Richard Bogren, Owings, Allen D.
News Release Distributed 10/23/15
By Allen Owings
LSU AgCenter horticulturist
HAMMOND, La. – Fall is here, and it is a great time to add new ornamental plants to your landscape.
Did you know that Louisiana is one of the top nursery crop-producing states in the country? It’s also well represented in listings of the top states in sales of retail garden center products.
The nursery and landscape industry is the third largest Louisiana agricultural industry in terms of annual contributions to the state’s economy. Nursery growers, landscape professionals and garden centers in Louisiana employ over 56,000 individuals. The industry is active in all 64 parishes.
October, November and December are great times to do landscaping. This month, the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association, along with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, is encouraging us to purchase Louisiana-grown nursery plants.
“Buy fresh, buy local” is widely associated with fruits, vegetables and other farm produce, but it applies to landscape plants, too. The LSU AgCenter also supports selecting landscape plants that are Louisiana grown.
What advantage is there to buying a landscape plant grown in Louisiana compared to a plant grown out of state? First, Louisiana plants will have less stress because of shorter shipping times. You’ll also have a fresher product at retail and a healthier plant when you bring it home. In addition, a landscape plant grown in Louisiana will be acclimated to our unique growing conditions.
Many retail garden centers now have their own growing operations. The plants you buy today may well have been in their greenhouse next door or only a few miles away as recently as a day or two ago.
Louisiana producers also are more likely to grow Louisiana-recommended plants, like Louisiana Super Plants, than plants that are more adapted to Texas or northern Mississippi or Alabama. Mass merchandisers often buy plants for stores over a multi-state area with a few growers supplying many states. Locally owned independent retail garden centers tend to buy from Louisiana greenhouse growers and nursery crop producers.
We know that buying local, whether wholesale or retail, benefits the local economy. An investment in buying local means your money stays in your community or parish.
Fall is a great time for planting. Trees and shrubs can be added to the landscape this time of year with more success than if you planted in spring. And porch and patio containers with combinations of “spiller, filler and thriller” plants make great contributions to outdoor living, outdoor lifestyles, barbecues and entertaining during fall. Consider trying a small vegetable garden, too.
The Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association wants every family to plant together. Their new promotional theme is “buy it, plant it, grow it and love it.” The AgCenter also encourages you to get it growing this fall.
You can see more about work being done in landscape horticulture by visiting the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station website. Also, like us on Facebook. You can find an abundance of landscape information for both home gardeners and industry professionals at both sites.Rick Bogren