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A cluster of unopened buds is seen next to blooms rising from burgundy foliage.
July 6, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of my landscape joys is growing plants that share their big flowers with me.

A faucet with water flowing.
July 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting, Creating Healthy Indoor Childcare Environments, Water, Sip Safe

Two simple, daily steps can protect Mississippi’s youngest citizens from lead poisoning. Jason Barrett, an assistant Extension professor in the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, said lead in drinking water can harm children’s health. But flushing faucets each morning and using cold water for cooking and preparing baby bottles can greatly reduce exposure.

Tomatoes line a branch in two rows, with colors ranging from red to green.
June 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Each year as we approach Independence Day, my landscape and garden begin a transition to what I like to call “second summer.” This is due to the heat and humidity that set in anywhere from late April to mid-May.

A man wearing a baseball cap reaches toward a green tomato growing on a large, caged plant.
June 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Lawn and Garden, Vegetable Gardens, Youth Gardening

Knowing that many Mississippians share a love for home-grown tomatoes, two Mississippi State University Extension Service agents designed programs just for them.

June 25, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics

Three Mississippi State University agricultural economists contributed to a national academic report on the effects of COVID-19 on food and agricultural markets.

Delicate, funnel-shaped blue flowers line the upright stalks of a plant.
June 22, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Everyone has a certain color that is their absolute favorite, and I’m no different. And while I really like the entire palette of colors available for our gardens and landscape, the one color I must have is blue.

A woman handles a tomato plant growing in a wire frame.
June 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Vegetable Diseases

Successful Mississippi gardens are filling up with beautiful tomatoes, but unless gardeners stay alert and act, these plants can succumb to summer insect pests and diseases.

Common nighthawk resting on cross post
June 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

As we ease into summer, if you listen closely during dusk and early nighttime hours, you may hear the distinctive sounds of goatsuckers.

Yes, you read that correctly: goatsuckers. Despite the unusual name, these are not fictional creatures.

June 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Research and Extension Centers, Agriculture

A Mississippi State University research professor is a newly appointed member to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee. U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) announced today [June 17] the appointment of Jeffrey Gore, one of 33 new committee members.

A bar graph showing data on coronavirus cases.
June 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Coronavirus

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Knowing the difference between quarantining and isolating is critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

On June 15, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported the COVID-19 case total exceeded 20,000, with more than 900 deaths. Rising along with those numbers is the seven-day average of cases by date when the patients became sick. MSDH data indicate an average of around 300 cases per day through the first half of June compared to approximately 250 daily at the beginning of May.

A single flower with yellow petals and a green center blooms above green foliage.
June 15, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Over the last several months, I’ve been spending even more time in my home garden and landscape, and many of you may have done the same. But the pesky, hot summer temperatures have finally settled in, and now I’m looking for plants that look good in the heat without needing much supervision.

Protective medical mask, sanitizer gel and gloves in bag.
June 11, 2020 - Filed Under: Disaster Preparedness, Family

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Now is the time for Mississippians to make preparations as Tropical Storms Laura and Marco are forecasted to make landfall, potentially as hurricanes.

A large hardwood tree is snapped off and lays on the ground beside a house.
June 8, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Trees

Last week was the traditional start of the storm season, and as if on cue, Tropical Storm Cristobal paid us a visit.

This storm surprised us with a greater amount of coastal flooding than expected; and the rain, oh the rain. The Gulf Coast collected 6 inches in a 24-hour period, which was less than forecasted, but it still creates havoc in the landscape and garden.

A watermelon lies in the vines in a field.
June 5, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber, Watermelons

Good spring weather conditions in southeast Mississippi kept watermelon production on track.

June 5, 2020 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, The PROMISE Initiative

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A health leadership team led by the Mississippi State University Extension Service has received a national award for its work to address mental health challenges in the state’s agricultural community.

Directors of the PROMISE Initiative will receive the Southern Distinguished Team award from Epsilon Sigma Phi, during the organization’s annual national conference in October. PROMISE stands for “PReventing Opioid Misuse in the SouthEast.” Epsilon Sigma Phi is a nationwide organization for Extension professionals.

A gloved hand holds a credit card above a keyboard.
June 4, 2020 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Fraud and Identity Theft, Coronavirus

Adding insult to injury, attempts at fraud always increase during times of crisis, a reality many Mississippians are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 pink flowers has dark-red centers.
June 1, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

To some gardeners, the zonal geranium is an old-fashioned plant, but to me, there’s nothing like having this classic in my landscape.

A group of 4-H’ers make silly gestures.
June 1, 2020 - Filed Under: 4-H, Coronavirus

With social distancing measures still in place, Mississippi 4-H’ers will participate in the state’s first-ever Virtual State 4-H Congress in 2020 instead of the traditional in-person gathering.

Leaves of young cotton plants.
May 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Row crop growers in Mississippi used a relatively dry May to make up for planting time lost earlier in the spring due to wet weather and soggy fields.

As of May 24, planting progress for the state’s four major row crops was slightly behind their five-year averages but ahead of where it was at that time in 2019.

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