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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Happy Thanksgiving From Your Extension Staff

By Steve Cummings

The Yalobusha County Extension Staff would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving.  Our office will be closed on Wednesday, November 26, until Monday, December 1.  

The new digital sign in front of the Multipurpose Building should be in operation now.  That is, if we can figure out how to operate it.  The sign was made possible by an Extension Office Enhancement Grant through Dr. Vance Watson, the Yalobusha County Farm Bureau Federation, and the Yalobusha County Board of Supervisors.  Thank you to all who contributed toward the sign, either by work or monetary contributions.

Congratulations to Kyle Jeffreys on being selected as Vice-Chairman of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Committee for 2009.  Kyle and his wife, Lauren, represent Farm Bureau Region IV.

The Annual Farm Bureau State Convention will be held December 6 – 8 in Jackson.  Like always, many people will attend and be involved in the state convention.

Horticulture Tips:

Pruning Equipment—Great Christmas Wish List Item for the Gardener

Pruning will begin early next year.  When the weather is dreary outside, take time and assemble your pruning equipment. If you need any tools, put them on your Christmas wish list.  Listed below are some basic pruning tools that should be in the garden tool shed of the “handy” gardener for those small pruning jobs.  If the job entails removing large limbs, other type pruning equipment would be needed.  

Hand pruning shears are the proper tool for most small pruning chores.  A sharp set of bypass pruners with curved blades that cut with a scissor-like action and give the cleanest cut should be in every gardener’s tool kit.   Pruning shears are designed to cut stems up to 1/4 inch in diameter. The bypass types are preferred over anvil pruners.  These have a single cutting blade that, when cutting, presses the stem against a flat piece of metal (anvil).  These types of hand pruners are typically not preferred as they tend to crush the stems.

Long-handled loppers (12 to 18 inch long handles) are used to cut out thick branches up to 1/2 inch in diameter.  Select bypass types with lightweight metal alloy handles.

A keyhole saw about 7 to 8 inches long with a thin pointed tip allows you to maneuver into tight corners.  It can be used to cut very large stems (up to 1/2 inch diameter or greater) near the crown of shrubs.  Remove large stubs close to a bud union.

Sturdy leather gloves with a gauntlet-type cuff to protect your hands and forearms are a must for those thorny pruning jobs.  

Squirt bottle of Lysol or other disinfectant cleaner to disinfect your pruning equipment after pruning out diseased branches is a good thing.  Lysol is less corrosive than using bleach.

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