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News Filed Under Commercial Horticulture

Ruined watermelons lie in a muddy field.
July 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber, Watermelons

One month ago, watermelon production in southeast Mississippi was on track. Now, growers there have lost much of their crop to the summer’s wet weather.

Two watermelons on the vine.
June 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Watermelon production is on track despite cool weather at planting.

“I’ve been in our watermelon fields a good bit over the past several days,” Heath Steede, Mississippi State University Extension agent in George County, said on June 9. “The crop looks really good. We had a slow start with the cool nights this spring, but they caught up later. The watermelons are stacked in there, and we’ll have a good crop as far as the number of melons.”

Continuous rains, however, have Steede a little concerned.

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 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.

March 2, 2021 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Insects, Floral Design

Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel were honored in February for their work in support of horticultural science.

December 8, 2020 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Green Industry

The long-standing annual update on Mississippi State University research in ornamental horticulture is going virtual this year with a Dec. 17 webinar.

Closeup of pecans on the tree.
November 2, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Nuts

Despite weather challenges combined with a decreased production year for most pecan varieties, Mississippi’s 2020 crop will be decent.

Small, leafy greens grow in a blue container.
October 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Flower Gardens

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.

Red and black fruit rise vertically above green leaves.
August 3, 2020 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Flower Gardens

Last week, I told you about culinary peppers that I like to grow and ultimately consume. This week, I want to share another way to use peppers in our second summer garden and landscape.

A slender, green pepper sits atop a collection of yellow, red and orange peppers.
July 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Flower Gardens

It’s the end of July, and much of my vegetable garden is a distant memory due to the summer heat and humidity. But I’m always encouraged by the production I enjoy from my pepper plants.

A man wearing a baseball cap reaches toward a green tomato growing on a large, caged plant.
June 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Lawn and Garden, Vegetable Gardens, Youth Gardening

Knowing that many Mississippians share a love for home-grown tomatoes, two Mississippi State University Extension Service agents designed programs just for them.

A watermelon lies in the vines in a field.
June 5, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Watermelon Cantaloupe and Cucumber, Watermelons

Good spring weather conditions in southeast Mississippi kept watermelon production on track.

Closeup of blueberries in various stages of ripeness.
May 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Local Flavor, Farmers Markets, Specialty Crop Production

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a new obstacle for Mississippi blueberry growers in 2020, impacting the labor force for the early-season varieties.

A group of blueberries.
February 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

The invasive species of fruit fly, Spotted Wing Drosophila, can wreak havoc on the state’s largest commercial fruit crop – blueberries. But homeowners likely won’t find it to be a significant problem.

January 31, 2020 - Filed Under: Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Farming, Agri-tourism, Forages, Livestock, Local Flavor

Regional agriculture advisory groups will meet across the state next month to provide input on educational programing and research conducted by Mississippi State University.

January 10, 2020 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts

Blueberry growers and others interested in growing blueberries commercially can learn more about the crop during an upcoming workshop.

January 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture

Mississippi farmers and gardeners who want to learn about plant propagation and seed starting are invited to attend the next Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day.

A cluster of green kale plants with white centers.
December 16, 2019 - Filed Under: Greens

I’m continuing to catch up with my landscape and garden work after an extremely busy fall and early winter season. This past weekend was perfect to get some much-needed cool-season color planted.

Eric Stafne kneels beside a newly planted blueberry bush.
November 5, 2019 - Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Fruit

Blueberries aren’t just delicious. They’re high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, which is part of the reason they have gained popularity in our kitchens. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/MSU Extension)

A pecan tree orchard with an irrigation system.
November 1, 2019 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Fruit and Nuts

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Despite the weather challenges this year, most Mississippi pecan producers expect a good yield.

However, a wet spring and late-summer drought could mean nut loss and lessened nut quality for some growers.

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