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News From 2021

A man and a woman pose in a garden.
October 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Landscape and Garden Design, Smart Landscapes

Participants in a Mississippi State University landscape symposium learned tips for preserving the life in their own backyards and contributing positively to the larger, regional ecosystem. The 66th Edward C. Martin Landscape Symposium was held Oct. 20 at MSU.

Salt marshes and water
October 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife, Smart Landscapes, Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- Coastal restoration has been a hot topic along the Gulf of Mexico coast for many years now. 

One clear aspect of coastal restoration is that it’s a team effort that requires not only the coast, but entire watersheds. From reducing excess fertilizer usage and litter to increasing low-effort natural landscaping and pervious surfaces, there are many actions we can take anywhere to help restoration of coastal ecosystems.

An unhealthy deer stands next to a wall.
October 21, 2021 - Filed Under: White-Tailed Deer

A 100% fatal, transmissible, neurogenerative disease has entered the Mississippi white-tailed deer population, and hunters play a big part in controlling this disease. Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a prion disease that is easily transmissible to deer through saliva, feces, urine or a contaminated environment.

Purple blooms have small, yellow centers.
October 18, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I’m enjoying the changing weather that has finally arrived across Mississippi, and many of my summer annuals growing in planters and containers are getting a second wind. But, unfortunately for them, it’s time to get cool-season color planted. A popular cool-season flowering annual that I always count on are pansies.

Pine trees grow in the forest.
October 14, 2021 - Filed Under: Farming, Forestry, Carbon Credits, Timber Harvest

Mississippians are exploring the relatively new and growing carbon offset market, although many issues related to this market remain under discussion. Larry Oldham, soil specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said daily, normal activities such as driving vehicles, manufacturing, industrial production and agricultural practices release carbon into the atmosphere.

A man kneels in a sweet potato field.
October 13, 2021 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

Mississippi’s nationally significant sweet potato harvest is shaping up to be below average because of flooding both early and late in the growing season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the sweet potato crop to be 37% harvested as of Oct. 10. USDA estimates 38% is in fair condition and 48% in good condition

A single pink bloom is surrounded by green leaves.
October 11, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Gardening in October brings many opportunities to change up the landscape for the cool season. But before we focus on pansies, violas and snapdragons, one of my favorite flowering landscape shrubs is just starting to show off.

Flowers bloom outside a brick building.
October 7, 2021 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Landscape Design and Management, Smart Landscapes

An annual Mississippi State University landscape symposium promotes the idea that landscapes can be both pretty and sustainable, beautifying the environment while protecting ecosystems.

Large, spiky, purple leaves fill the frame.
October 4, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I can’t deny that I love really, really dark landscape plant foliage. Any plant sporting burgundy- or maroon-colored leaves gets my attention. If you feel the same way, consider some of these plants to add to your home landscape.

A group of people stand in a grassy field.
September 30, 2021 - Filed Under: Turfgrass and Lawn Management

A late September event at Mississippi State University testing grounds highlighted the significant attention turfgrass receives at the state’s leading research institution. At the 2021 Turfgrass Research Field Day held at the MSU R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center, participants got to examine new turfgrass varieties in development, look at the performance of several selections in a side-by-side variety trial and examine the results of weed control tests.

Bird feeder, bottle of bleach and cleaning brush.
September 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife
RAYMOND, Miss. -- After an active year for disease-related wild bird deaths in the U.S., people should follow best practices when providing backyard feeders and water sources for wild birds this fall and winter.
 
Disease in wildlife populations is normal and is one of the many mechanisms that regulate wildlife populations. Many things can cause diseases in wildlife, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, along with exposure to toxic substances. 
 
A bright-yellow bush has red flowers stalks.
September 27, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

When we get into the fall of the year, many gardeners get tunnel vision and only look for cool-season color. I will soon write about some of my favorite annual color for the season, but today I want to remind home gardeners that fall is for planting. Fall is a great time to plan for and then plant colorful shrubs for next year and beyond. I’ve already seen a variety of flowering shrubs in garden centers.

These red and green leaves have ruffled edges.
September 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I took time to just enjoy my home landscape this last weekend. I put off chores just to take a look at some of my solid garden performers. Here’s what I observed. Coleus has become one of my go-to plants for looking great all summer and still going deep into the fall. Nobody can get bored with its kaleidoscope of colors and various leaf shapes.

A closeup of an insect being applied to a display board.
September 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Insects, Insect Identification

 

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- School groups and the public can learn all about insects and their habitats during the annual Bugfest at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune Sept. 24 and 25.

This year’s event will be modified with limited attendance to abide by health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19. People who wish to attend the fest in person must call the arboretum at 601-799-2311 to register.

September 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Livestock, Beef

Mississippi beef producers are invited to attend the 2021 North Mississippi Beef Expo on Oct. 21 and 22. Topics include beef genetics, mineral supplementation, cattle market updates, beef cattle herd health and research updates from the MSU Prairie Research Unit.

Five people pose for a photo on a football field.
September 17, 2021 - Filed Under: 4-H, Join 4-H, Support 4-H

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Harry Martin helped create the blueprint for major industrial and economic development in Lee County, and now he is laying another foundation for something big -- this time for a Mississippi 4-H statewide scholarship campaign.

Martin partnered with the Mississippi State University Extension Center for 4-H Youth Development to establish the Harry Martin 4-H Youth Leadership Endowed Scholarship. His support was recognized Sept. 11, when he was presented a commemorative football during the game between MSU and North Carolina State University.

The husk has been pulled away from a yellow ear of dried corn in a field.
September 14, 2021 - Filed Under: Corn

Mississippi’s corn crop faced challenges ranging from a midseason flood to an early-September hurricane, but yields and quality look positive on the nearly complete harvest. On Sept. 13, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated the crop was 75% harvested

Clumps of purple berries line a green branch.
September 13, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Lately, I’ve been browsing through gardening social media pages, and I’ve noticed lots of questions about this shrub that seems to have appeared out of nowhere with its beautiful purple berries. I love when people notice our native Callicarpa americana for the first time. Its common name,  American beautyberry, makes sense once you have seen the plant.

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.

September 10, 2021 - Filed Under: Water, Rural Water Association, Water Quality

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Private well owners in five coastal Mississippi counties may participate in a free water-testing program offered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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