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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Sun Shine Needed To Helps Crops And Attitudes

By Steve Cummings

During my years as County Agent, I can remember many years when we’ve prayed for rain, but never do I remember  praying for rain to stop and for dry weather. We are at that point now.  

This rain needs to stop for a while. Yalobusha County farmers are so efficient that with a few days of dry weather, they can get this crop out. Sun-shiny weather will help everyone’s attitude.

There’s a lot going on at the Extension office during the month of October. First, if you are planning to order MSU cheese, you need to call our office as soon as possible.

The MAFES Cheese Store has been taking a lot of Christmas cheese orders already, so to ensure that you get your order, you need to call in as soon as possible. If you order your cheese directly through the sales store and want us to pick it up, please let our office know.

There will be a Wildlife Food Plot Tour at the Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center Thursday, October 15th. Tours will start at 9:00 am and lunch will be provided.

There will also be a Quick Bites program at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building on October 15th from noon to one. The topic is “You and the Flu.” Discussions will include how to take care of someone with the flu, H1N1, and what to have at home to be prepared.  

You will want to be present so you can be informed on what to do if you or anyone you know gets the Swine Flu. This program is free and open to the public so bring your lunch and come join us.

Several Childcare Trainings will be offered at the Multipurpose Building during the next few weeks. Next weeks’ trainings will be held from 6:15 – 8:15 pm on Monday, October 19th, and Tuesday, October 20th.  

Each session will provide two contact hours. If you are in need of childcare training hours and would like to sign up, please call our office at 675-2730.

Tuesday, October 20th, at the Multipurpose Building the Yalobusha County Homemaker Council will host a flower arranging program. Mrs. Dale Tyler will conduct the program at 10:00 am and will share some of her knowledge of flower arranging she has acquired as a wife of a college football coach. This program is free and open to the public as well.

Horticulture Tips:

Rain Gardens

For those of us living in areas of heavy rainfall the last few weeks, we have “rain gardens” all over our landscape!  Seriously, it’s a good bet that you know the areas of the landscape where water tends to pool after a heavy rain. These areas could be a good site for a rain garden. What exactly is a rain garden?  It’s a garden that captures water runoff and lets it percolate into the soil instead of running into storm drains, ditches and other drainage areas.

The benefits of having a rain garden on your property are numerous. It is a garden, so it is an attractive addition to the landscape. It keeps water on your site, so you are recycling a natural resource. It acts as a natural filter to cleanse and recharge water aquifers. Channeling water from house gutters into a rain garden can prevent erosion that might otherwise occur where down spouts are located. Having a rain garden can turn what could be an unattractive low area of the landscape into a diverse and attractive garden with plants that can attract butterflies, bees and other wildlife.

For more detailed information on plants suitable for a rain garden, construction information and calculations check out the rain garden site on the Mississippi State University Extension Service website. The web address is

Winter Overseeding a Permanent Warm-Season Lawn

Do you have a desire or need for your lawn to be green throughout the winter?  There are only a couple good reasons for establishing a winter lawn here in Mississippi.  

The first is the need to provide some type of ground cover for a new home site where it is too late in the fall to establish a permanent lawn. Another may be that you have had your permanent lawn damaged in some way that it will be vulnerable to additional winter injury if not over seeded.

And lastly, a somewhat questionable good reason, for those who simply must have that green lawn all year. Actually, for strong healthy permanent lawns, overseeding with cool season grasses will delay next springs green-up. The turf species of preference for winter overseeding warm season lawns should be perennial ryegrass.  

Seeding rate for home lawns with perennial ryegrass should be 8-10 pounds per thousand square feet and if you use annual ryegrass increase this by another two pounds. Seeding should be done when soil temperatures reach about 70 degrees which as a general rule will occur around the middle of October for much of Mississippi.

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