Fruit Trees May Have Dodged The Bullet
I was out at a couple of different places this weekend and noticed some fruit trees in bloom. I know a lot of fruit growers were really worried when we had the temps down in the 20s a couple of weeks ago but, from what I saw this weekend on some blueberries, peaches and plums, I couldn’t find a lot of damage. Several of the plums and peaches had set fruit and seemed to be okay so maybe we dodged that bullet in the area.
The AIMS tournament has come and gone with a total count of around 2,384 kids participating in the three-day tournament. This event is huge for our building and the county. The tournament was the smoothest one that I have been a part of so far, thanks to all of the volunteers from the community and 4-H Shooting Sports.
I am not a big basketball fan but I did watch the last couple of games of the season for the Lady Bulldogs of Mississippi State. Both of the games were very good and even though they didn’t win the National Championship, they certainly deserved to be there in the game. I look forward to next year watching the Lady Dawgs go for the championship again.
I will be offering a series of vegetable growing classes over the next few weeks, starting on April 6th at 6 p.m. at the Multi-purpose building in Coffeeville. These classes are for the commercial grower as well as the home gardener. We have a set agenda each meeting but will also have open discussion on growing practices and culture. The cost of the class will be $10. If interested call the Extension office at 662-675-2730.
The Coffeeville Saddle Club will host a speed show on Saturday, April 8th, at the Multi-purpose Building in Coffeeville. The show will start at noon and there will be a concession stand provided by the 4-H Horse Club.
Tips for Plants
With garden centers and nurseries full of plants right now and the weather hopefully settling down a bit after the recent storms, it is time to get out and purchase some new plants for your yard and garden. With that in mind, here are some plant shopping tips to assist with your selections.
Smart Shopping for Annuals – these are purchased for fast growing, long lasting flowers or foliage. It is important to select healthy plants that have bushy growth that fills the pot. Foliage should be an even green color without obvious disease spots or insect damage. Even though it is tempting to purchase a plant in flower, in many cases, this should be avoided.
A plant in flower, in some cases, has been fed a high nitrogen fertilizer to spur rapid growth and development—this can result in a plant that is a heavy feeder. When these plants are transplanted into the garden and their high-maintenance diet is not maintained they can quickly lose vigor. Look for plants that are just beginning to flower or are in bud. Sometimes plants are flowering because they have been in the pot too long and are too mature and leggy. These should be avoided, or, if purchased, should be cut back to encourage densely branched new growth. Examples of these are verbena, marigold, salvia, and celosia. Continue pinching these plants to get that bushy plant with many flowering stems. Annuals like petunia and impatiens rarely have to be pinched to get bushy growth.
Smart Shopping for Perennials – these are purchased for their longevity in the garden and their season of attractiveness, whether that is foliage color or blooms. Since these plants will be residing in your garden for years to come, selection of well-rooted plants with a good rosette of healthy foliage is important. Most perennials will not be flowering in the pot so you should be familiar with the mature height, width, bloom color and other characteristics of the plant before you make your selection.
Sometimes, this is all on the label, but it is a good idea to talk to the nurseryman or garden center help if you have questions about the performance or hardiness of these plants.
You may ask their permission to pop the plant out of the pot to examine the roots, or ask them to do it for you. The roots should be a light tan or off-white color and be plentiful, but not circling the root ball in a tight mat—this indicates the plant has been held to long in the pot and is pot bound. If you purchase a pot bound plant, before you plant, cut away the circling roots and tease the root ball apart to encourage growth of the new roots outward.
Horticulture tips provided by Dr. Leila Kelly.