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Trial gardens in bloom
June 13, 2022 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. -- Gardeners can enjoy a half-day horticulture event at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs June 21.

Pink flowers bloom on a row of small shrubs.
June 13, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

If you like trumpet-shaped flowers, you may be familiar with both Mandevilla and Dipladenia, and you may even have them in your landscape. If you do, you probably realize they are very different, even if their blooms are a lot alike. Dipladenia and Mandevilla are both great choices for Mississippi landscapes.

Small plants grow in a single row.
June 10, 2022 - Filed Under: Soybeans

Mississippi’s anticipated soybean acreage -- 2.35 million acres -- is higher than in recent years, and it may grow even larger by the end of planting season. Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said Mississippi growers have already exceeded the 2.22 million planted in 2021. The anticipated soybean acreage this year will be the largest planted since 1988.

Two large, red flowers bloom on a plant.
June 6, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Those who know me know I have lots of favorite plants because I don’t think anyone should be limited to just one or two choices. Today, I want to tell you about my late-spring to early-summer favorite, the hardy hibiscus.

Man on a farm holding a baseball cap.
June 3, 2022 - Filed Under: Farming, Farm Safety, The PROMISE Initiative, Farm Stress, Rural Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For Nathan Casburn, the land that has been in his family since the early 1900s is now more than simply his workplace.

The Tallahatchie County farm is a place of healing from an opioid addiction that began with pain medication prescribed after he was in a car accident during high school.

Casburn explained in a miniseries titled “On the Farm” that one of the biggest hurdles in his recovery was “saying I can’t do this on my own, and I need help with this.”

 Brown cows are lined up in stalls.
June 3, 2022 - Filed Under: Dairy

High input costs and low milk prices have made it hard to be a dairy farmer anywhere in the U.S., but Mississippi producers have it harder than most. Amanda Stone, dairy specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the number of dairy farms in the state continues to dwindle.

Adult black fly
June 2, 2022 - Filed Under: Poultry, Insects-Human Pests, Insects

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Increasing buffalo gnat populations are more than a nuisance to central and south Mississippians; they cause measurable, sometimes fatal harm to chickens and livestock.

Swarms of these insects, also known as black flies, are killing backyard chickens and causing headaches for small-scale poultry producers in central and south Mississippi. At about 3 millimeters long, buffalo gnats breed in flowing water, so outbreaks tend to be in areas near rivers or streams.

A pond with a surface aerator.
May 27, 2022 - Filed Under: Pond and Lake Management, Pond and Lake Water Quality, Pond and Lake Topics, Pond and Lake Management Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Summer has arrived, and your pond is heating up!

The surface water of local ponds feels like freshly run bath water, but it gets cold deeper in the pond. In the peak of summer, surface water temperatures in a deep pond can be in the low to mid 90s, while the deepest areas might still be in the lower 70s.

A sign sits behind a row of small plants.
May 27, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Several years ago, many businesses and organizations began offering digital badges to replace the traditional certificates that signify the successful completion of some specialized, non-accredited course or workshop. These badges are icons or symbols that offer instant recognition of the expertise of the individual. If you’re a fan of social media like I am, then you certainly know about group badge icons.

Passion fruit grown on a vine.
May 27, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Fruit, Local Flavor, Farmers Markets, Local Food System Economies, Marketing and Business Planning, Specialty Crop Production

The U.S. passion fruit industry is small, but a team of researchers want to help it grow through a grant awarded to Mississippi State University. Eric Stafne, fruit and nut specialist with the MSU Extension Service, is leading a research project aimed at gathering input from growers, marketers, consumers and buyers. The research team wants to better understand the current industry and its future direction.

A cotton plant in a field.
May 27, 2022 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Cotton

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Early May delivered favorable weather conditions for most of Mississippi’s cotton producers, allowing them to get their crops in the ground at the ideal time.

A large, green and white caterpillar has yellow spots.
May 23, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

There is a lot of attention being paid to helping Monarch butterflies, and why not? These amazing insects are the only butterfly species known to have a migration pattern much like birds. Using environmental cues, they migrate south in the fall to overwintering grounds in Mexico. In the spring, they migrate north to breeding grounds all across North America.

A man sits at a table with books.
May 17, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Mississippi author, host and columnist Gary Bachman will be a featured guest in October at the 2022 Louisiana Book Festival presenting his book, “Southern Gardening All Year Round.”
 Bachman is host of the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Southern Gardening television show and author of the weekly Southern Gardening newspaper column.

A container is filled with red blooms on stems.
May 16, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

May is one of my favorite months in the garden and landscape because so many plants are just starting to hit their stride. Bright-green, new foliage seems to be everywhere among my many hibiscuses and other flowering shrubs. One of my May favorites is the daylily.

Canned salsa in a basket with other produce
May 10, 2022 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Lawn and Garden, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Gardeners who want to preserve their abundant harvests by canning should make their list and check it twice -- now, before it’s time to begin canning. Home canners should be sure they have the right recipes and equipment for the foods they intend to preserve. They should also make sure they inspect all their equipment.

Three yellow shrubs grow in front of white railing.
May 9, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I visited my daughter who lives in Augusta, Georgia, during the Christmas holidays to help her landscape her new house. I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the garden center, picking out great plants that would perform well in her landscape. The best of what we bought that day in December was the Sunshine Ligustrum.

A group holding sports gear gathers around a monument.
May 4, 2022 - Filed Under: 4-H, Youth Projects

Fourteen Choctaw Central and Neshoba Central high school students got a look at college life April 26 when a 4-H career prep program took them to preview day at Mississippi State University. The young people met with MSU students who are fellow members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, or MBCI. They also examined one of the EcoCAR club’s hybrid vehicles, heard about the admissions process and were given an idea of what the academic experience will be like.

A reed-like plant has delicate white blooms.
May 2, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of the most confusing things when reading about plants in the landscape or talking to other gardeners about them is the use of common names. White it is understandable that we use common names -- remembering and using botanical Latin is hard -- it does lead to confusion. Some plants have two or more common names, and there are other instances where two different species have the same common name. For example, consider the common name, spider lily.

A man looks out the back window of a tractor in the field.
April 29, 2022 - Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Crops, Corn

Corn producers who risked current high input costs in hopes of reaping high market prices at harvest are now waiting for a series of warm, sunny days to complete planting. Will Maples, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said high input costs and high market prices have presented challenges to growers trying to decide what crops to plant.

A cluster of pink blooms leaning against a wooden fence.
April 25, 2022 - Filed Under: Planting, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

While many of my Northern gardening friends are still dealing with freezing temperatures, I spent this past weekend out in my coastal Mississippi landscape appreciating the fact that my tomatoes are planted and my roses are blooming.

It was the roses that really caught my attention. All of my rose plants are blooming their stems off, even though I missed the ideal pruning period of late January/early February. When I finally had time to prune, all the bushes were already pushing new growth, but the pruning still needed to be done.

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