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Get Ready for Gardening

Get ready for spring gardening by attending one of the LSU AgCenter-sponsored shows. Experts will be at all the shows giving advice, making presentations and answering your questions. Here is a schedule:

March 14-15, Covington

The LSU AgCenter and the St. Tammany Master Gardener Association will hold the 2014 Northshore Garden Show and Plant Sale March 14-15 at the St Tammany Fairgrounds in Covington.

Speakers for Friday, March 14, will include Mariah Bock on insect control in the home garden, Allen Owings on considerations for the 2014 garden, Scotty May on home watermelon production and Dan Gill on ornamental grasses in the home garden.

Speakers for Saturday, March 15, will include Buddy Lee on Southern Living plant varieties, Ron Strahan on weed control, and a cooking demonstration by Chefs Nealy and Keith Frentz of Lola restaurant.

Gates will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 14, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 15. Admission is $5 for adults. All proceeds fund the Bobby Fetcher, Sr. Memorial Scholarship. For more information, contact William Afton at 985-875-2635.

March 21-22, Lake Charles

The Southwest Louisiana Garden Conference and Expo 2014 is celebrating its 15th annual show and plant extravaganza in Lake Charles March 21-22 at Burton Coliseum at 7001 Gulf Highway in Lake Charles.

The Federated Garden Clubs of Southwest Louisiana will present “Art in Bloom,” their 2014 flower show theme. Educational programs will include home vegetable gardening and fruit production on Friday and ornamentals and landscape gardening and herbs on Saturday.

The event will include a plant health clinic with LSU AgCenter experts and Master Gardeners to answer gardening questions. The festival also will include vendors who will have many plants and gardening-related items for sale.

The Garden Expo is a wholesome, educational environment and the perfect activity to bring together friends and families, said LSU AgCenter extension horticulturist, Robert Turley.

He said the Expo attracts more than 4,000 garden lovers, residents and visitors each year.

Hours for the event are Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

For more information, visit www.gardenfest.org, or contact Turley at 337-475-8812.

March 29-30, Baton Rouge

The 12th annual Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show is set for March 29-30 at the John M. Parker Coliseum on Highland Road in Baton Rouge. The show will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and include local nurseries and vendors selling plants and other garden wares, including tools, pots, ornaments and landscaping materials.

LSU AgCenter horticulturist David Himelrick said the floor of the coliseum will be transformed into a world of plants and gardens for the event.

In addition to the garden show, the eighth annual Louisiana State and Regional Chili Cook-off will be held that weekend. “You will be able to walk next door and talk to some of the world’s best chili cooks,” Himelrick said.

Participants also can visit the fifth annual Baton Rouge Spring Car Show and the event’s first Koi and Goldfish Show.

Children’s activities also will be available. For more information, contact Himelrick at 225-578-2222.

April 5-6, New Orleans

The 2014 New Orleans Spring Garden Show will be held at the City Park Botanical Garden April 5-6 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. This year the show is celebrating its 35th year.

Speakers on April 5 include Dan Gill, LSU AgCenter horticulturist, presenting the 2014 Super Plants selections at 11:30 a.m. Bobby Fletcher, LSU AgCenter urban agriculture program leader, will present 100 years of extension at 1 p.m., and Linda Auld from Barber Laboratories will discuss the wonderful world of butterflies at 2:30 p.m.

Speakers on April 6 include Robin Tanner with Tanner Landscapes, Inc., presenting the Southern shade garden at 11:30 a.m. Melanie Lewis Ivy, LSU AgCenter plant pathologist, will discuss citrus canker and the Texas Phoenix palm decline at 1 p.m., and Linda Visanau, Master Gardener of Greater New Orleans, will present the history of Master Gardeners of Greater New Orleans at 2:30 p.m.

Master Gardeners and LSU AgCenter horticulture experts will be available to answer questions from homeowners, who also may pick up soil sample boxes for analysis by the LSU AgCenter's Soil Testing Lab.

Exhibits and sales booths will be featured throughout the botanical garden.

Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 5-12. Children under 5 and members of Friends of City Park may enter for free.

The New Orleans Spring Garden Show is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter in cooperation with the Metro Area Horticulture Foundation and the New Orleans Botanical Garden. More information about the Spring Garden Show is available from Bernestine McGhee at 504-658-2900.

April 11-12, Alexandria

The 2014 Central Louisiana Garden Expo will be held at the State Evacuation Shelter in Alexandria on April 11-12. The expo will feature vendor booths, lawn and garden items, educational gardening seminars, and plants and supplies, according to LSU AgCenter regional director Boyd Padgett.

This two-day event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and is open to the public, Padgett said. “We will have garden clubs and plants societies involved on this year’s program, and we’ll also have a question-and-answer booth,” he said.

Padgett said the Central Louisiana Garden Expo is a nonprofit event with the mission of educating the public about gardening, landscaping and horticultural practices.

Admission to the garden expo is $2. It is being sponsored by the Hickory Hill Nursery, Doug Young Nursery and the Louisiana Mayhaw Association, along with the AgCenter. The State Evacuation Shelter is located south of the LSU-Alexandria campus on U.S. Highway 71. For more information, contact Padgett at 318-427-4424.

May 3, Houma

The TARC Garden & Market Festival will be held Sat., May 3, at the Houma Airbase from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This show will include plant sales, educational booths, Ask the LSU AgCenter Experts and children’s activities. Speakers on the program include Kathleen Cuneo, Master Gardener; Debbie Melvin, AgCenter nutrition agent; and Allen Owings, AgCenter horticulturist. Admission is $3 for adults, and children 12 and under enter free. For more information, contact Barton Joffrion at 985-873-6495.

The LSU AgCenter is one of 10 institutions of higher education in the Louisiana State University System. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, it provides educational services in every parish and conducts research that contributes to the economic development of the state. The LSU AgCenter plays an integral role in supporting agricultural industries, protecting the environment, and improving the quality of life through its 4-H youth, family and community programs.

Last Updated: 3/13/2014 3:25:37 PM

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