Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for the ‘Horticulture’ Category

Question of the week – Peanut Tree (Cassia)

Posted by romeethredge on December 4, 2015

Last week I had a photo of a small tree we sometimes grow here that is really nice, but affected by hard cold. We call it a peanut tree due to the resemblance to a peanut’s leaves and blooms and it is in the same plant family, but it’s one of the Cassias. Often it’s known as Cassia bicapsularis or Butterfly Bush. IMG_9409


Mississipi Extension has a nice article about it at this link. Here’s an excerpt.

“While other trees are preparing for winter, butterfly bush is just waking up in the fall. This sprawling, semi-evergreen shrub, reaching a height of 8 to 10 feet with an equal spread, produces blossoms in fall that resemble golden butterflies. Bright yellow flowers appear at a time of year when little else is in bloom. This plant has a place in any sunny landscape.

Winter CassiaA touch of the tropics in a landscape setting is always a pleasure, especially when it comes at an unexpected time. That’s what you get with fall blooming Senna bicapsularis, which is in full bloom right now along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Its sunny yellow tropical flowers have a lot of people wondering what it is. Senna bicapsularis has many common names including Butterfly Cassia, Winter Cassia, Butterfly Bush and Christmas Senna. Whatever it may be called, when in bloom, this plant becomes a point of special interest and the talk of the neighborhood.

Winter Cassia is one of those plants that originated in the tropics, probably South America or Africa where it freely distributes itself by seed. Somehow it made its way to the U.S. and is frequently used along the Gulf Coast and in Florida landscapes. Its official cold hardiness varies, depending on whom you ask, but I feel safe saying it is a hardy perennial in zone 8. That is, it will die back to the ground each winter in south Mississippi but will resprout each spring and grow 8 to 10 feet tall and about as wide then bloom like crazy in the fall. In tropical regions it becomes a large shrub or small tree.”


This week’s question is about a pig. We had our Market Hog weigh in last week and I was glad to see this pig because it reminded me of one I exhibited in 5th grade. What kind of pig is this, what predominant breed?




Posted in Agriculture, Horticulture, Livestock | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Question of the Week – Macrophoma Rot

Posted by romeethredge on August 19, 2015

Last week I had a photo of a muscadine with a spot on it. We get several disease caused spots on muscadines and some caused by insects. This one is Macrophoma rot and it can occur worse during rainy times and seems to be worse on certain varieties.  Fungicide sprays early in the season go a long way towards helping have a good muscadine harvest. Agent Mark Crosby wrote a good article about this you can link to here.

Macrophoma rot (Botryosphaeria dothidea) causes small, sunken, black fruit spots that are round with distinct edges in the early part of the season. As harvest approaches, these spots may develop a greasy-looking soft rot around the initial lesion. A halo develops around the black spot and the entire fruit may rot just before harvest. Infections are sometimes not visible until the soft rot stage occurs.

This week I was asked to identify weeds for folks and I got one weed twice in the same week. So I’ll make it the question of the week. What is this plant?

And the Bonus question: What is the song about it, or at least it’s mentioned in the song?IMG_0552

Posted in Agriculture, Horticulture, Weeds | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Question of the Week – Red Breast Sunfish

Posted by romeethredge on July 10, 2015

Last week I had a photo of a Red Breast Sunfish that we often call Red Belly bream, they are fun to catch and good to eat.

Here’s are comments from Dr. Gary Burtle UGA Scientist,”This is a red breast sunfish.  Note the long black opercular flap.  Some confuse with the long ear sunfish, but that one is not as likely to be red bellied.”


This week I have a photo of a yard ornamental tree and I want you to identify it and tell me what are the problems that folks have with them?




Posted in Horticulture, Wildlife | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Question of the Week – Snuggling

Posted by romeethredge on March 20, 2015

Last week I had a photo of some carrots that had recently been harvested that were twisted. Bob Youmans said that you know it’s been a very cold winter and the carrots grew that way because they were snuggling to try to keep warm.

I wrote our UGA Vegetable scientist, Dr. Tim Coolong about it and he said he can’t argue with that answer. He said, “I’ve seen this before in sweet potatoes, too. Usually I see it in a little heavier soil- typically not chemical/herbicide related just usually odd root growth due to growing conditions – it has been cold though…….”



What’s happening here? How are these seeds defying gravity, sideways on the plate?IMG_5966

Posted in Agriculture, Horticulture, vegetables | Leave a Comment »

Pruning Yard Citrus Trees

Posted by romeethredge on February 5, 2015

We have citrus trees in lots of our yards and most could use some pruning. Most all our citrus trees are grafted, so they have a rootstock that is undesirable for good fruit production. Often we have freezes or other problems that kill some of the top or grafted part of the tree and we have some rootstock that grows up and tries to take over. Usually the fruit from the rootstock will be small, full of seeds and sour. Sometimes all the good wood is dead and we need to start over with a good tree.

What I often see is a real need to prune out this wood and now’s a good time to do it. I went to a yard today that had rootstock taking over a good Satsuma tree. We could tell what was the rootstock since the improved variety of satsuma had no thorns and had large leaves. The undesirable wood had lots of sharp thorns. The solution is to cut it out and keep cutting as it will try to come back. My finger below is behind one of the thorns. See the branch behind my hand has no thorns and will be good for good fruit.



The gardener ended up cutting more than half the tree away (see it laying on the ground), to get out the bad wood.  But, now things will get better.


We have sustained some winter injury to trees and so we should wait for new growth to come out and then prune back to good wood at that point, if needed.

Here’s a link to our UGA brochure.  Citrus Trees In Georgia

Posted in Fruits, Horticulture | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Question of the Week – Stinkhorn

Posted by romeethredge on January 8, 2015

To answer the question last week , my fellow county agent in Coffee county, Mark von Waldner said, “Stink horn mushroom. Seen them occasionally from clients in wooded areas usually. They stink, but are colorful.” This one is likely the Column Stinkhorn.


Yes, the Stink horn mushroom lives up to its name with a bad smell that attracts insects to it that will spread the spores elsewhere so that it can reproduce. They are odd looking and sometimes appear in yards after wet periods. Click here to link to a UGA article concerning mushrooms in yards. Click here for a UGA Urban Ag Mushroom article.


This week’s question is about a dam and a waterway. I’m just below a dam here. What dam is this and what river is it? This photo was taken a couple of months ago.


Posted in Horticulture, Water | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Love – Hate relationship : Mistletoe

Posted by romeethredge on December 23, 2014

I have a love – hate relationship with Mistletoe. I love it when my wife kisses me under it, but I hate to see it growing in trees because it can hurt them.


We have a good UGA publication concerning it and other things we see growing in trees, The Truth about Slime Molds, Spanish Moss, Lichens and Mistletoe.

 “Mistletoe is an evergreen parasitic plant found on a wide plant host range. Mistletoe obtains water and minerals from the host tree, but it is not totally dependent.

 Leaves of the mistletoe contain chlorophyll and are capable of making their own food from carbon dioxide and water like other plants. Birds feed on the berries produced and excrete them to new hosts. When the seeds germinate, it grows through the bark and into the vascular system of the host where it obtains water and minerals .

 The mistletoe grows slowly at first and it may be years before seeds are produced. Healthy trees are able to tolerate small mistletoe infestations, but individual branches may be compromised and susceptible to wind or cold injuries. Heavy infestations may reduce the overall plant health or kill a tree especially if the tree is already stressed from environmental factors.

 Since mistletoe takes several years to produce seed simply removing it will provide some protection. Mistletoe may also be pruned out one foot below the point of attachment. If the mistletoe is located on a main limb or trunk, removing the top of the mistletoe and wrapping the cut with an opaque plastic to prevent sunlight may be beneficial. In addition to these mechanical controls, the growth regulator ethephon may be used when the host is dormant.”

Posted in Horticulture, Wildlife | Leave a Comment »

Tri-State Cucurbit Meeting – Jan 23, 2015

Posted by romeethredge on December 11, 2014

A cucurbit meeting is coming up in Marianna Florida. This meeting will provide the latest research information for commercial growers of watermelons, cantaloupe, squash and other cucurbits.


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Posted in Horticulture, vegetables | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Question of the Week – Pomegranate

Posted by romeethredge on December 11, 2014

Last week I had a photo of Pomegranate blooms.

Domestication of the pomegranate is believed to have begun in Central Asia and Persia nearly 4,000 years
ago, and then spread east and west through hot, arid regions of India, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean coast.

Spanish settlers first introduced the fruit to North America, including missions on the Georgia coast, in the 16th century. Pomegranate has been a reasonably common backyard or dooryard plant in south Georgia for centuries. The plants are long-lived and bear fruit for decades. The origin of the Georgia plants is largely unknown.

The exterior (top) and interior (bottom), of the vase-shaped male (top flower) and peanut-shaped hermaphroditic (bottom flower) pomegranate.

We have a good UGA publication concerning Pomegranates.


This week’s question is…… Where in the world were we in this photo taken on the day after Thanksgiving (my children are in the photo) ?


Posted in Agriculture, Fruits, Horticulture | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Tomato Forum – Quincy, Fla – Dec. 4, 2014

Posted by romeethredge on November 25, 2014

The Tomato Forum is coming up soon.

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Posted in Horticulture, vegetables | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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