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Growin’ Green

Shooting Sports Fundraiser Is Saturday

By Brent Gray

The second annual Yalobusha County 4-H Shooting Sports Fundraiser will be held Sept. 29,with the first shot at 9 a.m.
There will be a 3-D archery shoot, with 20 3-D Targets, 50/50 Cash Pot and novelty shoots. Food concessions and homemade ice cream will be available. There will be door prizes.
Come out and support the youth of Yalobusha County.
All proceeds go to Yalobusha County Shooting Sports, sponsored by Grenada Bow Hunters Association. The entry fee will be $15. The range is located behind Piggly Wig-gly on Okahoma Street in Coffeeville. Follow the 3-D signs.
Be sure to remember the field days at the Truck Crops Experiment Station near Crystal Springs on Oct. 5 and 6 and the North Mississippi Experiment Station at Verona on Oct. 13.


 Occasionally I encounter a weakened lawn or athletic field that appears to have symptoms of drought stress, or disease attack even though adequate water and preventative fungicides have been applied. Upon closer examination billbugs, small turf feeding weevils, are found. Adult billbugs are hard bodied, usually grayish or black, 1/4 inch in length, and have long beak-like snouts with chewing mouthparts at the tip.  Billbug larvae are small, 3/8 inch or less, cream colored legless grubs with yellowish brown heads.
The adults will deposit tiny eggs into the stems and crowns of the turf plants where the young larvae then feed until they become too large then move into the thatch where they continue to feed on stolons, rhizomes and roots.  While zoysia and hybrid Bermudagrass lawns are most often preferred they will also feed on Bahiagrass, centipede, and St. Augustine lawns.  The adults and larvae have been feeding most of the summer but the symptoms get more pronounced near the end of summer as turf growth slows, along with hot, dry conditions.  As cooler weather approaches in the fall the adults will begin to seek sheltered sites in which to overwinter.
Use a shovel to lift a small one foot square section of the turf with about an inch of soil from the ground for close inspection for evidence of the grubs as you crumble the soil from the turf roots.  While the best management for control is to apply a preventative insecticide in the spring prior to egg hatch conventional soil insecticides can be applied in the spring or fall to kill adults and larvae feeding on crowns, stolons, and roots.  For more detailed information refer to extension publication #2331 “Control Insect Pests in and around the Home Lawn.”

Frost Is Not Far Off
The long range forecast for most of Mississippi over the next three months is for average temperatures and average to above average rainfall. This means there will be frost this fall. Exactly when the frost will occur is not predicted. Average rainfall is about fifteen inches for the October through December period. Vegetable gardeners should keep an eye on the rain gauge and be ready to irrigate when less than an inch falls in a week.If normal patterns hold we may go two weeks with no rain and then have a week with three inches.
Greens growers should be enjoying the beautiful sunsets we are having and lingering through dusk to see if little white to light green or light yellow butterflies are hovering over their collards. The butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves near the edge. The imported cabbageworm is one of the worst leaf feeding caterpillars and consumes large quantities of crucifer family leaves. The young caterpillars are much easier to kill than large ones.
Fall Equinox – What It Means For Gardeners

Sept. 22 marked the start of fall or autumnal equinox.  The fall equinox marks the official end of summer (although in the south temperatures are still telling us summer isn’t over).  During the equinox, the length of night and day across the world is nearly, but not entirely, equal. This is because the day is slightly longer in places that are further away from the equator, and because the sun takes longer to rise and set in these locations. Furthermore, the sun takes longer to rise and set farther from the equator because it does not set straight down – it moves in a horizontal direction.
The sun is directly above the earth’s equator during this time. After this day, daylight hours will continue to decrease until the shortest day (in terms of daylight hours) of the year, which is the winter solstice on December 21 – notable this year because this date is the end of the Mayan calendar.  
The sun appears south of the equator from September until the vernal equinox in March. That’s why landscape designers place deciduous tress or large shrubs on the south side of the house—to provide shade during the summer months, but after leaves fall, to allow the sun, which is low in the southern sky to warm and brighten the interior of the house.
As the amount of light decreases over the next several months, your plants will begin to notice the change.  Leaf color change and a general slow down in growth are just a few of the ways plants will respond to the shorter days.  If you have houseplants many of these will go into a slow-growth period.  For this reason you won’t need to fertilize your plants as often (unless they are showing signs of deficiencies). Also take note of the amount of light that comes into your house during the coming months; make sure your plants continue to receive the light they need to survive. Although houseplants are slowing their growth, be sure to periodically check their moisture level so that they don’t dry out.

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