Free garden and landscape seminars at Meridian library start April 18
By By Steve Strong / horticulture columnist
April 9, 2003
Good Friday falls this week and is the official planting date for summer crops in South Mississippi.
Hoping that the last frost is now behind us, gardeners are getting down to some serious spring planting and are probably deciding what to do different this growing season.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is here to help and is sponsoring a three-part series on Home Gardens and Landscapes beginning Friday. The Meridian Public Library is celebrating National Library Week and is offering the free garden workshops as a bring-your-own "Brown Bag Lunch" for the working class gardener each week from noon to 1 p.m.
The programs are open to the public and will feature special topics each week, beginning with backyard fruit and vegetable gardening on Friday. The following program, on April 25, is on home lawn care with tips on fertilizing, mowing, pest scouting and weed control options.
The third weekly seminar set for May 2 features flower gardening with annuals and perennials. It will cover other basic landscape maintenance, too. Trees, shrubs, herbs or roses whatever the topic your questions will be answered at these free events.
Gardeners can bring in plant samples for free diagnosis of disease or insect problems and also can have mystery plants from their gardens identified. Free gardening publications and handouts will be available to pick up, and the Extension Service office is just a couple of blocks away to obtain extra information on any horticultural topic under the sun.
The gardening workshops will be a great opportunity to bring in lawn or garden soil samples for testing, which will submitted through the Mississippi State Soil Testing Lab. Though not a free service, the cost is still just $6 per pint-size sample and is payable by check or money order only.
Home vegetable growers can expect to learn secret gardening tricks from the masters, such as "when planting certain crops by the light of the moon, take along a flashlight." Or how about the best way to get rid of noxious weeds like nutgrass or Florida betony?
Don't forget the best solutions for mole problems in the home lawn, which include a sharp pitchfork or a good fast tomcat kept a little on the hungry side.
Apologies for the bad horticultural humor, but I'm still playing catch-up from April Fool's. Seriously, though, for more information on the brown bag lunch Home Garden and Landscape workshops, contact the Lauderdale County Extension Service at 482-9764.
For online garden information as close as your computer screen, visit the Extension Service Web site at www.msucares.com. And don't forget one of the best cost-free resources of information anywhere, your hometown Meridian Public Library.