News From 2020
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.
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.
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.
Despite weather challenges combined with a decreased production year for most pecan varieties, Mississippi’s 2020 crop will be decent.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- With the right resources and partnerships, now is not too late for aspiring entrepreneurs to StartUp their small businesses in 2020.
StartUp is a series of online courses designed to provide the education and training needed to start a business in 30 days. To access the free virtual sessions, participants need about three hours a week and a smartphone, tablet or computer. Faculty and staff with Mississippi State University Extension will host the seminars beginning Nov. 30.
Staying active and socially involved is not hard during a pandemic when favorite pastimes include outdoor activities and individual hobbies.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippians voting in person on Election Day will notice extra precautions in place to ensure the safety of polling locations.
It should come as no surprise that 2020 holiday gatherings will have a new element of health safety that impacts every part of the festivities and requires planning.
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.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service PROMISE Initiative will launch a webinar series Nov. 17 about farm stress, mental health and social structural issues affecting farmers and ranchers.
Last week, I sang the praises of my favorite cool-season vegetable and explained how it is both edible and ornamental. Kale is a multitasking super food that is really easy to grow from seed. But there are other great cool-season vegetables like lettuce and collards. I consider these must-haves for my garden, and they also are easy to grow from seed, especially in containers.
The 2020 Mississippi State University Extension Service Row Crop Short Course has been cancelled as COVID-19 cases trend back up in Mississippi.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- When all things “pumpkin spice” start filling up your social media feed, you know it’s time to start winter preparations for backyard wildlife.
Many people feel invigorated to get outside and do yard work in the first cool days of October. To help you channel this energy, here are some easy tips on how to provide needed habitat for our critter friends while still tidying up the yard.
A prominent national forestry organization is recognizing a Mississippi State University Extension Service staff member with a prestigious honor.
Senior Extension Associate Marcus Measells is one of only 17 honorees nationwide recently named a fellow of the Society of American Foresters. One of the organization’s highest accolades, fellows are honored for their extensive and long-standing dedication to the advancement of the forestry industry at local, state and national levels.
This weekend, I was excited to see that one of my favorite fall/winter vegetables is beginning to play a prominent role -- if not center stage -- in my ornamental landscape and culinary garden. Of course, I’m referring to kale.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Soybean growers in the Mississippi Delta are hustling to beat Hurricane Delta.
Row crop producers across the state are joining in the scramble to harvest as many of their crops as possible before the storm’s expected heavy rains batter their fields.
The National Hurricane Center forecasted on Oct. 8 that Delta would be at least a Category 2 hurricane when it makes landfall in Louisiana Oct. 9. Damaging winds and up to 1 foot of rain is probable for Mississippi in the second weekend of October.
A partnership led by Mississippi State University Extension Service specialists recently received a national award for work aimed at understanding and mitigating the impacts of rising sea levels.
One of the attributes I look for when choosing annual color plants is how hardworking they will be in my home landscape.
While I know garden chores are an integral part of the landscape game, I like my garden and landscape to be relaxing. I don’t like to change out color every month. If you do, that’s fine, and you might not be interested in what I have to say next. But I personally like easy.
Spring and summer bring out the insects in Mississippi lawns and gardens, but fall has its own share of pests that attack cool-season vegetables.