• 43°

Tips to get your yard or garden ready for winter

Crops/Agriculture Building – Good Displays in Spite of the Dry Weather

The 103rd edition of the Washington Parish Free Fair is over and we had the most idealistic/gorgeous weather you could wish for, with such tremendous, wholesome family fun and entertainment.

Hats off! Kudos! It was just tremendous to the fair organizers and volunteers for putting on such a wonderful event each year.

Now agriculturally speaking, did you visit the Crop/Agriculture Building? The school/community exhibits/displays were outstanding. We had over 300 exhibits of fruits, vegetables and unusual items on display by youth and adults.

Our flower and seed give-away on Saturday, Oct. 18, was sensational. We had donated, by the nursery industry of Washington and Tangipahoa parishes, over 80 landscape plants to be given away to 300 participants/fairgoer’s hoping to win a prize plant. Everyone was a winner because they were introduced to plants the nursery industry is growing and promoting.

I want to thank everyone on behalf of the LSU AgCenter for visiting and participating in agriculture type events during the fair. Note to all — I am back at the AgCenter as a part-time county agent Monday through Wednesday. Give us call at 985-839-7855.

Around the Yard

Winterize your lawn to help toughen the grass for the winter. Use 60 percent muriate of potash at the rate of 2 -3 pounds/1,000 square feet. This fertilizer will not cause the grass to green up or grow but gives it a stiffer stem/straw to withstand cold temperatures. The grass should come back healthier for the spring of 2015.

Adding Color to the Landscape

Many cool season bedding plants can be used now in the home landscape. The following are some of the more popular plants to use: pansies, dianthus, violas, snapdragons, flowering cabbage/kale, petunias and marigolds.

Strawberries

If you are interested in planting some strawberries in the home garden, give me a call, leaving the number of plants your want with your name and telephone number.

Fruit Orchard

During this time of year, you may want to consider planting a low maintenance fruit orchard with blueberries, figs, persimmons, brambles, loquats and some pear varieties. The reason behind low maintenance type is due to the amount of time required for most of the other fruit types with the listed varieties. Production is assured with little or no efforts.

Henry Harrison, who was Washington Parish County Agent for 40 years and retired in 2012, has come out of retirement to support the local staff at the LSU Ag Center with his expertise in agriculture — primarily in horticulture.

Harrison began his extensive career in Rayville in Richland Parish in 1972 and came to Washington Parish in 1974.

Harrison is married to the former Patricia Bickham of Franklinton. They are the parents of three sons: Robert, Ryan and Rashad. Harrison is looking forward to visiting with old and new friends as he disseminates research-based information of agriculture to the citizens of Washington Parish.