By Brent Gray
The 2nd Annual Yalobusha County 4-H Shooting Sports Fundraiser will take place on Sept. 29 at the range located in Coffeeville. The first shot is at 9 a. m. Please come out and show your support.
There will be a Fall Flower and Vegetable Tour at the Northeast Mississippi Research and Extension Center at Verona Oct. 13.
Remember the Garden Fest at Crystal Springs Oct. 5 and 6. The gardens were not damaged and the display allows you to see how hundreds of different varieties compared in side by side rows. The early date this year and the warm August we have experienced will give you a good idea about heat tolerance of flowers and vegetables.
Your lawn may be low on your priorities following a severe weather event such as a hurricane or flooding but once personal safety and dwellings are taken care of your lawn may also need some attention.
Start with the basics of removing any foreign debris such as limbs, glass, metal objects, etc. that may cause injury to people or pets, lawn equipment and the turf itself. Leaves and straw should be raked to prevent shading of the turf. Silt and salt are additional issues that many are faced with after flooding.
Our warm season turf species are fairly resilient to excess water and can survive as much as a week of submergence. Once the water recedes any silt should be washed off the leaves with fresh water if available. Soil aeration will also be a benefit to getting oxygen to the roots. Be careful with heavy mowers are other equipment not to cause compaction to saturated soils.
Bermuda grass, zoysiagrass and St. Augustine grass have good salt tolerance whereas centipede and carpet grass do not. Flushing with fresh water will remove salt from turf leaves and help leach it from the soil. Once the turf has dried out, been mowed and appears to be on the way to recovery a light compete fertilizer application can be applied.
If the turf does die from extended flooding, salt, chemicals, etc. you may want to consider a temporary lawn of ryegrass until you and the lawn are in a better situation to establish a new permanent lawn.
Depending on your location within the state establishing a permanent lawn of some warm season turf species may be difficult this late in the growing season. The extension web at www.msucares.com can provide more detailed information on this and other storm related topics.
Winds from Isaac may have damaged vegetable plants in the garden. Peppers and tomatoes are particularly prone to breakage in high winds. Summer squash plants tend to twist in the wind and break stems at the soil line. Remove the damaged parts of the plants and look closely at the healthy remainder. An application of fungicide and a light application of fertilizer should bring the plants back into production if the plant still has fruit or flowers.
Winds from Isaac may also have damaged trees and shrubs in the landscape. Just as the vegetable plants, removal of the damaged part and a light fertilization will generally bring the plant back to good growth. Now is not the time to do heavy pruning since you are already there with the pruning tools. Pruning causes a flush of new growth which may not have time to mature before the first frost. The plant needs a reserve of energy for next spring and using that reserve to grow new leaves in the fall may be detrimental to the long term survival of the plant.
The rains from Isaac have caused an outbreak of downy mildew in cucurbit crops. This foliar disease starts with a light green to yellow lesion and can quickly spread from plant to plant in wet weather. The leaves can turn completely brown in just a few days. The silver lining to Isaac is that several areas of the state needed rain.