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News By Department: Plant and Soil Sciences

Frost on a plant.
November 30, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Trees

It’s hard to believe we will be closing out another year at the end of the month. If you’ve followed our monthly garden checklist, we know it’s been a busy year for you! Staying on top of the chores in your yard and garden is quite the undertaking, but isn’t it rewarding? To wrap up the year, here are a few things to take care of:

Pink flowers
November 12, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

As cold weather makes it way to Mississippi, the vibrant colors of summer and fall begin to fade. Winter months are traditionally very bland in terms of landscape, but they don’t have to be! There are several colorful plants that work well in cold temperatures, and many of them are low maintenance. Here are five annual plants you can incorporate into your flowerbeds or containers to add a nice pop of color into your winter landscape: 

Trees waiting to be planted.
October 26, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Trees

It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of 2021. With cooler weather arriving, that means there’s not as much to do in your garden besides constantly raking leaves to ensure they don’t take over your landscape. However, there are a few additional tasks you can complete to prep your space for spring! 

colorful fall leaves
October 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Trees

Autumn is the time of year when nature graces us with a perfect landscape of red, orange, and yellow leaves to enjoy. As you take in the beautiful scenery, you may wonder: What causes the leaves to change colors in the fall months? Many people believe frost is the reason, but that’s actually a myth! 

Different colored pumpkins in a line.
October 8, 2021 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a fall staple and a great way to add a bit of festive decor to your home. I’ve had a pumpkin display out at my home since mid-September. I’ll keep this fall arrangement up until after Thanksgiving and then replace it with Christmas lights and decor.

Raking leaves
September 28, 2021 - Filed Under: Soil Testing, Lawn and Garden, Herb Gardens, Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Vegetable Gardens

Autumn is officially here! It’s not hard to love this time of year. Temperatures are cooling, leaves are changing, and there will be more branches than foliage soon. It’s hard not to love this time of year! As we close out this calendar year, it’s easy to convince yourself there’s not much to do in the yard. Take a break, but also take time to check off these tasks

Lawn Burweed
September 24, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Weed Control for Lawn and Garden

Lawn burweed is something we all dread having in our yards during warmer months. This weed starts growing in the fall, but doesn’t become a nuisance until it’s fully matured in the spring. When temperatures rise, these weeds form prickly spines, or “stickers,” which they are more commonly known as.

Rows of mums fill a flower bed.
September 13, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

The 2021 Fall Flower & Garden Fest will return to an in-person event but will be modified because of the persistently high number of COVID-19 cases. The fest will be held 9 a.m. to noon daily Oct. 4-8 at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.

Fall Webworms
September 10, 2021 - Filed Under: Insects-Pests

If you’ve noticed spiderwebs in your pecan trees, chances are they’re not spiders. They’re fall webworms.

Fall webworms are partial to pecan and persimmon trees but will also feed on other trees, including Bradford pears.

September 7, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Sweet Potatoes

Mississippi State University recently welcomed a new sweet potato specialist. Lorin Harvey joined the MSU Extension Service after completing postdoctoral work with sweet potatoes at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, which is part of the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center.

Purple, pink, and orange mums.
August 27, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens

With the fall season slowly creeping in, there are many things to look forward to, including the drop in temperature. I enjoy watching the leaves change color and drop, too. That also means now is a great time to pull out your rakes, garbage bags, and compost bins and prepare to remove the leaves in your yard! Here are a few other things for you to accomplish in your garden and landscape during the month of September. 

Peanut vines grow in a field.
August 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Peanuts

Mississippi’s peanut crop is well on its way to a strong finish for 2021.

A rice field.
August 13, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

A crisis exemption that allowed Mississippi rice farmers to control fall armyworms helped them keep this year’s crop in good condition as harvest approaches.

August 9, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice, Culinary Tourism

People can enjoy the annual rice tasting event held in Bolivar County in a different format this year. The Rice Festival will be held Sept. 16 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the streets of downtown Merigold.

Orange flowers.
July 30, 2021 - Filed Under: Master Gardener, Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens

After a relatively mild summer, heat and humidity have arrived in full force in Mississippi. Going outside during the afternoon is miserable these days! If you’re like me, I try to get all my outdoor activities wrapped up in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. Be sure you can recognize the signs of heat-related illness, and remember to drink plenty of water anytime you’re outside! Hydration is important!

Pink rose bush.
June 25, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens

It’s been an overall mild and rainy summer so far. If you’re like me, there no complaints with the mild weather. Mississippi is notorious for hot, humid summers so I’ll take slightly cooler temps any day of the week! July is a busy month in your yard and garden. Here are a few things to accomplish this month:

June 17, 2021 - Filed Under: Soil Testing

Mississippi agricultural producers and landowners who are interested in carbon sequestration can test their soil’s carbon content through the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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 bundle of blackberries.
May 26, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Plant Diseases, Vegetable Gardens

One of my favorite things to do during summer is ride around town and look at all the flowers planted in front of businesses and homes. A lot of work goes into having a nice landscape, so give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t let the heat deter you from continuing to maintain and grow your garden. Be sure to grab a bottle of water when heading outside in the Mississippi summer! Here are a few tasks to tackle during the month of June: 

Yellow and red fertilizer cans.
May 12, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Fertilizing your lawn and garden is an important maintenance step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Fertilizer helps plants get established, keeps plants healthy, and encourages growth. But with so many different types of fertilizers and ratios, knowing which kind to use can be confusing.

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