(Audio 01/01/07) The weather in Louisiana stays relatively mild during the winter. That means plants continue to grow here, and weeds are no exception. If you want, you can mow lawn weeds back occassionally, or you can use an appropriate herbicide on them. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/01/07) Louisiana gardeners use a variety of cool-season bedding plants to keep their gardens colorful during the winter and spring. LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill encourages gardeners to keep these plants healthy so they stay beautiful into spring. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/01/07) Hardy trees and shrubs can be planted during the winter, and that includes roses. Landscape roses are popular and provide plenty of flowers. This also is a good time to order roses. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/01/07) We use a variety of plants to embellish our homes during the holidays. Christmas trees, poinsettias and Christmas cactus keep our homes merry and bright. Poinsettias should be discarded after the holidays, but a Christmas cactus can bloom for you year after year. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/01/07) January usually is the coldest month in Louisiana. Despite the cold, vegetable gardens remain productive during this month. Some root crops and leafy greens can be planted this time of the year. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/25/06) Late December through early January is the best time to plant hyacinth and tulip bulbs that have been chilling in refrigerators. Chilling them first helps them bloom properly. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/25/06) After a hard freeze you can tell which plants in your landscape are hardy and which ones are tender tropicals. When cold damage occurs on herbaceous tropicals, it is obvious. You can prune that damage off shortly after the freeze. But wait until spring growth occurs to prune woody tropicals . (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/25/06) The depths of winter is a good time to plant roses. Many nurseries have rose bushes available. If the weather stays mild, roses can continue to bloom into January. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/25/06) Perennial herbs can grow during the winter in Louisiana. Gardeners can harvest the herbs whenever there is enough growth on the plant. They may grow slowly during the winter, but they will start growing vigorously come spring. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/25/06) Deciduous trees have leaves that change colors and then fall, but this time of the year some evergreen plants also may go through a color change. Azaleas and junipers are two evergreen plants on which the foliage often changes colors. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 12/22/06) In Louisiana, 2006 likely will be remembered as the year after the hurricanes. But a relatively ordinary year was a welcome relief to many, including farmers. While the hurricanes in 2005 took a toll on many agricultural producers, production this year was good for most commodities, according to LSU AgCenter economist Dr. Kurt Guidry.
(Distributed 12/22/06) If you are looking for ways to spend quality time with your family during the holiday season, volunteering together can be beneficial to your family as well as someone in need, says LSU AgCenter family resource management expert Dr. Karen Overstreet. But the holidays aren’t the only time you can take part in such activities, Overstreet points out, saying community groups also need volunteers and donations all year long to perform worthwhile services in your area.
(Distributed 12/21/06) Healthful eating is key to looking good, feeling great and being your best all year long, stresses LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames. Reames points out that millions of Americans turn to the latest fad diets to lose weight every year, but she stresses living a healthy lifestyle is about much more than dieting – and that food is essential to life.
(Distributed 12/20/06) The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced the opening of the sign-up period for disaster assistance programs made available through the Emergency Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2006, according to LSU AgCenter economist Dr. Kurt Guidry.
(Distributed 12/20/06) The LSU AgCenter will host the 2007 Agricultural Outlook Conference Jan. 22-23 in Baton Rouge. Designed to continue addressing the current issues facing the state’s farmers, agribusinesses and others, the theme of the conference is "Keeping Louisiana’s Agriculture Competitive."
(Distributed 12/20/06) The LSU AgCenter is once again offering photographers an opportunity to contribute to its popular Get It Growing calendar. Professional or amateur nature photographers from Louisiana or the surrounding areas are invited to submit photos to be considered for publication in the 2008 Get It Growing gardening calendar.
(Distributed 12/20/06) Working with volunteers to restore New Orleans’ City Park has become an ongoing labor of love for two LSU AgCenter employees.
(Distributed 12/20/06) Rice farmers in Southwest Louisiana will have a chance to catch up on the latest techniques and recommendations for the upcoming growing season in a series of four clinics being held by the LSU AgCenter in early January.
(Distributed 12/19/06) The LSU AgCenter honored four individuals and three teams with its top awards for faculty members, as well as two staff members for their outstanding service, Monday (Dec. 18) during its Annual Conference in Baton Rouge.
(Audio 12/18/06) It is not uncommon for gardeners to save seeds. Seeds can be left over from a packet, or a gardener might harvest seeds from plants in the garden. Storing the seeds properly is important to keep the seeds viable. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 12/18/06) This holiday season let your children share in planning and preparing food for special occasions, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames, who stresses that kids enjoy being "holiday helpers" as well as helping you all year long.
(Video 12/18/06) One of our most beautiful small native trees that shine in the winter time is our native yaupon holly. It produces bright red berries. An interesting aspect of these berries is that they are translucent. When you get the sun behind them, they are like stained glass. (Runtime: 1 minute, 21 minutes)
(Audio 12/18/06) Throughout the month of December, trees in our landscapes drop their leaves. If handled properly, these fallen leaves can be valuable in our landscapes. You can chop them with a lawnmower and use them as mulch or rake them and put them in a compost pile. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/18/06) Camellias produce beautiful blooms during the winter. There are few things you can do to keep your camellias attractive. If the weather is dry, irrigate them. If a hard freeze is predicted, you can pick the open blossoms. Also, check the plants for tea-scale. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/18/06) Many of the garden chemicals we use in our landscapes are water-based. If you store them in a shed or garage and the temperature drops below freezing, these products can freeze. During cold spells, store these products in a safe place. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/18/06) Many gardeners overseed their lawns with ryegrass to keep them green during the winter. Ryegrass lawns should be growing nicely now, and proper care is important to keep them looking attractive. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 12/15/06) The foods many people enjoy this time of year are much more than just good eatin’ for the holidays. From rice dressing to sweet potatoes and poultry to pecan pies, the treats you enjoy from Thanksgiving through New Year’s are part of a food and fiber sector that means billions to the state’s economy.
(Distributed 12/14/06) Developing disease-resistant varieties is the best approach to help farmers fight diseases that afflict rice, said Don Groth, LSU AgCenter plant pathologist at the Rice Research Station in Crowley.
(Distributed 12/12/06) Books make great holiday gifts for your preschooler. They can be fun and engage your child’s developing mind.
(Distributed 12/12/06) Livestock and forage producers and officials from across the state gathered here earlier this month to learn about more efficient ways to produce and market forage.
(Distributed 12/12/06) Every year thousands of Americans go into debt over the holidays because Santa and his elves went a little over budget. With holiday shopping, rising gas prices and hosting holiday parties, it is no wonder we have trouble staying out of debt.
(Distributed 12/12/06) Gaining weight during the holidays is a fear most people face this time of year, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
(Audio 12/11/06) There are wonderful tropical shrubs and herbaceous plants that work great in our summer landscapes in Louisiana. But even here those tropicals often need protection from some of our winter weather. There are several ways to protect them - mulching them, covering them or putting lights on them. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 12/11/06) The holidays can be a tough time to try to manage or lose weight, but you can keep it on track, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Annrose Guarino.
(Video 12/11/06) With winter comes the possibility of freezing weather -- even in Louisiana. If you have tropicals in your landscape, you will need to protect them. There are two basic ways to protect plants that are growing in the ground. You can mulch them or cover them. (Runtime: 1 minute, 29 seconds)
(Audio 12/11/06) Weeds continue to be a problem in Louisiana all through the winter. Warmer, wetter weather will allow the weeds to thrive. Your best defense against these weeds is to mulch you landscape beds. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/11/06) Apple trees are not common in the Deep South, but we can grow apples down here. Gardeners interested in growing apples must choose a variety adapted to our mild winters. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/11/06) Although gardening never really stops in Louisiana even during the winter, things do slow down this time of year. Many of the tools we use during the summer, such as mowers, are used very little during the winter. Store these items properly to ensure they are in good condition when you need them next year. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/11/06) During the winter months, you may hear about the wind chill factor. Don't worry about your plants if the wind chill is below freezing but the temperature isn't. Plants don't feel wind chill the way people do. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 12/08/06) A 4-H’er from South Louisiana and a leader in the state’s rice industry were among those honored at the USA Rice Federation’s 2006 Outlook Conference here.
(Distributed 12/08/06) Overly enthusiastic holiday spending can push a family into financial difficulty. The challenge of managing holiday spending is to enjoy the spirit of the season without paying for it months or even years later, says LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker.
(Distributed 12/08/06) Many New Year’s resolutions are long forgotten by the first of February. However, resolving to take control of your family finances can have a positive effect on your financial position in the coming months and on your long-term goals, according to LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker.
(Distributed 12/08/06) Poinsettias are one of the most popular holiday plants in the United States. Colored leaves called bracts are the main attraction of poinsettias, and an ever increasing range of colors are available – from the traditional red, to white, pink, peach, yellow, marbled and speckled.
(Distributed 12/08/06) During the holidays we often indulge in rich foods we might not normally eat at other times of the year. LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Heli Roy says there are ways to enjoy these bountiful foods during this season and still maintain a healthy lifestyle.
(Distributed 12/08/06) Problems occasionally occur with items purchased as holiday gifts, but being prepared to handle those problems can go a long way in making the season more festive for you, says LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker.
(Distributed 12/07/06) Online shopping in the United States rises approximately 30 percent each holiday season, because it can save time, money and effort. But sizing up your finds on the Internet is a little different from checking out items at a mall or shop, says LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker.
(Distributed 12/07/06) The hustle and bustle of the holidays may make even the most responsible of pet owners neglectful of certain dangers to cats and dogs among the food, events and decorations, says Dr. Christine Navarre, LSU AgCenter veterinarian.
(Distributed 12/06/06) Sixty-six percent of shoppers are planning to purchase a gift card this year, with sales expected to top $55.5 billion. Gift cards are great for holiday giving – recipients love the option to pick out the exact item, color and size that they want, and givers enjoy their one-size-fits-all convenience and easy availability.
(Distributed 12/06/06) Holidays are among the special occasions to preserve the memories of people, scenes and events you won’t see the same way again. To help make the most of recording this season for future enjoyment, LSU AgCenter photographers Mark Claesgens and John Wozniak have pooled their recommendations.
(Distributed 12/06/06) When families gather for the holidays, gifts are exchanged and relationships are renewed. Gifts don’t have to come in packages. They can be delivered through words and actions.
(Distribtued 12/06/06) "Mom, I want a …" is typically heard more often this time of year followed by the name of the latest toy advertised with lots of splash and dash on TV or in stores.
(Distributed 12/05/06) Cooks across Louisiana are now making their grocery lists and checking them twice in preparation for those holiday meals. An LSU AgCenter nutritionist says food safety should be high on the list while those preparations are being made.
(Distributed 12/04/06) Eric Eskew, a native of Jennings, La., joined the LSU AgCenter in November as the new executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation.
(12/04/06) Beautiful poinsettias play an important part in decorating for the Christmas holidays. These gorgeous plants, with their bright colors, enhance our homes, but many people may not understand what goes into producing a quality poinsettia plant. (Runtime: 1 minute, 50 seconds)
(Audio 12/04/06) Plants are a great way to brighten our homes during the holidays. But make sure you select the right kind of plant. When choosing a poinsettia, look for full, colorful bracts with flowers intact. Natural light helps your holiday plants last longer. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/04/06) There is still time to put cool-season bedding plants into your landscapes. It is important not to put these in right before a period of intense cold, but once they're established these plants are hardy and like cooler weather. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/04/06) Christmas trees are an indispensable part of the holidays for many people. The fresher the tree, the longer it will stay attractive in your home. The freshest trees are those you cut yourself. Visiting a choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm makes a great family outing. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 12/04/06) Vegetable gardening doesn't stop in the winter around here. The vegetables we plant this time of the year can tolerate Louisiana's mild to cold winters. Many leafy greens, root crops and cole crops are great to plant this time of the year. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 12/01/06) Exceptional service projects were key to 13 Louisiana 4-H members receiving Good Provider awards recently at LSU’s Lod Cook Conference Center.
(Distributed 12/01/06) The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can cause stress for people trying to please family and friends, even under the best circumstances, says LSU AgCenter family life specialist Dr. Diane Sasser. Even more, holiday stress can be particularly difficult to manage when it occurs within "blended" families, or families in which one or both parents have children from former relationships, the LSU AgCenter expert says.
(Distributed 12/01/06) Sitting in a hospital all day long is not much fun for the typical child, especially Jackson, a 3-year-old with big brown eyes and Batman pajamas. When 4-H’ers Jessica Windham and Myles Morris asked if he wanted to make a keychain, he was glad to make a "butterfly one for my mom."
(Distributed 11/28/06) Five Louisiana 4-H’ers were among those winning national championship honors this month at the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference in Louisville, Ky. The national championship honors for Louisiana went to a judging team and an individual, who all were from Lafourche Parish.
(Distributed 11/28/06) The LSU AgCenter recently selected a 25-year veteran of its 4-H program to serve as the new head of its youth development efforts. Dr. Mark Tassin will move into the position of department head for 4-H Youth Development Dec. 1.
(Distributed 11/28/06) Inaccurate acreage estimates could be leading some farmers to spend too much or too little on producing their crops, according to an LSU AgCenter watershed agent, who says the cost of more accurate surveys may be worth the investment.
(Video 11/27/06) Modern poinsettias are so beautiful, and they come in a wide variety of colors. When choosing a poinsettia for your home or office, first look at the foliage. You want it to be dark green and healthy without a lot of dropped leaves and bare stems. Also, avoid poinsettias where a lot of the true flowers have already fallen off. (Runtime: 1 minute, 14 seconds)
(Audio 11/27/06) Louisiana gardens can stay attractive through the winter months. It is a good idea to keep your landscape looking neat and clean during this time. This includes cutting back faded foliage, weeding and mulching. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/27/06) Planting a tree is not a difficult task, but it should be done right to give the tree a good start. Make sure you select the right tree for the space you intend to plant it in. LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains the proper tree planting process. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/27/06) Fertilizers are important tools to encourage growth on plants. The best time to apply fertilizer is at the beginning of a plant's growing season. Most of the plants in our landscape are going dormant this time of the year, but there are few plants that could use a healthy dose of fertilizer. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/27/06) Insects can still be a problem in fall and winter because of Louisiana's temperatures. Gardeners may see aphids, caterpillars, snails and slugs this time of the year. LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill has tips for controlling these winter pests. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 11/22/06) It’s the time of year when many people go shopping for trees to decorate their homes during the holiday season. LSU AgCenter expert Dr. Don Reed offers a few tips on selecting and caring for a tree that may help you get the most enjoyment from it.
(For Release On Or After 12/01/06) This time of the year deciduous trees drop tons of leaves. Most people rake them up, put them in bags and place the bags on the curb to be picked up with the trash. What a shame!
(For Release On Or After 12/08/06) Paperwhite and amaryllis are two bulbs popular for "forcing" in Louisiana during the winter. Forcing bulbs means growing them to bloom earlier than they would under normal landscape conditions.
(For Release On Or After 12/29/06) The next few weeks are an important time for planting tulips, hyacinths and other bulbs you previously stored in your refrigerator to get them ready for planting. Won’t it be great to get the refrigerator space back!
(For Release On Or After 12/22/06) The winter solstice occurred this week, and it marks a turning point in the length of our days and nights. Why is that important for gardeners? Mainly because it reminds us that changing of the seasons affects the way our plants perform.
(For Release On Or After 12/15/06) An easy-to-make garland might be just what you need to spruce up your front entrance before your holiday company arrives, and you may be able to make one from the "trimmings" you have from pruning trees and bushes this time of year.
(Distributed 11/22/06) Consumers must be cautious of identity thieves when shopping during the holiday season, says LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker. "Be on your guard all the time. By taking certain precautions, you can save yourself hours of time recovering from identity theft," she advises.
(Distributed 11/21/06) Many people use poinsettias to decorate their homes during the holiday season. The plants you purchase now can be a beautiful part of your decorations, but they’re probably only good for this season, the experts say.
(Distributed 11/21/06) The LSU AgCenter recently brought beef producers from around the state together at the Bald Cypress Cattle Co. in Amite for a field day designed to demonstrate scientifically based and environmentally sound management practices they could implement.
(Distributed 11/21/06) Five Louisiana 4-H members attended the first Southern Region Teen Leadership Conference earlier this month at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Ga.
(Distributed 11/21/06) Louisiana’s pecan crop this year is excellent. The harvest forecast is 19 million pounds, which is 5 million pounds above Louisiana’s average of 14 million pounds, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. John Pyzner.
(Distributed 11/21/06) This year’s plentiful Louisiana pecan crop is a pleasant surprise following last year’s hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It is unusual to have a good pecan crop following a hurricane, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. John Pyzner.
(Video 11/20/06) Ornamental grasses are reliable perennials that are easy to care for. In the fall, there is an ornamental grass that puts on a wonderful show. It is called the muhly grass, and it is grown for its wonderful, light, delicate, burgundy flower heads. (Runtime: 1 minute, 6 seconds)
(Audio 11/20/06) Paperwhites are a wonderful spring-flowering bulb, but it is popular to force their blooms around this time so they'll have blooms at Christmas. Just remember if you grow them with too little light and in warm temperatures, like indoors, they will turn out leggy and the blooms will fall over. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/20/06) Many people use tropical container plants to embellish decks, porches or patios. These plants cannot be left outside during winter. Don't wait until the first freeze is predicted to take them inside. Prepare them early for the lower light indoors. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/20/06) All the leaves your shade trees are dropping this time of year should not be thrown away. If you compost the leaves, you'll end up with a valuable soil additive that you can use in garden bed preparation. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/20/06) From now through February is the best time to plant hardy fruit trees and shrubs in Louisiana landscapes. Fruit trees often require more care than an average tree, but the resulting fruit makes it well worth the effort. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/20/06) A wide variety of herbs can take Louisiana's winters. Plant them now for a great harvest in late winter, spring and early summer. Put them in a sunny, well-prepared bed that is convenient to the kitchen. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 11/17/06) The LSU AgCenter’s 2007 Get It Growing calendar provides a variety of helpful information tailored to Louisiana gardeners, and it’s available for holiday gift-giving. The calendar, now in its third year of publication, features advice and photos tailored to Louisiana’s growing conditions and climates.
(Distributed 11/16/06) Twenty-one members of the most recentt LSU AgCenter Community Leadership and Economic Development class in Livingston Parish were on hand for the final session and presentation of certificates Monday (Nov. 13). Known as CLED, for short, the program is designed to help volunteers learn leadership skills that can help them work to improve their local economies and make their communities better places to live.
(Distributed 11/16/06) The LSU AgCenter’s 2006 Poinsettia Open House is set for Dec. 8 at its Burden Center in Baton Rouge. The annual event provides poinsettia growers and the public with an opportunity to view some of the latest poinsettia varieties and to see results of LSU AgCenter research with the plants. (EVENT CANCELED AFTER NEWS RELEASE ISSUED)
(Distributed 11/15/06) Four LSU AgCenter employees were recognized Tuesday (Nov. 14) for their outstanding service to the university. The LSU AgCenter winners – Joseph Alexis, Cheryl Duplechain, Nona Everett and Joan Gobert – were among 13 people honored as LSU Foundation Staff Outstanding Service Award winners.
(Distributed 11/15/06) Fried turkey has become a tradition for many people at Thanksgiving. Before envisioning your arteries hardening, consider that fried turkey is not as unhealthy as it might sound – if you don't eat the skin, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
(Distributed 11/15/06) When Louisiana cooks shop for their Thanksgiving meal, they’ll find the cost of the basic dinner items will average $38.11 for 10 people, according to an LSU AgCenter survey. That’s up by $1.31 from last year’s national average of $36.80 as reported by the American Farm Bureau Foundation.
(Video 11/13/06) This time of the year Louisiana gardeners are pulling out tired summer bedding plants and replacing them with cool-season bedding plants. That will keep our gardens beautiful and colorful through fall, winter and spring. But you could save those tender perennials you're taking out by potting them for the winter. (Runtime: 1 minute, 31 seconds)
(Distributed 11/13/06) Oyster dressing and pecan pie – both made with Louisiana-grown products – may be a bit more difficult to get this holiday season and may cause consumers to dig a little deeper in their pockets when they find them.
(Audio 11/13/06) Amaryllis bulbs become available at nurseries and garden centers each fall. But fall is not the appropriate time to plant these bulbs into your landscape. It is best to pot them and let them bloom indoors. You can plant them into your landscape in the spring. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/13/06) Summer-flowering bulbs grow and bloom during the summer, and many of these bulbs go dormant over the winter. When a freeze browns their foliage, you can cut them back. A thick layer of mulch will protect the bulbs during the winter. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/13/06) Broccoli is a great cool-season vegetable, but there is a trick to harvesting perfect broccoli. The size of the head does not determine when to harvest broccoli. It is the size of each individual flower bud on the head that determines harvest time. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/13/06) Winter vegetables have a nice aesthetic quality. The frilly foliage of mustard and the wonderful color of red cabbage make these plants great ornamentals as well as productive vegetables. You also can try curly-leaf parsley as an edging to cool-season bedding plants. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 11/13/06) The camellia is an outstanding evergreen shrub for Louisiana. It blooms beautifully in the winter. Camellias are free from most insect and disease problems except for tea scale. When that's a problem, oil spray will help control infestations. (Runtime: 60 seconds)