Cummings and Goings in Agriculture
Homemaker Volunteers Program Features Earth Boxes
By Steve Cummings
Over the last few days, our former 4-H Program Assistant, Christine Fielder, has shown improvement. This is welcomed news after her lengthy illness. Hopefully, she will be able to come home from the hospital soon. She appreciates all of the calls, cards, and prayers.
I must say that I’ve certainly enjoyed this spring weather. The spring flowers have been beautiful and the turkeys have been gobbling. At least I have heard some successful youth hunts. However, I realize that we will probably have some more cold weather.
The Yalobusha County Extension has several upcoming programs planned for the month of March.
First, the quail management program is May 12 at 6:30 pm at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building. Dr. Wes Burger, MSU Quail Specialist, will conduct the program. Everyone interested in the return of the Bob White Quail will want to attend this program.
Also, the first Tri-Lakes Western Horse Show at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building is Friday, March 13th. Training Barrels will start at 6:30 pm with the show starting at 8:00 pm. This show is free and open to the public.
Next, the Yalobusha County Homemaker Volunteers are sponsoring a program on “Earth Boxes” on March 17th at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building at 10:00 am. Stanley Wise, Union County Extension Director, will demonstrate how to make an Earth Box, which is a container to grow a few flowers and vegetables in. Please come and join us for a fun and educational program.
All of these programs are free and open to the public. If you have an interest in any of these programs, you are welcomed and encouraged to attend.
Time to Plant
In most parts of the state you can still plant dormant container-grown, B & B, and bare-root shrubs and trees this month. Stick to the container-grown selections if the plant has already leafed out or begun new growth. Avoid planting deciduous bare-root stock that has begun to leaf out, as chances of survival are diminished.
Hardy vines like clematis, five-leaf akebia, Carolina jassamine and gold flame honeysuckle can be planted this month. Hardy ground covers like bigleaf periwinkle, liriope, mondo grass, Asiatic jasmine and spreading junipers can be planted anytime this month as well.
Time to Prune
After the winter/spring flowering shrubs like azaleas, camellias, mountain laurel, spirea, weiglea, forsythia and flowering quince finish flowering is the time to prune. Early spring is the time to prune broadleaf and narrowleaf evergreens. For hedges always prune so the top is narrower than the bottom to keep evergreens from becoming top-heavy and shading out lower branches. Prune blue/pink bigleaf or French hydrangeas by removing weak shoots at the ground and pruning the main shoots back one-third.
Time to Fertilize
Although fertilizer recommendations are best based on soil test results, there are general recommendations for maintaining good growth. Summer-flowering shrubs like crapemyrtle, buddleia, rose of Sharon and peegee hydrangeas can be fertilized now with a granular formulation such as 15-15-15. Use ? pound per three feet of the shrub’s height after pruning.
Fertilize all spring flowering shrubs and vines after they bloom. Use the 15-15-15 fertilizer on deciduous shrubs and vines and an azalea/camellia acid fertilizer on evergreens.
Use the same rate as above.