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From The Ground Up

4-H Robotics Club Will Meet Jan. 25

by Pamela Redwine

Several 4H members, volunteers and 4-H Agent Mary Mason Furr went to MSU Saturday, Jan. 15 for the 4-H Robotics Kickoff and they had their first Robotics Club Meeting Thursday, Jan. 20.  The next meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 4:30 p.m. at the Extension office located in the Multi-Purpose Building at Coffeeville. This is a fun club for youth ages 8 – 18 that are interested in technology. If you would like for your child to attend or if you would like more information call us at 662-675-2730.

The Yalobusha Forestry Association will meet Thursday, Jan. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Extension office located in the Multi-Purpose Building at Coffeeville. A meal will be served. The public is invited to attend.  Please call the Extension Service to let us know you will be attending.

Our “Healthy You” program is filling up fast.  However, we do still have spaces available if you are interested in joining us. The program will be held each Monday night during the month of February. The program will begin at 5:30 p.m and will end around 6:30 p.m. The program will include about 30 minutes of helpful nutrition information followed by 30 minutes of low impact physical activity.  This program is free and open to the public, however we have limited space due to the room needed for exercise so call to get your name on the list now. If you would like more information about this program please contact the extension office at yalobush@ext.msstate.edu or 675-2730.

For a complete list of events check us out on facebook.  You can look us up at: MSU Yalobusha County Extension Service.

HORTICULTURE TIPS

Houseplants – Most plants like the soil to dry slightly between waterings.  If your plants look wilted but the soil is still damp, the roots are probably dying from too much water.  Ideally all houseplants should be in pots with holes so that excess water can drain into a saucer that can be emptied.

Evergreens – Remember that evergreens cannot take up moisture when the ground is frozen; therefore, when severe cold is forecast be sure the planting areas containing evergreens are adequately moist.  Due to recent rains/snow this has not been a problem.  As we move into the capricious weather of spring keep this in mind, as we are still deficient in moisture compared to a normal year.

Spring Bulbs – Hyacinths, narcissus, tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs are pushing through the soil.  Don’t worry about cold weather hurting the foliage of these cold tolerant plants.  Even the flowerbuds of these plants are fairly cold tolerant.  

The cold wind and weight of ice and snow do more damage by knocking the bloom stalks to the ground and ruining your flower display.  If cold wind and freezing rain or snow is forecast mulch around the plants with wheat straw or a heavy layer of pine needles to add support to the foliage and flower stalks.  Then lightly cover the flowerheads with pine needles or straw being careful not to crush them.  After the bad weather, pull the hay back and enjoy what’s left of your flowers. You’ll be surprised how the layer of mulch has protected them.  You can also just cut a big bouquet to enjoy inside and let the weather take its toll on the rest!

Early Flowers – As soon as forsythia, flowering quince or pussy willow buds swell and begin to show color, cut an armload, bring them indoors to a warm room, put in a vase with water and watch spring burst out right in your home!  These should be pretty for weeks and can provide an ongoing science lesson for the kids.

Container Gardening

Patio gardening is a growing trend. There are several new tomato varieties developed for  growing in pots including the sweet ‘n neat series and addition of Tiger to the tumbling tom series.   Also new for containers is Pear Drops, a yellow elongated fruit, and Rambling Red Stripe.  

One new All American Selection which can be grown in large containers is Sugary cherry tomato. This is supposed to be the sweetest cherry tomato ever. Remember that tomatoes are full sun plants. Growing them in even partial shade will cause the plants to elongate and yield and quality to decline.

Cool Season Crops

Gardeners should be getting ready for planting cool season crops. Cool season crops like potatoes, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, and greens can be planted any time the sol warms to about sixty degrees.  Look up normal last frost dates and plan to have warm season things ready to go around that  day. Sweet corn shouldn’t be planted until soil temperatures are above sixty five.  

Tomatoes shouldn’t be transplanted until very shortly before the anticipated last frost date unless you are planning to protect them from freezing temperatures. Save eggplant and okra until soil temperatures are above seventy.

Article Source:  Horticulture Tips for January 18, 2011 By: Lelia Kelly, Wayne Wells, David Nagel

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