Sustainable Landscape News From LaHouse Distributed 08/28/09 By LSU AgCenter Horticulturists Dan Gill, Allen Owings and John Young One of the LSU AgCenter’s many educational efforts is the Louisiana Yards and Neighborhoods program for gardening and landscape enthusiasts. LYN – through its literature and demonstrations – tells how to maintain sustainable landscapes and follow best management practices in home horticulture. LYN centers on seven landscape principles: putting the right plant in the right place; watering efficiently; maximizing mulch and recycling yard waste; fertilizing efficiently; managing yard pests; protecting surface water and wetlands; and providing beneficial wildlife habitats. The “right plant, right place” slogan is frequently heard in horticultural circles these days. This principle simply advocates matching the plant to the planting location. Consider sun exposure at the planting site and the sun/shade recommendation of the plant being put there. Also, consider soil drainage and soil pH, and give serious attention to mature plant height and mature plant spread. Many times shrubs and trees are planted too close together and become overgrown in a short time. Watering efficiently requires knowing the irrigation needs of the plants in the landscape. What is the required irrigation for different lawn grasses? Centipede grass, for example, is less drought-tolerant than others. You need to water it deeply and infrequently instead of shallowly and frequently. Mulching is one of the best things we can do to suppress weed growth and replenish landscape beds with new organic material. Add mulch to bedding plants at a depth of 1 inch, to shrubs at a depth of 2 inches and to trees at a depth of 3-4 inches. Go “out with mulch,” not “up with mulch”; that is, don’t make a pyramid of mulch at the base of the tree. The best mulch is pine straw. Fertilizing efficiently mirrors the watering-efficiently concept. Know the nutrient and fertility demands of the plants in your landscape. Use a slow-release fertilizer instead of a quick-release and water-soluble type. Know your native soil fertility. Your soil may contain enough nutrients so you don’t have to fertilize as much. Apply fertilizer at the time of the year when plants can maximize the fertilizer’s benefits. Managing yard pests can be tricky. The important concept to remember is that there are more beneficial insects than damaging ones. You have to learn which is which. Insect problems in Louisiana include azalea lace bugs, scales, white flies, aphids and thrips, among others. Scout your landscaping plantings once a week to check for insect problems. Protecting surface water and waterways means understanding how urban stormwater contributes to pollution. The problem is a residential as well as an industrial issue. Be careful when applying fertilizers and pesticides. Do not allow these products to move into water bodies. Also, when mowing grass, do not blow leaves, grass clippings and debris out into the street. Proper landscaping and lawn maintenance can help reduce these pollution problems. We can do much in a landscape to provide habitats for beneficial wildlife. Native plants frequently can be used to attract wildlife. If you want to attract hummingbirds or butterflies, for example, select plants that draw them. Come to LaHouse in Baton Rouge to see sustainable landscape practices in action. The home and landscape resource center is located near the intersection of Burbank Drive and Nicholson Drive (Louisiana Highway 30) in Baton Rouge across the street from the LSU baseball stadium. Go online to Louisiana Yards and Neighborhoods for additional information.
(Distributed 08/07/09) ALEXANDRIA, La. – The LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Research Station will hold its annual field day Aug. 20 with presentations for cotton and soybean farmers.
(Distributed 08/27/09) An LSU AgCenter soil scientist is part of an effort to improve the water and soil quality in Haiti. David Weindorf, assistant professor in the LSU AgCenter’s School of Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences, traveled to Bayonnais, Haiti, Aug. 10-14, as part of a team of two soil scientists to provide some initial assessment and education to farmers.
(Distributed 08/10/09) The LSU AgCenter has announced it will hold a "green" building conference Sept. 29 at its Burden Center in Baton Rouge.
(Distributed 08/03/09) Ken McMillin, professor of animal sciences and food science at the LSU AgCenter and at LSU, has been awarded the 2009 American Meat Science Association Signal Service Award. This award recognizes members for devoted service and lasting contributions to the meat industry.
(Distributed 08/24/09) Innovative uses for forest and forage biomass will be featured at the LSU AgCenter's Calhoun Research Station field day Oct. 29.
(Distributed 08/21/09) The LSU AgCenter is helping gardeners and others learn about and enjoy gardening in Louisiana with next year’s edition of its popular “Get It Growing” calendar. The recently published 2010 Get It Growing Lawn and Garden Calendar offers monthly gardening tips for the seasoned or novice gardener, as well as beautiful photos of plants, flowers and gardens that were taken by a variety of photographers whose roots stretch across the state.
(Distributed 08/18/09) HOMER, La. – The LSU AgCenter's Hill Farm Research Station will host an educational field day Oct. 1.
(Distributed 08/21/09) You can help your child develop good eating habits by making mealtime pleasant and relaxed, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames. “Mealtime can be a time to enjoy being with other family members and to learn about food,” the nutritionist says.
(Distributed 08/27/09) Louisiana’s soybean harvest is just getting started. A small portion of the crop is out of the fields, and these early-harvested beans revealed lingering effects of the midsummer drought, according to experts with the LSU AgCenter.
(Distributed 08/21/09) Lifelong eating habits often are learned early. Eating while watching TV may become a habit for your young child and lead to unhealthy eating habits, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
(Distributed 08/20/09) Considering special food needs is important when preparing emergency foods for the hurricane season, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
(Distributed 08/04/09) A new technology developed by an LSU AgCenter researcher has serendipitously found its way into the oil industry, resulting in a new company and the reinvigoration of an existing company in Louisiana. The patented process, developed by Qinglin Wu in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, involves making material from recycled plastics.
(Distributed 08/13/09) MARKSVILLE, La. – Museums should attract, entertain, arouse curiosity, preserve history and culture and serve as a social resource for meetings, said Cliff Deal, director of museums for the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office
(Distributed 08/20/09) Ornamental grasses provide nice, low-maintenance options in sustainable landscapes. Many perennial types of ornamental grasses work well in Louisiana.
(Distributed 08/11/09) CROWLEY, La. – “It’s fascinating. Every time I do this, I learn more,” U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany said during a visit to the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station Monday (Aug.10).
(Distributed 08/24/09) LSU AgCenter experts are warning Louisiana property owners to be on the lookout for laurel wilt, a devastating disease of red bay and sassafras trees. The disease recently was found in Jackson County, Miss.
(Distributed 08/27/09) A lack of rain in early summer has affected Louisiana’s corn and cotton crops, according to experts with the LSU AgCenter.
(Distributed 08/24/09) ALEXANDRIA, La. – LSU AgCenter weed scientists warned farmers that weeds will develop resistance, as they have in Arkansas and surrounding states, if resistance-management strategies are not adopted.
(Distributedf 08/17/09) The 2010 LSU AgCenter Livestock Show will be held at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, LSU AgCenter officials announced.
(Distributed 08/10/09) AVERY ISLAND, La. – Zachary Cecil, a 4-H’er from Vernon Parish, rode on the side of a boat one morning during a recent session at the LSU AgCenter’s Marsh Maneuvers program. It was his first time in the marsh, and he was enjoying the experience, even though he was soaking wet from wading in muddy marsh water.
(Distributed 08/18/09) The discovery of Asian soybean rust in a soybean field in Iberville Parish on Aug. 18 was the latest of four finds of this potentially serious disease over two days in Louisiana. So far, the finds are in soybean plants that have already formed the beans and are nearing harvest, making them immune to any yield damage that could be caused by the disease, said Clayton Hollier, LSU AgCenter extension plant pathologist.
(Distributed 08/11/09) Louisiana had first, second and third place winners in the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championships, which was July 28-Aug. 2 in Little Rock, Ark. In saddle-type geldings (trotting), Robbin LeJuene of Acadia Parish placed first and Allison Newman of Jackson Parish placed third. Dani Anderson of West Carroll Parish placed second in barrel racing.
(Distributed 08/04/09) A Louisiana 4-H team placed third among 14 state teams that participated in the National 4-H Forestry Invitational July 26-30 at West Virginia University’s Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, W.Va.
(Distributed 08/07/09) Low landscape maintenance is the goal of homeowners, but it’s possible only through proper planning. With the fall planting season coming soon, begin your planning now.
(Distributed 08/20/09) South Louisiana rice farmers are reporting some of their best yields ever this year as the harvest season winds down.
(Distributed 08/14/09) Yes, we are getting to late summer and hopefully less lawn mowing over the next couple months. Nevertheless, it’s still important to mow your lawn properly.
(Distributed 08/26/09) LAFAYETTE, La. – The Louisiana 4-H Foundation has announced a gift of $30,000 from the LHC Group, a Lafayette-based health care company.