Bayou Garden

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From selecting the right plants to proper watering techniques and dealing with pests, host Lee Rouse delivers the information you need to garden successfully in Louisiana's unique climate.

Dan Gill/LSU AgCenter

Far too hot to be gardening outside, but this shouldn't stop you from gardening indoors in the air conditioning.

There shouldn't be much to plant in your garden in July. This is the time for maintenance. There will still be weeding and watering and weekly grass mowing, of course, but this is not to say that you can't or shouldn't be planting anything this month.

But wouldn't you rather be inside? Adding houseplants to your living room, study, kitchen, or even bathroom can liven up the room.

LSU AgCenter

I've always thought of gardening as a green activity, but there's an argument that some of the things we do when we garden are not necessarily as green as we might think. Consider our use of gas-powered equipment, over-application of fertilizers, and careless use of pesticides.

There are things we can do to keep our gardening efforts more sustainable with less of an environmental impact.

LSU AgCenter

Many weeds in the landscape can cause a gardener to gripe, but when the weed is specifically named after a gardener's complaints, then you know you have a real problem on your hands.

Gripe weed has become more common in our area over the past decade. You should accept eradication of a weed as impossible, but management and control are well within our reach. Hand-weeding and herbicide on the foliage work well. Shield or cover nearby desired ornamental plans when you're spraying herbicide.

LSU AgCenter

Mid-summer marks the time to scout for insects in the lawn. You might not notice them until it's too late and the insects have caused damage to your turf.

Grubs and mole crickets are two subterranian creatures who can feed on turf grass roots. Above-ground insects to watch for include chinch bugs and the sod webworm.

LSU AgCenter

Hydroponics is a unique and interesting way to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flours. It can be used to describe one of several ways that plants can grow without soil.

Mediums for growing plants hydroponically might include containers filled with gravel, sand, vermiculite, crushed rock, styrofoam, cinder, expanded shale, or hadite.

LSU AgCenter

It's hurricane season. It's time to look at the trees in your landscape. Do you see trees with large dead branches? Any completely dead trees? They should be pruned or removed. A sickly tree that is low in vigor or that is showing significant signs of decay or rotten areas in the trunk should be questioned, since it might be a threat in a wind storm.

LSU AgCenter

The high temperatures we're bound to encounter can take their toll on spring and early summer vegetables. Tomatoes will set fewer flowers; snap beans will produce poorer quality beans. Conversely, with some vegetables... the hotter it gets, the better they do.

Remember that mid-summer gardening is different from gardening in the spring. You'll need to remember thorough irrigation to counter the summer's long stretches of hot, dry conditions.

LSU AgCenter

Blackberries are by far one of the easiest food crops to grow in south Louisiana. But a lack of understanding often keeps gardners from incorporating this wonderful fruit into their landscape.

Some gardeners avoid planting this easily controllable crop because blackberries tend to have a reputation for getting out of control and creating a bramble jungle. Understanding the growth cycle and proper pruning of blackberries is critical to increasing the yield of your crop.

Allen Owings / LSU AgCenter

Spring is short in Louisiana. Weather rapidly transitions from winter to summer. But if you look for it and you're aware of the signs, spring actually starts to show up in February in Louisiana, especially in the southern part of the state.

Spring lingers through late April and into May. So we actually have eight weeks of spring weather, which isn't so bad. But whichever way you look at it, May is the first month of summer in Louisianans, so now is the time to switch from spring gardening activities to summer ones.

LSU AgCenter

Nothing more frustrating than fruits of labor lost to disease and pests. Though the spring has been pleasant, warm days and cool nights contribute to the growth and spread of many diseases that can attack the vegetables in our gardens.

If you have vegetables such as cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and melons, then you might notice fuzzy white material growing on the leaves and growing to spread. Two types of mildews affect vegetables: downy mildew and powdery mildew. Powdery mildew grows during hot and dry weather. Downy mildews thrive in cool, wet periods.

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