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News By Department: Plant and Soil Sciences

An Eastern mole.
February 19, 2021 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Natural Resources, Wildlife

If you’ve noticed irregular, snake-like raised ridges throughout your lawn, Eastern moles have most likely found themselves at home. They are known for building a network of tunnels underground, and typically spend 90 percent of their lives there.

A person wearing yellow gloves using a pair of loppers to prune roses.
February 10, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

Video by Michaela Parker

Pruning your rose bushes is one late winter chore you shouldn’t overlook! It’s so easy to neglect yard maintenance, especially during cold weather. Pruning helps shape the bush, remove dead canes, open the center for air flow, and stimulate new growth. 

Pruning any plant can be intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite easy. Before you get started, it’s comforting to know that roses are very forgiving plants. They will grow out of many mistakes you may make. Whew!

February 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Landscape Design and Management, Landscape and Garden Design, Professionals Corner, Smart Landscapes, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is leading a research project aimed at enhancing pollinator habitat in managed turfgrass of the Southeast.

Four pots of soil on a blue background.
January 28, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Trees, Vegetable Gardens

Everyone’s favorite yellow daffodils will be popping up soon and you know what that means! Spring will be here soon! While you wait, there are a few things you can start doing in your yard and garden to get ready for spring.

Bright green burweed in a patch of dead grass.
January 14, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Weed Control for Lawn and Garden, Weed Control

Having “stickers” in your yard can be quite the nuisance. Stumbling upon a patch of stickers while walking barefoot is a painful experience. Plus it’s painful for your four-legged family members! Formally known as lawn burweed, these winter annuals are no fun to deal with.  

Seed packets on a display in a garden store.
December 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

Staying on top of your gardening chores can be quite the task. When do you plant shrubs? When do you prune crape myrtles? That’s why we’re here!

A person wearing a green shirt scraping a stem with a razor bade.
December 10, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants

Propagating plants may sound like a hard task to take on, but it’s a cost-effective way to add beautiful plants to your garden. It’s yet another reason you should have friends who are gardeners!

Yellow flowers turned brown.
November 24, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Trees

12/12. We’ve finally reached the end of 2020. I think everyone can agree that it’s been a heavy year. Here’s to 2021, right? I hope staying active in your lawn and garden has brought you a sense of normalcy during this crazy year. If anything, hopefully it’s been a good distraction!

Closeup of pecans on the tree.
November 2, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Nuts

Despite weather challenges combined with a decreased production year for most pecan varieties, Mississippi’s 2020 crop will be decent.

A man raking leaves into a wheelbarrow.
October 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Landscape Management, Trees

Video by Michaela Parker 

The year is winding down. The weather is finally cooling off and the leaves are slowly, but surely, changing colors. Cooler weather means fewer things to do in your garden. (Are you rejoicing or feeling bummed?) Before we wrap up the year, however, complete a few tasks in your lawn and garden to be ready for the spring! Here are four tasks to do in November:

October 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

The 2020 Mississippi State University Extension Service Row Crop Short Course has been cancelled as COVID-19 cases trend back up in Mississippi.

A hand with a a grey glove on planting a series of bulbs in the soil.
September 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Soil Testing

Video by Michaela Parker

We’ve finally made it to fall! The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing colors, and I can’t wait to purchase pumpkins and mums for my front porch! 

If you’re trying to stay on top of what tasks you should be doing in your yard and garden, check out these four for the month of October.

Four house plants in white pots.
August 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Vegetable Gardens, Weed Control for Lawn and Garden

And just like that, we’re three-fourths through the year! Cooler temperatures will be here before we know it, hopefully sooner rather than later. Even though we all know the heat will stay around a little longer, it’s time to start preparing for fall and winter.

A cluster of bright pink roses.
July 30, 2020 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

Whew. It’s hot outside! Just a trip to the mailbox makes me break into a sweat. As you’re outside working in your lawn and garden, remember to stay hydrated and come inside if you start feeling overheated Here are four tasks to complete in your yard for the month of August: 

Side-by-side images showing exterior packaging materials and close-up seed packet.
July 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Lawn and Garden

Mississippians are urged not to open or plant packets of unknown seeds that are appearing unsolicited in mailboxes, seemingly shipped from China. Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson urged state residents who receive the seeds to report them immediately. The Bureau of Plant Industry’s phone number is 662-325-3390.

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.

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