News From 2015
PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Beauty and biodiversity can coexist in the landscape, and it is not that hard to accomplish.
Rick Darke, a horticulturist, published author, lecturer and photographer, discussed balancing beauty and function in the home landscape with an emphasis on conservation during the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum’s Lecture Series March 28.
Darke offered ideas for transforming the home garden into a sanctuary for wildlife while also offering privacy and enjoyable spaces for the family.
VERONA, Miss. -- Six recent fruit tree grafting workshops across the state were in such high demand that the Mississippi State University Extension Service is already planning another series of training sessions for fruit growers.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist’s expertise in the battle against chronic disease has put him in the national spotlight.
After living in the North, I miss some of my favorite spring and summer plants as I now live in coastal Mississippi. Columbine is one I miss, as I love the way the flowers seem to be suspended in midair by the slender stems as if floating on a gentle breeze.
In my opinion, you need a columbine regardless of where you garden. Columbine can grow in Mississippi if you treat it as an annual because of our shortish springs and long, hot summers.
NEWTON, Miss. -- More than 50 junior high and high school students gathered inside a freshly dug pit at the Mississippi State University Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station as part of an educational competition to teach them the roles that soil plays in farming and construction.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Efforts to prevent people from committing “crape murder” are reducing the number of unsightly, knobby-knuckled branch ends but may leave people wondering how to correctly shape crape myrtles.
Gary Bachman, a horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said many crape myrtles are pruned back to the same spot every year. This causes the cut ends to swell into a fist-like shape. Bachman works from the MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Beef cattle producers should make plans to spend the day on campus for the Mississippi State University Beef Unit Field Day.
The field day will be from 9 a.m. until noon on May 2. Lunch will be served at the conclusion of the field day. The Beef Unit is located at the H.H. Leveck Animal Research Center, often called South Farm.
STARKVILLE, MISS. -- The Mississippi State University Horticulture Club invites garden enthusiasts to join them at their spring plant sale.
The event will be from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. April 10 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 11 at the MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden. The garden is located at the Highway 182 entrance to the R. Rodney Foil Plant Science Research Facility.
Herbs, vegetables, bedding, plants, perennials, succulents, blueberries and landscape plants are among the items that will be sold by the horticulture club members.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With spring holidays just around the corner and garden season quickly approaching, there is no better time to discuss Mississippi’s resident rabbit, the eastern cottontail.
Many people think rabbits are a type of rodent because they have a tooth structure similar to that seen in squirrels, rats and mice. They also have a tendency to gnaw on plants, wood and other structures. However, rabbits are classified as lagomorphs because they have two pairs of upper and lower front teeth, and their food goes through a double-digestion process.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Frozen catfish fillets have joined Edam cheese, ice cream, muscadine juice, peanuts, beef and more in the lineup of local products for sale in the Mississippi State University Cheese Store.
Starting March 30, shoppers can buy 4-pound boxes of frozen, U.S. farm-raised catfish in the cheese outlet, also known as the MAFES Sales Store, operated by the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Catfish will be sold in the popular 2- to 3-ounce fillets at a price in line with the current market.
I enjoyed the warm spring weather while driving around south Mississippi this past weekend. One of the sights I noticed for the first time this year was the wisteria starting to bloom.
Wisteria doesn’t bloom at the first sign of warm weather. It’s one of those plants that waits patiently and is a good indicator that spring has officially sprung.
I’m always amazed at how high wisteria can climb into the tops of the trees, showing off how vigorous and aggressive these plants can be. As such, they can seem to be a little too much for the typical home landscape.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Farmers markets offer at least two features that keep customers happy and coming back for more: fresh, local products and real-life social interaction.
Jesse McDonald and his wife, Anne, can be seen almost every Saturday morning during the summer at the Starkville Community Market in downtown Starkville. He said the produce just tastes better than what he can get in traditional grocery stores.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It looks like spring has finally sprung in Mississippi, and that means increased boat traffic on the waterways.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippi State University experts met with agricultural producers and industry professionals recently to exchange ideas about educational programming and research for 2015.
About 100 participants attended the annual Coastal Research and Extension Center Commodity Advisory Council meeting to discuss priorities with MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station specialists, researchers and agents.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University youth initiative is joining an elite group of programs that focuses on emergency and disaster preparedness in communities across the nation.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Students who want to make a difference in the world should consider careers in agriculture.
“Careers in agriculture are as diverse as the farming profession they support,” said George Hopper, dean of the Mississippi State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “College degrees are the keys to success in this industry that feeds and clothes the world.”
Hopper said preparing students for real-world challenges is a priority for faculty in the nine departments of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
It seems that crape myrtles face a lot of dangers this time of year.
Many still face “crape murder,” or being butchered by having their branches improperly cut off at the same place every year. A novice gardener sees a so-called “professional” landscape company do it, so they think they need to cut their own crape myrtles in the same way. In horticulture CSI terms, this is a classic copycat crime.
But this column is about another threat to our beautiful crape myrtles.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Eleven 4-H members from around the state spent part of spring break sharpening their photography skills while learning about Mississippi history.
“We had interest from some of our 4-H’ers who compete in the photo track to do some in-depth training, so we decided to open it up to all 4-H members in the state,” said Kat Lawrence, a photographer with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
By Jeanne Jones, Professor, and Daryl Jones, Extension Professor
MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Native plants can add attractive accents to Mississippians’ yards and provide excellent food sources for birds and butterflies.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With planting time approaching quickly, Mississippi gardeners are in the middle of their “planning season.”
Spring garden expos are underway with three major events remaining in Jackson, Starkville and New Albany.
Gary Bachman, a horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said March and April are good months for Mississippians to plan their 2015 gardens.