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Spikes covered with small purple flowers extend from a green bush.
April 16, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of my true favorites for the early summer season is coming soon to our Mississippi landscapes. Starting mid-May through June, this plant will have some of the few, almost true-blue flowers in the plant world. So what is this plant?

The common name is chaste tree or vitex, and it was named a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2002. The bloom period begins around Memorial Day on the Gulf Coast and soon afterwards in north Mississippi. The main flowering period lasts up to six weeks.

Several deep blue flowers line the upright stem of a plant.
April 9, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I'm becoming a fan of salvias for their performance in the landscape.

This group of plants has such a wide variety of selections available from annuals to perennials that I'm sure you can find the perfect plant for your garden. Today, I want to tell you about the salvias I'm growing in my own home landscape.

Rockin' Playin' the Blues salvia is a selection I grew as a trial last year, and it didn't disappoint. The plant produced beautiful blue flowers all summer long.

A white and pink honeysuckle flower floats in the foreground with green foliage in the back.
April 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

There’s no doubt that spring is here when the Southern indica azaleas start to put on their show.

These showy -- some may even say gaudy -- flowering shrubs seem to just take over our southern landscapes before fading back into an evergreen supporting role for the rest of the year.

But this column is not about the beautiful Southern indica azaleas, which, by the way, are from Asia. This column is about a couple of azaleas native to Mississippi and other southeastern states -- the deciduous azaleas.

Clusters of bright red flowers are seen on a background of green leaves.
March 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Design and Management

I took a look at my landscape this weekend trying to decide how many plants, if any, I’m going to have to renovate or replace after our hard winter. I have to say I was really impressed at the regrowth so far this spring.

 A tiny brown moth sits beside a penny for scale.
March 21, 2018 - Filed Under: Green Industry, Insects-Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A new moth has become a serious pest to the greenhouse and nursery industries since it entered the state in 2010.

Blake Layton, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the European pepper moth was detected in California in 2004 before showing up in Mississippi six years later. Its caterpillars attack a wide range of ornamental plants and vegetables.

Success Stories

On the left is a close-up photo of a worker bee specimen, on the right is a close-up photo of a Southern yellow jacket specimen.
Insects, Lawn and Garden, Insects-Pests

A yellow-gold insect buzzes around your head and your first instinct is to swat. Or run. Or swat while running.

The fear of being stung can send me into fight or flight mode in seconds . . . and I’m a beekeeper. True story. No one likes being stung! (Photo by Mississippi Entomological Museum/Joe Macgown)

Insects-Human Pests, Lawn and Garden, Herb Gardens

Growing herbs in containers on your porch or doorstep gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Most herbs grow without fuss, look lovely, smell wonderful, and add fabulous flavors to your home-cooked meals. More flavor means you can cut back on salt and fat! (Photo by Canstock Photo)

An air plant terrarium is a hollow, vented glass container with decorative sand and pebbles, twigs or driftwood, moss, and a dusty green tillandsia plant, also called an air plant.
Houseplants

Air plants are popular, easy-to-care-for decorations. They are ideally suited for dorm rooms, apartments, and offices where watering plants may be more challenging, but are a lovely addition to any space. They also make great gifts, because you can buy materials in bulk. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Four separate cucurbit crops grown in a field.
Agriculture, Crops, Lawn and Garden, Plant Diseases, Vegetable Diseases

MSU scientists are on the lookout for a cucurbit crop bandit. And they need your help!

Cucurbit downy mildew is a sneaky thief with the ability to quickly and significantly reduce yields or wipe out entire crops of susceptible cucurbits, including cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squash. (File photo by Rebecca A. Melanson)

A piece of hardware cloth encircles a small, layered pile of organic waste.
Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Compost is a great soil conditioner. It helps the soil hold water and improves clay and sandy soils. Starting your own pile is easy and can help keep organic waste out of landfills. (Photo by Gary Bachman)

Watch

Colorful Calibrachoa
Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 2:00am
Fancy Petunias
Sunday, April 1, 2018 - 2:00am
Making Your Bed
Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 2:00am
A Native Spring
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 2:00am

Listen

Friday, April 20, 2018 - 2:00am
Friday, April 20, 2018 - 2:00am
Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 2:00am
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 2:00am
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 2:00am

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