Daylight Savings Time is here

Published 12:43 am Sunday, March 9, 2008

Finally it’s here daylight savings, one of my favorite days of the year.

I can finally stay outside past 7:30 with full light and get more done around the house or barn.

So now that you have more time to spend in the yard you can begin spending more time developing your garden and beautifying your yard.

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Below are suggestions to some common calls we have been receiving about planting your vegetable garden and controlling ants.

Q. When should I start planting corn in my garden?

Corn planting is determined by several factors but mainly soil temperature. Soil temperatures are vital for producing a productive stand of quality corn.

The temperatures we are looking for are 55 degrees F at a depth of 2 inches and 50 degrees Fahrenheit at a depth of 6 inches.

Generally in south Mississippi Feb. 25 through March 15 is the target planting date. So if you have not planted your sweet corn yet you can go ahead and do so now.

Q. Can you put ant poison in flower beds and vegetable gardens?

I would never recommend putting any type of ant poison directly on vegetables or in the vegetable garden. Instead put ant bait around the edges of the vegetable garden.

It is called ant bait is because the ants go looking for it so even if you put it on the edges it should control what is on the inside.

Flower beds are OK as long as you follow the directions on the label.

Here are some other things to consider when preparing for fire ant control using baits instead of sprays.

4 Buy and use only as much as is needed. Most ant baits contain vegetable oils to help attract the ants and they will go rancid over time and reduce the effectiveness.

So buy only what you need for the season, don’t stockpile ant bait for future years.

4 Be proactive. If you had ants last spring and summer there is a very high probability you will have them again this year.

Baits do not work fast and require some time for maximum effectiveness, so I would recommend you begin applying it now.

Chances are you will not kill every mound with one application so a second application may be needed.

4 Don’t over apply baits. Most of the baits recommend only a few ponds per acre, this is not much.

It may seems like you are not putting anything out, and this is probably right.

Instead of spending the money to put out excessive amounts of bait, it would be much better served and provide better results to do a split application several weeks apart.

Also do not be worried about missing a few spots with baits, fire ant workers are searching for food which is one reason baits are so effective.

4 Be consistent. If you want to achieve complete control there are several new and improved products out on the market.

But you may still need to consider a spring, mid-summer, and fall application if you have young kids and pets that spend a lot of time outdoors like I have.

David Carter is the director of the Adams County Extension Service.