Thomas J. Koske | 3/15/2006 1:18:35 AM
March is a critical month in our vegetable gardens - early for some things and late for others, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske.
Timely planting is one way of increasing potential yield and decreasing production problems, Koske says, pointing out that planting times are about three to four weeks apart between northern and southern Louisiana.
March is the time to start planting seed for snap beans, lima beans, butter beans, butter peas, cucumber, muskmelons, okra, radishes, corn, collards and watermelons. You may plant the entire garden with early and late varieties, or plant the same ones but stagger plantings by a few weeks for later harvests.
Sweet potato roots may still be bedded early in the month on well-drained, warm beds for slip production for May. Pepper, eggplants and tomato transplants may be planted now whenever danger of frost is mostly over. Using black plastic mulch with these crops is a good idea for weed and moisture control as well as an early start.
Don’t be in a rush to set out the peppers, okra and eggplants if the soil is cold. All these vegetables can be hurt by a late frost. Northern parishes still may plant shallots, Chinese cabbage and cabbage transplants, and southern parishes now can start seeding southern peas, squash and pumpkin.
In the southern half of the state it is too late for good spring plantings of beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, onion, Irish potatoes, lettuce, parsley, English or snow peas, spinach, mustard and turnips. Try more timely crops. Northern parishes may still try some early beets, carrots and loose-head lettuce.
Vegetables to plant in April include collards, squash, pumpkins, okra, tomatoes, corn, radishes, peppers, mirliton, melons, eggplants, cucumbers, bush or pole snap beans and limas, watermelons, southern peas and early sweet potato slips.
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