Lee Rouse


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.

Weed Control In General

Aug 30, 2019
LSU AgCenter

Have you had just enough of the weeds growing in your flower bed? I know I have. As an avid gardener with many other plates spinning in the air, I simply do not have the time to get out in the yard and hand pick these weeds or even mix up a batch of chemicals, walk through the yard and spray each weed individually hoping to kill them.

Thoughts On Garden Design

Aug 16, 2019
LSU AgCenter

Designing a garden is one of the more intimidating things gardeners expect of themselves. It's challenging enough to learn all that you need to know in order to select, plant and care for landscape plants successfully. But design is not just learning how to plant and water. I it requires an expression of something from inside of us.

Still, that does not mean you have to throw your creativity out there like a kid just jumping into a pool to learn to swim. Your mind would likely splash around just like the kid. There are more effective ways to teach a child to swim, and there are helpful ways you can organize your thoughts and have a more effective design process.

Allen Owings / LSU AgCenter

Mowers and string trimmers that use a monofilament line for cutting down weeds and grass can be very damaging to young trees. Young trees have relatively thin bark. If the line is allowed to hit the trunk part of the bark will be removed with east contact of the line.

If you are not careful, you might even remove an entire ring of bark all the way around the trunk, girdling the tree. Mowers pushed hard or dragged around the base of young trees can be almost as damaging.

LSU AgCenter

August is a transitional time for your vegetable garden. While cool-season planting begins in earnest next month, some of the more heat-tolerant cool-season vegetables, such as the cole crops, can be planted into the garden now. And, since our first frosts generally don't arrive until late November or early December, we can also plant warm-season vegetables such tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers for fall production.

It is important to prepare beds properly before planting. Clear the site of all weeds or finished vegetable plants and incorporate generous amounts of compost into the soil. A general-purpose fertilizer may be applied. Gardeners should consider having their soil tested through their parish LSU AgCenter Extension office to learn more about the fertility of their soil and what fertilizer to use. A soil test will also tell you if you need to add lime to the soil.

LSU AgCenter

If you simply can't be satisfied with the occasional chance appearance of a butterfly in your garden, you might consider planting a butterfly garden... a landscape intended to attract butterflies.

Louisiana is on the migration route for the monarch butterfly. This butterfly overwinters in Mexico, migrates to the northern United States in spring and summer, and then travels back down to Mexico in the fall. Many gardeners plant milkweed in their gardens to provide for the monarch butterflies.

Bruce Schultz / LSU AgCenter

After dodging the bullet with the short-lived Hurricane Barry, we analyze the difference between freshwater flooding and salt water flooding and how aspects of those two different types of flooding can have different impacts on your landscapes.

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

How do we get our plants through the summer, especially with extended periods of drought followed by torrential downpours? We want to keep our plans from getting stressed.

When it heats up, smaller and newly-planted plants will become stressed by the heat. Container plants are even more dependent upon the home gardener for help to combat the heat. Plants deal with the heat much like we do, with water. Plants use evapotransporation to transport water to their surface, sort of like sweating works for us.

Hydroponics Has Benefits

Jun 28, 2019
LSU AgCenter

Hydroponics is an alternative method for growing plants. This now modernized form of horticulture originated during the 1500s and can be used as a different approach to home gardening.

LSU AgCenter

Now is the time to get tomatoes into the ground. Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables to grow in Louisiana. They require very little space when they're staked or tied and can produce up to five pounts of usable fruit per plant.

Choose a sunny spot to grow your tomatoes. These things want full sunlight all day. Tomato plants grow tall and spindly, setting few flowers, when they're grown in too much shade. Add as much organic matter as possible to the soil. Tomatoes want a fertile, well-drained soil with high organic matter. Fertilize your tomatoes; they're a heavy user of plant nutrients.