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.
BATON ROUGE, La. – More than 200 people learned how to update their homes and make them safer during hurricane season at the Hurricanes, Homes and Yards event at the LSU AgCenter’s LaHouse on June 13. LaHouse is an educational and demonstration center built as a residential home near the Alex Box Baseball Stadium on the LSU campus.
(Distributed 06/03/09) The Louisiana Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences presented its highest award along with others at its annual conference in Lafayette May 6. New officers also were chosen.
(Radio News 07/20/09) The LSU AgCenter's Rice Research Station recently celebrated its centennial during its annual field day. Station director and rice breeder Dr. Steve Linscombe said the station has had a strong rice variety development program over the years. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 07/13/09) Insects on soybeans are active in Louisiana, says LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Jeff Davis. If a grower's crop is at the R3 stage or higher, Davis recommends treating for pests if there are high numbers of insects present. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 07/13/09) Louisiana’s soybean crop is in the middle of its growing season. LSU AgCenter soybean specialist Dr. Ronnie Levy says dry weather is starting to affect the crop. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 07/06/09) Aflatoxin is a major concern for corn growers. This naturally occurring fungus is a potent carcinogen that can grow on corn. Dr. Ken Damann conducts research on aflatoxin for the LSU AgCenter. He says the pathogen thrives in hot, dry conditions like those the state has experienced recently. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 07/06/09) Farmers visiting the LSU AgCenter’s Northeast Research Station for its annual field day were greeted by dry, cracked earth, dusty fields and crops on the verge of drought stress. Much of the state has seen little or no rainfall for several weeks, and the crops are starting to show it, according to LSU AgCenter research coordinator Dr. Donnie Miller. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(TV News 07/20/09) Property values are falling around Lake Bisteneau. The lake is clogged with an invasive weed, but LSU AgCenter scientists are using biological means in hopes of getting the weed under control. (Runtime: 1:45)
(Radio News 07/13/09) A disease is affecting cucurbit plants, which include fruits and vegetables such as melons, squash and cucumbers. Downy mildew can cause serious damage to these plants, says LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Dr. Don Ferrin. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 0720/09) Louisiana’s rice crop appears to be in good shape. But farmers have had to pump more water because of dry weather, says LSU AgCenter rice specialist Dr. Johnny Saichuk. Growers also are concerned about high nighttime temperatures, which can interfere with pollination of the rice plants. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 07/06/09) Growing tomatoes in a greenhouse is better for the environment, says LSU AgCenter researcher Dr. H.Y. Hanna. He says growers don’t have to use pesticides because they can control the environment in the greenhouse. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 07/20/09) Giant salvinia has been a problem in Louisiana for nearly a decade. The noxious weed can clog waterways and chokes the life out of lakes and ponds. The weed isn’t native to this area and has no natural predators. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(TV News 07/13/09) Field-grown tomatoes are at their peak production in June, but an LSU AgCenter researcher is working on extending the tomato harvest by taking them out of the ground and putting them in the greenhouse. (Runtime: 1:55)
(Audio 07/06/09) Farmers visiting the LSU AgCenter’s Northeast Research Station for its annual field day were greeted by dry, cracked earth, dusty fields and crops on the verge of drought stress. Much of the state has seen little or no rainfall for several weeks, and the crops are starting to show it. (Runtime: 1:23)
(Radio News 07/06/09) Some farmers are fighting volunteer weeds – crops from a previous planting growing among a new crop. LSU AgCenter researcher Dr. Donnie Miller explains that a Roundup Ready corn plant growing in a soybean field is a weed, and it competes for nutrients and can reduce yields of the desired crop. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/20/09) Palm trees should be planted in the heat of summer. Before you plant, think about the size and type of palm you want to plant. Pick a palm that is hardy in your area. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/06/09) Fighting weeds is a never-ending battle. A pre-emergence herbicide can prevent weeds from growing in an area. Apply it to freshly-weeded flower beds or to cracks in sidewalks. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/13/09) Hydrangeas have finished their blooming season, so July is a good time to prune them. If you wait too late, the plants will have set their flower buds for next year. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 07/20/09) Many people think of Florida or California when they hear the words palm tree. But palm trees can grow well here in Louisiana, too. On this edition of Get It Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains how to select and care for palm trees. (Runtime: 1:37)
(For Release On Or After 07/25/09) If you want to boost the color in your landscape, nurseries still have a good selection of colorful bedding plants that will thrive in whatever heat the summer throws at them. You can create cool, elegant color schemes with pastels, or an explosion of bright, vibrant colors full of excitement.
(Audio 07/06/09) The grasses we use for our yards do not like the shade. That means grass growing under a tree may suffer as the tree grows. The options include sodding again, mulching or using a ground cover. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/06/09) Leaf miners are so tiny that they can feed on the inside of a leaf. These pests consume the green tissue and make a trail in the leaf. Spinosad can control these insects. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(For Release On Or After 07/04/09) For the summer season, no flowering tree or shrub outblooms the crape myrtle. This small tree packs a powerful punch of color over an amazingly long season. But other summer-blooming large shrubs and small trees can do a lot to contribute to the summer display. Here are a few –
(Audio 07/06/09) Having the right type plants can help attract beautiful butterflies into your landscape. On this edition of Get it Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains some of the different types of plants that go into a butterfly garden. (Runtime: 1:42)
(Audio 07/27/09) Flower beds are especially visible in the landscape -- their colors draw the eye to them. It's important to keep your beds tidy. Weed, mulch and remove faded flowers to keep your beds in shape. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/20/09) Mushrooms pop up during rainy summer weather. They typically are harmless, but they can be a nuisance in lawns or flower beds. You don't need to use chemicals on them. Just gather them and dispose of them, if you wish. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/27/09) Crape myrtles are Louisiana's favorite summer flowering tree. They can have two and sometimes three flushes of flowers. If you can, take off the faded flowers. That will encourage more blooms. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/27/09) Roses do not bloom well during Louisiana's summer months. The intense heat can stress roses. The plants may continue to bloom, but the quality of the flowers diminishes. Just keep the plants in shape so they can bloom well in the fall. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/06/09) Gardeners may be tempted to put saucers under outdoor container plants. Saucers can be a breeding source for mosquitoes and keep the soil of the plant too wet. Instead, use pot feet to keep water from damaging the surface where the pot sits. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 07/13/09) If you have areas in your yard that retain a good deal of water, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. On this edition of Get It Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains how low-lying, wet areas can be turned into bog gardens. (Runtime: 1:46)
(Audio 07/20/09) If you don't spend a lot of time outdoors during the summer, you generally don't get to enjoy the flowers in your landscape. LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill suggests cutting the flowers and bringing them indoors. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/20/09) July and August are a good time to take cuttings from plants in your landscape. Just remember you'll have to be patient, however, since it will take a few years before the plants you root and grow from cuttings will be large enough to plant into your landscape. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/13/09) Blackberries finished producing fruit in early June, but the plants may need to be pruned now. The canes grow for two years. Be sure to prune the canes that already produced berries and not the canes that will produce next year. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/27/09) Gardeners can plant a variety of heat-tolerant plants in their flower beds in July and August. Flowers like periwinkle and salvia can thrive in sunny spots, and caladiums can tolerate the shade. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/13/09) It is not uncommon to see patches of webbing on the trunk of a tree this time of the year. The webbing may look scary, but the insects under the webbing are not harmful. Bark lice spin the web to protect themselves while they clean the bark of the tree. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/20/09) Basil is used in a variety of cuisines around the world. It is an easy herb to grow during the summer. You can find basil transplants at local nurseries or garden centers. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/27/09) If you planted an herb garden earlier this year, be sure to harvest those herbs. Take about a third of the plant at a time, and be sure to water the herbs during hot and dry spells. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(For Release On Or After 07/11/09) Summer is the time when people commonly take their longest vacations. When planning a vacation, people make arrangements to have someone take care of everything from the cat to the newspaper. But many neglect to have someone look after their plants and home grounds during their absence.
(For Release On Or After 07/18/09) Although Louisiana receives on average about 50 to 60 inches of rain annually, it doesn’t occur evenly through the year. As a result, dry spells are not uncommon, particularly during the heat of mid- to late summer. At those times, we may need to provide supplemental irrigation to flowerbeds, shrubs, lawns and newly planted trees.
(Audio 07/06/09) If you did a good job selecting heat-tolerant bedding plants, your garden should look great this month. If plants are starting to wilt, however, you may need to replace them with plants better suited for the heat. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 07/27/09) Tired of constantly watering your plants during the summer? Then you might be interested in planting drought-tolerant plants. On this edition of Get it Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill introduces you to a number of plants that can hang tough during the heat of summer and therefore reduce your watering chores. (Runtime: 1:47)
(Audio 07/13/09) You can fertlize your lawn in July if it the grass needs it. But be sure you choose a fertilizer that does not have a weed killer in it, and follow label directions when applying. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 07/13/09) Figs are one of the most commonly planted fruit trees in the home landscape. Fig trees are productive and easy to grow. The fruit peaks this month, and gardeners should harvest them every day, if possible. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 07/14/09) When parents become involved in their children's schoolwork, studies show the children do better in school. “But that doesn’t mean doing the homework for them,” says LSU AgCenter Certified Family Life Educator Dr. Diane D. Sasser.
(Distributed 07/07/09) A child might be facing the unknown when starting kindergarten, but parents need to prepare as well. They are faced with many responsibilities.
(Distributed 07/20/09) BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE – Exactly 40 years after Apollo 11 took off for the moon, 30 children gathered at Barksdale Air Force Base as part of a weeklong rocketry camp, complete with a launch of their own rockets on July 16.
(Distributed 07/08/09) Children fare better in school when their parents help them become ready for kindergarten. After all, parents are the most important teachers a child will ever have, says LSU AgCenter family development professor Dr. Rebecca White.
(Distributed 07/20/09) BATON ROUGE, La. – Three loan and grant programs are assisting farmers and agribusinesses affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike and aquaculture producers facing high feed costs.
(Distributed 07/08/09) A few weeks before elementary school begins, remind your child that school will be starting, and pay attention to your child’s reactions, says LSU AgCenter family and child development expert Dr. Linda Robinson.
(Distributed 07/24/09) Farmers and ranchers who lost livestock as a result of adverse weather – including hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 – may be eligible for federal disaster payments, according to an economist with the LSU AgCenter.
(Distributed 07/22/09) WEST MONROE, La. – Louisiana teachers learned about teaching money management to high school students at a workshop presented by the LSU AgCenter July 16.
(Distributed 7/27/09) BOSSIER CITY, La. – People interested in agritourism learned how to minimize risks and develop a plan of operation at three educational programs presented by the LSU AgCenter July 21 and 23.
(Distributed 07/01/09) GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – Thirty LSU AgCenter 4-H’ers gave it their best shot at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational, placing in the top five in three competitions and having eight individuals in the top 10.
(Distributed 07/24/09) Nearly 400 youngsters and parents have participated in a northeast Louisiana family nutrition pilot program that addresses childhood obesity, portion control and physical inactivity, according to the LSU AgCenter.
(Distributed 07/01/09) HAMMOND, La. – Ornamental plants like cannas can provide a simple, effective and aesthetic method of removing excess nutrients in storm water or nursery production runoff, according to research conducted at the LSU AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station.
(Distributed 07/02/09) CROWLEY, La. – Farmers and scientists celebrated 100 years of work Wednesday (July 1) at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station’s 2009 Field Day that marked the facility’s centennial.
(Distributed 07/07/09) The transition to middle school occurs at a time when children are transitioning to adolescence. The preteen years can be stressful for children as their bodies prepare for puberty.
(Distributed 07/23/09) ST. GABRIEL, La. – Drought conditions are bad for sugarcane growers, but a small increase in price is giving them at least something to smile about, LSU AgCenter researchers said at a field day at the AgCenter’s Sugar Research Station July 15.
(Distributed 07/31/09) As the sugarcane planting season begins to ramp up, most growers will be leaning toward newer varieties this year.
(Distributed 07/09/09) BATON ROUGE, La. – Students attending the robotics class at the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H University squared off in fierce combat with robots they built and programmed. The robots fought in a circle, and the object was to push an opponent out of a 2-foot ring.
(Distributed 07/17/09) An LSU AgCenter field day for sugarcane producers in St. Martin, Lafayette and St. Landry parishes will be held Friday (July 24). The event begins at the Levert-St. John Sugar Mill near St. Martinville at 1 p.m.
(Distributed 07/06/09) JEANERETTE, La. – Lolo Robicheaux, a 4-H adult volunteer, teachers 4-H’ers to ride horses simply for the love of teaching what she enjoys.
(Distributed 07/07/09) For most high school graduates, high school brings back fond memories. Starting high school, however, can be an overwhelming experience.
(Distributed 07/10/09) Back-to-school time can be a very expensive time of year. That makes it a great opportunity to help children learn to handle money.
(Distributed 07/15/09) Summer is not the most enjoyable time to work in the yard in Louisiana, but rose bushes need attention to ensure good performance through the summer and into the early fall months.
(Distributed 07/17/09) Results from the 40th annual Louisiana 4-H and FFA State Horse Show held July 6-11 have been released. Coordinated by the LSU AgCenter, the event was held at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe.
(Distributed 07/23/09) CROWLEY, La. – An internationally recognized genetics researcher who visited the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station Tuesday (July 21) said he is confident that the European Union eventually will accept genetically modified foods. But in the meantime, he is focusing his work on third-world countries.
(Distributed 07/29/09) Coastal Louisiana residents can gain a better understanding of hurricanes and storm surges and clear up misconceptions about these events in Chauvin Aug. 12 and Golden Meadow Aug. 13.
(Distributed 07/09/09) If the idea of spending so much cash for school needs gets you down, take a look at these tips for creating – and sticking to – a back-to-school budget.
(Distributed 07/07/09) At a time when many are worried that the United States is experiencing a general decline in civic and political engagement, volunteering appears particularly strong among today’s young people, according to LSU AgCenter 4-H youth volunteer expert Dr. Janet Fox.
(Distributed 07/09/09) “Ever-increasing scholastic demands may mean that children are lugging home more books in their backpacks, often resulting in injuries,” says LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker. She advises comparison shopping when looking for backpacks.
(Distributed 07/14/09) Decades ago, hectic lives were the trademark of business people. Today, that condition applies to almost every family in America where your family is your business, according to LSU AgCenter Certified Family Life Educator Dr. Diane D. Sasser.
(Distributed 07/09/09) Breakfast is usually considered the most important meal of the day, but one-fourth of children ages 6 to 11 miss that meal.
(Distributed 07/09/09) Whether you're going back to school as a student or teacher, it's important to take extra care of your take-along lunch that’s been waiting all morning for you to eat. You don’t want to get a foodborne illness.
(Distributed 07/29/09) Farmers should be aware of the pH level in the water they use to mix insecticides, Dr. Dale Pollet, an LSU AgCenter entomologist, told growers at a sugarcane field day at the LSU AgCenter’s Iberia Research Station July 22.
(Distributed 07/17/09) Hot summer nights could cause problems for rice pollination, according to the LSU AgCenter’s rice specialist. While speaking Wednesday (July 15) at the Northeast Louisiana Rice and Soybean Field Day, Dr. Johnny Saichuk said nighttime temperatures that do not fall below 80 degrees could affect the viability of pollen.
(Distributed 07/10/09) Several varieties of gardenias work well in the landscape, but dwarf gardenias are more prone to problems.
(Distributed 07/23/09) WEST MONROE, La. – Common problems in taking pictures of horses are distortion, lighting and a distracting background. That was the message of Pam Kaster of Zachary.
(Distributed 07/09/09) Once considered a club just for rural and farm kids, 4-H boasts an enrollment of more than 243,000 in Louisiana and 7 million across the country.
(Distributed 07/10/09) LSU AgCenter’s 4-H camp near Pollock, La., increased its size to 82 acres as the Louisiana 4-H Foundation donated a vacant piece of property for camp expansion. The 30-acre addition was Camp Windywood, a former Girl Scout camp and adjacent to the Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center.
(Distributed 07/24/09) If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments on time, resolving the problem fast is critical, according to LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker.
(Distributed 07/24/09) Tenants in foreclosed properties have new protections under a bill signed by President Barack Obama May 20, according to LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker.
(Distributed 07/14/09) Move over, summer – a new school year is upon us! LSU AgCenter Certified Family Life Educator Dr. Diane D. Sasser shares her joy of anticipation with six steps on preparing for the event.
(Distributed 07/09/09) During preseason football practices with high heat and humidity, athletes should be well-hydrated, have access to fluids and be monitored for heat-related illness.
(Distributed 07/22/09) MANSURA, La. – The Louisiana 4-H Museum officially opened Saturday (July 18) in this Avoyelles Parish town – the cradle of the state’s 4-H program.
(Distributed 07/09/09) The LSU AgCenter has scheduled seminars at the Iberia Parish library branch locations help people predict storm surges from hurricanes using flood maps. The seminar will be July 16 at the Eastside Branch in New Iberia at 1:30 p.m. and repeated July 21 at the St. Peter Street Branch in New Iberia at 1:30 p.m. and at 6 p.m.
(Distributed 07/08/09) As the first day of kindergarten approaches, many parents find themselves anxious about how their children will adjust.
(Distributed 07/24/09) ZWOLLE, La. – A Louisiana 4-H team placed fifth overall in the national 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program held July 20-22 at the Wildwood Resort.
(Distributed 07/27/09) Community leaders and other individuals will have an opportunity during an Aug. 4 forum in Vidalia to hear how leaders in Helena-West Helena, Ark., worked to bring those two cities together.
(Distributed 07/20/09) BATON ROUGE, La. – The potential and problems of converting forest and agricultural products into biofuels was the focus of the third Louisiana Natural Resources Symposium July 16-17.
(Distributed 07/10/09) GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – Two Louisiana teams finished first, and seven others finished in the top five at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational meet June 24-28. In addition, three Louisiana teams placed in the top five teams overall, and eight Louisiana 4-H’ers were in the top 10 in individual events.
(Distributed 07/09/09) Parents can help their children prepare for kindergarten by teaching them personal skills.
(Distributed 07/09/09) LAKE ARTHUR, La. – Brutal summer heat that lasts into the night could bring bacterial panicle blight to this year’s rice crop, an LSU AgCenter plant pathologist warned Tuesday (July 7) at the Vermilion Parish Rice Field Day held at the Lounsberry farm near Lake Arthur.
(Distributed 07/02/09) MANSURA, La. – The grand opening of the Louisiana 4-H Museum will be July 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., along with the induction of the 2009 members of the Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame. Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension, said the museum will showcase the 4-H achievements of the during the past 100 years.
(Distributed 07/08/09) The high school years are usually a time of experimentation and testing limits. Recent studies, however, reveal that conflict between parents and adolescents is much less than popular culture leads us to believe.
(Distributed 07/07/09) One of the many ways in which parents can help their children prepare for kindergarten is physical development, according to LSU AgCenter family development professor Dr. Rebecca White.
(Distributed 07/09/09) If there’s a teenager in your life, you want him or her to use credit cards responsibly once he or she gets to college. LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker offers three words of advice: “Talk it out.”