home & garden

Spice Up Your Garden

Mar 21, 2015

Louisiana residents have appreciated the enjoyable qualities of spicy foods for generations. The fire in Louisiana cooking is provided primarily by the use of hot peppers or products made from them, like red pepper and hot sauce. A backyard vegetable garden wouldn't be complete without a few pepper plants both hot and sweet to pick from. 

It's time to start thinking about adding spring and early summer vegetables to your garden.

Is It Spring Yet?

Mar 7, 2015

Weather is unsettled and unpredictable this time of the year.

We often have days in the 70s in December, January and February right along with hard killing freezes.

When we look at this time of the year, the question from gardeners often is, "Well, when does Spring begin?"

And it sort of depends on how you define Spring. 

Almost every landscape has shady areas, and ferns are a great group of plants that are perfect for those shady spots. Early spring is an excellent time to plant ferns in a landscape; it allows them to settle in and establish before the heat of summer arrives. So, if you've got some shady areas and you think ferns would work there now is the time to get them in the ground. 

Fertilizers are something we think about a lot in February and March as many plants are beginning to wake up and beginning to grow.

Keeping records can help make you a better gardener.

How to Plant a Tree

Jan 17, 2015

Friday, Jan. 16, was Louisiana's Arbor Day, the traditional time we celebrate trees by planting them. The ideal tree planting season in Louisiana is November through February.

Temperatures dropped down to around 20 degrees in the Baton Rouge area during the recent arctic blast. A freeze this severe can cause significant damage to tropical plants, even plants that were covered or otherwise protected. 

It would be nice to think we could take the winter off from worrying about weeds. Unfortunately, there are many weeds that thrive in the mild-to-cold temperatures. 

Certain spring-flowering bulbs, particularly tulips and hyacinths, need to be pre-chilled to bloom properly in the spring. Louisiana's winters aren't cold enough, long enough to satisfy their need for chill.