gardening

Chiot's Run/Flickr

Fertilizers are something we think about a lot in the spring. Plants are waking up and ready to grow in February and March.

Fertilizers are simply materials we put in the soil that put nutrients into the soil that plants absorb and use. Fertilizers aren't necessary plant food; plants use the minerals to make their own food... so plants do need these nutrients.


Prepare your beds

Feb 10, 2017
LSU AgCenter

When it comes to preparing beds for flowers, vegetables, or shrubs, you must do it properly to ensure success.

Before planting, do a thorough job of removing any weeds that may have grown in the bed. If it's a new bed, remove any existing turf. Be sure to be thorough about this as well. Turn the soil to a depth of eight inches and then spread a two to four inch layer of organic matter, such as compost, over the turned soil. Organic matter loosens the soil and helps with drainage.


LSU AgCenter

As we reach the new year, I thought a look at current trends in landscaping would be interesting. Technology and the age of communication are definitely changing the way we live, work, and garden. Gardeners will, with more ease and frequency than ever before, exchange ideas and be exposed to new concepts about how and why we garden.


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.


Dan Gill

November thru February is the prime planting season for hearty trees, shrubs, ground covers, and vines in Louisiana.

So now is a time to assess your landscaping situation and make plans for what you might want to do.

LSU AgCenter

I recently came across some poison ivy as I was working in an out of the way part of my landscape.

Poison ivy is abundant in the summer time in urban, suburban, and rural landscapes. I keep an eye out for this plant, as I'm quite allergic to it. And I promptly and ruthlessly deal with any poison ivy as soon as I see it.

LSU AgCenter

I don't know about you, but when it's this hot, I'm much less likely to spend a lot of time outside. Perfect time to focus on the plants growing indoors.

Indoor plants have requirements that must be met, and the most important one here is light. If you can't grow a plant where there isn't enough light, just don't grow it there.


Chiot's Run/Flickr

February, March, and April are popular months to fertilize. There's some real confusion about what fertilizers are and why we use them. That confusion comes about because of the terms we use, such as "plant food" and we're "feeding" them.

Instead, fertilizer contains the elements the plants need to make food. Scientists have found there are 13 elements in the soil needed by plants to grown healthy. The elements used in the greatest quantities are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.


Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of winter solstice on northern hemisphere.
Przemyslaw "Blueshade" Idzkiewicz / Wikimedia Commons

As a gardener, you must understand a fundamental principle of how plants grow. Plants consume light to provide the energy they need to power and build their bodies.

Plants are solar powered organisms. They use light energy to build sugar out of carbon dioxide and water. This sugar, along with tiny amounts of minerals absorbed from the soil, is used to build the body of the plant and run its biological processes.

You must learn the light preferences of a plant and provide that light as closely as possible. Nothing matters if you don't get the light right.

LSU AgCenter

The pace of things tends to slow down this time of the year in the garden. Although we may continue to plant, prepare beds, harvest winter vegetables, and enjoy cool season flowers, most gardeners tend to find this time of the year a more relaxed time.

Taking a little time now can save a little time and money when moving into high gear this coming spring.


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