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A black mailbox rises above a sea of green foliage and delicate clusters of mostly orange flowers.
December 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

The questions being emailed to me are literally filling up my inbox. I thought I’d share a couple of these questions, along with and my answers that should help home gardeners before we head into the 2019 spring and summer gardening seasons.

Illustration shows plants growing above water’s surface with root system below.
December 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Water

Floating islands are increasingly popular as a way to provide attractive centerpieces in ponds while improving water quality.

From the shore, floating islands look like normal earthen islands covered in plants, but they are much more than that. They are hydroponic systems that, when fully colonized by growing plants, are essentially wetlands that float on the water’s surface and provide many of the same services as natural wetlands.

December 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Mississippi County Elections: Election Prep 101

Aspiring candidates for 2019 county elections now have a one-stop shop online where they can find information they need as they prepare their campaigns.  

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has launched Election Prep 101, an online resource designed for anyone wanting to run for county office next year.

Nurseries have provided thousands of Christmas poinsettias in a variety of colors to decorate homes for the holidays. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
December 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Flower Gardens

It’s that time of year again for shopping, eating, delivery trucks and poinsettias. Yep—it’s the Christmas season.

Dry leaves and pine straw are cleared away in a round, bare area on the ground below small pine branches.
November 30, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

Deer hunters know all too well the power of a deer’s sense of smell, or more technically speaking, its olfactory system. A change of wind direction can give deer just a whiff of human scent and send them running and send a hunter back to the truck empty handed. 

Wooden honey dipper lying against a small jar of honey that is covered with a decorative piece of fabric tied with a string.
November 28, 2018 - Filed Under: Food and Health

Many people appreciate its flavor and soothing affects, but honey may receive more credit than it deserves.

Since ancient times, people have tried to use honey for medicinal purposes. Even today, people hope it will manage allergies, weight or diabetes. However, the use of honey just might not be as powerful as some believe.

November 27, 2018 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics

December is a time when many producers seek advice from financial advisors as they plan their crops for the next year. The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting a workshop for these consultants.  

Several white flowers have a lower petal of yellow and rise above a sea of green foliage.
November 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Are you looking for cool-season color that’s a sure thing -- a take-it-to-the-bank garden plant? Then, do I have the plant for you. Though quite small in stature, this plant is huge in the color department. Now that I’ve got your attention, the plant I’m referring to is the beautiful viola.

A yellow worm with small brown stripes circling its body crawls over the brown center of a flower surrounded by bright yellow petals.
November 21, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife

As good food and hunting take center stage throughout the holidays, take a moment to give thanks for the pollinators that made much of it possible.

We acknowledge many benefactors during the holidays, but one group of little helpers in all of these traditions usually goes unnoticed. 

A green leaf is covered with individual, geometric ice crystals.
November 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This past week, we got a rude wakeup call from Mother Nature saying that winter has finally arrived.

I answered many phone calls and emails asking what could be done to protect landscape plants. I even shared some last-second cold weather protection tips on WLOX television. I want to point out that, except for the most tender, most plants came through the couple of days of cold weather just fine.

Several deer enter wooded cover area as four deer follow in single file across a gravel road with a corn field behind them on a foggy, early morning.
November 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Chronic Wasting Disease, White-Tailed Deer

Hunters play a large role in helping to manage Mississippi’s deer population. Hunters not only help control deer numbers but also provide statewide harvest data that gives biologists insight into deer numbers, health and conditioning. 

As we enter the first deer hunting season since the confirmation of chronic wasting disease -- or CWD -- in the state, we need assistance from Mississippi deer hunters more than ever. 

Rows of live green Christmas trees on the left and tree with a pre-printed tag close-up on the right.
November 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Crops, Christmas Trees

Mississippians looking for locally grown Christmas trees have several varieties to choose from but should be prepared to shop early for the best selection.

John Kushla, a Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist and research professor who specializes in agroforestry and Christmas trees, said there are several ways to test for freshness when choosing the perfect tree at a tree farm.

A small, brown scorpion with tail curled is pictured next to a quarter.
November 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Insects-Pests

While scorpions frequently live in hot and dry areas, at least two scorpion species are at home in Mississippi's often cold and wet climate.

Jerome Goddard, medical entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, identified the scorpions: Vaejovis carolinianus, commonly called the Southern Devil Scorpion or unstriped scorpion, found only in northeast Mississippi; and Centruroidis vittatus, known as the striped scorpion, found sporadically in central and southern parts of the state.

Blue-purple flowers on slender, upright stems stand above a mass of green foliage.
November 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This past weekend, I started planting cool-season color in my 25-gallon citrus containers.

I like underplanting in these containers for a couple of reasons. First, I can maintain a color pop through the year. And second, these annuals act as a colorful ground cover carpet that helps keep weeds at bay. I really do hate weeding, and even plants grown in containers need help with weed control.

Man walks beside his bird dog on point in a pasture with a hay barn in the background.
November 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Farming, Rural Development, Wildlife, Wildlife Economics and Enterprises

Mississippi is fortunate to have thousands of acres that are poetically "unpeopled and still." Those portions of our state are prime locations for people who want to escape urban stress and are willing to pay top dollar for the opportunity.

A man in a jacket and baseball cap kneels down to touch small, grass-like plants that cover a field.
November 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Wheat

Dry fall weather in recent years delayed wheat planting and reduced acreage significantly, but rains in 2018 are creating a different problem for wheat producers.

Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said wet soils have delayed fall harvest in some areas. Harvest of other crops is the foremost priority before effort and acreage are devoted to wheat.

Young man strains to handle a bale of hay at the back of a farm utility vehicle in a pasture with black and white dairy heifers clustered behind and watching.
November 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Farm Safety, Food and Health, Rural Health

A million-dollar grant acknowledges that farmers and families living in rural areas battle many of the same mental health challenges as urban residents face.

A man in a baseball cap reaches into a patch of grass, while a tractor and a white, high-tunnel structure stand behind him.
November 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Smart Landscapes

The notion of a rooftop garden may inspire images of ancient architecture, big city green spaces or homestead cabins in the American West, but the idea is feasible for modern construction.

Bob Brzuszek, Mississippi State University Extension Service professor of landscape architecture, said building green roofs is an innovative way to include green spaces in urban areas and increase biodiversity.

A cluster of ruffled pink flowers with vivid red centers is pictured on green stems.
November 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I love the annual color we can grow all winter in most of our Mississippi gardens and landscapes, so I'm going to spend a few weeks concentrating on cool-season color. Dianthus is my first choice for fall color.

Preschool boy places a dead tree branch on a pile of limbs and leaves located beside an old, wooden privacy fence.
November 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Wildlife
 
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Instead of contributing to landfills or creating more work for waste management employees, consider piling up fallen branches, sticks and leaves to make a backyard wildlife shelter.

As winter approaches, it is a good time to begin preparing backyards to serve as wildlife-friendly reprieves from the cold weather.

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