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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

November Weather Gives Farmers Harvest Time

By Steve Cummings

The month of November has  been good to our farmers, as far as harvesting goes.  They have really made a lot of progress with the harvest, and the later crop yields and quality have been better than the crops that matured in September and October.  Most of the crops, with the exception of peanuts, are close to being harvested.  There are still a lot of peanuts to be combined.

If you are a busy person with many responsibilities, whether it is family, job, or community service, you probably do not have a lot of time to devote to your garden or landscape maintenance.  

Does that mean you can’t have a beautiful, functional yard?  

No, it just means you need to plan your yard using low maintenance landscape techniques and ideas.  Please join us for a Quick Bites program on Thursday, November 19, from noon until 1 p.m. at the Yalobusha County Multipurpose Building.  This program will provide the information you need for a great landscape with less work.  The winter months are the time to evaluate your landscape and put those low maintenance plans into action.  So, plan to attend and learn the easy way to have the garden you want with time left over!  

 Also on Thursday, November 19, The Mississippi State Annual Livestock Sale will be held at the Mississippi Horse Park at Mississippi State University.  The sale starts at 1 p.m. with lunch being served prior to the start of the sale for $5.  Angus, Charlais, and Hereford bulls will be in the sale, as are 12 bred registered Angus cows and numerous crossbred heifers.

 In addition, the Fifth Annual MAFES Horse Sale is this Saturday, November 21, at the Mississippi Horse Park at Mississippi State University.  The sale begins at 1pm.  Lunch will be provided prior to the sale.  

Numerous Quarter Horse weanlings and yearlings, along with some two-year olds, will be in the sale.  Also, bred quarter horse mares will be offered for sale.

Horticulture Tips:

Lawn Camouflaging by Frost

These past few crisp mornings prompts me to mention a phenomenon that occurs just about every fall.  After the first light killing frost, weird camouflage patterns appear on turf, particularly hybrid Bermudagrass.          

While many homeowners become alarmed that their lawns have overnight contacted some horrible disease this phenomenon is nothing to worry about. Your lawn has not been invaded by the military or some terrible insect or fungus.  It is simply the results of the first light frost or two of fall.  

Heat is absorbed into the soil during the day and radiates off at night through the dense canopy of leaf blades, stolons, etc. in these somewhat zigzag patterns.  The small difference in temperatures is enough for frost to develop and kill leaf tissue in spots where the temperature has dropped low enough but not in others.

Generally the denser and thicker the turf canopies the more likely for this phenomenon to occur. Once we get a hard freeze with a widespread heavy killing frost the camouflage patterns will disappear and your lawn will return to a healthy green next spring.


 Whether you grow citrus in your garden or in a pot indoors, you can prevent fruit from splitting by making sure the trees have plenty of water.  During extended dry weather, water well at least weekly.  If trees get too dry, a sudden uptake of water after a rain will make the fruit swell past the breaking point.

 Gardeners have asked if the green onions from the supermarket can be used as transplants for bulb onions in the garden. It isn’t wise since we don’t know which type of onion the plants are. Most of those are long day varieties. They will not start to produce a bulb until late April or May. By then it will be too hot for good bulb development.

Lettuce prices are climbing in response to bad weather in the lettuce belt, but that is no reason to remove salad from the menu. Leaf lettuces can be sown in the garden or in large containers in sunny locations and still have time to produce. Inter-planting red lettuces, red mustards, or red beets with the green lettuces can make a pretty micro green salad in Christmas colors.

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