Recent cold hurts winter gardens

Staff Writer

   Winter gardens are languishing this year during an unusually cold winter, and some damage from cold may not show up in Grenada County’s flora until the summer, according to an agricultural expert.
   When temperatures get down into the mid-teens like they have recently, even hearty winter staples, like greens, can freeze and wither, said Steve Winters.
   “Any time it gets as cold as it has this year, we’re going to have tissue damage on the leaves, and a brown leafy vegetable isn’t something you want to eat,” said Winters, an agent with the Mississippi State Extension Service.
   Throughout the county people’s turnip, kale, mustard and collard greens are turning brown, and Winters said that in most cases it will be better to cut the loss, till the dead veg under and replant.
   “This is also the time of year when people are thinking about planting things like English peas and Irish potatoes, so the tilling again might not be so bad,” said Winters.

   Wooded plants that beautify Grenada yards are feeling the brunt of the cold weather as well, Winters said.
   “Folks are starting to wonder about pruning now, because in places the plants are looking brown and ugly,” said Winters.
   He recommend waiting a  few weeks, until the plants start to green, so that it’s easier to determine how far back to cut.
   “You always want to cut back just to the green, healthy wood,” said Winters.

For the full story, see the online edition or the printed edition of the GrenadaStar.

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