Last weekend was filled with Halloween parties every night for my family. Friday night my son’s kindergarten class held a Halloween carnival, Saturday night we had a pumpkin carving and chili cookout at my house and Sunday night my church had a hayride. The only thing missing at these three events was the cool weather, just going by the temperatures you might could have gotten confused for a July Fourth weekend.
The harvest season is almost over in the county and for the most part it was uneventful. This was one of the only harvest that I remember that wasn’t affected by wet, rainy weather. Unfortunately, dry weather and warm temperatures took a toll on some of the soybean and corn crops throughout the growing season. The cotton and sweet potato crops seem to be above average for the most part.
There is a Cattleman’s Association Meeting at the Multi-Purpose Building in Coffeeville at 6:30 on Nov. 3. The program will be presented by an ADM Feeds representative on nutrition programs. A meal will be provided for this event and non-members will be asked to pay $10 for the meal. Please contact the Extension office at 662-675-2730 by Wednesday, Nov. 2, at noon to reserve your seat.
Before freezing weather hits, bring in houseplants you had set outside for the summer.
Many indoor plants are topical in origin and could be injured by cold temperatures (in the 40s) even before freezing weather comes. Clean the pots and spray with a broad-spectrum pesticide to kill any lingering insects. It is also a good idea to apply a fire ant pesticide to the pot as well to prevent you bringing in unwanted guests.
Read and follow all label directions for these pesticides. Check out the Extension publications online that provide information on fire ant control and controlling pests on ornamentals. This is the web address for Extension Publications http://msucares.com/pubs/index.html. You can type in key words to find the pub with the information you need.
Remove dead plants
As annual and perennial tops die, cut the plants to the ground and remove all dead material. Dead plants are an invitation to fungus and disease. I like to leave a few plants like the ornamental grasses and other plants, such as purple coneflower, sunflowers, and others that provide winter cover and food for birds and other wildlife. Ornamental grasses can be attractive even when dead with their plumes swaying in the winter breezes.
It doesn’t feel like it, but cooler weather is coming! Take care of your feathered friends by setting out a feeder soon to provide an alternative food source for birds. The drought has made it difficult for some of the summer and fall crops of nuts, fruits and seeds to mature, so keep the feeder well stocked, and clean it regularly. Also, provide a water source for birds, as so many of the regular water areas used by wildlife have dried up due to no rain in many parts of the state.
Warm days and cool nights have allowed cool season and warm season vegetables to co-exist in the garden. Tomatoes are taking much longer to ripen now than in summer due to both cooler temperatures and shorter days. Tomatoes would ripen from blusher to red in 10 days in July, but now may take as much as three weeks. Just be patient and watch the weather forecast. It is better to pick tomatoes just before a freeze than just after.
Cold crops and greens are growing very well now. Examine them for pale color and add a little nitrogen rich fertilizer when color fades from green. Plants will lose color due to lack of water as well as lack of nutrients, so be sure you are supplying an inch of water each week before you add fertilizer.
This extended warm spell may allow you to plant strawberries a little later than normal. Strawberry plants are planted in fall for spring production to allow the plants to grow large enough to support the fruit load in spring. The plants are very cold tolerant and will survive just about any temperature in a typical Mississippi winter if they are well rooted and have acclimated to the cold.