Lawn and Garden
Mississippi’s bountiful sunshine, rain, and quality soils make the Magnolia State a wonderful place to grow all kinds of flowers, trees, fruits, and vegetables. Don’t have a green thumb? Interested in becoming a Master Gardener? Need to get a soil test? The MSU Extension Service has experts on all kinds of garden-related topics and issues, from plant disease and weed specialists to county agents who know what thrives in their local areas. Get tips on gardening through the seasons, how to avoid “crape murder,” and more!
Everyone’s normal routine is being flipped upside down. Employees are working from home, kids are out of school, and social gatherings are postponed. Boredom and stress are setting in. Gardening to the rescue!
With much of our workforce telecommuting from home and with school suspended or cancelled for the kids, cabin fever has already become an issue for many households.
We are certainly experiencing troubling and scary times right now. “Quarantine,” “pandemic” and “social distancing” have become frequently used words, at least until we get a handle on COVID-19.
As a result, garden and landscape shows are being cancelled all across the South out of an abundance of caution. But that doesn’t mean that gardening has been cancelled.
If you’ve got crape myrtles, you should be on the lookout for Crape Myrtle Bark Scale. This invasive pest can turn easy-to-care for shrubs and trees into high-maintenance plants covered in a black, sooty mold.
While the insects won’t kill the tree outright, the tree will eventually produce fewer and smaller blooms if the insects are allowed to reproduce year after year.
Sometimes it seems I need a larger garden landscape because, sadly, I don’t have room for every great plant I write about. But one group of plants I make sure to save space for is perennial salvia.
When most people think of mosquito control, they envision a large chemical tank in the bed of a pickup truck.
Spraying chemicals is actually the last resort in integrated pest management (IPM), a scientific process of preventing invasive insects from reaching adulthood. IPM uses environmentally responsible alternatives, such as habitat removal, structural barriers, and larval control, before using sampling and resistance management to determine treatment plans for adult mosquitoes.
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While Adams County native Monroe Sago has always loved the look of crape myrtles, he hasn’t always known how best to take care of them. His lack of knowledge was brought directly to his attention about 7 years ago.
After a conversation with a fellow volunteer at St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson, John Malanchak decided to follow his heart.
“I’d always wanted to work with special needs individuals,” explains Malanchak, a retired geologist. “But I didn’t know what I could offer them.”