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From The Ground Up

Cattlemen’s Meeting Set For 7 p.m. March 10

By Pamela Redwine

There will be a Private Applicators Training and Certification Class on Monday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m.  The cost is $10. Please contact the Extension office to register 675-2730.

The Healthy You! Program is going great.  Our last class will be Monday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m.

There will be a Cattlemen’s Meeting on Thursday, March 10, at 7 p.m. at the Extension Office.  Dr. John Byrd, State Specialist at MSU, will present the program on “Weed Control”.    Please call the Extension Office at 675-2730 to register by Tuesday, March 8.

Don’t forget to look us up on Facebook at MSU-Yalobusha County Extension Service to see all of the upcoming programs for the coming month.

HORTICULTURE TIPS

This weekend will be the first good weather weekend in a while. It is time to prune, it is time to plow, it is time to plant. Fruit trees and grapevines need to be pruned now. Be sure to sterilize the pruning shears between cuts on apple and pear trees to help prevent the spread of fire blight. We are about two months away from Good Friday. This is the time to spread liming materials on the garden if they are needed and plow them in. Most of us should be dry enough to work the soil without causing any damage. Don’t work in the garden if you can still squeeze water out of the soil.

Garden centers are stocking up with plants now. When you are looking at their selection, remember where you live. Ask if the plants they are selling have a proven record of performance in Mississippi. Planting the wrong variety of pansy may mean fewer, less colorful, smaller blooms. Planting the wrong variety of tree or shrub may mean poor performance or early death. Planting the wrong variety of fruit tree or bush normally means no fruit. Northern highbush blueberries, Bing cherries, Bartlett pears and Red Delicious apples are all fine varieties of fruit , they just are not adapted to our climate. You can find recommended fruit varieties in Fruit and Nut Recommendations in Mississippi  at http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p0966.pdf.

Gardeners with hairy vetch planted as a cover crop should allow two weeks after plow down for the plants to decompose. Keep this is mind while planning your planting season. Some gardeners just mow the vetch and plant in the stubble. This works if your new plants can grow faster than the vetch.

Bare-root Plants

This is the time of year when nurseries, garden centers and discount stores are stocking bare-root trees and roses. The plants survive this treatment because they are dormant. However if these are left too long in warm temperatures, they will begin to sprout. Only buy plants that are still dormant or those that the nursery has planted in pots.  Before planting bare-root nursery stock, soak the roots in water overnight.  If you’re not ready to plant, cover the root system with moist soil or compost, and store in a shady location.

When ready to plant, dig the hole only deep enough to accommodate the roots without crowding them. Make a cone or mound of backfill soil in the hole to help you support and spread the roots as you fill the hole with soil in and around the roots. It is helpful if you have a friend who can hold the plant as you work the soil around the roots packing it slightly as you go.  Before you completely fill the hole, it is a good idea to water well to settle the soil around the roots. When this has soaked in, then continue filling the hole completely. Water well one more time to settle the top part of your backfill soil.

When you are done the plant should only be as deep as it was in the field—no deeper. You can determine this by noticing the level of soil stains on the trunk. Roses should be set so that the graft union is about an inch above the soil line. Mulch well around the base of your new plant being careful not to pile the mulch right next to the trunk.  For more information on mulching watch the Gardening through the Season video segment entitled “Mulch” at this MSU web site: http://msu-cares.com/gardenvideos/index.html.


 Article Source: Horticulture Tips for February 14, 2011 David Nagel, Lelia Kelly, Wayne Wells

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