Poplarville, MS 39470
810 Highway 26 W.
Poplarville, MS 39470
(Our offices are located in the USDA-ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory building at the intersection of Hwy. 26 and Hwy. 11.)
Office Phone: (601) 795-4525
The South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station is an off-campus research facility of Mississippi State University's Coastal Research and Extension Center and a branch of the statewide Mississippi Forestry and Experiment Station system. The USDA-ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory is also located at the station.
at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station
711 W. North St., Poplarville, MS 39470
From the intersection of Highways 11 and 26, go ½ mile north on Hwy. 11 and one block west on W. North Street. The Trial Gardens are located across the street from Pearl River Community College.
The climate is characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. The average January low is 38°F and the average July high is 91°F. Average annual rainfall is 61 inches. The Trial Gardens are located in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, AHS Plant Heat Zone 9, and Sunset Climate Zone 28.
Public Viewing of the Trial Gardens
The Trial Gardens are open to the public daily during daylight hours.
Poplarville Blueberry Jubilee: Second Saturday in June (with wagon tours of the station).
Ornamental Horticulture Field Day: First Thursday in October (walking tours and presentations).
Plant Trialing and Display Programs
Annual (seed and vegetative) and perennial variety trials and display of new and recent varieties from commercial breeding companies, plant introduction companies, and nurseries.
All-America Selections (AAS) Ornamental Seed Trials, AAS Ornamental Vegetative Trials, AAS Perennial Trials (new), and an AAS Display Garden.
Woody and perennial plant trials in cooperation with other Southeastern U.S. universities and the U.S. National Arboretum (SERA-IEG-27).
Commercial Plant Trials
We do not charge fees for our plant trials. We conduct unbiased trials and report the results as a service to the green industry, Extension personnel, and home gardeners throughout Mississippi, and other interested parties in the Northern Gulf Coast region and beyond.
Cool-season trials (cold-tolerant annuals): Seeds arrive by August, plants go into the ground in October, and variety performance is rated every 3 weeks through the winter.
Spring trials (frost-tolerant annuals): Seeds arrive by November, rooted cuttings arrive by early January, plants go into the ground in early February, and variety performance is rated every 3 weeks through the spring.
Warm-season trials (summer annuals): Seeds arrive by January, rooted cuttings arrive by mid-March, plants go into the ground in mid-April, and variety performance is rated every 3 weeks through the spring and summer.
Perennial and woody plant trials: Planting and evaluation schedules vary according to the type of plant.
We aim to have 12 plants of each variety for trials. Most trials are conducted in full sun beds; some trials are conducted in containers or in part-sun (part-shade) beds.
Reporting of Results
Results of commercial annual trials are sent to the commercial suppliers at the end of the season. Results are also entered into the National Plant Trials Database for supplies that participate in this program. Results of perennial trials are sent to suppliers based upon prior arrangement.
For more information contact: Dr. Eugene Blythe
The aim of HighLights newsletter is to keep nursery and landscape professionals, Extension and research personnel, Master Gardeners, horticultural suppliers, and home gardeners up-to-date on news from the Trial Gardens and horticultural research at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville.
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