(News article for July 9, 2022; edited)
Those of us working in Extension see patterns in the phone calls that we get over the course of the year. We get a lot of calls during the spring, as people get excited about their lawns and gardens and start seeing problems in them. Then, there comes a time of year when it seems like people are largely “over it.”
During this time of year when working outside in the garden isn’t as pleasurable, you might consider using the time to do some garden-related reading. The LSU AgCenter has a lot of resources that address a variety of topics, and there are certain ones that we give out repeatedly.
Below is information on some resources that you might take time to read as you sit in the cool of your house or on your porch. These publications are available on the LSU AgCenter website.
The Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide contains much of the information you need to plant a home vegetable garden, including recommended cultivars of specific vegetables, when to plant, and how much and when to fertilize. Additional information about growing specific vegetables is available under Individual Crops in the Vegetables section of our website. If you would like to plant your garden in a raised bed, also look for the Raised Beds publication, which is part of the Home Garden Series.
The Louisiana Home Orchard publication has basic information on growing a wide variety of fruit crops, ranging from blueberries and muscadines to mayhaws and peaches. Like the vegetable gardening publication, it includes cultivar and fertilizer recommendations, as well as planting information. It also has information on training/pruning and some common disease and insect issues.
While the Louisiana Home Orchard publication covers a wide range of fruit crops, there are resources that provide more in-depth information about several popular fruit crops. These include Louisiana Home Citrus Production, Home Blueberry Production in Louisiana, Blackberry Growing Guide, and Figs for Commercial and Home Production in Louisiana. We also have a fact sheet about growing strawberries in the home garden.
The vegetable and fruit resources mentioned above are all available online or from our local offices, at no charge to you. The LSU AgCenter also offers Louisiana Home Fruit and Nut Production (79 pages) and Louisiana Home Vegetable Gardening (121 pages) books. To purchase one of these, go to the LSU AgCenter Online Store or call 225-578-2263.
For those who would like to have a garden that is both attractive and supports pollinating insects, we have Use of Flowering Plants (part of the Protecting Pollinators in Urban Areas series), Pollinator Gardening in Louisiana, Conserving Pollinators With Edible Landscaping, and Constructing Backyard Bee Hotels.
There are a number of helpful resources on lawn care in the Louisiana Home Lawns Series. The Louisiana Lawns Best Management Practices publication also has useful information. I like the tables on p. 5 that summarize fertility and mowing height recommendations for common turfgrasses.
Of course, you can read articles I’ve written on my page within the LSU AgCenter website.
If you like watching videos, the LSU AgCenter has a YouTube channel with videos about a variety of topics, including gardening. Additionally, my colleagues in the Greater New Orleans area have put together several video series – available on the LSU AgCenter website – including the vegetable-focused Home Gardening Class and a Home Composting Certificate Course.
Let me know if you have questions.
Contact Mary Helen Ferguson.