Thomas J. Koske | 2/1/2006 12:11:51 AM
February starts the Louisiana vegetable gardening season. This is especially true for the southern parishes.
In those parishes LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske says to direct plant seed for snap beans (both bush and pole types), beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, cantaloupe, collards, mustard, turnips, endive, escarole, Irish potatoes, lettuce (both head and leaf), parsley, cilantro, radish, green shallots, spinach and early sweet corn.
In northern parishes, Koske says February is the time to plant out the seeds you started in January for beets, broccoli (first of month), cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, endive, escarole, Irish potatoes, lettuce (head and leaf), mustard, turnip, collard, cilantro, parsley, radish, green shallot and spinach.
Now also is the time to bed out your sweet potato roots for slip production. Slip planting will begin in April and go through May as the soils warm.
In February you also may transplant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, head lettuce and mirliton (in south Louisiana).
In a hothouse, you can still plant seed for transplants of cabbages, quick maturing cultivars of cole crops, hot peppers, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and quick maturing cultivars of tomatoes.
Cucurbits (gourds and pumpkins) and okra are not usually transplanted but direct seeded. If you use black plastic to heat the early, cold soils, however, you may start these crops indoors also.
"Remember, timeliness is important to making our crops in the deep, humid South," Koske says.
More gardening information is available at your local LSU AgCenter office. In addition, look for lawn & gardening and Get It Growing links in the LSU AgCenter Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com.
On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: www.lsuagcenter.com
Source: Tom Koske (225) 578-2222, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture