Ag News for April 2015

Bennett Joffrion  |  4/3/2015 1:40:45 AM

Master Gardener and St. Francis Community Garden Vegetable Field Day on June 6, 2015

As of this writing the Master Gardeners and St. Francis Community Garden Volunteers have planted their garden in preparation for the annual Vegetable Field Day.

There is a change of venue this year and it will be held in Thibodaux next to the Civic Center at the St. Francis Community Garden.

The program will begin with registration beginning at 8:00 a.m. and speakers from the LSU AgCenter will discuss home vegetable production and diseases in the garden. Mark your calendar for June 6, 2015 and see the latest recommended varieties for home gardens.

Further program information will follow in future articles.

New and Updated Publications from the LSU AgCenter

Our Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide has been updated. It lists the latest recommended varieties for vegetable production in Louisiana. It is publication 1980.

We also have five new publications that our Horticulture Specialist, Dr. Katheryn Fontenot and Dr. Charlie Johnson and our Weed Science Professor, Dr. Ron Strahan have written as a Home Garden Series. These publications can be picked up at our office at 511 Roussell Street in Houma or downloaded from our website.

They are titled:
Spring Harvest – Publication # 3360A
Fall Harvest – Publication # 3360B
Weed Management – Publication #3360C
Growing Transplants – Publication # 3360D
Raised Beds – Publication # 3360E

Lawn Fertilization

Now is the time to begin our lawn fertilization program.

April is the ideal time to fertilize our warm season turf. A general recommendation is to use a complete fertilizer such as 13-13-13. These numbers indicate that it has nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in equal amounts.

General recommendation amounts for Bermuda grass lawns is 7-8 pounds per 1000 square feet of lawn area. St. Augustine and Zoysia lawns are 6-7 pounds per 1000 square feet of lawn area and 4 to 5 pounds per 1000 square feet for centipede lawns.
After the initial application use a nitrogen fertilizer at the rate of 0.5 pounds to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet every five to six weeks until late summer, then go back to a complete fertilizer like 13-13-13 in early September.

Centipede lawns only need one additional nitrogen fertilization in mid to late summer.

Question: Are Sago Palms poisonous to pets?
Answer: Our State Horticulture Specialist, Dan Gill, indicated that the cycad (sago palm) which come in male and female are poisonous, although the female presents the more dangerous situation. The females form large dome-shaped cones on top of the plant during summer. The seeds mature in January and February and drop to the ground thereafter. The seeds are covered with a fleshy red coating that dogs must find tasty because they eat them. Although all parts of the sago are toxic, the seeds are highly toxic to dogs and fatalities can occur if enough are ingested.
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