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News From 2021

A black and white chicken stands in a black container inside an enclosure.
April 14, 2021 - Filed Under: Poultry

Backyard chicken flocks continue to grow in popularity as Mississippians embrace the ability to produce some of their own food and enjoy the quirky personalities of the birds.Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said those considering starting a backyard flock need to make clear-headed plans before bringing home darling little chicks.

Tiny pink blooms emerge along a green spike.
April 12, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

It’s no secret that I’m a real fan of salvia. A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed highlighting sage, which is a great culinary salvia. This week I’m going talk about perennial salvia, another group of these great plants.

Smoke rises from a mostly burned structure.
April 8, 2021 - Filed Under: County Extension Offices

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State University Extension Service in Pearl River County has a new temporary location after the building housing its office sustained irreparable damage from an overnight fire.

Located at 204 South Julia Street in Poplarville behind the county courthouse, the facility is scheduled to be operational by April 16. The main office number, 601-403-2280, is still active for clients in need of assistance. MSU Extension operations in Pearl River County will take place at this location indefinitely.

A closeup of a fire ant mound.
April 6, 2021 - Filed Under: Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns, Turfgrass and Lawn Management

Fire ants are the most common pests of home lawns, but homeowners can manage them with the right approach, and spring is the perfect time to begin the process.

A winged, greenish insect rests on a branch.
April 5, 2021 - Filed Under: Insects, Forest Ecology

Many states are expecting an extra loud chorus of chirping cicadas this summer with the emergence of a massive 17-year brood of the insects, but Mississippi will not be part of this phenomenon.

A single, green cucumber hangs on a vine.
April 5, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

If you read this Southern Gardening column frequently, you realize that I grow much more than pretty flowers in my home garden. Besides ornamental plants, I love to grow vegetables that my wife and I can enjoy for dinner.

Graphic showing 2021 planting intentions
April 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi row crop growers are planning to plant more soybeans and corn in 2021 than they did last year but not as much cotton, rice or hay.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, publishes its planting intentions report each year at the end of March. This report provides a state-by-state estimation of how many acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton farmers will plant in the upcoming growing season.

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.

A few trees remain standing among an area with snapped off pines.
March 31, 2021 - Filed Under: Landscape Design and Management, Landscape and Garden Design, Landscape Management, Landscape Resources, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases, Trees

Mississippi weather can damage trees in many ways, making it crucial to select wisely when choosing trees for the landscape.

Four images of sage are pictured in a grid.
March 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Salvia is one of the groups of plants that everyone should have in their landscape. This plant group has flowers with a wide-ranging color palette and different sizes. Salvias are loved -- by me especially -- because of their ability to attract pollinators, butterflies and hummingbirds.

March 25, 2021 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Healthy Homes Initiative, Mississippi Well Owner Network

 Private well workshops in four counties this spring will help homeowners improve their drinking water sources.

Six children stand in a hallway wearing paper masks depicting billy goats.
March 23, 2021 - Filed Under: MSU Extension Head Start

Harrison County parents who hope to give their pre-kindergarten children a boost in school are encouraged to enroll them now for the upcoming school year with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Head Start Program.

Clusters of round, red fruit and black fruit are held above black leaves.
March 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Some of my favorite late-summer annuals are the ornamental peppers. These tough plants have to survive the heat and humidity of our Mississippi summers before they become the stars of my summer landscape.

A wild gobbler turkey with brown and black feathers and a red head.
March 19, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Nothing sends a charge of electricity up my spine quite like the boom of a gobbler sounding off in Mississippi woodlands. If you have ever had the privilege of hearing a male turkey gobbler announce his presence in Mississippi oak or hickory hardwood and pine forests, you’ll never forget it. 

Many hunters take to the woods during turkey season to experience this exhilaration and for the chance to glimpse the spectacle of a strutting gobbler in full display to attract turkey hens for mating.

March 19, 2021 - Filed Under: Farming, Forages

PINEY WOODS, Miss. -- Farmers preparing for the growing season will benefit from a wide variety of topics at the Alliance of Sustainable Farms field day March 29.

Subjects include spring preparations for grazing, growing quality hay, cover crops, and native plants and pollinators. Participants will also learn how to calibrate a no-till drill.

Yellow and purple flowers bloom from a green plant.
March 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We had another great weather weekend in the garden, and  I spent a couple of days catching up on getting my Urban Nano Farm ready for spring. I’m almost finished repairing my fence after it was redesigned by Hurricane Zeta last year

A tall, thick layer of mulch around the base of a tree.
March 8, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases

The glorious gardening weekend we just enjoyed was certainly welcome after the recent cold weather that kept us out of the landscape.

I took advantage of the perfect weather and started on garden chores I’ve been putting off. My main accomplishment, which has been on my list for a while, was putting down fresh layers of mulch. It felt good because I have been accumulating bags of mulch, and the neatly stacked pile was pretty big.

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.

A plant has purple leaves.
March 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

After going through that recent cold snap, the glorious weather this past weekend has me wanting spring to get here as fast as possible. Visiting garden centers and seeing all the herb transplants means I just may get my spring wish.

Tall grass protects water from invading dry land.
February 25, 2021 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- Most folks dream of owning a piece of shoreline property on a river, a lake or the Gulf Coast. There is something about looking out over the water that is hard to describe.

Additionally, recreational opportunities like fishing aren’t bad either.

If you’re fortunate enough to own a piece of shoreline property, the last thing you want to happen is for it to erode.

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