Growin’ Green

Call Now For Steak Dinner Reservations

By Brent Gray


We will be having the Yalobusha County Cattle-men’s Association meeting on Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The speakers for the meeting will be Lance Newman and a representative from Ware Milling Company.  
There will be a steak dinner, served sponsored by Yalobusha Feed & Seed and Ware Milling Company.  Please contact our office and reserve your seat by Friday, Nov. 30.
If you placed a cheese order from MSU Cheese store, and designated Yalobusha County as pick-up, it will be at the Multi-Purpose Building by 3:00 p.m. on Dec. 6 for pick-up.

Horticulture Tips
Winter is just a few weeks away and many of our lawns have already experienced a frost or two that has sent our lawns into dormancy for the winter.  This also means that most of us will let our lawn care equipment sit idle until spring growth begins. By making a few simple and easy winter storage preparations to our lawn equipment before storing it away we can ensure it will perform when needed next spring.  A thorough cleaning of equipment to remove dirt, grass clippings etc. will prevent rust and corrosion and will reveal any damaged or worn parts that may need replacing.  Changing the oil, cleaning the air filters, and even replacing the spark plugs on gasoline engines before storage will have them ready to go when needed.  If these engines will not be run for at least two months it is recommended that the fuel tanks be drained and the engines run until all fuel is out of the carburetors. A couple alternative options are to add a gasoline stabilizer (Sta-Bil) to the fuel tanks to prevent the gas from separating and leaving gum and varnish deposits to clog the fuel system.  Another option is to put a small amount of fresh fuel in the tanks and run the engines for about ten minutes each month. Now is a great time to purchase new equipment if you have equipment that has seen its better days as many dealers offer some great year-end bargains.
The clear skies and mild temperatures we are having now has prompted many gardeners to get out and get their vegetable area in shape. Current temperatures are ideal for leafy greens and other cool season crops. Reports of excellent growth of  mustard, collards, turnips and rape are coming in.  You can plant leafy greens all winter long. The last planting can be as late as April in colder counties.
 
Cabbage Plants

Some cabbage family plants may be running out of fertilizer and showing lighter colored lower leaves and slower growth. Cooler soil temperatures slow down the mineralization of organic matter. Adding a readily available  fertilizer like fish emulsion or one of the blue water soluble ones may increase growth. This late season fertilization is most beneficial on broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Avoid fertilizing cabbage after the heads are starting to firm as the increased growth may cause the heads to split.
 This is the time to be planting onion plants so you can get those huge prize winning bulbs next Spring. The new world’s record for an onion bulb is over eighteen pounds and was set a couple months ago. We probably won’t be growing any that size, but a two pound bulb is obtainable when the plant is established in December and not stressed for light, space, water or nutrients.
 
Spring Bulbs

Set out crocuses, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths now. If you live on the coast where these bulbs do not get enough cold weather, you could try planting them in pots where they will be more exposed to cold. Of course, you coastal dwellers can buy pre-cooled bulbs, pot them up and bring them indoors to bloom.  When planting bulbs in a new bed, mix a slow-release fertilizer such as Holland Bulb Booster (9-9-6) into the soil before planting. Broadcast the fertilizer across the top of established beds as directed on the label.
If you would like to try your hand at forcing cold-hardy bulbs into flower, get a copy of the Extension publication #2730,  Forcing Cold-Hardy Bulbs Indoors, from your County Extension Office or from the web:
http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p2730.pdf.
 
Mulch

There are many good reasons not to pile mulch against the trunks of trees.  One reason is avoid damage to the trunks by voles.  Be sure to leave a few inches of bare ground between the mulch and the trunk.  Even mature trees can be damaged or killed by these burrowing rodents that dine on the sweet cambium layer beneath the bark.
 
Water Gardens

Prune leaves from your water plants, as they turn yellow, and remove fallen tree leaves from the water. Decomposing leaves will rob your fish of oxygen.

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