(02/17/17) Every year, Louisiana gardeners see amazingly beautiful beds of pansies, violas, dianthus, snapdragons and many others.
Gardeners are often faced with small spaces when landscaping.
(02/03/17) “Crape murder” is the term that has been coined to describe severely cutting back crape myrtle trees.
(01/27/17) Most roses need at least some annual pruning in the last week of January in south Louisiana through mid-February in north Louisiana.
(01/20/17) If you are considering planting a hedge, now is a great time to get it done.
(01/13/17) Container gardens provide a way to grow vegetables when suitable land is not available.
(01/06/17) What should be done for the landscape after a freezing episode is over? Here’s some general information on what to do and not do.
(12/30/16) The next few weeks are an important time for planting tulips, hyacinths and other bulbs.
(12/23/16) During this busy time of year when giving and receiving gifts are so much part of the season, it’s good to consider the gifts our gardens give us.
(12/16/16) Dormant-season sodding can be successful but it's a little riskier.
(12/09/16) Winter vegetable gardening in Louisiana is tremendously rewarding. Many of the vegetables that we planted earlier are ready to harvest.
(12/02/16) What we generally do with leaves that fall from deciduous tree this time of year is a shame.
(11/25/16) Our gardens are full of plant materials that can add unique beauty to holiday decorations.
(11/18/16) October to March is the prime season for planting hardy trees in Louisiana, and November through early December is an especially good time.
(11/11/16) There is more to flowers than meets the eye or the nose. You can eat many of them.
(11/04/16) Fall is an outstanding time to plant many of the hardy culinary herbs, and one of the most popular is parsley.
(10/28/16) Using weed killers or herbicides should be approached very carefully by the gardener.
(10/21/16) Pansies and violas are popular cool-season bedding plants used to beautify gardens in Louisiana.
(10/14/16) If you want to punch up the color level in your garden from late September to early December, here are some trees, shrubs and perennials to consider.
(10/07/16) Harvesting properly and at the right time is critical to getting the best quality vegetables from your garden.
(09/30/16) Lawn care definitely changes as the weather begins to cool. By October, the growth of warm-season grasses begins to slow down.
(09/23/16) Louisiana irises can be divided and transplanted anytime from August through early October.
(09/16/16) Birds can contribute wonderful things to the enjoyment of a landscape, such as movement, color, sounds and even pest control.
(09/09/16) For those of us living in the Deep South, it would be wishful thinking to think fall weather is a certainty in September.
(09/02/16) It’s time to finish up fertilizing a variety of landscape plants as well as time to prune many shrubs.
(08/19/16) Be on the lookout for pests such as lace bugs, aphids, leaf hoppers, scales, spider mites and whiteflies.
(08/12/16) August is a month when gardeners should think about two important aspects of landscape maintenance – fertilizing and pruning.
(08/05/16) If you maintain a landscape, you deal with weeds.
(07/29/16) Native plants are not used as much as they could be in our landscapes.
(07/22/16) When you think of shade trees in your landscape, you most likely focus on the shade they create outside.
(07/15/16) In Louisiana we’ve been gardening in the tropical style as long as anyone can remember.
(07/08/16) Whether we admit it or not, heat and humidity this time of year make gardening outside less enjoyable.
(07/01/16) In our mild climate, snails and slugs are active and cause damage virtually year-round.
(06/24/16) Although summer can take a toll on landscape plants, especially those planted in the past year or so, most plants manage to make it.
(06/17/16) Fire ants inflict painful stings and create unsightly mounds in our landscapes, so most of us would be happier if there were no fire ants around.
(06/10/16) It’s not too late to add colorful bedding plants to your landscape, but it’s important to choose plants that are able to thrive in the intense heat.
(06/03/16) Trees with problems can be a liability during storms or hurricanes.
(05/27/16) While tomato harvest typically extends into July, high temperatures, diseases and insect problems often reduce the quality of tomatoes harvested.
(05/20/16) A number of misconceptions surround how we prepare soils for planting. Sometimes the advice may sound reasonable, but it may really not be correct.
(05/12/16) When choosing palms, hardiness is a major concern, particularly in north Louisiana.
(05/06/16) The LSU AgCenter has named Serenita Raspberry angelonia a Louisiana Super Plants selection for spring 2016.
(04/25/16) Small children require careful attention outdoors.
Evolution salvia has been named a Louisiana Super Plant selection for spring 2016.
The cucumber family, properly known as the Cucurbitaceae, provides a wide variety of vegetables.
Corn harvested from the home garden and cooked within minutes is considered one of life’s great treats
The condition and type of soil in which you garden has a profound effect on the health and growth of your plants.
One of the more beautiful of our early spring-flowering trees is the Japanese magnolia.
(For Release On 10/30/15) As the weather cools down and nights get nippy over the next few weeks, gardeners need to decide what to do with their outdoor container tropical plants. These beautiful plants, grown for their attractive foliage or beautiful flowers, are commonly placed outside for the summer where they provide a valuable addition to decks, patios and porches. However, these plants will not withstand freezing temperatures and must be brought inside the house for the winter.
(For Release On 10/16/15) Cooler mornings in October make it a joy to get out and work in the home vegetable garden. A number of delicious and nutritious vegetables will thrive in the coming cool season. Indeed, some of our favorite vegetables can only be grown in October through April in Louisiana.
(For Release On 10/02/15) Louisiana gardeners have long been familiar with verbenas. These generally low-growing plants produce clusters of showy flowers in a wide variety of colors. Homestead Purple verbena is considered one of the very best, and it has been selected as a Louisiana Super Plant for fall 2015.
(For Release On 10/09/15) We are entering the prime planting season for hardy trees, shrubs, ground covers and perennials in Louisiana, which runs through early March. That makes this a great time for planning landscaping projects.
(For Release On 09/18/15) Gardeners use the term “volunteer” to describe the seedling of a desirable plant that appears in a garden without having been planted. They can be the offspring of trees and shrubs, but they’re most often the result of seeds dropped by annuals or perennials grown previously.
(For Release On 09/25/15) Many summer-blooming annuals, perennials and vegetables are setting seeds now. You can harvest some of the seeds, store them and then grow a new crop of plants for your garden next year.
(For Release On 09/04/15) For gardeners tired of the heat and longing for cooler weather, September can provide welcome relief. Cool fronts often begin to make their way this far south in September. But days in the 90s are still not uncommon, and after a long, hot summer, these last scorching days are especially hard to bear for gardeners and their landscapes.
(For Release On 09/11/15) One of the most common questions I receive from gardeners is, “What kind of fertilizer should I use?” These gardeners generally assume there must be an easy answer for this if they just tell me what kind of plant they’re growing.
(For Release On 08/21/15) Successfully growing houseplants starts with understanding their needs. Primary among these is light. Light is the energy plants use to create their food. You cannot grow a plant where there is not enough light, no matter how good it looks in the location.
(For Release On 08/28/15) One of my favorite native plants is the Louisiana iris. When these plants bloom in the spring, their flowers are among the most colorful and beautiful to be found in Louisiana gardens. This time of the year, however, they may need some attention.
(For Release On 08/14/15) I live in an area that is rural transitioning into suburban. In many areas of the state, developers are building more and more new subdivisions in areas that were once wooded or open fields. People moving to these new subdivisions from more urban areas are often startled to encounter wildlife they never saw in the cities.
(For Release On 08/07/15) August is a transitional time in the vegetable garden. While cool-season planting begins in earnest next month, some of the more heat-tolerant cool-season vegetables, such as the cole crops, can be planted into the garden now.
(For Release On 07/31/15) If you want to boost the color in your landscape, nurseries still have a good selection of colorful bedding plants that will thrive in whatever heat the summer throws at them.
(For Release On 07/17/15) Ornamental grasses are an often-overlooked group of herbaceous perennials that thrive here and will add beauty to your landscape with minimum effort. This versatile group of plants is becoming increasing popular.
(For Release On 07/24/15) Wherever you go in America, gardeners will tell you about the terrible pest problems they have to deal with. Still, it seems like we have more than our share of insects, diseases and weeds in Louisiana.
(For Release On 07/10/15) Few sights are more thrilling in the garden than to see rapidly moving hummingbirds darting among the flowers. So favored are the jewel-colored birds, people put out feeders to entice them into the landscape. Even better are gardens full of plants that provide flowers bursting with the nectar hummingbirds crave.
(For Release On 07/03/15) This time of the year, most of us want to spend as little time outside in the heat as possible. Yet, we still want to keep our landscapes looking nice.
(For Release On 06/19/15) Summer-flowering vines can provide color, fragrance and interest to Louisiana landscapes. They can also provide screening and even shade if they are allowed to cover an overhead structure. Indeed, no other group of plants can provide the same effects as vines.
(For Release On 06/26/15) Landscapes are dynamic creations that are always changing. Plants grow larger. New plants are added along the way. Plants die. Even trees may be lost in storms. Over the years, a landscape can change radically from its original look.
(For Release On 06/12/15) If you picked dewberries or blackberries from the wild as a child (or adult) and miss those wonderful, shiny black fruit bursting with sweet juice, you’ll be glad to know that blackberries are easy and productive in the home garden.
(For Release On 06/05/15) Adequate moisture is critically important to landscape plants, but too much rain or excessive watering can bring problems of its own. We’ve seen a wet spring and early summer this year, and it has caused a variety of problems. Wet soil can create stressful conditions for bedding plants, vegetables, shrubs and even trees – especially those planted this year.
(For Release On Or After 05/29/15) The high temperatures that will be with us now until October take their toll in the vegetable garden. Tomatoes set fewer fruit and snap beans produce poor quality beans, for instance.
(For Release On Or After 05/22/15) You can recycle yard waste through the process of composting. Doing this can benefit your gardens, your budget and the environment.
(For Release On Or After 05/15/15) Grown and used in cuisines around the world, basil is also indispensable to Louisiana cooks. Besides having extraordinary taste, basil is attractive and really easy to grow.
(For Release On Or After 05/08/15) Choosing a fertilizer for your landscape is not as difficult as it might seem.
(For Release On Or After 05/01/15) I’ve heard it said – and even said so myself in earlier years – that spring is short in Louisiana, with weather rapidly transitioning from winter to summer. But this really isn’t accurate.
(For Release On Or After 04/17/15) Coleuses were among the first plants I became familiar with when I started learning about plants as a teenager. I found the incredible variation of colors and patterns in the leaves fascinating. This spring, the LSU AgCenter has named Henna coleus a Louisiana Super Plants selection.
(For Release On Or After 04/24/15) An ornamental grass called Fireworks purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum Fireworks) has been selected by the LSU AgCenter as a Louisiana Super Plant for spring 2015. And, wow, are you going to be impressed by the colorful foliage of this grass.
(For Release On Or After 04/10/15) Vines are an amazing group of plants with enough diversity to boggle the mind of any gardener. What binds these wonderful plants together is their universal lack of strong stems. That’s right; vines are lazy plants that rely on some other plant or structure to allow them to grow upwards, or they simply run on the ground.
(For Release On Or After 04/03/15) Mulching is an easy-to-do labor-saving gardening technique that all gardeners should take advantage of. A mulch is a material, usually organic but sometimes inorganic, we use to cover the soil surface around plants. Mulching beds is an important part of sustainable landscaping.
(For Release On Or After 03/20/15) March is a month when many gardeners begin to plant their spring vegetables. Raised beds can be the solution to a number of challenges when it comes to home vegetable gardens.
(For Release On Or After 03/27/15) It’s time to plant tomato transplants into the garden, especially in south Louisiana. North Louisiana gardeners may want to wait another couple of weeks to be cautious. Early planted tomatoes produce more and higher-quality tomatoes and benefit from lower pest populations.
(For Release On Or After 03/06/15) Your landscape is there to be enjoyed by you and your family. It’s the setting for your home and provides a space for outdoor activities. Lawn areas offer a wonderful place for kids to play, and family get-togethers and parties take place on decks and patios. If your family includes pets, your landscape will likely be used by them as well.
(For Release On Or After 03/13/15) Almost every landscape has shady areas, and ferns are a great group of plants that are just perfect for shady spots. Early spring is a great time to plant ferns into the landscape. It allows them to settle in and get established before the heat of summer.
(For Release On Or After 02/27/15) Although our lawns are still dormant this month, you can begin to plan your strategy to have an attractive, healthy lawn this summer. Because the grass is still dormant, most lawns look relatively bad now, so don’t judge yours too harshly at this point.
(For Release On Or After 02/20/15) Figs are one of the most widely planted fruit trees in home landscapes in Louisiana. With little care, they will produce crops of juicy, sweet figs every July.
(For Release On Or After 02/13/15) February is an excellent time to fertilize trees. Most trees are just beginning to enter a growth phase – or will within a few weeks. Fertilizing this month provides them with nutrients just when they can use them most effectively.
(For Release On Or After 02/06/15) At some point, many gardeners discover seed catalogs offer a much greater selection of annual flowers and vegetables than can be found at the local nursery. To grow those wonderful plants, however, you must be able to grow your own transplants from seed.
(For Release On Or After 01/30/15) Now is an excellent time to consider adding roses to your landscape. For many gardeners, particularly those just getting into roses, a rose is a rose. But several different categories or types of roses are available, and each type includes numerous varieties.
(For Release On Or After 01/23/15) No other group of plants can quite duplicate what vines do for us in the landscape. Vines can be used to provide shade, privacy, flowers, ground cover, edible or attractive fruit, fragrance and food for wildlife. It would be hard to imagine a well-planted landscape without vines somewhere. Now is a great time to plant hardy vines.
(For Release On Or After 01/16/15) Arbor Day is celebrated in Louisiana each year on the third Friday in January. This date is set aside to encourage people to plant trees.
(For Release On Or After 01/02/15) All-America Selections is a nonprofit organization that tests newly developed varieties of seed-grown bedding plants and vegetables in garden plots all across the United States.
(For Release On Or After 01/09/15) Cool days and chilly nights are just the kind of weather lettuce enjoys. Lettuce is a vegetable that is easy to grow, delicious to eat and so attractive to the eye that any gardener – whether you have a vegetable garden, flower garden or even container garden on a balcony – should include it.
(For Release On Or After 08/15/14) I once saw a refrigerator magnet that said, “When Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Substitute “root” for “Momma,” and you will have an essential message when it comes to plants.
(For Release On Or After 08/01/14) If you want to boost the color in your landscape now, don’t let the heat stop you. Nurseries have excellent selections of colorful bedding plants that will thrive in whatever heat summer throws at them.
(For Release On Or After 08/08/14) Right about now is a good time to look over your landscape and evaluate how things are growing. Our long growing season, combined with adequate soil fertility and water, can produce abundant and even rampant growth in landscape plantings.
(For Release On Or After 04/25/14) Buddleia Flutterby Petite Tutti Frutti Pink is a Louisiana Super Plants selection for spring 2014. I know the variety name is a mouthful, but it is well worth remembering and looking for at your local nurseries.
(For Release On Or After 04/18/14) Many Louisiana gardeners have discovered how easy and rewarding growing herbs can be. Especially popular are the culinary herbs used to flavor foods. The trend for gardeners to plant and grow herbs continues to gain in popularity. Indeed, planting herbs is fairly common these days, particularly among gardeners like me who enjoy cooking.
(For Release On Or After 04/11/14) Spring is here, and it’s time to plant warm-season bedding plants into our flower gardens. These plants will provide color for us through the coming summer. An outstanding choice is Kauai series torenia (Torenia fournieri), a Louisiana Super Plant selection for spring 2014.
(For Release On Or After 04/04/14) It’s amazing how many times I’ve gotten questions about growing grass in shady areas. This is a common issue as shade trees in a landscape grow larger over time. Eventually, the shade they create may not allow grass to grow well in the most shaded areas. When dealing with this sort of situation, you have several options.
(For Release On Or After 11/23/12) BATON ROUGE, La. – Gardening is a well-documented and beneficial form of exercise. It contributes to a healthy lifestyle, and I am always impressed when I meet gardeners in their 70s, 80s and even 90s who are still actively gardening.
(For Release On Or After 11/30/12) BATON ROUGE, La. – Few flowering bulbs can surpass the stately beauty of the amaryllis. Typically blooming in April, this popular bulb is a star performer in the spring garden. Dormant bulbs are readily available now, and with proper care, they can become a long-lasting part of your landscape.
(For Release On Or After 11/16/12) BATON ROUGE, La. – Fall is an outstanding time to plant many of the hardy culinary herbs. And one of the most popular is parsley.