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On February 1st, 2019 by Kathie Rowell

February garden tips

Posted In:
Blog-Tips | Tips

  • Plant new roses, and prune established  plants. Wait to prune climbers and once-bloomers, like many old garden roses, until after they flower.
  • Clean and prepare flower and garden beds for spring. Be careful not to damage emerging perennials.
  • Watch azaleas for lacebugs. You’ll know they are present if the leaves are white and green speckled and the underside of the foliage has dark specks.  Control them with Fertilome Triple Action or Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray.
  • Prune deciduous and evergreen plants that don’t flower in the spring.
  • Trim dead growth on ornamental grasses before the new growth begins.
  • Clip the dead leaves from cast iron plants, or cut them back to the ground if most of the foliage has become brown and ragged.
  • Deadhead and fertilize cool-season plants like pansies, snapdragons and dianthus with Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.
  • Plant Irish potatoes.
  • Set out transplants of such cool-season veggies as broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and onions.
  • Plant seeds of tomatoes and peppers inside under lights so you’ll have transplants ready to set out in spring.
  • Plant trees and shrubs to take advantage of cooler weather and spring rains as they settle into their new homes.
  • Apply Dimension pre-emergent herbicide to lawns and flower beds to stop weeds before they sprout.
  • Plant fruit trees and bushes, such as figs, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
  • Purchase seeds for warm-season flowers and veggies while the selection is good.
  • Get your soil tested. If amendments are required, a winter application will make them available for spring planting. We have LSU AgCenter soil test kits available.

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On January 15th, 2019 by Kathie Rowell

Camellias beautify dreary winter days

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Blog

Don’t you feel sorry for gardeners who live where there are no winter flowers?

Camellias are the super stars of winter garden in the South, lighting up the landscape with lovely flowers in red, rose, pink, white and bicolors. Plant now and you'll be able to enjoy them for many weeks.

Both Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua, the two varieties most often planted here, prefer a partial shade location. A well-drained spot where they will receive about four to six hours of morning sun with afternoon shade is ideal. They also thrive under the high shade cast by pine trees. Like azaleas, camellias do best in acid soil. If your soil pH is above 7, add an acidifier at planting time and feed your plant with fertilizer labeled for acid-loving plants.

Here’s a look at a few of the popular varieties Akin’s usually has in stock:

  • Nuccio’s Gem: a strong upright grower that bears loads of perfectly formed, pristine white semidouble flowers with a rosebud center in early to mid-season.
  • Cotton Candy: an early-season bloomers that bears masses of clear pink, semidouble flowers.
  • Kanjiro: a vigorous upright grower with early, rose-pink, semidouble flowers shading to rose-red on the petal edges.
  • Shishi Gashira: a compact, low-grower that bears early rosy-red, semidouble flowers. Named a Louisiana Super Plant.
  • Setsugekka: a moderate upright grower with masses of early, white, semidouble flowers bearing golden stamens.

Adding one, or more, of these camellias will give your eyes something beautiful to rest on during winter’s grayest, dreariest months.


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On January 15th, 2019 by Kathie Rowell

January garden tips

Posted In:
Blog-Tips | Tips

  • Get those tulip bulbs that have been chilling in your refrigerator planted as soon as possible.
  • Plant trees and shrubs so they can get a good root system started before the stress of next summer’s heat.
  • Camellias are likely to be in bloom, so you can choose the flower color and form you like best.
  • Start tomato seeds indoors in late January for transplanting into the garden after danger of frost is over.
  • Trim dead or freeze-damaged perennials.
  • Deadhead cool-season annuals.
  • Transplant established trees and shrubs while they are dormant.
  • Prune trees and shrubs that don’t flower in the spring, if necessary.
  • Get your soil tested. If amendments are required, a winter application will make them available for spring planting. We have LSU AgCenter soil test kits available.
  • Don’t overwater indoor plants, which need less moisture during winter than during the growing season.
  • Protect or bring indoors less-hardy cool-season plants, such as cyclamen, if temperatures are expected to drop below freezing. Hardy plants, such as pansies, violas and dianthus, may be burned by a hard freeze, but should recover.
  • Cut the faded flower stalk from the amaryllis plants you forced to bloom inside, then place them in a bright window until spring when they can be planted outdoors.
  • Plant your forced paperwhite bulbs outside after their blooms have faded. They should revert to their natural schedule and bloom again.
  • Plant seeds of rye grass or wheat grass in containers for a spot of fresh green on your window sill.
  • Begin cutting back the dead foliage on ornamental grasses.
  • Don’t let fallen leaves stay on your lawn all winter to avoid disease problems. Either mow over them to add organic matter to the lawn, build a compost bin or set aside an area for a compost pile.
  • Spray trees affected by scale insects with Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray or horticultural oil.
  • Prepare beds you plan to plant in spring by removing weeds, working in chopped leaves and compost and covering with mulch. No compost? We recommend Vital Earth compost.

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On December 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

Keep Christmas plants pretty with these tips

Posted In:
Blog | Blog-Tips

It just wouldn't be Christmas without poinsettias, paperwhites, amaryllises and cyclamen.

Keep them looking their best with these tips:

Poinsettia:  Place the plant where it will get some sunlight and won't be exposed to drafts. Water with warm water when the soil surface is dry to the touch, but don't let the plant stand in water. Avoid getting mist or water on the colored bracts.

Paperwhite:  For best flowering, leave the bulb pot outside if temperatures will stay above freezing.  When grown in warm temperatures and with low light, foliage and flowers tend to flop. Once the flowers open, bring the pot inside but move it to an unheated location at night to extend flower life.

Amaryllis: Put the pot near a sunny window, and rotate it a quarter turn every few days once the flower stalk emerges to keep it growing straight. Too little light will result in a weak, spindly stalk. Keep soil evenly moist.

Cyclamen: Keep the soil moist, but don't water from above. Place the pot in a shallow tray of water and let the roots take it up. They prefer temperatures in the 60s and like bright light.


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On December 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

December garden tips

Posted In:
Blog-Tips | Tips

  • Plant trees and shrubs so they can get a good root system started before the stress of summer’s heat.It's a particularly good time to plant camellias and sasanquas because they are likely in bloom.
  • Keep Christmas trees well watered.
  • Continue planting cool-season color, such as pansies, violas, dianthus, cyclamen, stock, candytuft, ornamental cabbage and kale and snapdragons. Refresh your beds first with Vital Earth compost and Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.
  • Deadhead bedding plants to keep them tidy and prolong blooming.
  • Protect or bring indoors less-hardy cool-season plants, such as cyclamen, if temperatures are expected to drop below freezing. Hardy plants, such as pansies, violas and dianthus, may be burned by a hard freeze, but should recover.
  • Fertilize cool-season bedding plants you set out in early fall.
  • Get your soil tested now so you’ll be ready to go for spring planting. Akin’s has the kits available to be completed and mailed to LSU AgCenter.
  • Sow seeds of larkspur, sweet pea and poppy for spring blooms.
  • Finish planting daffodils this month. Plant the tulip and hyacinth bulbs you’ve been chilling in your refrigerator toward the end of the month.
  • Don’t let fallen leaves stay on your lawn all winter to avoid disease problems. Either mow over them to add organic matter to the lawn or turn them into nutrient-rich compost by building/buying a compost bin or setting aside an area for a compost pile.
  • Spray trees affected by scale insects, such as camellias, sasanquas, Burford hollies and magnolias, with Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray or horticultural oil.
  • Watch the lawn for signs of brown patch, which often shows up during cool, wet weather. If it occurs, treat with Fertilome F-Stop.
  • Prepare beds you plan to plant in spring by removing weeds, working in chopped leaves and compost and covering with mulch. No homemade compost? We recommend Vital Earth compost.

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On November 14th, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

Holiday magic -- 2 major events in November

Posted In:
Events

 

Open House -- Nov. 14-17

Need fresh inspiration? Visit our Holiday Open House for centerpiece, table setting, decorating and gift ideas. In addition to arrangements with brand-new items, we'll show you how to incorporate vintage pieces into your displays at Akin's Too, our new antique and vintage shop located in our annex building.

 

Red, Green and Evergreen: Nov. 17

You can deck your halls for the holidays and bring Christmas cheer to homeless families on Saturday, Nov. 17. A portion of sales from Christmas trees, greenery, plants and gifts will benefit Providence House at our annual Red, Green and Evergreen fundraiser. Refreshments will be served and Santa Claus will be on hand for photos with children and pets. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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On November 14th, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

November garden tips

Posted In:
Blog-Tips | Tips

  • Create Thanksgiving porch displays with potted mums, crotons and pumpkins.
  • Plant these vegetables in November says LSU AgCenter: shallots, Swiss chard, kale, carrots, mustard, turnips, spinach and radishes. Plant beets and garlic early in the month.
  • Plant trees and shrubs so they can get a good root system started before next summer’s heat.
  • Get your soil tested in the fall, says LSU AgCenter. Akin’s has the kits available to be completed and mailed to the AgCenter.
  • Continue planting cool-season color, such as pansies, violas, dianthus, alyssum, cyclamen, stock, candytuft, ornamental cabbage and kale and snapdragons. Refresh your beds first with Vital Earth compost and Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.
  • Sow seeds of larkspur, sweet pea, poppy and bluebonnet for spring bloom.
  • Purchase spring bulbs and begin planting daffodils. Tulips and hyacinth bulbs must be refrigerated for six to eight weeks before being planted in November/December, but be careful about their fridge partners. Some varieties of fruit emit a gas that will kill a bulb's flower bud.
  • Dig and divide crowded perennials, such as daylilies, phlox, coreopsis, daisies and irises early in the month.
  • Build a compost bin or set aside an area for a compost pile. You’ll have plenty of fall leaves soon to fill it.
  • Watch for chinch bug damage in lawns. Symptoms are irregular patches of dead grass surrounded by yellowing grass. Treat with Hi-Yield Bug Blaster or Cyonara Lawn and Garden Spray.
  • Water trees and shrubs with berries if the weather is dry. Lack of moisture can cause the berries to drop.
  • Cut back perennials that have finished blooming for a tidy appearance.
  • Spray trees affected by scale insects with Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray.
  • Irrigate lawns, landscape and garden beds, including newly planted trees and shrubs, in the absence of rain.
  • Watch the lawn for signs of brown patch, which often shows up during cool, wet weather. If it occurs, treat with Fertilome F-Stop.

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On September 24th, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

Sign up for fall classes today

Posted In:
Events

Fall is almost here and we're ready with a great slate of classes, so mark your calendars! Admission is free except where noted, but we'd appreciate advance registration by calling 318-868-2701 or dropping by the nursery.

  • Plant Propagation: 10 a.m. Sept. 29. Akin's staffer Julie Rogers will teach you how to propagate plants.
  • Deluxe Potting Parties: 10 a.m. Oct. 3, 13,17 and 25. Class participants will be able to choose a beautiful 16-inch or smaller Vietnamese pottery container for 50 percent off and purchase plants to fill it. We'll provide the potting soil and advice from Akin's staffers.Space is limited so preregistration is required by calling 318-868-2701 or dropping by the nursery.
  • Decorating for Fall -- The Natural Way: 10 a.m. Oct. 6. Sandra Poole will show you how to use materials from your yard to create autumn displays. Preregistration required.
  • Cooking with Herbs: 10 a.m. Oct. 20. Retired Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service county agent/dietitian Cheryl Maxwell will conduct a cooking demonstration and, yes, you get to sample the goodies!

Hope to see you at one -- or all -- of our upcoming events.


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On September 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

Get ready for cool-season veggies

Posted In:
Blog

Cooler weather is on the way and that means fall veggies. Cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, kale, collards  and more thrive in our climate.

Here's a list from LSU AgCenter of vegetables from that can be planted in September:

  • Beets, broccoli (transplants or seeds through September)
  • Brussels sprouts (transplants or seeds)
  • Cabbage (transplants or seeds)
  • Chinese cabbage (transplants or seeds)
  • Cauliflower (transplants or seeds)
  • Collards (transplants or seeds)
  • Endive
  • Carrots
  • English peas
  • Snow peas
  • Garlic (late September)4
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Onions (seeds, late September)
  • Parsley
  • Snap beans (early September)
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips
  • Kale

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On September 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

September garden tips

Posted In:
Blog-Tips | Tips

  • Create fall porch displays with potted mums and crotons.
  • Plant these vegetables in September, says LSU AgCenter: beets, broccoli (transplants or seeds through September), Brus­sels sprouts (transplants or seeds), cabbage (transplants or seeds), Chinese cabbage (transplants or seeds), cauliflower (transplants or seeds), collards (transplants or seeds), endive, carrots, English peas, snow peas, garlic (late September), kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onions (seeds, late September), parsley, snap beans (early September), radishes, rutabaga, shallots, spinach, Swiss chard, turnips and kale.
  • If you didn’t prune your everblooming roses by about one-third in late August, do it right away. Then add fertilizer -- we recommend Rose-tone or Fertilome Rose and Flower Food – and keep the bushes well watered for a beautiful fall bloom.
  • Continue a spray program to prevent blackspot and powdery mildew. We recommend Fertilome Systemic Fungicide, or Serenade for organic gardeners.
  • Dig and divide Louisiana irises now through early October, replanting as soon as possible. Don’t let them dry out.
  • Get your soil tested. You can pick up LSU AgCenter kits here at the nursery.
  • Begin planting cool-season annuals, such as pansies, dianthus, alyssum and snapdragons, late in the month. Refresh your beds first with Vital Earth compost and Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.
  • Purchase spring bulbs late in the month for best selection but delay planting until October/November.
  • Build a compost bin or set aside an area for a compost pile. You’ll have plenty of fall leaves soon to fill it.
  • Watch for chinch bug damage in lawns. Symptoms are irregular patches of dead grass surrounded by yellowing grass. Treat with Hi-Yield Bug Blaster or Cyonara Lawn and Garden Spray.
  • Cut back perennials that have finished blooming for a tidy appearance.
  • Keep annual flowers deadheaded to prolong bloom. Cut off yellowing foliage and flowers that form on caladium plants.
  • Apply Sluggo or Earth-Tone Bug and Slug Control for Organic Gardening if damage from snails and slugs occurs. Sluggo targets only targets slugs and snails. Earth-Tone Bug and Slug Control for Organic Gardening kills sowbugs, pillbugs, earwigs and cutworms, as well as slugs and snails.
  • Spray trees affected by scale insects with Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray.
  • Watch the lawn for signs of brown patch, which often shows up during cool, wet weather. If it occurs, treat with Fertilome F-Stop.
  • Control powdery mildew on ornamentals with Fertilome Systemic Fungicide, or Serenade for organic gardeners.

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