BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana gardeners can work in their yards almost every day of the year, but spring is prime time for gardening.
The LSU AgCenter has announced a lineup of garden shows that kick off in March and continue into May in Hammond, Covington, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, New Orleans and Houma.
March 8, Hammond
The Hammond Spring Garden Day will be held March 8 at the LSU AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station at 21549 Old Covington Highway (La. Highway 1067 just off U.S. Highway 190) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This year’s program will feature plants for sale, a plant swap, educational gardening seminars and children’s activities, said Sandra Benjamin, LSU AgCenter extension agent.
“You can ask about your plant problems and get gardening advice and plant information all in one place,” Benjamin said.
Speakers will include Mike Seal, owner of The Funny Farm, who will discuss “pupping” Bromeliads at 9:30. At 11:30, LSU AgCenter horticulture specialist Kiki Fontenot will discuss tomato gardening and varieties. At 1:30, Robert Taylor, a board member of the Louisiana Beekeepers Association, will talk on beginner backyard beekeeping.
Commercial and educational exhibits, commercial vendors and concessions will be available.
“Tours of the station will showcase some of the research being conducted there,” Benjamin said. “You will also be able to pick up soil sample boxes to mail to the LSU AgCenter soil lab for testing.”
Those attending spring garden day are asked to bring nonperishable food items to donate to the Tangi Food Pantry.
Admission is $5 per vehicle. Only cash and checks will be accepted at the gate and at all vendors, Benjamin said.
The event is open to the public and is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter and the Tangipahoa Parish Master Gardeners Association.
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 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 other 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.
“At this year’s show, you also will be able to walk next door and talk to some of the world’s best chili cooks,” Himelrick said.
In addition to the garden show and the eighth annual Louisiana State and Regional Chili Cook-off, participants also can visit the fifth annual Baton Rouge Spring Car Show and the events’ first Koi and Goldfish Show.
Children’s activities also will be available.
For more information contact Himelrick at 225-578-2222.
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.
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. It will also highlight the 100th year of the Cooperative Extension Service.
Andrew Loyd, LSU AgCenter horticulture agent in Orleans Parish, said one addition to the show will be an exhibit promoting the AgMagic event that will be held in May at Docville Farms in Mereaux.
Speakers on April 5 will include Dan Gill, LSU AgCenter horticulturist; Bobby Fletcher, LSU AgCenter urban agriculture program leader, and Linda Auld from Barber Laboratories.
April 6 speakers will include Robin Tanner, Tanner Landscapes, Inc.; Melanie Lewis Ivey, LSU AgCenter extension plant pathologists and Linda Visanau, Master Gardener of Greater New Orleans.
Master Gardeners and LSU AgCenter horticulture experts will be available to answer questions from homeowners, who also may bring soil samples for analysis by the LSU AgCenter's Soil Testing Lab.
Exhibits and sales booths will be featured throughout the botanical garden. And again this year, 4-H members will be helping in the kid’s discovery area.
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.
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, LSU AgCenter nutrition agent; and Allen Owings, LSU AgCenter horticulturist.
Admission is $3 for adults, and children 12 and under enter free.
For more information, contact Barton Joffrion at 985-873-6495.
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