Gardening with Steve Hotard

Steven L. Hotard  |  9/4/2012 11:42:50 PM

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Ouachita Parish Area Agent, Steve Hotard, shares his knowledge and experience with other gardening enthusiast.

Gardening can be a year-round activity in Louisiana. Remember, when gardening - have fun, be creative, be informed and be safe.

Click on the following article titles to read full article written by Area Agent, Steve Hotard.

For more information, click here to contact Steve Hotard.

Safety Tips for Gardening
Doing a few simple things during these hot months of July and August can go a long way to help keep gardeners safe and healthy. Consider these safety tips to help reduce the risk of negative health effects from the sun and heat.

August Begins Planting Season
Late winter and early spring are the peak months for planting vegetable gardens in our region, but for those who enjoy fall gardens and their bounty, August is the beginning of the fall planting season which continues until late November.

"Shrooms" in the Landscape
After summer rains there are usually many questions regarding the mushrooms, sometimes called toadstools, which pop up in lawns and flower beds.

Minimizing Storm Damage to Trees
One can never predict Louisiana weather, thus making it an everyday topic among gardeners. This past weekend’s morning weather with its cooler temperatures and humidity sure made my morning front porch time refreshing. I am hoping this is an indication of an early fall, but we must remember it is only the middle of August and many hot, humid days are waiting on the calendar.

Learning from Extreme Weather Conditions
Well I guess we don’t have to be concerned about watering our landscapes. The recent weather events bringing excessive amounts of rainfall and high winds can be a great learning tool for the observant gardener. Many site conditions, plant health status and proper cultural practices can be identified and the importance realized during and after extreme weather.

September is a Transitional Period for Annual Flowering Plants
Cooler weather brings many gardeners out of the comfort of the air conditioner and itching to plant new flower gardens. We must remember that we are in a transitional period between the peak of warm season annual flowers and the planting of cool season annuals. September is usually still too warm to transplant true cool season annuals.

Selecting Firewood
As September days come and go, the rain and cooler weather conditions are becoming a regular occurrence in the region. These fall indicators are stirring up images of a cozy fire in the fireplace and many homeowners are stocking their firewood bins. It’s not too early to be thinking of cutting or buying firewood.

Plant Response to the Fall Season
According to the calendar, Fall season is officially upon us. September is ending and October will bring shorter days and cooler weather patterns to the area. In nontropical areas, these conditions have a great influence on plant growth and behavior.

Over Wintering Plants
Key factors for maintaining the health and appearance of plants over-wintered indoors include light, water, nutrient management, temperature and control of pests.

Winter and Spring Color
Nurseries have a healthy and abundant supply of cool-season annual transplants, seeds and spring flowering bulbs and now is the time to renovate the summer garden areas and plant for color during the winter and early spring.

Weedy Vines in Landscape
During the summer months many landscapes are overrun with weedy vines. These vines can completely over-take the entire area if left unchecked. It is always easier to deal with these difficult weedy vines when they are young and small. One of the best ways to control them is to simply dig or pull them up.
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