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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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On March 2nd, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

March garden tips

Posted In:
Blog-Tips | Tips

Continue to install trees and shrubs into the landscape to get them off to a good start before hot weather arrives.

Keep cool-season annuals flourishing by deadheading and fertilizing with Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.

Remove the old flowers and developing seed pods from perennial spring-flowering bulbs, such as daffodils and snowflakes. Leave the foliage until it turns yellow and falls over so it can feed the bulb and create a new flower for next year.

Continue to plant roses, and fertilize established roses.  We recommend Rose-tone organic plant food.

Begin a spray program to prevent blackspot on roses as soon as leaves sprout. We recommend Fertilome Systemic Fungicide.

Plant new summer-flowering bulbs and divide the established clumps in your yard.

Plant seeds of corn, cucumber, beans, peas, summer squash, cantaloupe and watermelon after danger of frost is over – usually mid-March in North Louisiana. Transplant tomatoes and peppers. Improve your garden soil by incorporating Vital Earth compost.

Apply a weed-and-feed product to fertilize your grass and prevent weeds.

Watch the lawn for signs of brown patch, which often shows up during cool, wet weather. If it shows up, 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, day lilies and purple coneflowers.

Apply Sluggo if damage from snails and slugs occurs.

Fertilize established shrubs. We recommend Holly-tone organic plant food for all woody plants.

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.

Finish pruning  evergreen and summer flowering trees and shrubs. Prune spring-flowering shrubs like azaleas, forsythia and quince only after they finish blooming, if needed.

Add mulch underneath camellias, azaleas and other shrubs if coverage has thinned over winter.


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On February 1st, 2018 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 1st, 2018 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 2nd, 2017 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 October 1st, 2017 by Kathie Rowell

October garden tips

Posted In:
Blog | Blog-Tips | Tips

Plant cool-season color, such as pansies, violas, dianthus, alyssum, stock,  ornamental cabbage and kale and snapdragons. Refresh your beds first with Vital Earth compost and Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.

Create fall porch displays with potted mums, crotons and pumpkins.

Plant these vegetables in October, says LSU AgCenter: Cabbage, broccoli (transplants), turnips, collards, kale, parsley, shallots, radishes, beets, leaf lettuce, celery, onions, Swiss chard, garlic and carrots. Plant endive, mustard, spinach and Chinese cab­bage early in the month.

Begin to plant trees and shrubs as the weather cools down and rain returns to the area.

Get your soil tested in the fall, says LSU AgCenter. Akin’s has the kits available to be completed and mailed to the AgCenter.

Sow seeds of larkspur, sweet pea, poppy and bluebonnet for spring bloom.

Purchase spring bulbs and begin planting daffodils at the end of the month. Tulips and hyacinth bulbs must be refrigerated for six to eight weeks before being planted in November/December.

Dig and divide crowded perennials, such as daylilies, phlox, coreopsis, daisies and irises.

Build a compost bin or set aside an area for a compost pile. You’ll have plenty of fall leaves soon to fill it. Or you could use fallen leaves as mulch.

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

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.

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.

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

Cut back perennials that have finished blooming for a tidy appearance.


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On September 1st, 2017 by Kathie Rowell

September garden tips

Posted In:
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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On August 3rd, 2017 by Kathie Rowell

Tips for proper irrigation

Posted In:
Blog | Tips

Our area has been lucky to experience some much-needed rainfall recently, 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 3rd, 2017 by Kathie Rowell

August garden tips

Posted In:
Blog | 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.

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.

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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