LSU AgCenter NW Region Gardening

Home garden and landscape information, tips, tricks and Q&A. Let us know how we can help you!

Welcome to the NW Region Gardening Facebook Fan Page. It is the mission of the LSU AgCenter to educate our communities on many things and this pagem will focus on home gardening and landscapes. Whether your interests are roses, vegetables, trees, or anything else in your yard, please let us know what we can do to help you. Post to our wall or send a message your Area Horticulturist, Jennifer Williams through this site to have your garden questions answered!

Operating as usual

Poster 2016 | Pollinator Partnership

Today is the start of Polinator Week! Most people are familiar with the flowering annual and perennials in their flower beds that attract bees and other pollinators. They may be less familiar with the fact that bees forage for pollen and nectar up in the tree canopy. With their profusion of flowers, trees are a convenient food source fo...

In honor of Finding Dory from Disney-Pixar tomorrow, a movie which my children have been anxiously awaiting for over 2 years now... take a look at these Under-the-Sea Coleus varieties growing at Hammond Research Station!

The best of the Under the Sea Coleus varieties from HortCouture - King Crab and Yellowfin Tuna.

What's Blooming Wednesday:

Lavender....while not a hugely popular plant here in the humid deep south, it can be grown with a little planning. I have found that containers work best and some shade also help. There are several types of lavender out there, and most can survive here in the right conditions. Lavender prefers dry, well-drained soils, and may not be able to handle a full sun environment here in Louisiana. Good airflow is important, especially as the humidity sets in. Some herb gardeners suggest adding pea gravel to your planting mix to ensure good water-flow and air flow for the roots. It is best to transplant in the fall--but I have two different plants that we transplanted into pots this spring and they are doing very well. Another helpful hint: Lavender is one of those herbs that is helpful in deterring mosquitoes!

Extension Master Gardener

"Here’s How Homeowners Can Avoid Problems with Wasps" by Tom McShane for Entomology Today.

*Photo and article courtesy of entomologytoday.

Quiz: Think you know everything about plants? - On Biology

Friday Fun!

How well do you know the science behind your plants?? Take this quiz to find out! (don't worry..I only got a 70%....we can all learn something!!) Enjoy! Fascination of Plants Day is celebrated on 18 May. The goal of this day, established in 2012, is to get people around the world excited about plants and enthused about the importance of plant sciences. And we at BioMed Central can’t contain our excitement for the world of plants.

What's Blooming Wednesday!

Butterfly Weed

This milkweed cousin is a beautiful additon to any perennial border and landscape. Just beware--that while it is the only larval food for the Monarch Butterfly, it can also become invasive if one is not careful. The seeds disperse on white clouds of fluff (see the picture)...but are still fantastic plans.

Here's an interesting read on whether or not planting more butterfly weed is actually helping the Monarch population:

Keeping Squash Bugs Out of the Garden

Are you in the fight against squash bugs?? Here are some tips: Photo found on Flickr, courtesy of ILoveButter. Squash bugs are destructive feeders that attack members of the cucurbit (gourd or squash) family, especially pumpkins and squash. The insects suck on…

Today's Mailbag Monday is from a friend of mine in Virginia, but her question could have been asked by any of my local gardening friends:
Q: We are moving in a couple weeks and I just planted this hydrangea last year. It's beautiful and I want to take it with me, can I move it even in the heat of summer?
A: While Virginia is much further north, it still is known for high summer temperatures and a lot of humidity. Transplanting in the summer is not ideal, but it can be done following these steps:
1. It's best to plant in the evening to have a few hours of cool and moist conditions.
2. Dig up as much of the root ball as possible when preparing to move the plant. If you can not move it directly to it's new home, place it in a plastic pot and water or wrap in a breathable material like burlap or an old bed sheet, keeping the root ball moist and in the shade until you can get it to it's new home.
3. Make sure the new site is well prepared and the hole is dug large enough to have the plant sitting at the same soil level as in the previous spot.
4.Mulch well. And do water in at transplant time. You want roots to be in a fully hydrated environment.
5. And in this case, I suggest making yourself a nice bouquet of flowers for your new home. Removing the blooms will allow the plant to focus on reestablishing it's root system and preparing to make it through the rest of the hot summer months.
Good luck and best wishes on your new home!

[06/03/16]   A little gardening humor for you provided by:

My Wife the Gardener
~ Peter (poem in old magazine)
She dug the plot on Monday –
the soil was rich and fine,
She forgot to thaw out dinner –
so we went out to dine...
She planted roses Tuesday –
she says they are a must,
They really are quite lovely
but she quite forgot to dust.
On Wednesday it was daisies –
they opened up with sun,
All whites and pinks and yellows –
but the laundry wasn’t done...
The poppies came on Thursday -
a bright and cherry red,
I guess she really was engrossed –
she never made the bed...
It was violets on Friday –
in colours she adores,
It never bothered her at all –
all crumbs upon the floors
I hired a maid on Saturday –
my week is now complete,
My wife can garden all she wants –
the house will still be neat!
It’s nearly lunchtime Sunday –
and I cannot find the maid,
Oh no! I don’t believe it!
She’s out there WITH THE SPADE!

Dividing Iris | University of Maryland Extension

Louisiana Iris or Bearded (German) Iris...which do you prefer? If you are a Bearded lover, here are some tips on dividing your iris to help them perform to their full potential! Also be on the lookout as you divide for Iris Borers--not common in Louisiana Irises, they can reek havoc on the beautiful "poor-man's orchids".

If you have a love affair with Louisiana Iris, here is a helpful guide from the LSU AgCenter to help guide you to help your garden flourish! The very beautiful bearded (a.k.a. German) iris is one of the finest of the very showy perennials widely grown in our region. Their exquisite blossoms earned them the title as “the poor man’s orchid”. Their blossoms come in almost every color you can imagine. There is one very destructive insect pes...

What's Blooming Wednesday:
Honeysuckle Vines!! These beauties come in a variety of colors. The Randle T. Moore has this beautiful hot pink with yellow tip variety on the edge of our butterfly garden. It is climbing up over a weathered archway, making for an eye-catching distraction from the utility area hidden behind the garden.

Click here for more information on growing these vines:

Looking for a unique dish for this holiday weekend? Try making shish kebabs by using rosemary as your skewers! Rosmarinus officinalis 'Barbeque' is one variety that has especially strong stems, but others can also be used! Strip the leaves and the stems will give your meat and vegetables a wonderful flavor as they cook over the flames from your grill! Enjoy!

What's Blooming Wednesday!

So much is blooming down in the perennial border, that I just don't know what to share first!! Our Stella D'Ora and Double Stella D'Ora's are both going strong. I love both of these reblooming beauties, and the unique double petals add a fun feature when you walk by the garden on a warm summer day!

RedRiver ResearchStation

We are proud to announce our upcoming Field Day on
June 15, 2016!

Butterflies in Your Garden

Happy Last Day of School NW Region Gardeners!!

North Carolina Master Gardens from Buncombe County have some fun and interesting facts on butterflies! Perfect to share with your kids or grandkids--maybe a butterfly garden will be their summer project!

Gardening in Small Spaces | Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Do you have very little space for gardening? Even those with just a balcony or front steps can enjoy gardening. Nebraska Extension shares some great tips for small-space gardening in this article: Many people don't have a large landscape, but still enjoy gardening. A windowsill, patio, balcony or doorstep can provide sufficient space. Whether it’s flowers, herbs or vegetables you want to grow, container gardening may be the answer to your gardening needs. Problems with soil-borne diseases, ne...

Louisiana Master Gardener Program

Emerald ash borer, an invasive pest of ash trees, has now been confirmed in four Northern Louisiana Parishes (Claiborne, Bossier, Webster and Union). EAB kills ash trees by digging tunnels below the bark, cutting the flow of sap throughout the tree. Trees can die within 6-7 years after the initial infestation. For more information on this pest:

Burden Museum & Gardens offers summertime activities

It's the LAST week of school for the year...are you ready for summer vacation?? Need an idea on what to do for a weekend getaway? Head to Baton Rouge and check out some of the summer events happening at Burden Museum & Gardens on LSU Campus! (05/09/16) BATON ROUGE, La. – As summer heats up in south Louisiana, Burden Museum & Gardens offers many activities to help people enjoy the changing season.

10 Children’s Books About Gardening

Looking for something to help introduce gardening to your kids, grandkids, students or any other young impressionable minds out there you might be able to impart some knowledge to? Here is a great list of kids garden storybooks! Here are ten excellent books about gardening. This list includes some lovely stories (e.g. Two Old Potatoes and Me, Vera’s Bean Tent, The Curious Garden) and oodles of gardening inspiration. …

Congrats to all the Advanced Master Gardeners from the NW Region!! I am very proud of all of you! Our representatives at State Convention received their AWESOME new name tags tonight---we'll get the rest of you yours ASAP!

Flower Pillow™ FAQ | Proven Winners

Looking for a quick solution to what to plant in your containers this year. We see all kinds of products come out from the industry, for growers and homeowners. What I like about this product is that you can take it home and use your own containers. Many nurseries have large containers pre-made for you, but sometimes most of us have old containers that just need a fresh planting. Take a look at these, even if only for inspiration on what to plant for your summer color: The Flower Pillow™ from Proven Winners includes everything you need to grow a gorgeous container of flowers. The pre-assembled, 5” x 8”, flower-filled pillow is perfectly sized to fit your 12”-14” container, hanging basket or window box. To plant, simply water the pillow, then place it in your conta...

American Rose Center

What's Blooming Wednesday:

ROSES!! Roses, roses everywhere--especially at the Gardens of the American Rose Center!! Take advantage of our dry weather and head out to see the spectacular blooms this season! Truly, one of my favorite places around town!

Spring has arrived and despite the many storms, the roses look better than ever.
Come see what's growing at the Gardens of the American Rose Center!

I Thought My Neighbor Was Nuts For Doing This… But Then I Realized He’s Actually A Genius.

Spring Cleaning the kitchen? Don't throw out those old spoons, wine bottles or colander. Check out these unique ways to reuse & up-cycle your old kitchen wares.... This is going to save me a fortune!

How to Distinguish Poison Ivy from Its Look-a-likes

Some very helpful tips--we've been getting several calls about vines already this spring... Thanks Kerry Heafner for another great video!

There are several plants out there that can be confused with poison ivy. Watch as Kerry Heafner takes us through a few of the plants mostly commonly mistaken...

Extension Master Gardener

Just a little information for you regarding tree care. While the best time to prune many of our trees is past, if you see an issue with a tree in your landscape, please fix it properly. And if you are having a new landscape installation done this spring or a renovation, take care to practice good tree safety management to ensure the health of new or existing trees!

"How to Kill a Tree" via the Virginia Tech University in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Tomorrow's the day!! Starting at 10am Saturday morning you can begin your journey along the stunning 2016 Le Tour des Jardins presented by the NWLAMG Assocation! If you still need tickets, they can be purchased today for $10 at the Master Gardener Office (3101 Fairfield Ave), LSU AgCenter Caddo Parish Office (E. 70th Street) or many of the local Citizens Banks. Tickets will be available at the gardens for $15. Join us for this fantastic weekend!

Also in Provenance is the decidedly delightful garden of NWLA Master Gardener Judy Yates and her husband Pat. Plantings carefully chosen by Judy and raised beds built by Pat create a wonderful backyard oasis for their entire family to enjoy. Don't miss some of the unique planting combinations and the stunning water feature at the center of the garden.

Today's Le Tour des Jardins features the two stunning gardens in the Provenance community. The home of Ginger and Sonny Hall is on the corner and is full of smart planting choices that add beauty and structure to the landscape. Their unique spin on a traditional covered patio will keep you dry if it rains (although the weather looks like it will be sunny and warm) and expands their living space into the outdoors!

Just around the corner in Appletree is the beautiful home of Peggy and Ronnie Crawford. The beautiful blue accents flow throughout the property and the front and driveway plantings of crapemyrtles are one of the best examples of how amazingly beautiful the trees can be if you prune them properly and let them take their natural forms!

Today's Preview includes the two beautiful patio gardens featured from the Appletree Neighborhood in South Shreveport...First is the home of Carolyn Davis--truly a relaxing space filled with beautiful container plantings, perfect for entertaining!

The garden tour has so many beautiful features in our 8 home gardens and the Pioneer Heritage Center on LSUS Campus, I can't fit all them each day I will give you a few highlights!

First up is the beautiful Broadmoor home owned by Lisa Anzalone--a beautiful oasis that is truly a hidden gem!

It may be a dreary day out today, but the forecast is looking fantastic for this weekend's Le Tour des Jardins presented by the NWLA Master Gardeners Association! Join us for a fun weekend with beautiful gardens, fantastic vendors at the LSUS Pioneer Heritage Center and memories made for all....for more information contact the Master Gardener Office at 698-0010 or send us message here!

This is why cities can’t grow all their own food - Conservation

An interesting article came across my news feed this week...

I found it very interesting, and while it may seem to tell people, your efforts to help provide food to the community is not going to make a large impact--remember, every little bit helps! Not to mention the countless benefits gardening can provide to your family and neighbors that you may share with! So go ahead and keep building those gardens NW Region! Share with us what you have planted already in the comments section!! Seattle could likely grow enough food within its city limits to feed just four percent of residents at most.

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