Thomas J. Koske | 5/4/2006 11:31:56 PM
The best season for vegetable gardening is almost behind us in Louisiana. We can work toward the summer, hot-season plantings or still try to get some of a late spring crop in. North Louisiana still has a little more spring left than the southern parishes do.
LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske says late-spring vegetable crops may include collards, pole limas and butter peas, cucumbers, corn, eggplants, watermelons and vine crops like summer squash (but not winter/hard shell squash) and pumpkins – but only if you want early pumpkins. Plant eggplants, okra, southern peas, various chili peppers (hot, mild or sweet), but not bell peppers unless you are planting for fall production.
You might also try planting some mirliton for fall and try to sneak in some mustard and radish.
Some fast-maturing bush snap beans or limas have a chance before the heat of summer, or plant the pole types for late-summer and fall production.
Koske recommends rotating similar crops so they don't grow in the same soil area as back-to-back crops. This helps with pest control. Be especially watchful for insect pests, and control them early while they are young. Many early-spring crops are now being harvested and coming out to make room for summer- and fall-growing crops.
Late spring is also the time to start seeding heat-set tomatoes for summer production. "In Louisiana vegetable gardening, timing is very important," Koske says.
Source: Tom Koske (225) 578-2222, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture