Lee Rouse

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Lee Rouse is the LSU AgCenter's East Baton Rouge Parish horticulture agent. Lee worked as a horticulture agent in New Orleans before moving back to his hometown of Baton Rouge.

While working for the AgCenter, Lee has conducted Master Gardener Training classes and has graduated more than 100 people through his program. He has played an integral role in the development of the annual Farm to Table conference in New Orleans, while aiding the expansion of urban farming and community gardening in South Louisiana.

Lee is a contributor to the Advocate, WRKF, and maintains the East Baton Rouge Parish Master Gardener Facebook page. He is an alumnus of the LSU College of Agriculture.

LSU AgCenter

In October, the growth of warm season grasses like Saint Augustine, Bermuda, Centipede, and Zoysia begin to slow down. Now is a bad time to do things that disrupt the turf, such as filling, aerification, or thatching.

By mid-December, most warm season grasses will be dormant to some extent. Dormancy is important for the survival of grasses when they could be exposed to freezes. This would be a bad time to apply fertilizers high in nitrotgen. Nitrogen will stimulate lucious fall growth, which would make the grass susceptible to cold injury in the winter.

LSU AgCenter

Mealy bugs, aphids, leaf hoppers, and white flies have had all summer to build their populations in your garden. Spider mites can be damaging to many plants too. Year round spray oil or all-seasons oil are low-toxicity pesticides for these pests.

LSU AgCenter

September is an odd month for planting the vegetable garden. It's right between the warm season and the cold season. What do we do?

This is a transition month. This is when we plant some warm season vegetables and some cool season vegetables.

In the early part of the month, we can plant transplants of tomatoes and peppers. We can also plant squash, cucumber, pole beans, snap beans from seed.

Dan GIll / LSU AgCenter

September is the time when vegetable gardeners anticipate the cool weather to come. Now is the time we focus on planting cool season vegetables that will grow and produce during the fall, winter, and spring.

This is a transitional month, however, and warm season vegetables are still in our garden.

LSU AgCenter

Beans, beans, they're good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you should consider growing in your vegetable garden.

Beans are an easy crop to grow in a home garden, and yield a very high rate of return with very little input.

The two most commonly grown beans in Louisiana are the lima bean and the snap bean-- which can also is referred to as the string bean.

LSU AgCenter

Virginia buttonweed is one of the worst summer weeds infesting Louisiana turf grasses. The spread of this week has increased tremendously over the past few years.

Virginia buttonweed thrives on wet to moist soils and is highly drought tolerant as well. It has prostrate growing habit and forms dense mats that smother our lawns. It's easily identified by its opposite leaf arrangement and white flowers with a four-star shaped pedal. Sometimes the flowers can have a pink streak through the center of the two sepals.

Raj Singh / LSU AgCenter

Spanish Moss is a flowering plant belonging to the bromeliad family, which makes it related to pineapples.

I get a lot of questions with concerns about Spanish moss damaging trees. Thankfully, Spanish Moss is not a parasite, contrary to what many believe. Spanish Moss is considered an epiphyte. That means it lives on the tree but is independent of the tree itself. Spanish Moss doesn't invaded the tree; it only uses the tree for structural support and doesn't get any nutrition from the tree. It doesn't invade the tree's living tissue, unlike mistletoe or other parasitic plants.

Columbine "Swan Blue white" ...bicolored columbines grace landscapes in April with their stately flower stalks arising above the plant foliage.
LSU AgCenter

Gardeners can utilize the intense heat of the summer sun to control soil-born pests in vegetable gardens. Through solarization, you can use heat from the sunlight to control pathogenic fungi, nematodes, and weed seeds in the soil.

Solarization is the process of heating the soil in our beds under a covering of clear plastic using the energy of the sunlight, similar to the way a greenhouse might work. It can only be used on an empty bed, so as you remove vegetable crops you might have a perfect opportunity to use solarization.

Rick Bogren / LSU AgCenter

Summer flowering vines can add color and fragrance to any landscape. They could add shade and screening if they're allowed to cover an overhead structure. No other group of landscape plants can provide the same effect that vines can.

This week, we'll talk about a selection of perennial vines that can thrive even during the blistering heat of Louisiana's summer and are best planted in full to part-sun areas of the garden.

LSU AgCenter

In many ways, having a plant produce a flower is our trophy as gardeners for doing such a good job in the care and maintenance of our landscape plans. But there is much more to a flower than the symbolism of success. To understand flower biology, you must understand the parts of a flower.

The main components are the sepals, the leaf-like structures under the flower itself; the pedals, the colored part of the flower, which contain the perfume and nectar glands, and are the part to which we're more attracted; and, lastly, the male and female parts of the flower, which are responsible for production of the seed.

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