Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Cummins Turns Into Somewhat Of A Quilt Expert

By Steve Cummings


When the Yalobusha County Homemakers brought up the idea to have a quilt show, I hoped they would not be disappointed.  Being a man, I just did not see where there would be that much interest in quilts.  Boy, was I wrong.  Quilt Show chairman, Pat Brooks, told me they had over 175 quilts on display.  

The quilts as a group were beautiful and the ladies did a great job arranging them.  I am glad the quilts were not judged because each quilt was beautiful in its own right.  Judging would have been impossible.  The time it must have taken to make all of these quilts is mind boggling, and the history that was represented was very interesting to say the least.  

I also think the arena setting added to it, as it in a way connected to why quilts were made years ago.  I’d like to thank all the Yalobusha County Homemakers for the time and effort they put into getting ready for the show.  Since this show was such a huge success, go ahead and plan for another one next year and plan on bringing any quilts that you have to exhibit.  

Last Saturday night, I was in Starkville working on the Catch a Dream banquet.  At about 10 pm, I started watching all the severe weather and warnings for Yalobusha County.  It was an uneasy feeling watching it on television and not know exactly what was going on.  We were very fortunate that our county had no more damage than we did.  Hopefully, all of this bad weather will be behind us soon.  

On Saturday, May 17, there will be a judged horse show starting at 3pm at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building.  A running show will follow no earlier than 7 p.m.  As usual, it is open to the public and admission is free.

Also, on Wednesday, May 2, local artist, Pat Rodrigue, will teach a beginners art class on drawing horses.  This class will be divided into two age categories:  ages 6 – 10 will be from 2 to 3 p.m., and ages 11 and up will be from 4 to 5 p.m.  If you have any children who are interested in general art or horses, please let them attend this art class, as it is free and open to the public.  

Horticulture Tips

Mulch

Mulching flower and shrub beds now is easy insurance against dry spells and hot weather later.  Apply at least 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch to keep soils moist and cool. Do not pile the mulch directly around the base of perennials or against the bark of trees or shrubs.

Summer Bulbs

Bulbs, corms, and tubers can be planted now for a flower display that lasts until fall.  Try calla lilies, crinum, ginger lilies, tuberose, and cannas.  The dwarf types of cannas, such as Tropical Rose, grow only 18 to 30 inches high and offer the same large lush flowers as their taller kin.

Aphids

Wilting or discolored new growth are common signs of aphids.  Spraying with insecticidal soap and blasting with a jet of water from the garden hose are two safe and easy controls.  The key to keeping their numbers down is persistence.  Check plants every few days for signs or reinfestation and treat as soon as possible. For pesticide recommendations to control aphids refer to the MSU Extension publication 2369, Insect Pests of Perennial Plants in the Home Landscape.  

Lawn Mowing Efficiency

The one activity that we perform on our lawn more than anything else is mowing yet it is most often done with lack of attention to mowing height, regularity, leaf wetness, or sharpness of blade and mowing patterns.  Any of these factors could cause undue turf stress and provide less than desired results.

Every turf species has its own optimum mowing height and any extremes from this may cause scalping, turf thinning, and even loss of the lawn.  Recommended cutting heights for our warm season turf species are as follows: bermudagrass 0.5-1.5 inches; zoysia 1.0–1.5; carpetgrass 1.0-2.0 inches; centipede 1.5-2.0 inches and St. Augustine 2.5-3.0 inches.

Regardless of the turf species mowing regularity should follow the one-third rule.  This means never remove more than one-third of the total turf height at a single mowing.  When the on-third rule is followed leaf clippings will fall into the canopy of the turf and decompose rather quickly.  With irregular and improper mowing excess leaf clipping collect on the turf canopy shading the turf below, increases disease and insect incidences, and creates excess thatch.

Blade sharpness will determine the quality of cut and aesthetic appearance of the turf.  A dull mower blade will tear rather than cut leaving leaf tips split, ragged and brown.  A sharp blade will also improve the efficiency of the mower engine and at the price of fuel today over the course of the growing season can be a considerable savings. It is best to avoid cutting the lawn when there is leaf wetness from rain or heavy dew especially when disease pressures are prevalent. Changing mowing patterns, especially with riding mowers will help reduce soil compaction and turf wear.

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