Lee Rouse | 12/11/2017 5:33:45 PM
I have yet to meet a gardener in all my years who desired to have a messy, ugly garden. It can be assumed that most gardeners would like to have a beautiful landscape and garden. Readers of this column, as well as other articles, books and pamphlets, are more than aware of the different tools, techniques and methods used to obtain a lush landscape. While “how-to-garden” is extremely important, the crux of the matter is timing. Performing many gardening tasks outside of the ideal time could yield less than optimum results.
Planting times and maintenance schedules are crucial to the development, as well as the management, of insects and other pests. For example, I received an email this week from a gentleman wanting to know why his bell pepper leaves are beginning to curl. After examining the pictures, I determined the plant had cold damage as well as mites. The plant could be sprayed with a miticide, but a better approach would be to understand the ideal time for bell peppers, and December is outside of that range. It would prove more beneficial to pull out the peppers and replace them with winter vegetables at this time.
There are many planting and pruning dates that gardeners need to be aware of. Because of this, the LSU AgCenter has developed the famous Get It Growing Calendar. Published since 2005, many Louisiana gardeners eagerly anticipate the calendar’s new edition each year, said Elma Sue McCallum of the LSU AgCenter Communications Department, who serves as the calendar’s coordinator.
The just-published 2018 Get It Growing Lawn and Garden Calendar provides both knowledge and inspiration for gardening with tips for the experienced or novice gardener along with stunning photos of plants, flowers and gardens from photographers across Louisiana.
In addition to monthly gardening tips, the calendar features a how-to section on building raised beds for vegetable gardening with advice from LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill, a widely respected regional gardening expert. The calendar includes helpful information for projects, including when to plant tulips and tomatoes and to look for Louisiana Super Plants, such as the Little Gem Southern magnolia and the Limelight hydrangeas.
Besides the monthly gardening tips for 2018 and the feature on raised beds, the full-color, 32-page, 9-inch-by-13.25-inch calendar includes an illustrated step-by-step guide to solarizing garden beds to reduce fungi, nematodes and weed problems. The calendar provides a list of AgCenter lawn and garden publications along with information on the LSU AgCenter Master Gardener program and the AgCenter Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic and Soil Testing and Plant Analysis labs.
The Get It Growing calendar sells for $11.95 and is available for online orders at www.lsuagcenter.com/GetItGrowingCalendar. Phone orders can be placed by calling 225-578-2263. Sample photos and more information are available on the website.
Created as part of the AgCenter Get It Growing educational campaign for home lawns and gardens, the calendar can be found at bookstores, garden centers and gift shops across Louisiana.