home & garden

I once saw a refrigerator magnet that said, "When Mama ain't happy, nobody ain't happy." Well, you can substitute the word "root" for "mama," and you'll have an essential message for plants.

Always remember that the roots are the foundation for a healthy plant. And whether you realize it or not, much of what you do as a gardener is guided by the needs of the plant's roots.

Fighting Invasives

Aug 21, 2015

Invasive plants can be an exhausting problem for landowners.  It is an issue at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, where Chinese Tallow attempts to run wild.

"It is not too horrible at the refuge just yet, which is why we need to catch it early," says Nova Clarke, a ranger at Black Bayou.  "We want to prevent it from becoming a losing battle."

Controlling weedy vines requires determination and persistent effort over time.

My vine control advice is generally about 60% pep-talk, and about 40% technique and herbicides to use, because you really have to determine that you're going to take the hand of the problem and control the situation.

Vines are difficult to control for a variety of reasons.

If you want to boost the color in your landscape now, don't let the heat stop you. Nurseries have an excellent selection of colorful bedding plants that will thrive in whatever heat the summer throws at them. These plants come in a variety of heights, textures, and colors.

It seems we have more than our share of insects, diseases, and weeds here in Louisiana. This comes true particularly during mid to late summer. It's important to remember that the use of pesticides, such as insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides, is only one way of controlling these pests. There are other techniques gardeners can use to help prevent the severe infestations that make use of pesticides necessary.

Summer flowering vines can be used to provide color, fragrance, and interest to Louisiana landscapes. They can also offer screening and shade if they're allowed to cover an overhead structure. Indeed, no other landscape plants can supply the same effects as vines.

To be honest, our best and most diverse herb gardens grow in the milder part of the year. The intense heat of summer takes a toll on many of our favorite culinary herbs. But there are heat-loving herbs that can be planted now for production throughout the summer.

The Agapanthus, also known as the "Lily of the Nile", is a beautiful, early summer flowering bulb. it's native to South Africa, but it thrives in Louisiana's climate. They're blooming now all around Baton Rouge and they can be planted now too.

You may sometimes read or hear about "companion planting" -- planting certain kinds of plants around other plants to prevent pest problems. When it comes to nematodes in a vegetable garden, marigolds can help.

The American Rose Society will be honored Tuesday at the Louisiana State Capitol.

Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport) drafted a resolution designating Tuesday, April 28, as American Rose Society Day in celebration of the national organization’s 40th year of being headquartered in Shreveport, according to executive director Jeff Ware.