know that there is a right and wrong way to apply mulch.

A group of house plants sitting next to a window.
January 10, 2020 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

If you need something green to brighten up your space or get you through the winter months, there is a plant out there for you. But efore you shop for plants, understand the environment of your home or office because different plants have different needs. You must consider six factors when choosing indoor plants if you want to be successful: light, temperature, water, humidity, soil, and fertilization. 

January 10, 2020 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts

Blueberry growers and others interested in growing blueberries commercially can learn more about the crop during an upcoming workshop.

A person with green gloves pruning a tree with yellow leaves.
December 16, 2019 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Management, Vegetable Gardens

Do you have improving your garden or landscape on your New Year’s resolution list? If you don’t, you should! Each month, we are going to offer a few suggested tasks to do. So, without further ado, here are four tasks for you to complete in your garden and landscape during the month of January:

 
Ripe muscadines on a vine with green foliage.
November 12, 2019 - Filed Under: Fruit

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.

Multiple sweet potatoes in a box.
November 8, 2019 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes and yams. They’re the same thing, right?

Not really. They look and taste different. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are sweeter with a smooth, thin skin. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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