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From The Ground Up

Fall Decorating Session Set For Oct. 7

By Pamela Redwine

On Thursday, Oct. 7 at noon come to the Extension office for the Quick Bites session (via interactive video).  Lynette McDougald, will be live at University Florist and will be showing us how to decorate using this years’ popular fall florals.  

This session is titled “Changing Seasons – A Look at Fall Floral Design Opportunities” and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.  Remember the Extension Office will be taking cheese orders until the 15th.

 Cooler Temperatures and Fall Turf Diseases

Fall has arrived with cooler weather, shorter days, cloudy overcast skies and occasional rain providing ideal conditions for fall turf diseases to proliferate. Large patch, leaf blights, rusts and other cooler weather turf diseases can create serious damage to southern lawns with little time to recover before they go dormant so it is important that we follow good cultural practices during this time. It is now late enough in the year that the mowing height can be raised slightly for the winter.  

Avoid mowing a water soaked lawn until you get drier conditions to prevent soil compaction and spread of diseases.  While clippings from properly scheduled mowing should be left on the lawn to add nutrients and organic matter back into the soil heavy clipping accumulations need to be collected and composted. As leaves fall and cover the lawn it is wise to remove them or at least mulch them thoroughly so that they do not shade and hold moisture on the leaf blades. If you see evidence of turf thinning or leaf blades dying due to turf pathogens an application of an appropriate fungicide early will help prevent an unsightly lawn all winter and perhaps a much more expensive lawn renovation next spring.

Cooler temperatures should result in faster growing, more vigorous cool season plants in the vegetable garden. Cabbage and its cousins grow best when temperatures are in the seventies during the day and fifties at night. Make sure there is sufficient water to sustain this faster growth and be aware of caterpillars and their adult moths. These leaf eating creatures also thrive in cooler temperatures. But insecticides are gentle on beneficial insects and often provide adequate control.

One crop not often grown is Mississippi is fava beans, also known as broad beans. The small seeded varieties are grown as a green manure crop, but the large seeded ones are grown to eat. These beans are different from our normal pinto and butter beans since they grow best when temperatures are low and can normally be exposed to fifteen degrees without damage.  Gardeners growing them for the first time will have to inoculate them with their own rhizobium bacteria since they are more closely related to vetch than to typical beans or Southern peas.  The plants will grow all winter and produce pods next spring.

The beans are harvested at the shelly stage, just like we harvest pink eye peas and butter beans. Seed will have to be ordered, but adventurous gardeners may want to give them a try.

Article Source: Horticulture Tips  by Wayne Wells, David Nagel

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