Dan Gill

Host of Bayou Garden

Dan is an Associate Professor in Consumer Horticulture with the LSU AgCenter. He is the spokesperson for the LSU AgCenter’s "Get It Growing project," an effort encouraging home horticulture throughout Louisiana. Dan is also author of "Month-by-Month Gardening in Louisiana" and co-author of the "Louisiana Gardener’s Guide."

LSU AgCenter

Early February is an excellent time to prune repeat flowering roses. And now is the time to get this done if you haven't pruned them already.

Repeat flowering roses are those that bloom heavily in the spring and early summer, then intermittently through the summer, and heavy blooming again in October through early to mid December.

Roses are pruned for a variety of reasons. One of them is to stimulate new growth. Another reason is to control the size of the bush.


LSU AgCenter

Virtually all trees in our landscapes will need to be pruned during their lives, particularly in the first two decades after planting.

Sometimes a tree may be pruned in some way to help it, such as in dealing with storm damage, reducing limb weight, removing dead limbs, and stopping the spread of diseases. More often trees are pruned to adapt them to our urban environments, including keeping limbs from coming into contact with power lines, rubbing against the home, hanging too low, or obstructing views.

Home gardeners can carry out minor pruning, especially to train younger trees before they get large. Ask yourself why you think the tree needs to be pruned.


LSU AgCenter

January and February are excellent months to plant trees in Louisiana.

If you're thinking about adding shade trees, small spring or summer flowering trees, or trees for screening views, head out to local nurseries and purchase and plant trees in the next few weeks.

Arbor Day was last week because this is such a great time to plant trees.

For a medium to large growing evergreen tree is desirable, the Southern Magnolia can be a wonderful choice. It's well-known as a traditional tree in Louisiana and is native to the area.
Remarkably, the Southern Magnolia keeps its foliage year-round.


LSU AgCenter

These days, gardeners mostly purchase vegetable transplants at local nurseries for their spring plantings. Wonderful transplants of vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers.

But you know this limits you to just those cultivars the nursery chooses to carry. And this is really a small choice considering how many cultivars are out there. Look at any seed catalogue and you'll see exactly what I mean.

Raising your own transplants is not overly difficult and it is a fun and rewarding activity for home gardeners.


Allen Owings / LSU AgCenter

It would be nice to think we could take the winter off from worrying about weeds in our landscapes. Unfortunately, there are many weeds that thrive in the mild to cold temperatures of winter, both in our beds and in our lawn.

Don't forget to keep up with weeding this winter. Be proactive. Use mulches.

Mulches are our very best defense against weeds in our beds. Mulches work when the mulch layer is about 2". Mulch works by blocking sunlight from triggering weed seeds to germinate.

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