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Kyle’s News and Reviews

Parades Lead To Sugar Overdoses For Family

Last Friday I attended the Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture’s 50th Field Day at Roberts Tree Farm in Winona.  Despite being bitterly cold this was an informative and productive meeting.  Dr. David Nagel and Dr. Jeff Wilson talked about vegetable production as well as fruit and nut production.  Dr. David Nagel talked about seed selection and also fielded questions from the group.  Several of the questions were concerning GMO’s (Genetically modified organisms) and Dr. Nagel gave an in depth discussion on the definition of GMOs.  There is a lot of falsehood and misconceptions on GMOs in particular I have seen a lot of this pertaining to GMOs and hybrids.  I will not go into detail about this but encourage all of you to do some educated research on these topics, but please use reliable sources for your research like university studies, Extension websites, etc., not just some blog that a guy is writing in the middle of the night in his parent’s basement. The rest of the Field Day Dr. Jeff Wilson talked about fruit and nut varieties and also gave some hands on instructions about proper pruning techniques.  

Saturday was a day full of parades and subsequent overdose on sugary candy for my family.  My wife, Lauren, took our two boys, Levi, age five, and Luke, age two to the Coffeeville parade at 11 a.m. and then I meet them in Water Valley for the parade there.  I only was able to see the Water Valley parade and I must say it was larger than I expected.  I think all of the civic groups and organizations in Water Valley were well represented.  I really appreciate all of the candy that my boys were able to compile (2 grocery sacks) from the Parades on Saturday, they didn’t go to sleep until Sunday night.  

Just a quick reminder to all Extension clients our offices will be closed December 20 and will reopen on January 3, 2017.  I want to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I also want to thank everyone who helped and supported me in my first year with the Extension Service – it really has been a blast working with all of you. 

Planting and 

Transplanting Perennials

Hardy perennials like astilbe, hosta, rudbeckia, foxglove and others can be planted now. Dormant perennials roots such as daylily, peony, and others can be dug, separated and transplanted during the dormant season. Perennial and annual flowerbeds could probably use a topdressing of compost or other organic matter now.  Gently work this into the soil working around the crowns of your perennials. 

When transplanting perennials be sure and space them with plenty of room to spread next growing season. These plants will grow rapidly and fill in quickly next spring.  Applying mulch after the ground cools is a good way to prevent winter weeds and makes the garden look tidy.  Be sure not to cover the crowns of your dormant perennials or get the mulch too close to the trunks of your trees and shrubs. 



Morris heading collards is an heirloom variety that produces leaves along a central stalk like other collards, but has very short internodes at the top of the stalk. These closely growing leaves resemble a head of cabbage from a distance, but do not curl around each other like cabbage leaves. This variety is less prone to flower when we go through the roller coaster temperatures of December and January than some others. Seeds are available from heirloom seed sources like Baker Creek, Sowtrue Seeds, Sustainable Seeds, Southern Exposure Seeds, Southern States Cooperative and others. Bonnie Plants does provide transplants to some markets. Contact your garden supply center to arrange delivery of plants. 

Always prune the dead material from your vegetable plants after a freeze event. The decay organisms that will grow will create a moist environment that may allow organisms that invade healthy tissue to multiply.

Composting fallen tree leaves is an easy way to make something useful out of a disposal problem. There are detailed instructions about composting in publication 1782 Composting for the Mississippi Gardener available from your local county extension office or online at 

The fallen leaves should alternate layers with green material like pruning from vegetable plants recently killed by low temperatures. The layers of leaves should be at least twice as thick as the green layers.

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