News From 2018
One landscape plant I wish I grew more of is coral bells, known botanically as Heucheras.
I absolutely love the colorful foliage with a seemingly unlimited variety of textures that add interest in any garden or landscape. Some have ruffled margins, some have deep cuts, and others feature smooth margins. Texture is certainly on display with coral bells.
ABERDEEN, Miss. -- Peanut growers are experiencing a mixed bag of conditions across the southeastern United States in general and Mississippi in particular.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Coastal areas are dynamic in nature, which means they are constantly changing.
A fitting example of the dynamics of coastlines can be found by looking at historical, but relatively recent, aerial photos of Pelican Island off Dauphin Island, Alabama.
It was inevitable that Lauren Bryant would at least try 4-H.
Her father’s family has been active in the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H Youth Development Program for two generations. And she has attended 4-H events since she was a toddler.
Now, the 11-year-old is showing her own livestock and participating in various 4-H activities through the Extension Service in Tippah County.
“Lauren is a third-generation 4-H’er,” explained her mother, Leigh Bryant. “Her granddad and her daddy were both 4-H’ers.”
One day right after we moved to Mississippi, I got a call from a homeowner with a question about her althea plant. I was stumped, but soon found that the plant she was referring to was commonly called rose of Sharon.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Growers may be on their way to planting more cotton in Mississippi soil than they have in 11 years, despite a late start.
Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, estimated that growers will plant 700,000 acres of cotton this year. If that much gets harvested, it will be the best total since 2006, when the state produced 1.2 million acres of cotton. Last year, Mississippi cotton producers harvested 625,000 acres.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A journal published by the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences highlights important findings from three years of work conducted by Extension health professionals across the country.
David Buys, an assistant professor with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, served as chair of the chronic disease prevention and management action team that investigated ways to use Extension programs to improve health outcomes in the U.S. His work was part of a broad effort commissioned by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy Health and Wellness Task Force through the organization’s Health Implementation Teams.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Handling finances can be difficult at any age, but older Mississippians face even greater challenges when expenses rise and forgetfulness sets in.
At what point adult children need to step in with assistance is a personal decision for every family, said Susan Cosgrove, family resource management associate with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
June 2-10 is ATV Safety Week
WEST POINT, Miss. -- Many Mississippians enjoy the usefulness and thrill of riding all-terrain vehicles, but the dangerous nature of these machines is highlighted in the June 2-10 4-H ATV Safety Week.
Mississippi ranks 15th in the nation in ATV-related deaths. In 2017, nine youngsters died after suffering traumatic injuries in ATV accidents.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, outdoor physical exercise and other outdoor recreation mean millions of dollars for Mississippi annually.
Mississippi State University scientists recently found that wildlife-related recreation generates about $2.9 million in economic impact to the state each year. Some of the money spent on outdoor recreation goes to small, rural Mississippi communities that would not see these expenditures otherwise.
Two half-day training sessions next month will provide expertise on pest and disease control on small farms.
The most recent set of economic, community health and retail data is available to developers working to improve Mississippi counties and towns.
With all of the bright, colorful summer annuals we’re planting this month, I find myself looking for more out-of-the-ordinary plants for my landscape. One that always creates a bit of a stir and generates questions is an old plant called papyrus.
Papyrus, similar to the plant grown and used by the ancient Egyptians to make paper, is easy to grow and has few pests. If you’re intrigued by this plant, you will be happy to learn there are three selections suitable for use in our Mississippi landscapes.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- At about 2.2 million acres, soybeans are easily the state’s biggest row crop with a flexible planting window that puts them in the clean-up position when farmers cannot plant other crops on time.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Students at North Bay Elementary School in Biloxi got another hands-on learning component this spring with the addition of a school garden.
NEWTON, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service invites anyone interested in ornamental flowers and landscaping to the third annual Wildflower Trails of Mississippi Field Day on June 21.
The Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station in Newton will host the event, which will include an afternoon field tour of test plots. Keep Mississippi Beautiful, the event’s sponsor, is providing lunch.
Topics include native landscaping, ornamental flowers and milkweed management. Speakers include MSU Extension Service specialists Shaun Broderick and Pat Drackett.
GULFPORT, Miss. -- Mississippi producers and gardeners who want to learn more efficient planting methods are invited to a May 18 field day.
The Alliance of Sustainable Farms will host “A Garden Tour and Square Foot Gardening/Intensive Planting Demonstration” at the 34th Street Wholistic Gardens and Education Center. The event will focus on the square-foot gardening method, which is designed to save time, work, space and water.
If you’re still looking for a favorite plant for our hot summer landscapes, consider Superbells. I love their funnel-shaped flowers and great growth potential. Their variety of colors can even rival petunias.
Superbells are tough plants with good summer heat tolerance. One of their attributes that I like best is, after a rainstorm, these plants recover and perk up faster than many other summer-flowering annuals, even my vaunted petunias.
These plants look great in containers, hanging baskets and mass plantings in landscape beds.
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