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News Filed Under Lawn and Garden

December 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Soybeans, Plant Diseases and Nematode Diagnostic Services

The Mississippi State University Extension Service will offer free testing for a significant crop pest through Aug. 30, 2019.

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.

A closeup of grouped poinsettias with variegated red, white, and green leaves.
December 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

If you love adding poinsettias to your Christmas décor, you may have found it difficult to keep them looking good in the past.

That’s because these delicate plants are finicky when it comes to air temperature and water. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

Bright red and green ornamental peppers stand out against a background of green leaves and a small Christmas tree with multicolored lights.
December 4, 2018 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Vegetable Gardens

If you want to spice up your Christmas décor this year, add some ornamental peppers to your indoor and outdoor displays. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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.

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 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.

A group of people stand behind a waist-high, elevated raised gardening bed full of green potato foliage.
November 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Not into conventional gardening? A salad table just may be for you.

With these elevated gardening beds, you can grow fresh vegetables and herbs throughout the year right at your fingertips. These tables work well in small spaces and eliminate the physical demands of an in-ground garden. (Photo courtesy of Carla Moore)

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.

Fingers steady an upside-down flower pot as a drill bit pierces the bottom to make drainage holes.
November 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens, Youth Gardening

You’ve got a lovely container, and you want to put a plant in it. But if that container doesn’t have drainage holes, you’ll end up with a dead plant. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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.

Man leans over a 5-gallon bucket placed under a large mechanical unit inside a building.
November 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Nuts, Fruit and Nut Diseases

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s pecan yields will be down from last year, but the future looks promising.

Mississippi Pecan Growers Association President Max Draughn of Raymond explained that pecan yields alternate from year to year.

A wooden and wire basket full of yellow and orange fruit sits indoors with a Christmas tree in the background.
October 29, 2018 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

The fall and winter seasons mean it’s time for colorful pansy, viola and dianthus. But the changing seasons also mean that home gardeners who grow citrus will soon harvest delicious fruit -- satsuma, kumquat, Meyer lemon, oh my!

October 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

BILOXI, Miss. -- Floral enthusiasts can enhance their design skills in a new horticulture course intended to enhance skills and inspire community volunteerism.

The 14-week Master Floral Designer course begins Jan. 10. Classes will be held once a week from 1 to 4 p.m. The course is a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

October 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service turf grass expert will lead the Extension portion of a multistate effort to address herbicide resistance in a common weed.

Jay McCurdy, who has served as Extension turf specialist since 2014, is part of a $5.6 million grant project involving researchers and Extension specialists in a 16-state effort to limit the impact of annual bluegrass.

Small, vivid purple flowers bloom from dark spikes against a green background.
October 22, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Those of you who keep up with Southern Gardening know that I’m a real fan of salvias.

One reason I like them is there are so many different types to choose from. I particularly like salvia farinacea, commonly called mealy cup sage or blue sage, for its landscape performance. These are tough plants, perfect for our Mississippi landscapes.

An arched entry of a red brick building is behind a colorful garden of flowers and bushes.
October 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Smart Landscapes

Plant diversity is critical to the health of an ecosystem, but a single landscape can significantly enhance biodiversity.

A mass of pink grasses billows beside a stone bench in a garden with greenery all around.
October 15, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

The 40th Fall Flower and Garden Fest at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Station in Crystal Springs is behind us, and I have to say that it was one of the best I’ve ever attended.

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