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.
(Audio 03/02/09) The buck moth caterpillar feeds on leaves of oak trees and delivers a painful sting. These caterpillars can be abundant in the spring. Spraying can help eliminate an infestation. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 03/02/09) If you’re looking for a great plant for a shady area where you maybe need a small patch of ground cover, ajuga is a delightful choice. Ajuga is a lovely plant. It’s spreading, low-growing and well-behaved in the landscape. (Runtime: 1 minute, 38 seconds)
(Audio 03/16/09) Interest in growing herbs has been rising in recent years. Louisiana gardeners can plant herbs in herb gardens or containers or in beds among existing plants. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/09/09) Orchids are wonderful flowering plants that are different from many other houseplants.(Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/23/09) The redbud is an outstanding, small, spring-flowering tree. Its tiny red flowers can really brighten up a landscape. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/23/09) Check your local nurseries for flowering perennial plants. You can find these plants in gallon-size containers, which are good for planting this time of year. These plants will live for many years, and that gives them an advantage over annuals. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(For Release On Or After 03/27/09) As we move into April, we can enjoy the peak blooming season of our cool-season annuals. But it’s not too early to begin to plan our summer gardens.
(Audio 03/02/09) Spring-flowering bulbs begin putting on a vivid display in March. So this is a good time to keep records. Walk through your garden and take notes on the color and size of plants, when they bloom and how well they work in your landscape. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/16/09) As the weather warms up, weeds, insects and diseases become far more common in our landscapes. It is important to remember that pesticides are just one option for control. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 03/16/09) In March, we begin to see green colors returning to our lawns. If you see weeds in your lawn during this time, it is best to just mow them back rather than apply a pesticide while your grasses are reawakening and starting to grow. (Runtime: 60 secondS)
(Audio 03/23/09) Having issues with lawn mushrooms? Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do to prevent them. But if you have pets or small children, it is best to gather and dispose of the bothersome mushrooms. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Distributed 03/19/09) ALEXANDRIA, La. – About 100 minority farmers and other small-farm operators heard about marketing, estate planning, financial planning and other legal issues at an informational meeting on March 12 at the LSU AgCenter’s Charles Dewitt Center here.
(Distributed 03/18/09) Creating sustainable gardens and more community and school gardens are some of the trends in the LSU AgCenter’s 15-year-old Master Gardener program, but educational activities and volunteer service still serve as the group’s focus.
(Distributed 03/13/09) The 2009 New Orleans Spring Garden Show and an accompanying Green Fair will be held at the City Park Botanical Garden on April 4-5 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.
(Distributed 03/09/09) A mobile classroom will be in Farmerville March 16-17 to help displaced workers and poultry growers affected by the upcoming closure of the Pilgrim’s Pride facilities in northern Louisiana.
(Distributed 03/03/09) The LSU AgCenter invites you to its annual “Azalea Stroll” at the historic Windrush Gardens in its Burden Center in Baton Rouge March 15. The hundreds of azaleas coming into bloom are part of a massive garden planted throughout the 20th century by Steele Burden, the youngest of three siblings who were the last Burden descendants to live at Windrush.
(Distributed 03/26/09) The LSU AgCenter invites you to learn more about roses, and it’s offering an event in April that’s designed to help. "An Afternoon of Roses" will be held from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. April 19 at the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center in Baton Rouge.
(Distributed 03/19/09) WINNSBORO, La. – The LSU AgCenter’s wheat and oat field day will be held at the Macon Ridge Research Station April 15.
(Distributed 03/03/09) The LSU AgCenter’s AgMagic, an event focused on helping young people have fun while also learning about the role of agriculture in their daily lives, will be presented April 20-26 at Parker Coliseum in Baton Rouge.
(Distributed 03/09/090) BATON ROUGE – Fred Bolding has spent nearly his entire adult life farming the fertile bottomlands and ridges in West Carroll Parish. And he does it quite well. So well, in fact, he was named the 2009 Louisiana Farmer of the Year.
(Distributed 03/16/09) An orientation program for volunteers at the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center will be offered on Sat., March 28, from 9 a.m. to noon. The Burden Center is located off of Essen Lane near the intersection of Interstate 10.
(Distributed 03/11/09) LAKE CHARLES, La. – The 10th Annual Southwest Louisiana Garden Festival will be held in Lake Charles March 28-29 at Burton Coliseum, 7001 Gulf Highway. The event will include guest speakers on a variety of garden topics and a plant health clinic where LSU AgCenter experts and Master Gardeners will answer gardening questions.
(Distributed 03/12/09) Louisiana’s wetlands face a crisis, and the youth of the state need to understand this so they can do something about it. That’s the philosophy behind the third annual Youth Wetlands Week, April 20-24, sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, with funding help from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.
(Distributed 03/27/09) NEW IBERIA, La. – Farmers will get the chance to see an LSU AgCenter demonstration plot of wheat varieties at an April 6 field day.
(Distributed 03/19/09) Obesity is a growing problem for the state of Louisiana, and coordinated efforts in the fight against it are important to potential success in stemming the obesity epidemic. That was the message echoed by experts at a gathering this week hosted by the LSU AgCenter.
(Distributed 03/06/09) NEW ORLEANS – The Metropolitan Human Services District has approved a $26,000 grant to the Orleans Parish 4-H Foundation to help pay various expenses of low-income 4-H members in the parish.
(Distributed 03/25/09) JEANERETTE, La. – A crowd of approximately 100 beef and forage producers turned out for the March 21 Acadiana Cattle Producers 2009 Spring Field Day held at the LSU AgCenter’s Iberia Research Station here.
(Distributed 03/04/09) A record crowd of 86 people attended the 13th annual Greenhouse Tomato Seminar Feb. 27 at the LSU AgCenter’s Red River Research Station in Bossier City. H.Y. Hanna, an LSU AgCenter researcher at the station, who is in charge of the greenhouse tomato project, taught the four-hour seminar, which covered grafting tomatoes, new varieties, growing media, successful cultural practices and pollinating techniques.
(Distributed 03/24/09) JoAnn Smith, an LSU AgCenter nutrition educator in Richland Parish, has been awarded a certificate of recognition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service for her contributions to the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).
(Distributed 03/23/09) Chesapeake Energy is sponsoring 60 4-H camp scholarships in six northwest Louisiana parishes.
(Distributed 03/03/09) Right after Hurricane Gustav, a service club at a Bunkie school decided to help provide activities for the school children of families evacuated to the Louisiana Emergency Shelter located at the LSU AgCenter’s Dean Lee Research and Extension Station in Alexandria.
(Distributed 03/18/09) Fire ants can be an aggravation around the house, but they can be a costly pest on the farm, too. Dale Pollet, LSU AgCenter entomologist, met with homeowners and farmers in Evangeline Parish March 17 to tell them how to control fire ants. He said the best months to start a control program are April and October.
(Distributed 03/19/09) The LSU AgCenter’s Southeast Research Station in Franklinton will host a meeting for Louisiana and Mississippi dairy producers March 31.
(Distributed 03/26/09) JEANERETTE, La. – The Acadiana Legislative Delegation, concerned about the effects of potential state budget cuts, unanimously passed a resolution supporting the restoration of sufficient funds to the LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry at a meeting with farmers here March 25.
(Distributed 03/17/09) March is National Nutrition Month, and childhood obesity is a statewide problem in Louisiana. To address this problem, 4-H Club members, volunteers and LSU AgCenter 4-H agents throughout the state are using a variety of programs to get children to think about making healthy food choices.
(Distributed 03/06/09) The LSU AgCenter’s seventh annual Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show is set for Saturday and Sunday, March 21-22, at the John M. Parker Coliseum on Highland Road in Baton Rouge.
(Distributed 03/25/09) Athens Select is a plant evaluation program that measures a variety’s heat and humidity tolerance. Founded in 1999 at the University of Georgia, the program includes trials at the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center in Baton Rouge and the Hammond Research Station in Hammond.
(Distributed 03/19/09) BATON ROUGE – Changing demographics and the economic recession are changing the ways Americans buy and prepare foods, a food industry consultant told the Louisiana Food Processors Conference here Wednesday (March 18).
(Distributed 03/27/09) The Louisiana Delta Initiative is inviting community and governmental leaders to “One Voice: Communities Moving from Poverty to Prosperity” from 1 to 3:30 p.m. April 2 at the Rayville Civic Center in Rayville.
(Distributed 03/20/09) LAFAYETTE, La. – State Rep. Jack Montoucet of Duson, speaking at a Louisiana Farm Bureau dinner March 18, defended the LSU AgCenter as it faces a possible $13.3 million budget cut for the upcoming fiscal year. “They provide such an important service to the farming community. It scares me to hear the cuts,” Montoucet said.
(Distributed 03/24/09) People facing unemployment should not relax because finding a job can often take a lot of work.
(Distributed 03/18/09) LAKE CHARLES, La. – LSU AgCenter 4-H leaders thanked state school superintendents for supporting 4-H Clubs. The appreciation breakfast was part of the recent Louisiana School Board Association convention here. The get-together was organized and sponsored by the Louisiana Association of Extension 4-H Agents. “We are trying to develop the total child,” said Mark Tassin, 4-H director. “You can do that within the school system, but I bet you need our help.”
(Distributed 03/16/09) Rising costs to retailers and heavy worldwide demand pushed up the cost of milk for U.S. consumers, but recent events have put dairy farmers in a bind, according to an agricultural economist with the LSU AgCenter.
(Distributed 03/18/09) SHREVEPORT, La. – The 25th annual Ark-La-Tex Forestry Forum held here March 12 offered suggestions for forest owners to make progress in hard economic times and included a safety lesson for when they are in the woods.
(Distributed 03/27/09) BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter is hosting a two-day comprehensive workshop on how to make your own biodiesel fuel from used vegetable oil on April 28-29 at the Callegari Environmental Center. “This is an advanced workshop and different from the workshops we offered last summer,” said Dr. Bill Carney, LSU AgCenter environmental educator and director of the Callegari Center. The AgCenter offered several workshops in 2008 on how to make biodiesel.
(Distributed 03/16/09) After relatively low rainfall amounts in recent weeks, Louisiana farmers are benefitting from the results of the past weekend rains, according to LSU AgCenter experts.
(TV News 06/29/09) Blueberries are little berries with big health benefits -- and they are in season now. Louisiana has its share of blueberry growers, and the quality of this year’s crop is as high as its nutrition content. (Runtime: 56)
(Radio News 06/01/09) A devalued peso could lead to a million tons of Mexican sugar coming into the United States. LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Dr. Ben Legendre says that amount would be much more than Louisiana’s sugar industry expected. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/01/09) An important part of parenting is providing guidance to your child. LSU AgCenter family development specialist Dr. Becky White says parents need to provide a safe and loving environment where children can learn and grow. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/15/09) Most children are naturally inquisitive and when a storm is approaching your child may have many questions. LSU AgCenter family life specialist Dr. Diane Sasser says you should be prepared to answer these questions before they are asked. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/29/09) The LSU AgCenter Pecan Research-Extension Station in Shreveport will not be affected by the latest alignment of Interstate 69 in southern Caddo Parish, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Dr. Patrick Colyer, the LSU AgCenter's Northwest Region director, says this is great news. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/08/09) If you haven’t treated your yard for fire ants, it’s not too late. April and October are the ideal time to treat, but you can still get good results in June, says LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Dale Pollet. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/01/09) Parents need to have realistic, research-supported expectations about what their children can do and accomplish at a particular age or stage in life, says LSU AgCenter family development specialist Dr. Becky White. She says expecting too much too soon can have a negative affect on a child. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/08/09) The rice water weevil is a major pest of rice, and the population this year appears as large as ever. Researchers aren’t sure what caused the increase in weevils, but LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Natalie Hummel says the damage is already noticeable in some fields. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/01/09) Summer camps provide fun and educational experiences for youngsters, and parents have many options when choosing where to send their children. LSU AgCenter family development specialist Dr. Diane Sasser has advice for picking the right camp. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/01/09) Some children experience homesickness when they are away from home during the summer. LSU AgCenter family development specialist Dr. Diane Sasser says parents must be careful when dealing with or anticipating homesickness.
(TV News 06/08/09) Two insects have rice growers scouting their fields. An LSU AgCenter rice entomologist reports that a common insect in rice has a large population this year and an uncommon rice insect has damaged two fields. (Runtime: 1 minute, 36 seconds)
(Radio News 06/15/09) Babies are like sponges, soaking in new things every day. Parents can provide babies and young children with the motivation to learn. LSU AgCenter family development specialist Dr. Becky White explains. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/22/09) When a hurricane hits, residents in its path may have to live without water or electricity for a while. LSU AgCenter disaster programs coordinator Pat Skinner says Louisiana residents need to be prepared for primitive living conditions. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(TV News 06/01/09) Late-planted sugarcane, a return of rust and sugar imports are causing concern for many Louisiana sugarcane farmers. As the cane grows taller across south Louisiana, farmers are seeing some problems, according to LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Dr. Ben Legendre. (Runtime: 1 minute, 55 seconds)
(TV News 06/15/09) If you haven’t treated your yard for fire ants, it’s not too late. April and October are the ideal times to treat with growth regulators, but LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Dale Pollet says you can still get good results in June. (Runtime: 1 minute, 22 seconds)
(Radio News 06/22/09) Home gardeners can have fresh, delicious and nutritious blueberries right outside of their doors. Blueberries are a great fruit crop for the home landscape, says LSU AgCenter county agent Kenny Sharpe. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/08/09) Every child needs an advocate – someone who is on their side, says LSU AgCenter family development specialist Dr. Becky White. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(TV News 06/22/09) Louisiana residents have lived through several major hurricanes in the past few years but some still neglect making adequate preparations for storm season. LSU AgCenter experts explain what you should be doing now to ensure you are ready if a storm heads your way. (Runtime: 1:37)
(Radio News 06/29/09) Blueberries are brimming with nutrients and flavor, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/29/09) 4-H’ers pledge to live healthfully, and the LSU AgCenter is helping youngsters keep that pledge. From Smart Bodies to Smart Choices, the LSU AgCenter has a variety of programs that teach children about healthy living, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Denise Holston. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/15/09) It is not unusual this time of the year to notice a large mass of tiny insects on the bark of certain trees. These are psocids or bark lice, explains LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Dale Pollet, who says they won't harm trees. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/15/09) Pine colaspis beetles may be feeding on your pine and cypress trees. Dr. Dale Pollet, an entomologist with the LSU AgCenter, says these golden beetles are foliage feeders. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/22/09) Gathering important supplies before a disaster occurs is important. LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker recommends putting together a "grab and go" box. She says this box should include items such as backup copies of important computer files, negatives of treasured photographs and keys to the safe deposit box. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/08/09) Individuals looking for extensive control of fire ants should look for growth regulators, says an LSU AgCenter entomologist. Dr. Dale Pollet says these baits work by sterilizing the ants. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/22/09) Hurricanes generally are less frequent during the early part of the summer storm season, but now still is a good time to prepare for potential storms, says LSU AgCenter disaster programs coordinator Pat Skinner. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/29/09) Keep it clean when cooking or eating outdoors, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames. No one wants a picnic or cookout spoiled by foodborne illness. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/08/09) An insect not seen in Louisiana rice fields in more than two decades has damaged two fields. LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Natalie Hummel says the grape colaspis is a problem in rice in Arkansas. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/15/09) Each June Father’s Day highlights the important roles dads play in children's lives. LSU AgCenter family and child development associate Courtney Pitts says fathers need to be involved throughout their children's lives. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Radio News 06/22/09) Blueberries have big health benefits, and they are in season now. Louisiana has its share of blueberry growers, and the quality of this year’s crop is as high as its nutrition content. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/29/09) This time of the year it is easy to evaluate where you may need shade in your lawn and landscape. You also may want to consider providing shade for your house. This can cut energy costs. Make a plan to plant shade trees during the fall. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/01/09) Mowing is the biggest lawn chore during the summer months. To keep your lawn looking attractive, you should mow every five to seven days. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Video 06/015/09) Do you neglect some of your gardening work during the summer because it’s just too hot? Well, on this edition of Get It Growing, LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill has a plant suggestion that will get you out of the sun and into the shade. (Runtime: 1 minute, 35 seconds)
(Audio 06/22/09) Snails and slugs thrive in our hot and humid summer weather. They chew holes in leaves and attack low-growing plants. Gardeners have several options to control them. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/08/09) Louisiana gardeners should be concerned about summer storms, especially hurricanes. Check trees now to determine if they need attention before a storm hits. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/15/09) Container plants are great on porches, decks and patios, but water from these pots can damage wooden surfaces. Boosting container plants will keep the wood dry and safe. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/15/09) Louisiana gardeners primarily grow everblooming roses, but some gardeners grow once-blooming roses. These plants that bloom once a year should be pruned in summer after they have finished blooming. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/08/09) Gardenia plants add a wonderful fragrance to southern landscapes. Pruning these plants requires some thought. The buds set the year before they open. Pruning has to be done right after they finish blooming. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/29/09) The intense heat we have in Louisiana during July doesn't mean we can't plant vegetables into our gardens. A number of vegetables actually grow well and even thrive in our summer heat. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/01/09) Containers allow us to have plants where they would not otherwise grow. During the summer, these plants have to be watered often, which can cause nutrients to leach out. A slow-release fertilizer will give container plants the boosts they need throughout the summer. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(For Release On Or After 06/19/09) If you picked dewberries or blackberries from the wild as a child (or adult) and miss those wonderful shiny, black fruit bursting with sweet juice, you’ll be glad to know blackberries are easy-to-grow and productive in the home garden.
(Audio 06/29/09) Web worms are small, fuzzy caterpillars that feed on the foliage of a variety of trees. They create a web tent, and while they may not look nice, they do not harm the tree. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/08/09) Large, mature shade trees are the most valuable and irreplaceable part of out landscape. Lightening strikes are common in the summertime, and lightening can kill a tree. If a tree is struck and it is still green a month later, it likely survived the strike. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/15/09) Crape myrtles are popular landscape trees. One problem with crape myrtles is suckers. Pruning the suckers and using a sprout inhibitor on them can keep them away for up to a year. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/29/09) The highest quality tomatoes come out of Louisiana gardens in late May and early June. In July, the intense heat takes its toll on the plants and the fruit they produce. Tomato production will drop off this month. (Runtime: 60 seconds)
(Audio 06/22/09) By now many gardeners have been harvesting tomatoes. A variety of problems can arise with tomato plants, and by late June production may be shutting down because of the heat. (Runtime: 60 seconds)