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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Digital Television Conversion Topic Of May 14 Program

By Steve Cummings

The Yalobusha County Extension Service has several programs coming up that might be of interest to you.

 On May 13th at 10 a.m. there will be a Kudzu Control meeting at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building.  We will travel to a local site to look at a kudzu control demonstration, so please dress appropriately.  Although this meeting is free to the public, we are asking you to call our office at 662-675-2730 to make reservations by May 8.

 Also, on May 14th at 10:00 a.m. at the Multipurpose Building, there will be a program on T.V.’s going digital.  Terry Smith from WTVA Channel 9 will be available through distance learning to answer questions on the change in TV programming that will take place in June.  I, for one, need help in this area.  If your TV reception still comes through antennas, you will want to attend this program.

 If you are looking for something to do this weekend, there will be plenty of horse showing at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building.  Friday night, May 8th, there will be a speed event horse show.  Training barrels will start at 6:30 p.m. with the regular show starting at 8:00 pm.

 If that is not enough horse showing for you, there will also be a judged horse show the next day, Saturday, May 9th.  The trail class will start at 2:00 p.m. with the regular show starting at 3:00 p.m.  Running events will not start before 7:00 p.m., as the last show running started at 11:00 p.m.  This year’s horse shows are extremely large and competitive.  They are drawing exhibitors from all over North Mississippi, even as far away as Brandon and Terry.

After this weekend, the next judged and running show will be on, Saturday, May 16, 2009.  Times are the same, and all horse shows are free and open to the public.

 Go ahead and mark May 18th on your calendar for an AARP Safe Driving class at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building starting with registration at 8:00 a.m.  If you are over 55, I believe this class will help you get a discount on your car insurance at most places.

The Northwest District 4-H Shooting Sports Competition was held this past weekend in Charleston.  This was a new exposure for me due to the retirement of our 4-H Agent, Christine Fielder.  I owe special thanks to all of the coaches, parents, and participants.  Without them, I do not believe I could have made it through the contest.  I have not received a complete set of official results from the contest, but I know we had our share of winners.  

Hunter Weeks won the air pistol and Carissa Carmichael won the 22 rifle competition for their age groups.  Alex Calder, Marie Beshears, Brad Adams, and Hayden Harbour qualified for state competitions.  Also competing and doing well were Brooke Fielder, Peyton McMillian, Patrick McMillian, Kane Kimzey, Lauren Kimzey, Jonathan Simpson, Jacob Carmichael, Rachel Carmichael, and Hunter Dorris.  Congratulations to all of Yalobusha County’s participants.  Complete results will be published at a later time.



 It is safe to set out transplants of basil in all parts of the state now.  Basil is particularly sensitive to cold and will not grow well until the ground is warm. Plant perennial herbs such as chives, oregano, mint, fennel, lemon balm, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and Southern tarragon in a permanent location. You can begin harvesting foliage as soon as the plants begin growing well—just try not to take more than one-third of the plant’s foliage at a time!


 Plant zinnias now for summer arrangements.  Choose long stemmed selections such as Big Red, Royal Purple, Canary Bird, Envy, or scarlet Queen.  Pick a sunny spot and sow seeds directly into the soil. Sunflowers, marigolds, cleome, and cosmos can all be direct seeded now for blooms this summer.


Take tired foliage plants outdoors for the summer, but be careful to put them in the shade.  Their leaves are as sensitive to sunburn as a person’s skin after a long winter indoors.  Repot, fertilize and prune as need to encourage new growth. If you want to learn about the unique benefits of having houseplants and some great ones to select you should check out the new gardening feature on the Extension Service website, “Gardening through the Seasons.” The web address is Click on the video for March.

The flowers that bloom in May are here. Pepper flowers, tomato flowers, cucumber flowers, squash flowers and lots of others are opening every day.  Some of these will pollinate themselves, others need bees or other insects to help get the pollen and the ovary together. Be careful when applying insecticides so the bees will live and be  able to do their part.  Don’t spray when the bees are working the flowers.

Recent heavy rains have damaged plants in the garden. Remove the damaged leaves and limbs and apply fungicide to herbaceous plants that have been broken.

More weed seeds germinate as the soil warms and the rain provides moisture. Frequent removal by hoeing or hand weeding will keep the weeds under control. Allowing more than seven days between weedings is a recipe for disaster. What takes 20 minutes to weed today may take three hours to weed next week. Mulch is one of the best ways to prevent weed growth. Mulch also helps prevent water loss from evaporation and soil loss from raindrop splash.

Don’t forget to add a little more fertilizer when the first tomatoes are about an inch and a half in diameter.

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