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On August 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

Tips for proper irrigation

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Blog | Blog-Tips

 

We've already had extremely dry weather, but Louisiana's hottest, driest weather is often in August, so pay close attention to your lawn, newly planted shrubs and trees, and landscape beds. LSU AgCenter offers these tips for effective irrigation:

  • Irrigate early. Morning water pressure is usually higher and foliage will have time to dry before evening, reducing the chance of disease problems.
  • Apply 1 to 2 inches of water per week to established lawns in the absence of rain. It’s best to deliver the water once or twice per week with at least 1 inch each time. Frequent, shallow watering results in shallow roots.
  • Determine how much water is being delivered by placing several shallow water collectors, such as tuna cans, around the landscape to check both coverage and inches-per-hour output.
  • Consider soil type. Soils with high clay content need several short, back-to-back cycles for water to penetrate, but hold water longer. Sandy soils need more frequent and shorter-cycle applications because moisture isn’t retained long.
  • Locate plants with similar water needs together to prevent over- or underwatering.
  • Irrigate newly planted trees every 7 to 10 days in the absence of rain by letting a hose trickle for about a half hour near the trunk. Newly planted shrubs can be watered with soaker hoses or sprinklers.
  • Check container plants frequently for dry soil. Watering every day, or even twice a day, may be necessary. Factors include temperature, pot size and material, type of potting mix, drought tolerance of a plant and whether a plant is in sun or shade.

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On August 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

Use care when controlling wasps

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We have had an unusually high number of customers asking about wasp control, so this must be a banner year for the stinging insects. We recommend Fertilome Wasp and Hornet Killer and Bengal Wasp and Hornet Killer.
Here are some tips to keep you safe:

  • Treat the nests at night when there is less chance of being stung.
  • Cover all exposed skin and tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks.
  • If you are using a flashlight, cover the lens with red cellophane because wasps are attracted to yellow light.
  • Plan an escape route -- just in case.

However, if the nest location is isolated, you might choose to them alone. Wasps are considered a beneficial insect, preying on caterpillars and flies, so it they don't present a hazard, it's a good idea to let Mother Nature eventually take care of the nests with freezing weather.


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On August 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

August gardening tips

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Blog-Tips | Tips

Prune everblooming roses by about one-third in late August and apply fertilizer to the bed. We recommend Rose-tone or Fertilome Rose and Flower Food.

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, replanting as soon as possible. Don’t let them dry out.

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.

Keep annuals and perennials deadheaded to prolong blooming.

Apply Sluggo or Earth-Tone Bug and Slug Control for Organic Gardening if damage from snails and slugs occurs. Sluggo targets only slugs and snails. Earth-Tone Bug and Slug Control for Organic Gardening kills sowbugs, pillbugs, earwigs and cutworms, as well as slugs and snails.

Irrigate lawns, landscape and garden beds, including newly planted trees and shrubs, in the absence of rain.

Spray trees affected by scale insects with Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray.

Remove suckers that sprout at the base of trees, such as crape myrtles, vitex and yaupon holly. Don’t leave stubs.

Control powdery mildew on ornamentals with Fertilome Systemic Fungicide, or Serenade for organic gardeners.

Direct seed broccoli and cauliflower in mid August.

Set out broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage transplants in mid-August.

Start planting turnip, mustard and collard greens in mid-August.

Plant a fall crop of green beans in late August.

Continue to plant warm-season ornamentals – it’s a long time till frost! -- such as begonias, gerbera daisies, coleus, marigolds, periwinkles, pentas, ornamental sweet potatoes, lantana, torenias, ageratum, angelonias and caladiums. Before replanting, give your soil a boost with Vital Earth compost and Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.

Cut off yellowing foliage and flowers that form on caladium plants.

Pull out and compost healthy vegetable plants that have finished producing. Discard, don’t compost, diseased plants.


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On June 29th, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

It's not too late to plant these tough customers

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Angelonias keep blooming when the heat turns up.

If your beds didn't turn out the way you'd envisioned this year, it’s not too late to remedy the situation – as long as you choose wisely.

Here’s a list of a few plants that can take the heat of Southern summer:

  • Zinnia: These candy-colored annuals light up your landscape -- and are tough as nails.
  • Angelonia: The flowers may remind you of cool-weather loving snapdragons, but angelonias are tough customers that survive hot, dry conditions -- and they don't have to be deadheaded!
  • Salvia: It’s not surprising that most perennial salvias are happy when it’s hot: they are native to the Southwest, so heat doesn’t faze them.
  • Caladium: Shady areas can seem dark and the variegated foliage of caladiums will light them up.
  • Marigold: These heat lovers provide color in summer-appropriate shades of yellow, cream, orange and rust. To keep them blooming, deadhead frequently.
  • Periwinkle: Among the few plants that will withstand reflected heat from driveways and sidewalks, periwinkles require well-drained soil.
  • Pentas: These butterfly magnets like full to partial sun and will keep pumping out flowers if they are deadheaded occasionally.
  • Torenia: Looking for color in a shady spot? Torenia is a native of Vietnam so it's well suited to Louisiana's heat and humidity.
  • Sweet potato vine: A great spiller for container plantings, sweet potato vines grow like kudzu when it gets hot. In fact, you’ll probably need to pinch the ends to keep them full and bushy instead of crawling throughout your landscape.
  • Lantana: It's never too late to add heat-loving lantana. Know what you're buying, though, if space is an issue. While some lantanas maintain a low, mounding habit, others can reach 5 feet tall and wide in a single growing season.

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On June 29th, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

July garden tips

Posted In:
Blog-Tips | Tips

  • Watch for chinch bug damage in lawns. Symptoms are irregular patches of dead grass surrounded by yellowing grass. Treat with Hi-Yield Bug Blaster, Fertilome Systemic Insect Spray or Cyonara Lawn and Garden Spray.
  • Deadhead roses and continue a spray program to prevent blackspot and powdery mildew. We recommend Fertilome Systemic Fungicide, or Serenade for organic gardeners.
  • Avoid fertilizing roses in the heat of the summer, even if flowering slows. Intense heat, not lack of fertility, is the problem.
  • Keep annuals and perennials deadheaded and well watered to prolong blooming.
  • 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 also kills sowbugs, pillbugs, earwigs and cutworms.
  • Set out heat-tolerant tomato transplants.
  • Plant pumpkin seeds by mid-July for Halloween harvest.
  • Spray trees affected by scale insects, such as crape myrtles, with Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray. Apply early or late, not in the heat of the day.
  • Control powdery mildew on ornamentals with Fertilome Systemic Fungicide, or Serenade for gardeners who prefer organic products.
  • Prune azaleas, hydrangeas and gardenias, if needed, before mid-July to avoid cutting off next year’s blooms.
  • Irrigate lawns and landscape and vegetable gardens in the absence of rain. Be sure to water the soil deeply. Light sprinkling does more harm than good.

    Remove suckers that sprout at the base of trees, such as crape myrtles, vitex and yaupon holly. Don’t leave stubs.

    Give your soil a boost with Vital Earth compost and Fertilome Bedding Plant Food if you decide to replant your beds.

  • Plant seeds of okra, Southern peas, watermelons, cucumbers, summer squash and, cantaloupes.
  • Plant seeds of fast-growing annual flowers, such as zinnias, sunflowers, morning glories and moonvines.
  • Water the soil deeply when irrigating. Light sprinkling does more harm than good.
  • Treat white flies and the accompanying sooty mold on gardenias with an application of Fertilome Systemic Insect Spray. Apply early or late, not in the heat of the day.

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On June 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

June garden tips

Posted In:
Blog-Tips | Tips

Continue to plant warm-season plants, such as begonias, gerbera daisies, coleus, marigolds, periwinkles, pentas, ornamental sweet potatoes, lantana, torenias, ageratum, angelonias and caladiums. Before replanting, give your soil a boost with Vital Earth compost and Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.

Plant seeds of okra, Southern peas, pumpkins, watermelons, cucumbers, summer squash and cantaloupes.

Continue to plant herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, mint and rosemary.

Plant seeds of fast-growing annual flowers, such as zinnias, sunflowers, morning glories and moonvines.

Deadhead roses and continue a spray program to prevent blackspot and powdery mildew. We recommend Fertilome Systemic Fungicide, or Serenade for organic gardeners.

Watch the lawn for signs of brown patch and chinch bugs. Treat brown patch with Fertilome F-Stop. Apply Hi-Yield Bug Blaster or Cyonara Lawn and Garden Spray to control chinch bugs.

Keep annuals and perennials deadheaded to prolong blooming.

Apply Sluggo if damage from snails and slugs occurs.

Move houseplants onto the deck or patio for the warm months. Repot those that are crowded and performing poorly.

Irrigate lawns, landscape and garden beds, including newly planted trees and shrubs, in the absence of rain.

Maintain 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch -- chopped leaves, pine straw, bark -- in beds to hold water and deter weeds.

Watch crape myrtles for signs of powdery mildew and scale. Treat powdery mildew with Fertilome Systemic Fungicide and scale with Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray.

Control weeds, either by hand pulling, cultivation or herbicide. If you choose a spray herbicide, use it on a calm day and avoid application during high heat.

Watch for canna leaf rollers, which can decimate foliage. If present, treat with Dipel dust, Fertilome 2-N-1 Drench or Hi Yield Systemic Insect Spray.


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On June 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

Butterflies topic of talk

Posted In:
Blog | Blog-Tips

Northwest Louisiana Master Gardener Mike Livingston, who is in charge of the butterfly garden at the Randle T. Moore Center, shared great information and tips for attracting butterflies to your yard at a recent talk. Here's a brief recap:

Butterflies like a sunny spot sheltered from the wind and large swaths of plants of different heights, colors, shapes and species. Provide a "puddling" area where they can get water and salt and at least two host plants.

Host plants:

  • Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Passionvine (Passiflora incarnata)
  • Rue (Rue graveolens)
  • Fennel (Foeniculum)
  • Pussy willow (Salix discolor)
  • Pipevine (Aristolochia fimbriata)

Nectar plants

  • Abelia (Abelia grandiflora)
  • Agastache foeniculum (Anise hyssop)
  • Blanket flower (Gaillardia)
  • Butterfly bush (Buddleia)
  • Butterfly penta (Pentas lanceolata)
  • Purple coneflower (Echinacea)
  • Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium)
  • Lantana (Lantana camara)
  • Phlox (various)
  • Porterweed (Stachytarpheta)
  • Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)
  • Verbena (various)
  • Zinnia (various)

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On May 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

Celebrate Mom!

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Blog | Blog-Tips

Mother's Day is just around the corner and we're stocked with a multitude of planters and hanging baskets, as well as garden and home decor. Drop by to browse. You're sure to find something that will put a smile on her face.


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On May 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

May garden tips

Posted In:
Blog-Tips | Tips

Cool-season annuals begin to decline in May and should be replaced with warm-season bedding plants, such as begonias, geraniums, angelonia, coleus, marigolds, periwinkles and pentas. Before replanting, boost soil with Vital Earth compost and Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.

Plant seeds of fast-growing annual flowers, such as zinnias, sunflowers, morning glories and moonvines.

Plant seeds of okra, Southern peas, pumpkins, sweet corn, watermelons, cucumbers, butter beans, squash, cantaloupes, collards and eggplants (transplants). Snap beans, butter beans, sweet corn, tomatoes and peppers (transplants) should be planted in the early days of May to prevent poor fruit set due to high temperatures.

Continue to plant herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, mint, chives, sage and rosemary.

Deadhead roses and continue a spray program to prevent blackspot and powdery mildew. We recommend Fertilome Systemic Fungicide, or Serenade for organic gardeners.

Plant new summer-flowering bulbs and rhizomes, such as lily of the Nile and canna lilies.

Watch the lawn for signs of brown patch, which often shows up during cool, wet weather. If you identify an outbreak, treat your lawn with Fertilome F-Stop.

Apply Sluggo if damage from snails and slugs occurs.

Spray trees affected by scale insects with Bonide All-Seasons Horticultural Oil. Crape myrtles should be treated for crape myrtle bark scale with either Fertilome Tree and Shrub Drench or Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray.

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 Bonide All Seasons Horticultural Oil.


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On March 31st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

April garden tips

Posted In:
Blog-Tips | Tips

  • Begin planting warm-season bedding plants, such as begonias, geraniums, gerbera daisies, coleus, marigolds, salvia and pentas. If your soil could use a boost, enrich it with Vital Earth compost and Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.
  • Cool-season annuals should be at their peak this month. Keep them flourishing by deadheading and fertilizing with Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.
  • Plant seeds of corn, cucumber, beans, peas, summer squash, snap beans, cantaloupe and watermelon. Transplant tomatoes and peppers. Improve your garden soil by incorporating Vital Earth compost.
  • Set aside a portion of your veggie garden or flower bed for herbs, such as basil, oregano, mint, sage, chives and rosemary.
  • Don’t dump your Easter lily after the holiday is past! Cut the bloom off after it fades and set the plant into a spot where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade. It will go dormant in the summer but come back and bloom again next April or May.
  • Continue to plant roses, and fertilize established roses if you didn’t last month. We recommend Rose-tone organic plant food.
  • Continue a spray program to prevent blackspot on roses. We recommend Fertilome Systemic Fungicide.
  • Watch the lawn for signs of brown patch, which often shows up during cool, wet weather. If it does, treat with Fertilome F-Stop.
  • Plant new perennials and fertilize established clumps with Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.
  • Dig and divide crowded perennials, such as Shasta daisies, black-eyed susans, phlox and purple coneflowers, early in the month.
  • Apply Sluggo if damage from snails and slugs occurs.
  • Fertilize azaleas and camellias after they have finished blooming. We recommend Holly-tone organic plant food for all woody plants.
  • Spray trees affected by scale insects with Bonide All-Seasons Horticultural Oil.
  • 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 Bonide All Seasons Horticultural Oil.

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