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.
(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.”
(Distributed 07/07/09) Whether you’re a school athlete, occasional exerciser or simply a spectator, you share one common fact: you can’t live long without water.
(Distributed 07/10/09) Did you know that Louisiana schools are growing? That is, they’re growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and flowers. School gardens are growing in popularity across the state.
(Radio News 01/19/09) Snow in mid-December inflicted considerable damage to plant nurseries in the Florida parishes and the Forest Hill area. Dr. Regina Bracy, director of the LSU AgCenter's Hammond Research Station, says around 80 percent of that area's greenhouses were damaged. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/26/09) Spinach loves cool weather, and for gardeners who love spinach, now is the time to get it in the ground. LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske says you need to plant spinach at least 60 days before the heat settles in and that hybrid varieties work best. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/05/09) Even when the holidays are over and the decorations have come down, your Christmas tree can still have some value to it, says LSU AgCenter forestry specialist Dr. Don Reed. Some communities collect trees to use for mulch or to stop erosion. Check with your city or parish government to see if they recycle trees and when to set your tree out by the curb. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/26/09) You can have your king cake and eat it too; just do it moderation, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Heli Roy. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/26/09) The LSU AgCenter’s Delta Rural Development Center is working to create parish-level leaders. Dr. James Barnes is heading up the Lead Louisiana program. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/12/09) If you are looking for ways to save money this winter, try cutting energy costs. LSU AgCenter housing specialist Dr. Claudette Reichel has some tips – starting with curbing air leakage around your home. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/26/09) The weather outside may be frightful for gardeners, but there are still opportunities to work outdoors, says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/05/09) If you are attempting to take control of your finances in 2009, an LSU AgCenter family economist has some tips to help. Dr. Jeanette Tucker says a financial resolution should start with determining your net worth and developing a working budget.
(Radio News 01/19/09) Early Louisiana strawberries are arriving in grocery stores and farmers markets. Louisiana growers produce plenty of high-quality berries, but the state doesn’t have as many acres of strawberries as it did 10 years ago, according to Dr. Regina Bracy, director of the LSU AgCenter's Hammond Research Station. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/19/09) Louisiana strawberries are a springtime favorite, but consumers don’t have to wait this year to enjoy them. Some farmers started harvesting their crops back in November, says Dr. Regina Bracy, director of the LSU AgCenter's Hammond Research Station. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/05/09) 2008 had many ups and downs for Louisiana farmers. Farmers headed into the year with a good deal of optimism, says LSU AgCenter economist Dr. Kurt Guidry, but he points out things changed along the way. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/05/09) Financial woes are affecting most sectors of the economy. LSU AgCenter economist Dr. Kurt Guidry says agricultural lending hasn’t felt the full brunt of the economic crisis. Guidry says the question isn’t whether there will be money to lend to producers this year but whether producers can convince lenders to make the loans. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/19/09) Broccoli on the school’s cafeteria menu may not excite many students, but broccoli growing in Valverda Elementary School’s courtyard excited two classes of fourth graders on a crisp winter morning. Fourth-grade teacher Joann Hebert says the garden is part of the curriculum for many classes at this Pointe Coupee Parish School. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/05/09) LSU AgCenter economist Dr. Kurt Guidry makes predictions about Louisiana’s crop outlook for the new year. Guidry expects soybean and rice acreage to increase in 2009. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/12/09) LSU AgCenter agents are tackling nutritional needs in their communities. Agents are involved in a nutrition coalition taking on three issues. LSU AgCenter family and consumer sciences agent Terri Crawford explains. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/12/09) Community gardens are providing access to fresh vegetables for residents of some low-income neighborhoods in Shreveport. The LSU AgCenter program also is bringing neighbors together and changing communities for the better, according to LSU AgCenter horticulture agent Grace Peterson. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/05/09) A roaring fireplace can add warmth and ambiance to the home. The drawback is that you can bring unwanted pests inside along with the firewood, says LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Dale Pollet. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/12/09) Several gardens in Shreveport are providing more than just food to members of the community. The gardens are empowering neighborhoods and giving neighbors a sense of accomplishment. LSU AgCenter horticulturists and nutritionists, such as Grace Peterson, are working to revitalize communities by setting up vegetable gardens. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/26/09) Think there is nothing to do in the yard or garden this time of the year? LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske says think again. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 01/19/09) Growing your own vegetables is one way to learn about nutrition, and that’s the approach Valverda Elementary School in Pointe Coupee Parish is taking. A variety of vegetables are being grown in the school's courtyard, says fourth-grade teacher Catherine Olinde. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/19/09) Bed preparation is an important part of gardening. If you are putting in new shrubs, flower beds or vegetable beds, these will require bed preparation. You can do the prep work in advance of planting. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 01/05/09) The holidays have passed, and your Christmas poinsettias may look like they’re coming to an end as well. Can you replant them -- or should you throw them away? On this edition of Get it Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill provides answers about this poinsettia dilemma. (Runtime: 1 minute, 30 seconds)
(Audio 01/12/09) Some Louisiana gardeners prefer to overseed their lawns with ryegrass during the fall. Ryegrass grows very well in the cool winter weather and stays green through our coldest weather. But it also requires you to do some lawn care during that time. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/26/09) Winter is a superb time to add hardy trees and shrubs to your landscape. You can plant shade trees, add a privacy screen or bring in some flowering shrubs to enhance your landscape. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/26/09) Camellias are winter-blooming plants, and January is a good time to visit your local nursery and pick out the plant that best suits your needs. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/12/09) In cooler climates, foxgloves and holly hocks are perennials, but in the South they are cool-season annuals. Transplants are available in nurseries this time of the year. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/19/09) You can plant Irish potatoes into your vegetable garden now through February. To start planting, cut the seed potatoes into pieces about the size of an egg and make sure each piece contains an eye. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/05/09) Since Louisiana's winters are so mild, you can plant cool-season plants this time of year. You also should actively monitor the growth of the cool-season plants you already have planted. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 01/12/09) Don’t let the season fool you. It can still be an optimal time to get some hardy plants in the ground. On this edition of Get it Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains the benefits of planting herbs now. (Runtime: 1 minute, 30 seconds)
(Audio 01/26/09) People often ask how they should water their indoor plants. The answers on this simple process begin by determining whether your plants need watering or not. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/12/09) You can start growing transplants for tomatoes, peppers or eggplants in trays or pots from now until the first part of February. It takes about six weeks to raise them to transplant size. Then the transplants should go into the ground in March. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 01/26/09) Camellias are in bloom right now. If you have not planted any but are interested in getting them at a nursery, you might be interested in a unique style of camellia. LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains in this edition of Get It Growing. (Runtime: 1 minute, 35 seconds)
(Audio 01/05/09) Now that the holidays are over, you need to determine what to do with your holiday plants. Some can be kept, and others should be discarded. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/05/09) You can harvest or plant something in your Louisiana vegetable garden almost every day of the year, and the days of January are no exception. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/12/09) Louisiana gardeners might not consider January a prime month for planting, but the entire winter season is great for planting hardy trees, shrubs and ground covers. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/05/08) Roses can be planted all through the winter. As soon as you have your rose plants, get them into your garden so they can establish their roots. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/19/09) Winter is a good time to prune shade trees. They are leafless at this time, so it's easy to see their shape and where they may need pruning. Also, if you need a professional, tree companies tend to be less busy during the winter. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/19/09) Mealy bugs are a common insect on indoor plants. They usually find their way inside your home on plants purchased at a nursery or when you bring in plants that spent the summer outside. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 01/19/09) Here in Louisiana we don't do a lot of fertilization to our plants during the winter. Most of the plants we have in our landscapes are dormant this time of the year and don't need the nutrients fertilizers provide. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 01/19/09) When is the last time you planted a new tree in your yard? On this edition of Get It Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill explains why it’s a good time to plant trees now – and what to look for when selecting young trees from the nursery. (Runtime: 1 minute, 38 seconds)
(Audio 01/26/09) Even through the cold of winter, we can experience a wide variety of pests in our home vegetable gardens. (Runtime: 60 seconds)