Thomas J. Koske | 4/22/2005 1:57:10 AM
Louisiana gardeners are now getting into their main growing season. Mid-spring is our most productive time, says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske.
"Be sure to plant now so that the produce will come off before the summer heat shuts most crops down," the horticulturist advises.
In April, plant pole and bush snap beans as well as pole and bush lima beans. Plant butter pea seeds, collards, sweet corn, cucumber, summer and winter squash, mirliton (chayote), okra, southern peas, hot peppers, pumpkin and watermelon.
If you still want to plant leaf lettuce, mustard and radish, you have the whole month in the northern part of the state, but only the first couple of weeks in the southern part.
Some crops can be transplanted now - tomatoes, eggplants, hot peppers, bell peppers, cantaloupes and sweet potato slips.
Koske says to be sure to locate the garden in an open, sunny location with good drainage. An open space allows extra air flow to help keep disease down and pollination up. With a breezy exposure, you may need to pay more attention to watering, but mulch will help conserve moisture a lot.
If soils are heavy and wet, build high rows so that better drainage and soil aeration will promote active root growth.
For information on related topics, look for Gardening and Get It Growing links in the Feature section of the LSU AgCenter Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com. Additional yard and garden topics are available from an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture