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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 is 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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On August 1st, 2018 by Kathie Rowell

Tips for proper irrigation

Posted In:
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

Posted In:
Blog | Blog-Tips

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 leave 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

Posted In:
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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