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News Filed Under Lawn and Garden

A cat sits on a bench in front of flowering, potted plants.
January 18, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Garden and landscape planning for the 2021 season continues to move forward as we get closer to the day we can get back out into the garden full time.

If 2020 showed us one good thing, it’s that huge numbers of people discovered the joys and benefits of gardening. As the calendar moves into better gardening weather, I hope most of the new gardeners from 2020 will continue their gardening practices.

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.  

Six garden catalogs are displayed.
January 11, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I’m in my 2021 garden planning mode right now, and along with many other intentional gardeners, I have my mind on seeds.

Purple flowers bloom in front of a wall of green with yellow flowers.
January 4, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Happy New Year! Boy, oh boy, what a number COVID laid on us in 2020. It was clearly demonstrated how ill-prepared we are for disruptions in many supply chains. Who can forget the short supplies of toilet paper, and who has not put away a couple of extra rolls just in case?

Upright, green leaves rise above mounding red flowers.
December 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

For at least 10 years, I’ve been actively wondering what direction our landscape and gardening practices are headed. Being a horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, I’ve had the opportunity to ask this question of gardeners and nongardeners alike, as well as commercial horticulture growers.

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 branch has green leaves and clusters of red berries along its length.
December 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Poinsettias are being bought, Christmas trees with ornaments are going up, and lights and inflatable figures are on display around our homes as people get ready for the holidays.
While most of these holiday displays are quite stunning, some of the most beautiful are those designed by Mother Nature.

 A pink and white poinsettia is surrounded by small, decorative Christmas trees.
December 14, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

“’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the yard, not a plant was left standing, and the ground was hard.” So begins Karen Geisler’s gardener adaptation of Clement Clarke Moore’s Christmas classic “The Night Before Christmas.” We’re just days away from the big day, and I know there are still folks trying to decide on that perfect Christmas gift for their favorite gardener.

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!

A Christmas tree is hung with red and white ornaments.
December 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We are fully into the holiday season, and most people are getting into the holiday spirit. But this year is very different, thanks to COVID-19.

Frost covers the ruffled leaves of young lettuce.
November 30, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Well, it happened again this week. It seems every year, home gardeners get surprised by the first cold snap. Whenever weather forecasters utter the words “frost” or “freeze” for the first time each fall, you can bet there will be cases of landscape panic and questions about how to protect our garden plants from the onslaught of Jack Frost.

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!

Red poinsettia leaves sport white centers.
November 23, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This week, we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving and the “official” start of the holiday season.
In this year of COVID-19, we will celebrate our holidays differently than in past years. But despite any accommodations we have to make, there’s one thing that will always be associated with the Christmas season, and that is beautiful poinsettias.

Christmas tree in the foreground in a field with other trees behind it.
November 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Trees, Christmas Trees

CHUNKY, Miss. -- The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted countless traditions in 2020, but it will not keep living rooms across Mississippi from featuring Christmas decor, nor will it deter customer demand for fresh trees.

In fact, business is booming at farms that have opened for the season, said Southern Christmas Tree Association President Michael May.

A deer with antlers standing in the snow.
November 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Trees, Christmas Trees

“Where are all the bucks?”

Several years ago, Larry Castle, formerly of Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), and Steve Demarais of the Mississippi State University Deer Lab got together to discuss what could be done to address deer hunter questions and concerns regarding where bucks were going during hunting season. For years, Larry and his team at MDWFP would get questions from hunters who were frustrated with not seeing the deer they think they should be seeing. 

Flowers with white and yellow petals bloom above lush, green leaves.
November 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This past weekend, I planted the last of my Big Four must-have, cool-season color annuals: violas.

Violas are tough, and I think they tolerate cold winter weather even better than pansies. They perform well in landscape beds as well as in containers. They grow right through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and are still shining in the garden at Easter and beyond.

A single red bloom rises above green leaves along with white and purple blooms.
November 9, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This week, I got to get back gardening after cleaning up the Hurricane Zeta debris. While visiting a garden center upstate, I was reminded that if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to get your pansies planted for great cool-season color.
Stop in your favorite garden center now to find all kinds of colorful pansies ready for their new home landscapes. Pansies are among my go-to annuals, and there are some great selections available in the market.

 A tree lays on the ground with its entire root system exposed.
November 2, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design, Trees

I had planned to write again this week about more great cool-season color options, but we had a landscape and garden crasher named Hurricane Zeta make a mess on the Gulf coast.

This storm surprised most folks with its intensity and property damage. It also did a lot -- and I do mean a lot -- of damage to trees that resulted in widespread power outages. My family and neighbors were lucky that our power was off for only 48 hours.

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:

Ruffled edges of lichen cover the top of a wooden birdhouse.
October 26, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Lots has changed during this year of the COVID-19 pandemic. For one thing, there has been a dramatic increase in interest in the home landscape and garden. People are spending more time in the garden and actually taking a look at what’s going on. In fact, gardeners are taking very close looks, which can result in them finding things that some think can only occur in the crazy COVID year. And believe me, I gets calls and emails about them all.

One thing that causes the most landscape consternation is lichen.

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