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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Wildflower Tour Upcoming At Plant Materials Center

By Steve Cummings

The Annual Wildflower Tour at the Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center will be June 17. Wagon tours of the wildflower fields will be held throughout the day starting around 8:30 am. There will be presentations on backyard habitats, pollinators, decorating with wildflowers, green gardening tips for flowers and vegetables, and wildflowers in the landscape. Bring a plant and trade for another one at the plant swap.  Mississippi Nature Wildflower seeds will be available for purchase on site. Admission is $3 and lunch will be served. Please RSVP to our office at 675-2730 as soon as possible.

June 20 will be the last horse show prior to the Northwest District and State 4-H Horse Show. This show will begin at 2 p.m. at the Multipurpose Building and will run the entire day. There is no admission, but the 4-H Horse Club will have the concession stand where all proceeds will go to pay entry fees and expenses at the district and state 4-H horse shows.

The Yalobusha County Homemaker’s Council will host a program on “Review of Changes with CPR” on June 16 at 10 a.m. at the Multipurpose Building.  The public is invited to attend this program.  

Horticulture Tips:

Summer doesn’t officially start until June 21, but the long, cool, wet spring seems to be over this year. Temperatures consistently in the nineties make a big difference in the vegetables that will do well. Follow lettuce with southern peas to take advantage of the fertilizer left in the soil. Follow cabbage or greens with peanuts for the same reason. Use stalks from sweet corn to provide a trellis for Malabar spinach. Yellow squash will produce in high temperatures, but it has very high water requirements. Okra and eggplant are the two mainstays of summer gardens, but only plant enough to meet your needs. Even families that really like these two don’t need more than two or three plants per person for garden to table production.

Pre-Stress Conditioning for a Healthy Summer Lawn

For many of us it may be hard to imagine any shortage of water for our lawns following the heavy rains we recently experienced and the problems encountered just maintaining proper mowing heights. However, the heat of summer will consume this moisture rather quickly once we go a few days without a shower.  

Since the weather is constantly changing and we never know for sure if we will get adequate rainfall or not we need to irrigate when needed with a long-range purpose in mind.

We can help our lawns tremendously as the summer heat intensifies by beginning pre-stress conditioning now.  Pre stress conditioning is accomplished by watering less frequently but very thorough when we do water. A good thorough deep watering allows the water to infiltrate down three or more inches into the soil to encourage grass roots to go deep into the soil and become more numerous.  

Later in the summer as water becomes even more critical those lawns with a deep, large mass root system will be better prepared to forage much deeper for any available moisture.  

To help prevent an ideal environment for diseases begin watering early enough in the day so that watering can cease in time for leaf blades to dry before nightfall.

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