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News By Department: Plant and Soil Sciences

Pink rose bush.
June 25, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens

It’s been an overall mild and rainy summer so far. If you’re like me, there no complaints with the mild weather. Mississippi is notorious for hot, humid summers so I’ll take slightly cooler temps any day of the week! July is a busy month in your yard and garden. Here are a few things to accomplish this month:

June 17, 2021 - Filed Under: Soil Testing

Mississippi agricultural producers and landowners who are interested in carbon sequestration can test their soil’s carbon content through the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Tomatoes growing on a vine.
June 10, 2021 - Filed Under: Greenhouse Tomatoes, Vegetable Gardens

There’s nothing more satisfying than homegrown tomatoes. You don’t have to be a gardening expert to grow delicious tomatoes in your backyard. Here are a few tips that will help you grow the best looking (and tasting) tomatoes out there:

A bundle of blackberries.
May 26, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Plant Diseases, Vegetable Gardens

One of my favorite things to do during summer is ride around town and look at all the flowers planted in front of businesses and homes. A lot of work goes into having a nice landscape, so give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t let the heat deter you from continuing to maintain and grow your garden. Be sure to grab a bottle of water when heading outside in the Mississippi summer! Here are a few tasks to tackle during the month of June: 

Yellow and red fertilizer cans.
May 12, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Fertilizing your lawn and garden is an important maintenance step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Fertilizer helps plants get established, keeps plants healthy, and encourages growth. But with so many different types of fertilizers and ratios, knowing which kind to use can be confusing.

Freshly mowed lawn.
April 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Plant Diseases, Trees, Vegetable Gardens

As warmer weather creeps in, many people find themselves spending more time outdoors and working in their yards. If you’re like me, you’ve probably made a trip or two to your local garden center looking for plants and other garden necessities. After reading over May’s garden checklist, it looks like you may need to make a few more trips. Here are some tasks to check off this month. 

April 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

It’s that time of the year when people are on the hunt for the perfect container plant combos. It’s tempting to head to the local garden center, pick out the best-looking flowers, and plant them with wild abandon. However, planning is an important part of the gardening process. Before you go to the garden center, decide where you want to put your container. This will help you purchase the right flowers for the space.

A closeup of a fire ant mound.
April 6, 2021 - Filed Under: Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

Fire ants are the most common pests of home lawns, but homeowners can manage them with the right approach, and spring is the perfect time to begin the process.

A bee gathers pollen form a blueberry bloom.
March 31, 2021 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit, Nutrition and Wellness, Nutrition

Mississippi’s recent bout of bad weather came at a critical time for producers of blueberries, the state’s largest commercial fruit crop. Blueberries can be easily damaged by cold weather, but the timing of mid-February’s icy weather limited the potential damage.

A field of orange and yellow marigolds.
March 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Plant Diseases, Trees, Vegetable Gardens

If you’re anything like me, I find any excuse to get outside. The warmer temperatures and colorful blooms are refreshing, especially after the cold winter we had! Working on outdoor chores is a great excuse to get some fresh air. Here are a few tasks you need to cross off your checklist during April:

Red and green tomatoes with blossom end rot.
March 18, 2021 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Landscape Resources, Trees, Vegetable Gardens

Don’t believe everything you hear. That piece of advice can be applied to gardening as well. We’ve all done something because a friend said that it works.

A person using a green manual fertilizer.
February 25, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Plant Diseases, Trees, Vegetable Gardens

Pat yourself on the back. You made it through the historic February ice storm! The weeklong event probably set you back on your garden chores and likely created more work for you to do. Tidy up any damage and get your spring garden in shape with these garden tasks.

An Eastern mole.
February 19, 2021 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Natural Resources, Wildlife

If you’ve noticed irregular, snake-like raised ridges throughout your lawn, Eastern moles have most likely found themselves at home. They are known for building a network of tunnels underground, and typically spend 90 percent of their lives there.

A person wearing yellow gloves using a pair of loppers to prune roses.
February 10, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

Video by Michaela Parker

Pruning your rose bushes is one late winter chore you shouldn’t overlook! It’s so easy to neglect yard maintenance, especially during cold weather. Pruning helps shape the bush, remove dead canes, open the center for air flow, and stimulate new growth. 

Pruning any plant can be intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite easy. Before you get started, it’s comforting to know that roses are very forgiving plants. They will grow out of many mistakes you may make. Whew!

February 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Landscape Design and Management, Landscape and Garden Design, Professionals Corner, Smart Landscapes, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is leading a research project aimed at enhancing pollinator habitat in managed turfgrass of the Southeast.

Four pots of soil on a blue background.
January 28, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Trees, Vegetable Gardens

Everyone’s favorite yellow daffodils will be popping up soon and you know what that means! Spring will be here soon! While you wait, there are a few things you can start doing in your yard and garden to get ready for spring.

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.  

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 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!

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!

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