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From The Ground Up

Time to Prune, Repot, and Fertilize Plants

By Pamela Redwine

On Mar. 24  the Missis-sippi Homemaker Volun-teers will host the 2011 Spring Area Meeting here in Yalobusha County. We look forward to having all of our MHV friends from Grenada, Calhoun, Carroll, Montgom-ery and Attala with us for the meeting.  

The MHV does such good things in our communities, as well as, for the state and even internationally. If you are interested in finding out how to become a member call us at the extension office at 675-2730 or send an email to

On Mar. 25 we will have the Spring 2011 Genealogy Fair. The program will be presented by interactive video and will begin at noon and conclude around 3 p.m.  The times and topics include:

· 12:00 – 12:50 p.m – Researching Your African-American and Native-American Ancestry,

· 1:00 – 1:50 p.m. – Preserving Your Cherished Family Memories

· 2:00 – 2:50 p.m. – Preserving & Restoring Tombstones

 On Mar. 28 we will have another Private Applicator Certification training.  This one will be offered at 6 p.m.  The cost is $10.  Please call the Extension office to register.

 Shooting Sports Practice, Saturday, Mar. 26 at the Range beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Horse Show, Saturday, Mar. 26, 2011 2 p.m.

If you would like to keep up with the events going on at the Yalobusha County Extension Service you can follow us on Facebook – search: MSU-Extension Ser-vice Yalobusha County.


If you hauled all your tender, outdoor, pot plants indoors for the winter, now is a good time to start, pruning, repotting and fertilizing these plants to bring them out of the winter uglies. How to tell when it’s time to repot? A good clue is visible roots at the top of the pot or roots protruding from the drain hole.  If you’re unsure, pop the root ball out of the pot and examine.  If you see any roots winding around the root ball it is time to repot.  When repotting use a pot at least twice the diameter of the old one.

Tropical plants like allamanda, ixora, hibiscus, mandevilla and others should be cut back and fertilized now so they will be trim, neat and ready to grow when you move them outdoors.

Trees and Shrubs

Heavy structural pruning of evergreen shrubs may be done this month.  Always prune so the top is narrower than the bottom to allow light to reach the lower branches and to keep the plants from being top heavy and unsightly. Wait until after flowering to prune azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, forsythias, spireas and other spring-blooming shrubs.

Prune only dead, broken, or wayward limbs on shade and flowering trees.  Mulch newly planted or established trees and shrubs with pine straw or shredded bark. Do not allow the mulch to pack against the trunk. Pine straw packed against a tree trunk also provides the perfect haven for the vole (a stubby tailed mouse) to chew away on the bark.

Vetch is now blooming in most of Mississippi. Vetch is a viney, low growing plant with rose-purple flowers and dark green leaves like a mimosa tree. Dedicated composters can gather the vetch and add it to the compost pile for a good source of nitrogen and quickly available energy. Vetch is frequently used as a green manure crop in vegetable gardens and the best time to plow in a green manure crop is at first bloom. The plant starts sending the energy from photosynthesis to the developing flower and stops sending energy to the roots where the bacteria are fixing nitrogen. Wait several weeks after plowing in the green manure crop before planting vegetables to allow time for decomposition to occur.

Fans of container gardening should try two new All American Winners.  Terenzo is a new cherry tomato specifically bred to grow in containers and hanging baskets.  Torenzo will produce into the summer heat.  Lizzano is what is called a mini- or baby-cherry tomato, also bred to grow in containers. A mini-cherry produces smaller fruit than the standard cherry. Mini-cherry tomatoes seldom weigh as much as a half ounce. Look for the red, white and blue All American Winner sign in your garden center.

Spring officially began Mar. 20, but most of the renewing had already started.

Some fruit trees are already in leaf in much of Mississippi. Be aware of the growth stage of your tree and apply appropriate protection from insects and diseases. Be very careful with insecticides while the trees are flowering since killing the bees will curtail the crop.


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

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