This past weekend was glorious and I appreciated puttering around my yard and landscape. It’s not often that we can enjoy a Saturday and Sunday in February with temperatures in the mid-70s and bright sunny skies.
But I had to take a step back and remember that our last frost free date on the coast is about April 1, so I continued to transplant curly kale and Bright Lights Swiss chard in my EarthBoxes and harvested some fresh red and green romaine lettuce for salads.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With spring around the corner, gardeners and farmers are beginning to plan for the upcoming planting and growing seasons.
One important way to ensure success during the Mississippi growing season is to have a plan for irrigation. Water keeps plants alive during the hot Mississippi summers, so irrigation is often vital during times of limited rainfall.
VERONA, Miss. -- Mississippi State University specialists and researchers met with northeast Mississippi agricultural producers in Verona on Feb. 16 to provide updates and hear requests for future programs.
Jane Parish, newly appointed head of the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, said the annual Producer Advisory Council meeting reflects the close relationship between area producers and the MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host four clinics for 4-H’ers interested in competing in two new performance classes at the 2017 Mississippi 4-H Horse Show.
Extension equine specialist Clay Cavinder will be the primary instructor at the workshops, which will teach 4-H members the rules and scope of the two classes: Ranch Handling and Cow Horse Boxing.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Housecleaning and decluttering efforts can go a long way in preventing home-invading bed bugs from setting up residence where they can feed at night on human hosts.
Bed bugs are nuisance pests that often live, as their name suggests, in beds. Once the bugs are introduced into a home, their extermination requires professional services. The Mississippi State University Extension Service, through the Healthy Homes Initiative, is equipping residents with the knowledge to keep this problem out of their houses.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi agronomic crop producers now have an important insect control reference guide available on their mobile devices.
“Insect Control Guide for Agronomic Crops,” a publication of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, helps farmers estimate the performance of various insecticides on cotton, soybeans, corn, grain sorghum, small grains, rice and peanuts.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Floral enthusiasts and other interested individuals can learn techniques for designing floral arrangements for casual entertaining during a March 8 class.
In observation of International Women’s Day, Jim DelPrince, floral specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, will demonstrate fresh flower design using materials from the yard and garden.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi fruit growers need look no further than their smartphones or laptops when searching for a second opinion on chill hour accumulation.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched Chill Hours, an app that helps growers assess growing conditions that affect plant physiology and prepare for the upcoming growing season.
I had an opportunity to attend the Gulf District American Rose Society Mid-Winter Workshop in Gonzales, Louisiana, in early February. It was a fantastic event that allowed me to meet lots of new people and catch up with a few old garden friends.
I also learned that I have had the same experiences and developed the same misperceptions that many home gardeners have with garden roses.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The conclusion of deer season does not mean the end of Mississippi hunting adventures for the year. It is just time to swap out gear and head back to the woods.
February brings small game hunting and other new, exciting opportunities to connect with your primitive side. Mississippi squirrel and rabbit season extends to the last day of February. It is a chance to scout for signs of turkey and look for shed antlers, but most of all, it is an excellent way to introduce kids to the outdoors.
JACKSON, Miss. -- Before Carson Keene sold his grand champion Duroc hog at the Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions, he had a conversation with his family about where the proceeds should go.
The 12-year-old 4-H'er and sixth-grader at Presbyterian Christian School in Petal had known for several months that his 6-year-old schoolmate Noelle Carter was awaiting treatment at Batson Children's Hospital for liver cancer. He decided to donate the auction proceeds to Carter's family.
“Our school was raising money, and I wanted to try to do something, too,” Keene said.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Most bill payers are keenly aware of the importance of energy efficiency, but a new initiative is placing similar emphasis on environmental concerns.
David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said weatherization focuses on reducing energy bills and increasing comfort, but families need a more comprehensive approach to home improvements.
Except for a couple of cold nights, there's no doubt that I’ve been enjoying the mild winter we’re having this year. It seems our landscape plants are also enjoying the moderate temperatures and flowering to show their approval.
But one thing I'm missing in the landscape is the variety of bronzy golds and reds our evergreen landscape shrubs display because of cold weather. Who doesn't appreciate the winter foliage of Japanese cleyera with its patina of rich burgundy? And what about my nandina, another great winter favorite?
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With deer season over, many outdoor enthusiasts are looking forward to the next hunting opportunity: turkey season.
Most hunters know about planting food plots to add nutrition for deer on their property, but they may not fully understand the habitat needs of turkeys. Habitat requirements for turkeys differ each season of the year. As a result, knowing what these seasonal needs are and being able to identify habitat features that best meet these needs are essential for sustainable turkey populations.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Farmers market vendors and cottage food industry owners are invited to expand their knowledge at a Feb. 24 workshop covering food safety basics and regulations for processing acidified foods in Mississippi.
CEDAR BLUFF, Miss. -- Ali Fratesi Pinion may be part of the millennial generation, but she farms more like her great-grandparents.
Pinion and her husband, Dustin, operate Beaverdam Farms in Clay County on the principle that healthy soils create better foods and communities. The Pinions have modeled their farm after a successful project in Virginia that emphasizes building up the soil, capturing carbons and feeding local communities.
JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers can learn how to improve their financial skills during a two-day workshop in Jackson.
The Holistic Management and Risk Assessment Workshop for Dairy Farmers is set for Feb. 21 and 22. The workshop will be at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Building.
Topics will be geared toward dairy producers, but all Mississippi agricultural producers are welcome. The workshop begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. each day.
CARTHAGE, Miss. -- Farmers can learn about spring planting, high tunnels and field production methods during the Feb. 17 Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production field day.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will host the field day at Farm I in Carthage.
One of five farms operated by the tribe, Farm I is a certified organic farm that produces tomatoes, tomatoberries, cucumbers, eggplant, kale and collards in seven high tunnels, one greenhouse and one open field acre.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Agricultural producers interested in purchasing auxin-containing herbicides intended for in-crop use on 2,4-D- or dicamba-tolerant crops must first complete mandatory online training.
The free, online educational training, offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and approved by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, will be available to producers starting Feb. 13. This training will help growers safely maximize the benefits of these recently approved auxin technologies.
So far, it's been an interesting spring season in January for our gardens. New Year's weekend, more than 13 inches of rain fell in my Ocean Springs garden, followed a week later by freeze-magedden. By late January, we were in the middle of really nice, moderate weather.
So what plants do you think are showing up at garden centers? If you guessed vegetable transplants, you’re correct. Last week, I even saw large tomato plants full of flowers for sale in 6-inch containers.