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Start Fall Garden in August, Says Horticulturist

Distributed 7/25/03


Early August marks the beginning of Louisiana’s fall gardening season. The adage that timing is everything applies to fall gardening in Louisiana, says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske.

Many crops need to be planted at this time, and the fall window of planting is often critical, the horticulture expert says. There’s something to do in each part of the month. July and early August, for example, are the times to transplant tomatoes and bell peppers. They’re also good times to plant seeds for broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, collards, mustard, turnips, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, lima beans and southern peas.

Planting okra at this time, however, is another story, Koske cautions. It might be productive only in southern parishes where the season is longer.

In mid- to late August, plant seeds for beets, collards, mustard, turnips, snap beans, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Late in the month, plant bulbs for green shallots and Irish potatoes. Also, in late August and early September, transplant broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

Mid- to late-summer production ushers in special problems. The high heat often makes droughts critical. Try to keep soil moisture uniform. Mulches will help. Insects are a worse problem. This late in the season, we often find several generations of insect pests, each one larger than the previous. "That’s a good reason not to try fall corn," the horticulturist says.

Fall gardeners must be more observant and prepared to battle insect pests. The good news is that fall is generally dry, and diseases could be less of a problem unless they are insect spread.

Other fall crops will need to be planted during the second part of the fall gardening season, which begins in September-early October. Seeding for these include carrots, endive, lettuce, onion, parsley, English peas, bulbing shallots and radish. Plant garlic in October.

For additional information about preparing for fall gardens, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office. In addition, please visit the Lawn & Garden and Get It Growing sections of the LSU AgCenter Web site

Source: Tom Koske (225) 578-2222, or E-mail.

Last Updated: 9/23/2011 1:51:14 PM
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