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On April 2nd, 2019 by Kathie Rowell

Let us help you welcome spring

Posted In:
Blog | Blog-Tips

If all the spring green that's glowing around town has your green thumb itching, drop by to check out our premium plants. Our greenhouse and nursery are full of fresh color with new shipments arriving weekly.

Not sure what to plant? Consult a member of our knowledgeable staff for assistance.

And if you'd just like to turn the work over to someone else, ask about our landscape services.

We can help you make this spring your most colorful ever!


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On April 2nd, 2019 by Kathie Rowell

Tackle problems before they grow

Posted In:
Blog | Blog-Tips

Crape myrtle bark scale

 

Spring weather brings beautiful flowers -- and pests and diseases.

Here's a look at problems our customers are seeking help with  and our recommendation for treating them:

  • Scale on camellias and sasanquas. Check your plants for infestations by looking for small sucking insects attached to the underside of the leaves. If they're present, treat with either Bonide All-Seasons Horticultural Oil for an organic approach or Fertilome Systemic Insect Spray.
  • Crape myrtle bark scale. Look for black, sooty mold on leaves, trunks and limbs, as well as white felt-like patches on twigs, branches and trunks. Treat with either Fertilome Tree and Shrub Insect Drench or Hi Yield Systemic Insect Spray. To remove sooty mold from limbs and trunks, use a soft-bristle brush, water and a little dish-washing soap. Or use a power washer, making certain the pressure isn't so high it damages the bark.
  • Fungus on Indian hawthorns, red tip photinias and roses. Apply Serenade Disease Control or Fertilome Systemic Fungicide.
  • Weeds in lawn. Take care of them before they take hold with Fertilome Weed-Free Zone or Fertilome Weed Out.

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On April 2nd, 2019 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.

Wait until spring-blooming bulb foliage has turned yellow to remove it.

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 Fertilome plant food for azaleas and camellias or Holly-tone organic plant food.

Spray trees affected by scale insects with Bonide All-Seasons Horticultural Oil.

Watch azaleas for lacebugs. Symptoms: 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 1st, 2019 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 March 1st, 2019 by Kathie Rowell

Sign up for March garden events

Posted In:
Events

Join us for our March 2019 garden talks and potting classes!

"Growing and Cooking with Herbs"
10 a.m. March 16
LSU AgCenter horticulture specialist Mark Wilson and registered dietitian Abigail McAlister will offer tips on growing herbs and a demo on cooking with them.

"Flowering Shrubs"
10 a.m. March 23
Akin's staffer Julie Rogers, who has a degree in plant sciences, will share information about some of her favorite flowering shrubs.

Admission is free to these two events, but we appreciate advance registration by calling 318-868-2701.

Deluxe Potting Parties
10 a.m. March 21 & 30
Participants may choose a beautiful Vietnamese pottery container at half price, fill it with free potting soil, then select and purchase plants for it. Akin's staffers will provide advice and assistance.
Register by calling 318-868-2701 or dropping by the nursery.


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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

Posted In:
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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    Founded more than 60 years ago and still locally owned, Akin's takes pride in providing customers with friendly service, quality plants suited for our climate, professional landscape services and the kind of knowledgeable advice that comes from years of area gardening experience.
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