cool season

LSU AgCenter

I often write columns on what needs to be done in the garden. I remember once meeting a gentleman who said his wife read my columns faithfully, then make a list of gardening tasks he could do. He made a suggestion for a column topic. He asked that I write a column about simply sitting back and enjoying the garden.

And he had a point. We often spend so much time working in the garden, that we can forget to sit down and simply appreciate what we accomplish.


LSU AgCenter

Flower beds in our landscapes can stay colorful and attractive here. We put up with a ridiculously long and hot summer season, but we're compensated for this with a relatively mild winter.

Because our winters are so mild, we can plant colorful blooming bedding plants that will bloom from fall, through the winter, and into spring.


Pansies blooming in Shreveport, La.
Will-travel

Every year, Louisiana gardeners see amazingly beautiful beds of pansies, violas, dianthus, snapdragons, and many others, whose peak blooming season is around April. Wanting to create the same beauty in their gardens, they go out to the nurseries in April and purchase these plants and plant them in their gardens.

Invariably, they're disappointed when their plants never achieve the spectacular results they saw in others people's gardens.

There's a reason for this. The most spectacular mid-to-late season displays of cool season bedding plants were planted in the fall. Cool season bedding plants planted in April can not and never will achieve the beauty of those planted earlier.

They key to outstanding beds of these plants is early planting. And know what? It's not too late!


LSU AgCenter

August is a transitional time of the year in the vegetable garden. While cool season plantings begin 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 warn season vegetables for fall production.


Columbine “Swan Blue white” – Bicolored columbines grace landscapes in April with their stately flower stalks arising above the plant foliage.
LSU Ag Center

Tender perennials have a lot of stamina -- they may actually look great in November when it's time to put the cool season bedding plants in -- but it's best to pull them out.


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