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From The Ground Up

Cattlemen To Meet Thursday, March 10

By Pamela Redwine

The Yalobusha Cattlemen will meet this Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Building in Coffeeville. This meeting is open to the public and a meal will be served. Please call to reserve your spot by noon on Wednesday, March 9.

We will have a Private Applicators Certification class on Monday, March 28 at 6 p.m. The cost of the class is $10. Please call the Extension office at 675-2730 to register.

HORTICULTURE TIPS

I love Spring and it looks like it has sprung over much of Mississippi. Slow down as you drive and enjoy the plum and pear trees in white bloom, the maples in red, the escaped daffodils in yellow, and the purple swaths of henbit and deadnettle.

It is only March, but pinkeye pea seed are already getting hard to find. Gardeners should acquire seed now for planting in April or May. Be careful in variety selection since there are differences among them. As recently as the 1950’s the term pinkeye was not used to describe peas, they were described as Purple Hull and the eye was described as dark red. Pinkeye Purplehull is the original pinkeye pea and has been around for a long time. It has no disease tolerance and tends to get viney if crowded or over fertilized.  Pinkeye Purplehull BVR is a selection from Pinkeye Purple hull that has tolerance to blackeye cowpea mosaic viral diseases. Viral diseases in Southern peas are a hit or miss gamble in Mississippi. Some years there is no disease pressure and other years the crop can be greatly diminished.  Other virus tolerant pinkeye peas includes  Texas Pinkeye, Top Pick Pinkeye, CT Pinkeye Purplehull, and Quick Pick.

 Quick Pick was one of the first pinkeye peas to bear its pods above the foliage. This Louisiana developed pea is slightly smaller than other pinkeye peas, but has good yield and taste characteristics.  Texas Pinkeye also bears above the foliage. Peas need to be cooked or processed quickly after shelling. Top Pick Pinkeye bear above the foliage as well, but harvest indicators are different on this pea. The peas will be starchy if the pod is allowed to become fully purple colored. CT Pinkeye Purplehull does not extend pods above the foliage. Pinkeye varieties without virus tolerance include Coronet, Big Boy (sometimes described as a brown eye), Summertime which remains green after cooking , and many others.

Selecting Lawn Grasses
For Spring Renovations

As temperatures rise and our water-logged soils eventually dry many of us will be out on our lawns correcting bare or damaged areas created over the winter months.  I receive several dozen requests each spring for information on selecting the best turf species to correct such problems.  The first step in fixing these problems is to assess what has caused the problem to occur.  Whether it is drainage, soil pH or fertility, traffic, heavy shade, etc. these need to be corrected before you can expect any new turf to survive.  Every spring at lawn and garden shows the extension service provides free soil pH testing and it is astonishing how many lawn soil samples have soil pH’s that are not conducive to healthy turf growth.  The next step then would be to select a turf species that is right for the problem area and most importantly is the turf species adaptable to your area.  It always amazes me to walk through the garden center sections particularly of the larger chain stores and see what is being offered for purchase to establish or repair Southern lawns.  Many of the seed on the shelves are just not suitable for permanent Mississippi lawns. Unless you live in the extreme northern counties most cool-season turf species (ryegrass, bluegrass, and fescues) will be poor permanent lawn choices as the heat of summer will be their demise and should not be planted even as temporary lawns once our warm season turf species begin to green-up.  If seeding is your only option centipede, Bermuda grass, carpet grass, zoysia, Bahia and seashore paspalum are your warm-season choices. St. Augustine, the species most tolerant to shade, and the above mentioned warm season species can also be established vegetatively.

 To better understand the advantages and disadvantages of these different warm-season turf species and how to best establish them obtain a copy of Extension Publication #1322 “Establish and Manage Your Home Lawn” from your local Extension office or from the internet web at www.msucares.com.

 Article Source: Horticulture Tips for February 28, 2011
 David Nagel, Wayne Wells, Lelia Kelly

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