Lee Rouse

Bayou Garden

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

Everyone loves to garden when the weather is perfect, but the summer sets apart the hardcore pros from the novices. There is still plenty to do in the gardens in late July.

Tasks you can do for your vegetable garden in July include harvesting, planting, planning, and amending the soil for late fall and early winter vegetables.


LSU AgCenter

Here in southern Louisiana, high winds are a real concern. Now that hurricane season is here, it's time to look at your trees. Trees with problems can be a liability during storms.

First, check with trees with large dead branches or that are fully dead. Dead branches should be pruned. Dead trees should be removed from the property entirely.

Look at your tree's overall condition. A tree that is sickly, low in vigor, and shows sigificant signs of rot and decay in the trunk may need to be removed.


Iris in a rain garden.
LSU AgCenter

Here in Baton Rouge, we have received a teremendous amount of rainfall these past few weeks. You could consider it excessive. But, technically, how much is excessive rainfall and how should it be dealt with?

Frequent rainfall over very long extended period of time, such as one and a half inches of rain every other day for twenty days, could be considered excessive. To the contrary, one single heavy rain event, say five inches in one day, would not be considered excessive rainfall.


LSU AgCenter

Mid-summer marks the time when we need to begin scouting for insects in the lawn.

Two below-ground insects that can pose a problem to lawns in the summer are grubs and mole crickets. Above ground insects to watch for include chinch bugs and the sod web worm.


LSU Ag Center

Even the best of gardeners fall short of finding that perfect tomato fruit. Failure to set fruit can be caused by many different problems.


LSU AgCenter

If you have bare spots in your lawn, June is still an acceptable time to lay sod. Leaving bare areas unattended in your lawn will lead to additional weed problems later in the growing season.

Large areas with no competition from gress are perfect for weeds. If your bare areas are too large, you might consider sod.


Sweet Bay Magnolia
Jenny Evans

The month of June is always a reminder of that Louis Armstrong song, where he sings, "Do yo know what it means to miss New Orleans." That's the song where the lyrics go on to say he dreams of magnolias in bloom and wishes he were there.


LSU AgCenter

What do okra, chocolate, hibiscus, and cotton all have in common?

Give up? These are all in the same botanical family: the Malvaceae family.

Okra is one of the easiest and most heat tolerant vegetable crops you can grow in the south. It's a staple of the home garden. When other vegetables start to peter out in the heat of summer, that's the time okra will stand tall in the garden.


This is a picture of tea... for humans. This is not compost tea.
LSU AgCenter

The needs of our plants are similar to ours. They need to water to survive. But they need minerals to thrive. While humans might drink some iced tea for a bit of that sustenance, pouring iced tea on plants may not to much good.

But there is a "tea" of sorts for plants.


LSU AgCenter

It's not quite summer yet, but the days are becoming longer and hotter. Heat can be unpleasant for people and for plants. That's sepcially the case when they don't have enough to drink.

The hotter it gets, the faster the water either evaporates from the soil or is consumed and then lost by the plant. Landscapers should make sure gardens receive about one inch of water per week. That means there needs to be at least an inch of rain, an inch of irrigated water, or a combination every week.


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