Lee Rouse

LSU AgCenter's Lee Rouse is our new host for Bayou Garden.

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.

A new cleome, Seniorita Rosalita, is a radical departure from the cleomes we have grown in the past.

The cleome, or spider flower, is a traditional summer annual grown in the south for generations. They are tall robust plants growing three to five feet tall with a hand-shaped leaf and a large heads of delicate flowers.

If you're interested in planting wildflowers in your garden, one of the best plants to put in the garden this time of the year is the native Louisiana iris.

Hybrids of this native species bloom in a rainbow of color with large, showy flowers on their long stems. While their beauty and reliability in the garden have made Louisiana irises increasingly popular around the world, they still have some obscurity in their own native Louisiana.

You might be wondering about your tropicals right about now. Tender tropical plants were significantly affected by this winter's cold temperatures.

Sago palms took a beating this year and the AgCenter has been receiving a lot of questions about them. You want to prune off any fronds that have cold damage. The plant will be fine without them. The trunks have enough sugars in them to make sure the palm can leaf out this spring.

The blooms of a Japanese Magnolia are one of the most uplifting sights to see in winter. A blooming Japanese Magnolia is a horticultural groundhog, indicating winter is just about done for the year.

More often than not, when Japanese Magnolias bloom around town, it's fairly safe to say we are well on our way to springtime.

Horticulturists at LSU AgCenter's Hammond Research Station are on the hunt to rediscover underused landscape plants that have performance potential in Louisiana.

This new program is called "Plants With Potential." A core component of the program is offering plants that can be propagated with no restrictions. Increasing numbers of newly-developed varieties on the market carry invention patents, which can be costly to wholesale growers.

Your Brown Winter Lawn

Feb 1, 2018

By now, the snow has completely thawed and I'll suspect your lawn is a little bit browner now. Don't worry. There's no reason to be distressed about your dormant lawn; it's supposed to be like that. The lawn is just dormant. But now is a good time to plan your strategy for your nice green lawn in summer.

For a full year, trees work diligently pulling nutrients from deep in the soil to develop the year's foliage. But all too often, gardeners rake these leaves only to bag them and put them at the side of the road. These bags of brown gold then get taken to the landfill to serve no other purpose.

Yard clippings and other compostable materials comprise 28% of the material thrown into landfills in the U.S. This is an alarming amount of material that could otherwise be composted. Using fallen leaves in the garden is one of the easiest and cheapest solutions gardeners can employ in their own hard.

For a full year, trees work diligently pulling nutrients from deep in the soil to develop the year's foliage. But all too often, gardeners rake these leaves only to bag them and put them at the side of the road. These bags of brown gold then get taken to the landfill to serve no other purpose.

Yard clippings and other compostable materials comprise 28% of the material thrown into landfills in the U.S. This is an alarming amount of material that could otherwise be composted. Using fallen leaves in the garden is one of the easiest and cheapest solutions gardeners can employ in their own hard.

Fall is an outstanding time to plant many of the hearty culinary herbs, including parsley. Parsley is part of the same family as dill, cilantro, fennel, and celery, which can all be planted this time of year.

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