Ferguson: During the heat of the summer, you can read and watch videos about gardening

Published 11:13 am Friday, July 8, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Those of us working in Extension see patterns in the phone calls that we get over the course of the year. We get a lot of calls during the spring, as people get excited about their lawns and gardens and start seeing problems in them. Then, there comes a time of year when it seems like people are largely “over it.”

During this time of year when working outside in the garden isn’t as pleasurable, you might consider using the time to do some garden-related reading. The LSU AgCenter has a lot of resources that address a variety of topics, and there are certain ones that we give out repeatedly.

Below is information on some resources that you might take time to read as you sit in the cool of your house or on your porch. These publications are available on our website, www.lsuagcenter.com. If you don’t have internet access, you can call the LSU AgCenter’s Washington Parish office (985-839-7855) and ask that a copy be sent to you.

The Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide contains much of the information you need to plant a home vegetable garden, including recommended cultivars of specific vegetables, when to plant, and how much and when to fertilize. Additional information about growing specific vegetables is available by going to the “Lawn & Garden” section on our website and then choosing “Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables,” followed by “Vegetables” and then “Individual Crops.” If you would like to plant your garden in a raised bed, also look for the Raised Beds publication, which is part of the Home Garden Series.

The Louisiana Home Orchard publication has basic information on growing a wide variety of fruit crops, ranging from blueberries and muscadines to mayhaws and peaches. Like the vegetable gardening publication, it includes cultivar and fertilizer recommendations, as well as planting information. It also has information on training/pruning and some common disease and insect issues.

While the Louisiana Home Orchard publication covers a wide range of fruit crops, there are resources that provide more in-depth information about several popular fruit crops. These include Louisiana Home Citrus Production, Home Blueberry Production in Louisiana, Blackberry Growing Guide, and Figs for Commercial and Home Production in Louisiana.

The vegetable and fruit resources mentioned above are all available online or from our local offices, at no charge to you. The LSU AgCenter also offers Louisiana Home Fruit and Nut Production (79 pages) and Louisiana Home Vegetable Gardening (121 pages) books for $20 each. To order one of these, go to store.lsuagcenter.com or call 225-578-2263.

In the landscape arena, publications include Trees for Louisiana Landscapes and Shrubs for Louisiana Landscapes. Information on Louisiana Super Plants can be found on the respective section of our website.

For those who would like to have a garden that is both attractive and supports pollinating insects, we have Pollinator Gardening in Louisiana, which is part of the Urban Pollinator Conservation Series, as well as Use of Flowering Plants, which is part of the Protecting Pollinators in Urban Areas series.

There are a number of helpful resources on lawn care in the Louisiana Home Lawns Series. To get to these resources, go to our website and choose “Lawn & Garden” and then “Turfgrass.” The Louisiana Lawns Best Management Practices publication also has useful information. I like the tables on p. 5 that summarize fertility and mowing height recommendations for common turfgrasses.

Of course, you can read articles I’ve written on my page within the LSU AgCenter website.

If you like watching videos, the LSU AgCenter has a YouTube channel with videos about a variety of topics, including gardening. Additionally, my colleagues in the Greater New Orleans area have put together several video series — available on the LSU AgCenter website — including the vegetable-focused Home Gardening Class and a Home Composting Certificate Course.

Let me know if you have questions.

Dr. Mary Helen Ferguson is an Associate Extension Agent with the LSU AgCenter, with horticulture responsibilities in Washington and Tangipahoa Parishes. Contact Mary Helen at mhferguson@agcenter.lsu.edu, 985-839-7855 (Franklinton) or 985-277-1850 (Hammond).