Terrebonne Horticulture Hints
March April May 2011
Landscape Gardening and Ornamentals
All-America Selections winners for 2011 All-America Selections cool-season bedding plant
All-America Selections is a nonprofit organization
that tests new ly developed cultivars of bedding plants Glamour Red ornamental kale (Brassica oleracea
and vegetables in garden plots all across the United „ Glamour Red‟ ) is the first All-America Selections
States. The 2011 All-America Selections Winners w inning Kale (edible or ornamental) in 78 years of
w ere judged in side-by-side comparison tests w ith trials! This is new FI hybrid cultivar is an excellent
standard cultivars and w ere selected based entirely achievement in breeding. The leaves are uniquely
on the performance of the w inning plants. shiny w ith a more intense, vivid color w hen compared
Seeds of these plants should be available from to existing ornamental kales. Leaf coloring is best in
most of the larger seed companies. Availability of full sun and w hen night temperatures fall below 55
transplants at local nurseries may be lacking since the degrees, F, and it is hardy to the teens, so it is ideal
plants are so new , but you can check. to grow here during the fall, w inter and spring cool
All-America Selections flower award winner Shangri-La Marina viola (Viola cornuta Shangri-La
Marina‟ ) is a FI hybrid early flow ering, mounding viola
Arizona Apricot gaillardia (Gaillardia x grandiflora
in a vibrant new color for violas. The 6 -inch tall
„ Arizona Apricot‟ ) offers a new and unique apricot
plants produce 1¼ inch blooms that have light blue
color. Blooms have yellow edges that deepen to a
petals w ith a velvety dark blue face surrounded by a
rich apricot in the center. Judges noted the aw ard-
narrow w hite border. This vigorous cool-season
w inning distinctive flow er color of the 3 - to 3.5-inch
bedding plant provides a solid mat of color from fall
daisy-like flow ers, described as exceptionally lovely
until spring. Grow in full sun as a low edging in the
and lighter in color than traditional gaillardia. The
garden or in hanging baskets and pots.
compact, 12-inch –tall plants offer bright green
foliage and a tidy, uniform habit. Best in full sun.
All-America Selections vegetable award winners
All-America Selections bedding plant award Hijinks pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo „ Hijinks‟ ) is a
winner great new FI hybrid cultivar that produces small-size,
6- to 7-pound fruits of a very uniform size and shape.
Summer Jew el Red salvia (Salvia coccinea Smooth, deep-orange skin w ith distinctive grooves
„ Summer Jew el Red‟ ) w as consistently rated gives a very classy appearance to fall decorations and
“ superior” or above average” by the All-America is ideal for painting or carving. In trials, plants
Selections judges because of its early and generous produced high yields and notable resistance to
flow er blossoms that are produced from spring to pow dery mildew . Allow plenty of space in the garden
autumn. The densely branching plants remain a tidy for long vines that spread up to 15 feet. Early to
20 inches tall and produce dark green leaves that are mature, this pumpkin is ready for harvest in about
slightly finer textured than other types. The bright 100 days from sow ing or 85 days from transplant.
red flow er spikes are covered w ith half -inch blooms
that act as a magnet for hummingbirds. At just 50
days from sow ing to first flow er, Summer Jew el Red
is approximately tw o w eeks earlier than comparisons.
This annual is ideal for full sun containers, mixed beds
and borders w here uniformity is desired.
Lizzano tomato (Solanum lycopersicum „ Lizzano‟ ) Butterfly Series Pentas (Pentas lanceolata). This FI
is a vigorous semi-determinate, FI hybrid tomato hybrid pentas is distinctive for its compact grow th
variety w ith a low -grow ing, trailing habit that is habit, larger flow ers and excellent garden
excellent for grow ing in patio containers or hanging performance. Superb heat and humidity tolerance
baskets. In the garden, grow it in a short tomato make this summer bedding plant a reliable choice for
cage. The plants grow 16 to 20 inches tall. In trials, Louisiana gardeners. Clusters of five-petaled flow ers
Lizzano consistently produced abundant yields of are produced continuously all summer from spring to
high-quality, bright red, baby-cherry-size fruits (about first frost. The series includes a variety of colors –
0.4 ounches). Judges noted better eating quality, „ Butterfly Deep Rose‟ , „ Butterfly White‟ , „ Butterfly
yield and plant habit than comparisons. Lizzano is the Blush‟ , „ Butterfly Deep Pink‟ , „ Butterfuly light
first late blight tolerant, cherry fruited, semi- Lavender‟ , „ Butterfly Lavender‟ and „ Butterfly red‟ .
determinate variety on the market. Harvest begins The flow ers are rich w ith nectar and are highly
105 days from sow ing seed or 63 days from attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Plant in
transplant. full sun to partial shade.
„ Terenzo‟ (Solanum Lycopersicum „ Terenzo‟ ) is a
high-yielding, red, cherry-type tomato that is a prolific Gardenia ‘Frostproof’ (Gardenia jasminoides
producer on a tidy, low -grow ing, trailing plant. The ‘ Frostproof’ ). This evergreen shrub produces fragrant,
round, extra sw eet fruit is approximately 1¼ inches double, velvety, w hite flow ers heavily in May and
w ide – about the size of a typical cherry tomato. then sporadically through the summer. „ Frostproof‟ ,
With a plant height of only 16 to 20 inches, this as its name implies, is more cold hardy than other
compact variety is suitable for grow ing in hanging gardenias. It also has proven to be tough, adaptable
baskets or containers on porches, decks or balconies. and not as finicky. Grow ing about 5 feet tall and 4
feet w ide, it is considered a compact gardenia. The
Louisiana Super Plants leaves are somew hat smaller than most other
The Louisiana Super Plant program is a new gardenia cultivars, giving the plant an attractive
educational and marketing campaign that highlights medium to fine texture. Plant in acidic soil in full sun
tough and beautiful plants that perform w ell in to partial shade.
Louisiana landscapes. Louisiana Super Plants have a
proven track record – having gone through several
years of university evaluations and observations. In
short, Louisiana Super Plants are “ university tested
and industry approved.”
Each spring and fall LSU AgCenter horticulturists
unveil a list of Louisiana Super Plants, evaluated and
selected for their superior performance throughout the
state of Louisiana. Wholesale nurseries are
encouraged to grow Louisiana Super Plants, and retail
nurseries are encouraged to carry these plants. That
w ay, w hen you hear about these outstanding plants,
you should be able to find them at your local
nurseries. Homeow ners and professionals alike can
benefit from using Louisiana Super Plants to ensure
successful landscaping efforts.
Vitex ‘Shoal Creek’ (Vitex agnus-castus „ Shoal
Louisiana Super Plants for Spring 2011 Creek‟ ). The 12 inch, fragrant flow er spikes of deep
Serena Series Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia). lavender blue provide a w onderful addition to summer
This outstanding summer bedding plant can be relied landscape color w ithout the w ork involved w ith
on for dependable garden performance through the bedding plants. The flow ers appear in May/June, and
hottest summer w eather. There are four soft colors there is a second flush of flow ers in August. This
in the Serena series that blend together beautifully – versatile plant blooms best in full sun and can be
„ Serena Purple‟ , „ Serena Lavender‟ , „ Serena Lavender trained as a large shrub or small multitrunked tree
Pink‟ and „ Serena White‟ . Plants are compact, about 10 to 15 feet tall and w ide. „ Shoal Creek‟
grow ing 12 to 14 inches tall and about as w ide. vitex is more vigorous and produces larger flow ers
Masses of flow er spikes cover the plants from late and deeper color than common vitex. Once
spring to frost. Plant in sunny beds after danger of established, it is very drought tolerant and fits w ell
frost passes and the w eather is w arm and settled. w ith a low er maintenance landscape. The flow ers
also are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.
Take advantage of educational opportunities Louisiana Master Gardener
Many gardening organizations, public gardens and the LSU AgCenter volunteer program
have garden-related educational programs, classes, demonstrations, The LSU AgCenter‟ s Louisiana
show s, plants sales, garden tours and a variety of other events over the Master Gardener program plays
next few months. an important role in meeting the
Make an effort to take advantage of these opportunities w hile they are horticulture needs of Louisiana
available. It is amazing how much useful information you can pick up. residents and providing research-
These events are local, and the information is accurate for your particular based information for the fastest -
area. grow ing leisure-time activity in
You also w ill be able to find unique plants at plant sales that may not the nation – gardening.
be readily available from other sources. Of course, the chance to meet Designed to recruit and t rain
other gardeners, talk gardening and get new inspiration for w orking in volunteers, the Louisiana Master
your garden certainly is important. Gardener program is open to
Take some time out from w orking in your garden this spring to anyone w ith a w illingness to
participate in these events. You‟ ll be glad you did. learn and a desire to help others.
Instructional training for the
Louisiana Master Gardener
Ground covers for Louisiana Landscapes
program is tailored for beginners
The term ground cover is applied to low -grow ing plants (other than and experienced gardeners.
turfgrass) that are used to cover areas of the landscape. Perennial,
In exchange for horticulture
evergreen plants w ith a spraw ling or spreading habit are most often used.
training, Master Gardeners
The plants used for ground covers generally are less than 12 inches contribute time as volunteers,
high, but taller plants also are used appropriately in certain landscapes w orking through their parish
w ith a larger scale. You must carefully consider the characteristics you Extension offices, to develop and
w ould like the ground cover to have (height, texture, color, etc.) w hen enhance community programs
making your selection, as w ell as the grow ing conditions w here it w ill be related to horticulture.
planted – such as sun or shade. Depending on community needs,
Don‟ t forget to look at the size of the area to be planted, too. Only the these may include environment al
most reliable, fast -spreading and reasonably priced ground covers should improvement activities, parish
be considered for large areas. fairs, plant health clinics, civic
For larger areas, monkey grass or mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicas), meetings and community and
creeping lily turf (Liriope spicata) and Japanese ardiasia (Ardisia japonica) school gardening programs.
are good choices for partial shade to shade. Asiatic jasmine Enjoy the satisfaction that
(Trachelospermum asiaticum) and liriope (Liriope muscari) are excellent for more than 1,700 citizens across
partial shade to sun. the state are experiencing as a
Ground covers can reduce maintenance, beautify problem areas and certified Louisiana Master
create a w hole new dimension in your landscape. Here are some Gardener. To learn how you can
recommendations for Louisiana. become a Master Gardener,
contact the LSU AgCenter
Partial Shade to Shade: Choose from liriope (various varieties of Liriope
Extension office in your parish or
muscari), creeping lily turf (Liriope spicata), monkey grass (Ophiopogon
visit our w ebsite:
japonicas), Asian jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum), cast iron plant
w w w .lsuagcenter.com/MasterGa
(Aspidistra elatior), English ivy (Hedera helix), Algerian ivy (Hedera
canariensis), periw inkle (Vinca major, an excellent variegated form is
available), ajuga (Ajuga reptans, use in small areas, since it is prone to
crow n rot), straw berry begonia (Saxifrga stolonifera), many ferns such as
holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum), w ood fern (Thelypteris kunthii), sw ord
fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia) and autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora), to
name a few .
Partial Sun to Sun: Consider Lily-of-the-Nile (Agapanthus), sedum
(Sedum acre, S. Album), low -grow ing junipers (Juniperus chinensis
procumbens and J. horizontalis cultivars especially), dw arf lantanas, dw arf
bamboo (Arundinaria pygmaea), daylily (Hemerocallis), w edelia (Wedelia
trilobata, south Louisiana), perennial verbenas and yarrow (Achillea
Plant warm-season bedding plants for summer color
Warm-season bedding plants Spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost, rotted leaves, aged manure, finely
grow and flow er best during ground pine bark or peat moss over the bed, and then evenly sprinkle a
April through October, and w e light application of a granular or organic all-purpose fertilizer. Thoroughly
can begin planting them as early blend the organic matter and fertilizer into the bed and rake smooth. Then
as late March in south Louisiana. you‟ re ready to plant.
Gardeners w ho planted cool- Make sure you plant the transplants no deeper than they w ere grow ing
season bedding plants generally in the original containers and at the proper spacing. Annual plantings are
w ill w ait for those plants to not low maintenance, and you should keep in mind the care they w ill need
begin to fade in late April or w hen deciding w here, how large and how many beds you w ill plant.
May, how ever, before removing Mulch w ill reduce problems w ith w eeds, but regular w eeding still w ill be
those and replacing them w ith necessary. Regular w atering, pest control and grooming (removing dead
w arm-season bedding plants. flow ers and unattractive leaves) w ill keep them looking their best. In
Tender perennials, such as containers, hanging baskets and w indow boxes, annuals need regular
impatiens, periw inkles, blue w atering and fertilization. Invite a rainbow into your garden this summer
daze, pentas and begonias, are – plant a flow er garden.
used as bedding plants along Here are some excellent choices for summer flow er beds in Louisiana.
w ith true annuals, but these Those marked w ith an asterisk (* ) are tender perennials.
plants have far more stamina and
Warm-season Bedding Plants for Sun to Partial Sun (6 to 8 hours of
“ staying pow er” in the summer
direct sun): Abelmoschus, Ageratum, Amaranthus, Balsam, Blue Daze* ,
flow er garden. They make
Celosia, Cleome, Coleus (Sun-tolerant types), Coreopsis, Cosmos,
outstanding bedding plants, often
Dahlberg Daisy, Dusty Miller* , Gaillardia, Gomphrena, Lantana* ,
blooming from late spring until
Lisianthus, Marigold, Melampodium, Narrow -leaf Zinnia, Ornamental
cool w eather arrives in fall.
Pepper* , Periw inkle” , Pentas* , Portulaca, Purslane* , Rudbeckia, Salvia* ,
Sometimes they survive the
Scaevola* , Sunflow er, Tithonia, Torenia, Perennial Verbena and Zinnia.
w inter to grow and bloom
another year. True annuals, on Warm-season Bedding Plants for Partial Shade to Shade (2 to 4 hours
the other hand, rarely make it all of direct sun): Balsam, Begonia* , Brow allia* , Caladium (perennial tuber),
the w all through our Cleome, Coleus* , Impatiens* , Pentas* , Salvia* and Torenia.
exceptionally long summer
grow ing season.
Choose annuals w ell suited to
the grow ing conditions of the
location w here they w ill be
planted. While most annuals
need full sun (at least eight hours
of direct sun) to partial sun
(about six hours of direct sun),
some thrive in partial shade
(about f our hours of direct sun)
or shade (about tw o hours of
direct sun). Even annuals that
like partial shade to shady
locations, how ever, w ill generally
not perform as w ell in full shade,
w here they receive no direct sun.
Caladiums, planted from tubers
or grow ing plants, are one of the
best choices for color in full
Prepare your beds carefully
before putting in summer
bedding plants. First, eliminate
any w eeds or other unw anted
plants. Next, turn the soil to a
depth of at least 8 inches.
Use insecticides properly spray everything in your landscape just because a
few plants are infested.
As the w eather w arms, a number of insect pests
become more active. Many people still feel they Identifying insect pests and other problems in the
should immediately get an insecticide and begin garden is a major problem for home gardeners.
spraying w hen they see insects or some apparent Contact the LSU AgCenter Extension office in your
insect damage in gardens, but just seeing an insect or parish; the county agent located there can help you
insect damage is not reason enough to spray. diagnose the problem and come up w ith an
appropriate control strategy.
The insect you see may not be harmful or may not
cause enough damage to w arrant the use of an Checklist for March, April and May
insecticide. It may even be a beneficial insect. And 1. Plant w arm-season bedding plants beginning in
if the damage is old and the pest has already come mid-March (south Louisiana). For best results,
and gone, spraying w on‟ t do any good. plant petunias by mid-March and w ait to plant
Before you decide to use an insecticide, it is periw inkles (vinca) until late April.
important to identify the insect causing the damage. 2. After spring bulbs that reliably re-bloom each year
have finished flow ering, w ait until the foliage turns
Otherw ise, you may spray the w rong insecticide or
yellow before cutting it off. Food is being
use an insecticide w hen it w as not needed. manufactured in the leaves and stored for next
Remember that no single insecticide w ill control all year‟ s blooms.
insect pests. Indiscriminate spraying may kill 3. Mulch plants to reduce w atering requirements,
beneficial predatory insects that are eating pests on suppress w eed grow th and minimize soil
your plants, and this actually can cause pest temperature changes. Excellent mulches are pine
problems to develop or become w orse. In such a straw , chopped leaves and pine bark. Mulch should
case, you w ill have w asted time and effort and be applied 2 inches thick for effective w eed
destroyed a friend rather than a pest. suppression.
4. Divide and transplant older, larger clumps of
It is essential to read the entire label before chrysanthemums in early March. Failure to divide
purchasing and using an insecticide. This is the best plants can result in w eak, spindly grow th w ith few
w ay to be certain it w ill control the pest situation y ou flow ers.
are dealing w ith. If the label does not have specific 5. Coleus is a great annual bedding plant for
information covering how you intend to use the Louisiana‟ s landscapes. Try some of the new er
insecticide, put it back and find a product that does. sun-loving varieties.
The label also w ill tell you how much to use and how 6. Fertilize shrubs during the spring using a general-
to mix and apply it safely. purpose fertilizer. Carefully follow the label
Pay careful attention to the safety precautions that
7. Watch for insect problems this spring. Lace bugs
must be taken, such as w earing protective clothing. on azaleas and aphids or w hiteflies on gardenias
Some insecticides have restrictions for use on certain are common. Also, examine camellias, sasanquas
plants and at certain temperatures. If you don‟ t and hollies for scale insects on the low er foliage.
follow those, the produce might cause the plants Control w ith acephate, imidacloprid or horticultural
damage rather than helping them. You should read all oil sprays.
of this before buying the pesticide. When applying 8. To encourage more rapid re-blooming, pinch off old
insecticides (or any pesticides) to food crops, check flow ers on bedding plants after their first flow er
to label to see how many days you must w ait from cycle is completed this spring.
treatment to harvesting. 9. Roses may develop insect problems. Watch for
aphids on tender new grow th, thrips on flow ers
You also should use an effective insecticide that is and cucumber beetles on foliage. Beetles may be a
the safest and least toxic. Check the label of the problem if a vegetable garden is nearby.
insecticide container for one of three w ords. 10. Garden centers w ill have many crape myrtles
“ Caution” denotes the least toxic category of during May and June. Plant these shrubs and trees
pesticides. “ Warning” appears on the labels of the (depending on the variety you select) for great
next most toxic category, and “ danger” is on the flow ering all summer. Most varieties also have
labels of the most toxic. exfoliating, colored bark.
11. If your crape myrtles have had problems w ith crape
The control method must be directed tow ard the myrtle aphids and the unattractive, black sooty
pest. If the insect lives and feeds on the underside of mold they cause, treat your trees now to prevent
the foliage, your spray should be directed there. If it problems this summer. Apply a drench of
lives on the trunk and branches, a light spray on the imidacloprid insecticide to the base of t he tree, and
foliage w ill not be effective. Spray only the infested the tree w ill be protected from aphids all summer.
plants and those nearby of the same kind. Do not
Turfgrasses and Lawns
Lawn weed control Some product manufacturers w ill recommend a
Herbicides can be effective tools for reducing follow -up spray tw o or three w eeks after the first
w eeds in your yard, but the best w eed control is a application. Clean your sprayers thoroughly w ith an
thick healthy law n. An agent in your parish LSU ammonia solution if the same sprayer is used for
AgCenter Extension Service office can advise you on applying insecticides or fungicides on good plants. It
fertilizer and other cultural practices that w ill improve is best to buy a sprayer specifically dedicated for
the overall health of your law n. w eed killers, how ever, to avoid accidental injury to
Weed preventer or pre-emergence herbicides may desirable plants.
be applied safely in t he w inter and early spring to all Weed and feed herbicides can be used at the time
established southern law ns. These products usually recommended for the first fertilizer application of the
are granular and should be applied w ith drop or year. Apply w eed and feed in the New Orleans area
broadcast spreaders and w atered in soon after about late March. Applying w eed and feed too early
application. (late February to early March) may encourage
Pre-emergence herbicides are effective in reducing outbreaks of brow n patch disease. Be sure to read
the emergence of several annual grasses like and follow product label recommendations.
crabgrass and goosegrass, w hich are common grassy
w eeds in law ns throughout the state. These
herbicides w ork before you see the w eeds infesting
your law n, but timing is everything w ith the pre-
emergence type of herbicides. You have to apply
them before the w eeds germinate.
Residents in the New Orleans area and other
extreme southern areas of the state should apply pre-
emergence herbicides around Valentine‟ s Day or a
few days after. The w indow for applying pre-
emergence herbicides further north in Louisiana is late
February to early March.
Some pre-emergence herbicide trade names to
look for are Green Light Crabgrass Preventer, Scott‟ s
Halts and Hi Yield Crabgrass Preventer w ith
Post-emergence herbicides are used to kill w eeds
that already have emerged in the law n. Winter
broadleaf w eeds usually are prevalent in the late
w inter and early spring throughout the state.
These broadleaf w eeds often can be controlled by
using selective liquid post -emergence “ trimec-type”
herbicides that contain formulations w ith three w eed
killing ingredients – 2,4-D; dicamba and mecoprop.
These herbicides are w idely available and can be used
on most southern grasses. Be extra careful, how ever,
w hen using them on St. Augustine grass w hen the
w eather gets w armer. Some examples of trimec-type
broadleaf herbicides are Bayer Advanced Southern
Broadleaf Herbicide, Ortho Weed B Gon Max for
Southern Law ns and Fertilome Weed Free Zone.
Most herbicide labels w ill stress the use of these
products on younger w eeds at temperatures below
85 degrees. Even w hen used as directed, a temporary
discoloration of the law n may occur follow ing the use
of these herbicides. Follow the manufacturer‟ s
recommendation for the amount of w ater and spray
material to cover a given area as w ell as the
recommendations regarding mow ing practices before
and after the herbicide application.
Cultural management of pecan trees in the best in w ell-drained, nutrient -rich soil. Soil acts as a
home landscape “ vault” to store w ater for crop use. The deeper the
soil you have, the larger the vault for storing w ater.
Well-drained, sandy soils require and tolerate more
w ater than clay soils w ith slow er internal drainage.
Generally, coarse, sandy soils can store only about
0.5 inch of w ater per foot of depth. Silty loam soils
can store more than five times that much, or 2.5
inches per foot of depth. Other soil types, including
heavy clays, w ill fall in a range betw een 0.5 and 2.5
inches per foot of depth.
Organic matter percentage also influences w ater-
holding capacity. As the percentage increases, the
w ater-holding capacity increases because of the
affinity organic matter has for w ater.
For many homeow ners, their vision of planting a Irrigation and rain fill the soil reservoir or bring the
pecan tree is to grow a tree large enough to provide soil moisture content up to field capacity to store
shade for outdoor activities and produce a large crop w ater for tree use. Thus, the depth of the root zone
of delicious nuts every fall. What they fail to and the soil type must be know n to determine how
consider, how ever, are some of the challenges much irrigation w ater is needed.
associated w ith grow ing pecan trees in an urban For a homeow ner, one of the most important
setting. practices to successfully grow a pecan tree is to
Pecan trees grow to be very large trees at maturity provide adequate w ater during the grow ing season.
and can completely overw helm the residential Generally, w ater w ill have more of an influence on
landscape. They also are relatively high-maintenance pecan production than any other environment al
trees based on the amount of resources required to factor, particularly w here nut quality is concerned.
keep the trees healthy and producing a consistent, Insufficient w ater or drought stress w ill affect nut
quality crop. size, nut filling and kernel quality, as w ell as leaf and
One of the most common mistakes homeow ners shoot grow th. Adequate soil moisture is important at
make probably is not giving pecan trees enough room bud break for stimulating strong, vigorous grow th;
to grow properly. If your goal is to maximize nut from bloom through shell hardening for nut size; and
production, no object, w hether it is another tree or during the nut filling stage for optimizing kernel
structure, should be located close enough to shade percentage. If trees do not receive adequate soil
any portion of the pecan tree. moisture levels late in the season, shuck split and
energy reserves are affected. Lack of sufficient w ater
Of course, another benefit of not crow ding your
during the nut filling stage w ill lead to poorly filled
pecan tree is the increased air circulation around and
nuts, poor nut quality and increased alternate bearing.
through the trees. Why is this important? Air
movement through the tree canopy dries the foliage, The nut sizing period normally occurs from May 1
providing an unfavorable environment for the through August 1. Even though this is not a critical
development of pecan scab, one of the most w ater-use stage for pecans, serious drought
damaging fungal diseases of pecans. Boxed-in pecan conditions during this period can affect yield. The
trees are more prone to scab because the leaves and most common visible effects of an extended drought
nuts stay w et for longer periods of time. during this period are excessive nut drop and “ shell
hardening” on small nuts. When a pecan tree begins
Neglected pecan trees can pose a hazard to people
to stress, w hether it be f rom lack of w ater, an insect
and property. Trees that are not properly trained
infestation or disease, the tree generally w ill respond
w hen young have a tendency to develop narrow ,
by shedding some or the majority of its nut crop.
forked low er branches. With age, these trees are at
risk of splitting during a storm. Late w inter, w hen the Lack of sufficient w ater during the nut sizing
trees are completely dormant, is the normal time to period also may lead to w ater stage fruit split, w hich
correct structural defects and remove dead w ood, but results from a sudden influx of w ater during the nut
pruning can be done any time of the year, if filling stage in some varieties. The nut filling stage
necessary. occurs from about August 1 to the first w eek of
October, depending on variety. The most critical
In its native habitat, the pecan tree prefers to
period for w ater use is during the first tw o w eeks of
grow in the rich alluvial flood plains of rivers and
streams. This gives an indication that they w ill thrive
It is possible to identify trees that didn‟ t receive root zone of the pecan tree. Pecan roots usually
sufficient w ater w hen they are being harvested during extend beyond the limb spread of the tree. Be careful
the fall. Trees undergoing stress at some point during w hen applying fertilizer; try to avoid applications in
the year may have dropped their nuts early, produced narrow bands or clumps, w hich could result in injury
smaller pecan or few er pecans or have pecan hulls to law n grasses or tree roots.
w hich failed to open properly (sticktights). There are a large number of fertilizers available
Because a pecan tree has such an expansive root today, and choosing w hat type of fertilizer to use can
system, every effort should be made to w ater the be confusing. All fertilizers are labeled w ith three
entire surface area covered by the tree canopy. The numbers that indicate the guaranteed analysis or the
w ater needs of a pecan tree w ill vary from 1 inch per fertilizer grade. These three numbers give the
w eek during the spring to more than 2 inches per percentage by w eight of nitrogen (N), phosphate
w eek during the summer. Rainfall shouldn‟ t be your (P2 O5 ) and potash (K2 O). Often, these numbers are
primary irrigation source; rainfall should be said to represent nitrogen, phosphorus and
supplemental to mechanized irrigation practices on potassium, or N-P-K, but remember that it is not N-P-
your tree. K, but N-P2 O5 -K2 O.
For trees planted in law ns, do not rely on
For example, in a 100 pound bag of fertilizer
sprinklers to w ater both the grass and trees. The use
labeled 10-10-10, there are 10 pounds of nitrogen,
of a law n sprinkler system may supplement deep
10 pounds of phosphate and 10 pounds of potash.
w atering how ever. To deep w ater your tree, run a
This fertilizer actually w ould contain 10 pounds of
soaker or w ater hose at the dripline on a prescribed
nitrogen, 4.3 pounds of phosphorus and 8.3 pounds
schedule. Make sure the entire root zone, including 3
of potassium. Other nutrients contained in the
feet beyond the dripline, receives deep moisture
fertilizer w ill be listed on the bag, as w ell. These
regardless of the irrigation system used. It‟ s a no-
analyses allow the grow er to select a fertilizer that
brainer that smaller, younger pecan trees w ill require
contains the nutrients necessary for the specific
less w ater than mature trees, but do not
underestimate their w ater requirements. A mature
tree has an extensive root system to harvest moisture
from a substantial area, w hile a young tree‟ s roots
may only spread 2 to 3 feet from the trunk.
Weed competition often results in poor grow th or
even death of young pecan trees. Bermuda grass and
Johnson grass are especially severe competitors, but
numerous other grasses and w eeds can result in poor
tree grow th. Pecan trees w ill make the best grow th in
the first few years after planting if a circle 6 feet in
diameter is kept w eed-free w ith glyphosate herbicide,
hand cultivation or mulch.
Chemical w eed killers (herbicides) should be used
w ith extreme caution and in complete accordance
w ith label directions. Numerous mulches can be used,
including pine straw , bark or synt hetic w eed-barrier
cloth. If the tree is in a law n w here a w eed-free circle
is undesirable, compensate by applying extra w ater
and fertilizer and by mow ing often to help reduce The type or form the fertilizer comes in is called the
grass competition. formulation. Some of the formulations available to
As the tree develops a larger canopy, the shade homeow ners include w ater-soluble pow ders, liquids,
helps suppress the grow th and competition of grass slow -release pellets, slow -release spikes, tablets and
for w ater and nutrients. Law n grasses vary in their granular solids. Fertilizer formulation can affect the
tolerance to shade. St. Augustine and tall fescue are quality of results. Granular and liquid formulations can
the only common turfgrasses that consistently grow be applied evenly and distributed to the entire root
w ell under a thick shade canopy. system. Spikes, pellets or fertilizer packets are
Standard fertilization of law ns near and beneath convenient to use but concentrate the fertilizer in one
pecan trees may supply much of the fertilization spot, w hich may lead to some root burn from
requirements of both trees and law n. But additional excessive fertilizer.
fertilizer probably w ill be necessary to supply nutrient
requirements during years w ith large nut crops.
Fertilizer should be applied by broadcasting over the
Vegetables to Plant in Now is time to think about spring vegetable garden
March There is no better time to start thinking about your spring vegetable
Direct plant snap beans, garden than now .
Sw iss chard, radishes, lettuce, Start brow sing seed catalogues and local nurseries for new varieties of
collards, mustards, turnips, vegetables to grow . Ordering seed is the first step in prepping for a spring
cabbage, broccoli and sw eet garden.
corn seeds. Plant tomatoes, You‟ ll also have to remove fall vegetables that have not yet been
peppers and eggplant harvested, remove any w eeds and till the soil. Remember to till at least 8
transplants. Plant cantaloupes, inches into the ground for adequate root grow th on vegetable crops.
squash, cucumbers and Take a SOIL SAMPLE prior to adjusting pH and fertilizer! Soil varies in
w atermelons w ell after danger of different parts of the state, so have your soil checked at least every three
frost is over; this is usually after years! Soil samples can be sent to the LSU AgCenter‟ s soil testing lab on
March 15 in south Louisiana. the LSU campus in Baton Rouge (w w w .LSUAgCenter.com/soiltest ).
Once you‟ ve done all that, apply pre-plant fertilizer, if needed, then
April irrigate and w ait tw o w eeks to plant! See the planting guidelines and
Plant snap beans, butter suggestions that follow for dates to plant particular crops.
beans, radishes, collards,
cucumbers, eggplants, Crop Highlights
cantaloupes, okra, Southern peas Sweet corn. Planting corn early helps reduce problems from corn
(field peas), peanuts, pumpkins, earw orms. The earliest planting should be made seven days before the
w inter squash, summer squash, average last frost date for your area. Plant every tw o to three w eeks to
sw eet corn, sw eet potatoes (late provide a continuous supply of sw eet corn. Remember to plant the same
April), tomatoes (transplants), variety in a block of at least three row s side at each planting. This w ill
peppers (transplants) and help w ith good pollination and w ell-filled ears.
w atermelons. When planting sw eet corn, drop tw o or three seeds every 8 to 12
inches in the row , and cover to about ½ inch to 1 inch deep. After the
May seeds germinate and the plants are 3 to 4 inches tall, thin to one plant per
Most spring vegetables can be hill. Side-dress a 100-foot row w ith ¾ -1½ pounds of ammonium nitrate
planted in May, since the soil has w hen the plants are about 12 inches high and again w hen the plants are
w armed and danger of frost has 24-36 inches high. One pint of fertilizer is about 1 pound.
passed. Plant sw eet potatoes Dust or spray silks w ith Sevin about every tw o to three days after silks
(transplants), okra, Southern first appear and until silks begin to dry. This treatment w ill help reduce
peas, pumpkins, peanuts, sw eet corn earw orm damage.
corn, w atermelons, cucumbers, Harvest sw eet corn early in the morning w hile it is still cool. Chill or
butter beans, squash, cook immediately after harvesting. Sw eet corn that is ready to harvest
cantaloupes, collards and should have a w ell-filled ear. Kernels should be bright and plump, and
eggplants (transplants). Snap their juice should be milky. The recommended regular early maturing
beans, butter beans, sw eet corn, variety is Seneca Horizon. Midseason varieties are Funks G90, Gold Quen
tomatoes and peppers or Merit. Late-season regular varieties are Silver Queen (w hite), lochief,
(transplants) should be planted in NK199 or Golden Cross Bantam. Three ounces of seed w ill plant 100 feet
the early days of May to prevent of row .
poor fruit set as a result of high If you love to eat fresh corn on the cob, try the improved super sw eet
temperatures. (Sh2 ) and enhanced (EH) (se) varieties of sw eet corn. They are much
sw eeter than regular sw eet corn and hold their sw eetness longer. The
super sw eets need to be isolated from field corn or regular sw eet corn;
they lose some of their sw eetness w hen pollinated by t hese other types of
corn. The super sw eets don‟ t germinate w ell in cool soils, so w ait until
soil has w armed considerably before planting.
Many new high-sugar modern varieties are commonly available. The
best include (early) Platinum Lady, White Out, Xtra-Tender 372,
Temptation, Sw eet Ice, Bodacious, Sw eet Riser, Dazzle, Lancelot and
Precious Gem; (midseason) Argent, Devotion, GSS966, Passion, BSS982
or 977, Snow belle, Summer Sw eet (7630Y, 7210, 8102), Honey Select,
Crisp N Sw eet 711, Incredible, Prime Plus, Big Time, Sw eet Chorus and
Sw eet Rhythum; and (late or Tomatoes. Begin transplanting Recommended determinate
long season) Even Sw eeter, plants in mid-March in south types for Louisiana include
Pegasus, Tahoe and Silver King. Louisiana after the danger of Celebrity (an All-America
frost is over. If a frost occurs, Selections w inner, best taste),
Snap beans. Plant bush you w ill need to cover the new ly Carolina Gold, Fla. 47 or 91,
varieties every tw o planted transplants! To avoid Mountain Spring, Cherry Grande
w eeks, starting right severe damage from disease and (cherry), Floralina, Mountain
after the average last insects, spray tomatoes after Fresh and Mountain Crest. Also
frost date for your area. This w ill fruit set every seven to 10 days try Sun Master, Sunleaper,
provide a continuous harvest for w ith a fungicide (Daconil or Summer Flavor 6000, Mountain
an extended period. Good bush Maneb) and an insecticide (Sevin Spring and Phoenix.
snaps for Louisiana are Ambra, or Malathion). Note: The spotted w ilt virus
Bronco, Contender, Pod Squad, Plant tomatoes in a w ell- has nearly eliminated tomato
Valentino, Dusky, Festina, drained site that receives 6 to 8 production in some areas. If you
Hialea, Magnum, Storm, Strike, hours of direct sunlight. When had this trouble, plant Bella Rosa,
Provider and Bush Blue Lake tomatoes receive too little Mountain Glory, Amelia, Crista,
274. An All-America Selection is sunlight, few blossoms are Quincy or Talladega varieties.
Derby. Try Roma II for a good- formed, and many that do form
eating, flat Italian pod bean. For fall off before setting any fruit. Bell Peppers and eggplants.
a purple pod bush snap, try Space tomato plants 18-24 Wait to transplant okra, bell
Royal Burgundy in early spring. inches apart. Make your ow n by peppers and eggplants until the
Those w ho prefer the yellow mixing ½ cut of a complete w eather has w armed
w ax beans should choose Golden fertilizer (8-8-8) in 2½ gallons of considerably. These vegetables
Rod Wax, Goldmine or Golden w arm w ater and stirring are sensitive to cold soils and
Improved. completely. This w ill encourage a w eather. Once stunted by cool
One-half pound of seed w ill strong root system and faster w eather, they recover slow ly.
be more than enough to plant a grow th. A garden site w ith full sun is
100-foot row . Plant seed about Tomato vines may be required for grow ing bell
1-2 inches apart in the row . determinate or indeterminate. peppers. Any shade w ill greatly
High temperatures at bloom Indeterminate types have a reduce fruit set. Space peppers
cause many of the flow ers to fall vegetative terminal bud that about 12-18 inches and
off. Generally, snap beans don‟ t continues to grow . Determinate eggplants about 18-24 inches.
produce w ell w hen planted in types have a fruiting terminal Recommended non-hybrid
late May. For best quality, bud that keeps the plant from varieties of bell peppers for
harvest pods before the grow ing beyond a predetermined Louisiana are Capistrano, Jupiter
developing seeds cause the pod height. Determinate types are and Purple Beauty.
to bulge. Beans can be held for better suited for container Recommended hybrids are
up to seven days at 40-45 gardening. Indeterminate types Revolution, Heritage and the
degrees F and 90-95 percent w ill need to be staked in the large King Arthur, Valencia,
humidity. field. Paladin and Plato. For a yellow
Pole snap bean varieties Indeterminate varieties that bell, try Orobelle, Summer Gold,
produce larger yields, since they grow w ell in Louisiana include Valencia or Summer Sw eet
produce for a longer period than Better Boy and Big Beef (large), 8610. For a mature red bell, try
bush varieties. Space seed about Champion and Pink Girl (pink); Camelot (X3R) or Aristotle.
6-12 inches apart. About 2-3 and Sw eet Million, Sw eet Producing yellow and red bell
ounces of seed w ill plant a 100 - Chelsea, Jolly, Small Fry, Juliet, peppers is difficult in our humid
foot row . For pole snaps, the All- Elf, Elfin, Navidad, Cupid, conditions. Note: Spotted w ilt
America Selection w inner is Mountain Belle and St. Nick virus has hindered bell pepper
Kentucky Blue. Blue Lake KY (cherry). production in many areas. The
Wonder 191, Dade, Rattle Snake Determinants have very varieties Stilleto, Patriot and
and McCaslan have done w ell in productive vines that grow to Excursion II are resistant to
Louisiana. For those w ho w ant a heights of 4 feet. Stems tomato spotted w ilt virus. Try
bean that sets w ell in the heat, terminate in a flow er cluster. these varieties if you had trouble
try the vigorous Yardlong Determinants should be pruned producing bell peppers.
Asparagus Bean and harvest only once or tw ice up to the first Recommended hybrid
pods w hen about 18 inches high. cluster. eggplant varieties are Fairy Tale,
Night Shadow , Blackbell, Cream of Crop Acron (AAS), See the article on LSU
Calliope, Classic, Epic, Disky, Table Queen, Table King (AAS) AgCenter‟ s w ebsite
Santana, Rossita or oriental and Imperial Delight. http://w w w .lsuagcenter.com/en/
Ichiban. The green eggplant Viruses are a big problem in crops_livestock/crops/vegetables/
varieties produce w ell in squash production. Try planting 2010-Pumpkin-Variety-
Louisiana and are less bitter than some of the new virus-resistant Evaluation.htm for more
the purple varieties in hot, dry varieties: Prelude II and Destiny information from our 2010
w eather. The Louisiana Market (yellow crookneck); Liberator and pumpkin evaluations.
Bulletin is a fairly good source for Conqueror (yellow straight neck);
green eggplant seed and other and Declaration, Payroll, Cucurbit hints: Don‟ t be
hard-to-find vegetable seeds and Judgment III, Revenue and concerned if the first several
plants. Independence (zucchini). squash fruit fall off the plant
Recommended cantaloupe before they reach an edible
Cucurbits. All varieties are Aphrodite, Athena, stage. The first flow ers to form
squash, cucumber and Primo, Magnum 45, Super 45, in early spring squash are the
melon members of the Ambrosia, Earlidew or Honey female flow ers (w ith the
cucurbit family can be planted in Max. miniature fruit). Male flow ers do
May, but yields may be low er not form at this time, so no
Recommended w atermelon
than w ith the late plantings. pollination takes place. In a few
varieties are Crimson Sw eet
Plant these outside w ell after the days, though, the male flow ers
(OP), Jubilee II (OP), Fiesta, La
danger of frost is over. Do not appear, and normal fruit set
Sw eet (OP), Jamboree,
keep transplants in pots longer begins. In summer, the process
Jubilation, Patriot, Regency,
than three to four w eeks prior to reverses – w ith the male flow ers
Royal Star, Royal Jubilee, Royal
planting in your garden. usually developing first and the
Sw eet, Sangria, Stars „ N Stripes,
Recommended cucumber females later.
Starbrite, and Summer Flavor
varieties for slicing are Taledega, 800, 710 or 500. Seedless: Cucumber yields may be
Dasher II, Fanfare AAS, Diva Revolution, Summer Sw eet doubled by grow ing plants on a
AAS, General Lee, Speedw ay, 5244, TriX Carousel or 313, trellis. To get cucumber vines to
Poinsett 76,Slice More, Thunder, Cooperstow n, Millionaire, climb a trellis or fence, you may
Indy, Intimidator, Sw eet Slice Crimson Trio, Laurel and Nova. need to tie them to the trellis in
and Sw eet Success. Ice Box Type: Sugar Baby and the beginning. Once they catch
For pickling, try Calypso, Mickeylee. Yellow : Gold Strike, hold, they w ill continue to climb.
Fancipak and Jackson. Tendersw eet, Desert King and Use pesticides on cucurbits
Recommended summer Butter Cup. late in the afternoon so as not to
squash crooknecks are Prelude II, Apply 2-3 pounds of 8-24-24 reduce the bee population. Side-
Dixie, Gentry, Goldie, Supersett, or similar fertilizer per 100-foot dress cucumbers, squash,
Destiny III and Medallion. row before planting. Side-dress w atermelons and cantaloupes
Recommended yellow w ith ¾ -1 pound of ammonium w ith ¾ pint ammonium nitrate
straightneck are Goldbar, nitrate or 1½ -2 pounds of a per 100-foot row as vines begin
Liberator III, Enterprise, Cougar, complete fertilizer (13-13-13) per to run. Weekly applications of a
Multipik, Patriot II, Superpik, 100 feet of row w hen vines general-purpose fungicide
Fortune and Lemondrop. begin to run. Remove all but (Daconil or Maneb) and
three to four w ell-shaped fruits insecticide (Sevin or Thiodan)
from each plant w hen they reach starting at first bloom w ill protect
varieties are Declaration II,
4-5 inches in diameter. the foliage and improve yield.
Justice, Independence II, Tigress,
Lynx, Spineless Beauty, Senator, Pumpkins are much like Plastic mulch w ill reduce fruit
Gold Rush (AAS), Payroll, w inter squash, but the flesh is rot and enhance the production
Revenue and Dividend. often coarser and stronger. For a of cantaloupes and the other
small size, choose Touch of cucurbits.
Recommended scallop or
patty pan varieties are Peter Pan Autumn or Orange Smoothie.
Recommended medium-size Lima beans (butter beans).
pumpkins are 20 Karat Gold and Lima beans require w armer soil
Recommended hard shell (70 F) than snap beans to
(w inter) squash varieties are Hannibal. Recommended large or
jack-o‟ -lantern types are germinate, so w ait until soil
Waltham, Butternut, Butternut w arms (usually in early to mid-
Supreme, Early Butternut, Ultra Contastoga, Mustang or
Cinderella. April) before planting. Bush
Butternut, Tay Belle Acorn, varieties to plant are Henderson‟ s
Bush, Fordhook 242, Recommended varieties are places to heal over at high
Thorogreen, Bridgeton, Louisiana Green Velvet, Emerald, temperatures; then store in a
Nemagreen, Dixie Butterpea or Annie Oakley (hybrid), Cow horn, cool, dark place w ith high
Baby Fordhook. Cajun Delight -AAS, Burgundy humidity. Don‟ t store w here they
Plant lima beans every tw o and Clemson Spineless. Each of w ill receive light because they
w eeks through mid-May to these varieties is semidw arf – w ill turn green and develop an
extend the harvest. One-half except Louisiana Green Velvet. undesirable taste.
pound of seed w ill plant a 100 -
foot row w hen three or four Peanuts. Many home Mulching
seeds are planted every 12 gardeners w ish to plant a row or Remember to mulch your
inches w ithin the row . tw o of peanuts. Shell the garden. There are several mulch
Recommended pole lima peanuts, and plant about four options including black plastic,
beans are King of the Garden, seeds per foot of row . Plant leaves and pine straw . Using
Carolina Sieva, Willow Leaf, peanuts in April and May. mulch has several benefits. It
Florida Butter, Christmas and Spanish peanuts have the reduces w eed germination. It
Florida Speckled. Plant seeds 6- smallest seeds. Runner types also prevents soil from splashing
12 inches apart. One-quarter have intermediate-size seeds, on your vegetable leaves and
pound of seed w ill plant a 100 - and Virginia types have the fruit, w hich, in turn, reduces
foot row . largest. Fertilize lightly w ith 1 -2 insect and disease damage. And
pounds of 8-24-24 or similar it adds organic matter to your
Sweet potatoes. Bed seed fertilizer per 100-foot row . Soil soil – improving the soil‟ s health
potatoes during April and into should be high in calcium. and tilth.
May. Transplants should be
ready to cut in four to five Onions, shallots and garlic.
w eeks. Sw eet potatoes slips Harvest mature onion bulbs,
(transplants) can be set out in garlic and shallots in the early
late April if soil is w arm enough summer. When mature, the tops
(greater than 70 degrees begin to turn yellow or brow n
Fahrenheit). Cut plants from and fall over. Pull them, trim
plant bed about 1 inch above soil tops and roots and lay the plants
line and transplant. Purchase on top of the row or place in
w eevil-free plants. burlap sacks for a couple of days
Cutting rather than pulling to let them dry, if w eather
helps reduce sw eet potato permits. Then store them in a
w eevils and many disease cool, shaded and w ell-ventilated
problems. Cuttings develop place. (Ideal storage for onions
feeder roots w ithin a day or tw o after drying is 45-50 F and 65-
if the soil is w arm and moist. 70 percent relative humidity.)
Holding the cut slips in the shade
for tw o to three days before Irish potatoes. Begin digging
90-110 days after planting. Plant Information to improve your life
transplanting w ill help increase
survival. Use a low -nitrogen tops start turning yellow as
tubers reach maturity. Allow ing LSU AgCenter Publications
fertilizer such as 6-24-24 or 8-
24-24 at 2-3 pounds per 100- the potatoes to remain in the
foot row . ground a few days after tops die
or after tops are cut w ill help set
Beauregard, developed by the
or toughen the skin and reduce
LSU AgCenter, is the most
skinning, bruising and storage
popular variety. It is high-
rot. The LSU AgCenter offers a
yielding, very attractive and w ealth of research-based information
tastes great. Bienville requires a Spraying potatoes w ith a
on topics that affect your life every
sandy soil. general-purpose fungicide
day. Visit our online store for
(Daconil or Maneb) at the end of publications that interest you.
Okra. Soil needs to be w arm April or early May w ill protect
(65-75 degrees) for okra seeds the foliage from early blight and LSU AgCenter.com/OnlineStore
to germinate. Soak seed improve yields. or
To keep potatoes for several by phone 225-578-2263
overnight in tap w ater to soften
seed coat before planting. w eeks, allow cuts and skinned
Small yard? You can w as applied to plants to control Heat Wave II and Supertasty had
still enjoy homegrown the insect population. The only nice color on the outside and
other insects that w ere a inside. But the insides of these
tomatoes. problem w ere stink bugs that verities had small w hite blotches
Do you enjoy the taste of arrived tow ard the end of the throughout. The w hite blot ches
a homegrow n tomato but have a study, so no control measures did not affect flavor. Italian Ice
small yard or no yard at all? If w ere taken. tomatoes w ere betw een a yellow
yes, then this is the research and w hite color on the inside and
Fruit w ere harvested, counted
study for you. outside w ith little to no
and w eighed once a w eek from
Tw elve varieties of tomatoes June 7 to July 12. The 12 blemishes. The Celebrity, Yellow
w ere grow n in 3-gallon varieties studied w ere Magic and Porter House w ere the
containers to determine the best Supertasty, Health Kick hybrid, poorest performers of all the
tomato for patio grow ers. The Sw eet Tangerine, Patio Princess, selected tomatoes. The Celebrity
majority of varieties w ere chosen Fresh Salsa, Bush Steak, and Porter House w ere not firm
because they are determinate Encalada, Italian Ice, Celebrity, and w ere poor producers in
tomatoes. Other varieties grow n Heat Wave II, Yellow Magic and containers. Overall, the Yellow
in this study w ere chosen Porter House. The roma types Magic variety never yielded
because they had unique w ere Health Kick hybrid, tomatoes. It w as all foliage but
characteristics that a home Ensalada and Fresh Salsa. Yellow no fruit – although I did harvest
gardener values. Unlike Magic, an indeterminate tomato, five fruit one w eek from these
indeterminate tomatoes, w as a yellow , bell-pepper-shaped plants. The fruit w ere very small
determinate tomatoes have a tomato, sw eet tangerine w as an and not w orth the effort of
flow ering terminal point that orange tomato and Italian Ice grow ing in a container.
usually prevents them from w as a cherry tomato that w as Overall, if you are looking for
grow ing taller than 5 feet. light yellow to w hite w hen good color and good yields, I
Determinate tomatoes are w ell harvested. w ould suggest planting Sw eet
suited to containers because Tangerine. Even though Sw eet
The three top-producing
they do not become top-heavy in Tangerine w as not in the top
tomatoes based on the number
a container. three varieties for number or
of tomatoes w ere Italian Ice,
The tomato plants w ere Patio Princess and Health Kick pounds produced, it did have
grow n in 3-gallon containers w ith hybrid. The top three tomatoes in good yields and w as beautiful
drainage holes. Plants w ere terms of pounds harvested w ere inside and out. If you are looking
grow n in 56-inch standard Super Tasty, Health Kick and strict ly for flavor, plant the Heat
tomato cages available at all Patio Princess. Italian Ice Wave II. Not many tomatoes
local nurseries. A peat based soil tomatoes w ere cherry tomatoes, have beaten Celebrity in taste
w as used as the medium. so their w eight prevented t he from the variety trials conducted
The pots w ere all fertilized variety from being in the top in the LSU AgCenter. Finally, if
w ith Osmocote Plus Multi- three for pounds of tomatoes you are looking for a high
Purpose Plant Food (15-9-12) at produced. producing tomato in a container,
a rate of 1 tablespoon per Out of a panel of 40 taste plant Patio Princess.
container. This fertilizer w as testers, the top choice for best - Some grow ing changes I‟ ll
chosen because it is a slow - tasting tomato w as aw arded to make for the next tomato study
release fertilizer (six months) that the Heat Wave II variety. My include using a heavier media.
contains micronutrients. personal favorite tomato for color The media used in this study w as
Tomatoes are heavy users of both inside and out w as the primarily composed of peat
micronutrients, so using a Sw eet Tangerine variety. It w as moss. I think using a basic
fertilizer w ith micronutrients is bright orange on the outside and potting soil w ould have yielded
best. The plants also w ere inside w ith little to no blemishes. better results. I also w ill use
fertilized w eekly w ith Miracle The Bush Steak, Patio Princess saucers under the containers.
Grow w ater-soluble all-purpose and Health Kick hybrids had a During the hot summer months,
plant food (24-8-16). This firm w hite center on the inside, container plants dry out quickly.
fertilizer w as applied through the w hich is not considered If I‟ d used saucers, I might have
Miracle Grow feeder on a garden desirable. had to w ater less frequently
hose and applied to the foliage because the w ater w ould have
Fresh Salsa w as a firm tomato
and roots of each plant. Insect been prevented from running out
w ith no “ jelly.” It lives up to its
problems w ere encountered; the of the bottom of the pot. I
name as far as making a salsa
cucumber beetle became a recommend a 5-gal.container.
w ith the tomato. The Ensalada,
problem early in the study. Sevin
Planning the observation and care both hours, the soil has excellent
home fruit practical and convenient. drainage and is suitable for all
Decisions regarding size, site fruit crops. If the hole drains in
planting 36 hours, the internal drainage is
and management of the home
A w ell maintained fruit adequate for more tolerant crops,
fruit planting need to be made
planting can be productive and such as figs, blueberries,
w ell in advance of planting.
also enhance the beauty of the straw berries, grapes, pecans and
Before planting is an important
landscape of a home in a variety blackberries. Choose
time to gather information about
of w ays – from attractive persimmons, citrus and pears for
the potential fruit species.
blossoms and interesting shapes more poorly drained sites. If the
It is very important to
and foliage to delicious fruit and hole has not drained in 36-48
consider the mature size of the
beautiful fall color. hours, the site is unsuitable for
fruit tree or bush w hen designing
Fruit trees, bushes, and vines fruit production. Planting a fruit
a planting. Many small nursery
are long lived and require patient tree on a raised berm can
trees are planted near buildings
care to give years of production. increase longevity and
and fences; then the tree quickly
Fruit trees can be easily productivity.
grow s too large for the space.
integrated into the “ edible After evaluating the planting
Sunlight also is an important
landscape” w ithout designating a site, select fruit varieties that are
aspect in fruit production.
specific area as a fruit orchard. adapted to your area of
Anything less than full sunlight
Success w ith a home fruit Louisiana. Consult experienced
can result in reduced production.
planting depends on how fruit producers and local LSU
Where space is limited, fruit
carefully a plan is designed and AgCenter Extension Service
plants may be set in almost any
how w ell it is implemented. Good agents w ho can recommend
location suitable for ornamental
quality fruit cannot be grow n varieties for the area.
w ithout careful attent ion to care Select different varieties to
and management of the plants. extend the harvest of ripe fruit
Success w ill depend largely on Site selection
All fruit crops perform best in during the grow ing season.
variety selection, soil Selecting early, mid and lat e-
management, pruning, full sun. Choose a site that w ill
receive sunlight most of the day season varieties w ill allow for an
fertilization, irrigation, pest extended harvest season and w ill
control and other cultural during the grow ing season. As
the hours of sunlight a fruit tree not produce an overabundant
practices. The size of a planting supply of fruit at any one time.
should be determined by the receives diminish, so does the
productivity of the plant. In most Remember that some fruit
space available, site
cases, sunlight is needed for the crops require at least tw o
characteristics, size of the family
tree to set and properly develop varieties planted in the same
and the time that can be devoted
fruit buds. Also, sunlight is vicinity for cross-pollination. For
to maintenance of the planting.
needed to furnish energy to the example, only one blackberry
It is essential to stress the variety is required for production,
importance of selecting crops fruit in the form of sugars from
photosynthesis. but at least tw o rabbiteye
that are w ell adapted to the blueberry varieties are required to
climate and environment of Another important
consideration is drainage. ensure cross-pollination.
Louisiana. Fruit crops that
perform w ell in the home Adequate drainage is the most
landscape w ith few or not important soil characteristic. Poor Size of planting area
pesticide sprays should be soils can be improved by proper Your planting area should be
emphasized. Ease of care needs fertilization and cultural determined by space, site, family
to be the primary consideration practices, but improving soil w ith size, the time you have available
in selecting w hich crops to grow . poor internal drainage is difficult to dedicate to management of
A sustainable, low -input, edible and expensive. Fertile soil is the planting and pollination
landscape accommodates the desirable, and deep, w ell-drained requirements. The range of fruits
lifestyle of most homeow ners soil is vital. planted should depend on family
and harmonizes w ith Determine the soil‟ s internal preference, adaptability and
environmental concerns. drainage rate by digging a hole 8 space. It is better to have a
inches in diameter and about 2 small, w ell-tended home fruit
Locating the fruit planting
feet deep. Fill the hole w ith planting than a large, neglect ed
close to the house w ill make
w ater. If the hole drains in 24 one.
Cooperative Extension Service – Terrebonne Parish
511 Roussell Street (70360), Post Office Box 627, Houma, LA 70361
(985)873-6495, Fax (985)850-4620;
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web-site: www.lsuagcenter.com
March April May 2011 Issue
The Terrebonne Horticulture Hints may be obtained at 511 Roussell Street in Houma, Louisiana, from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00
noon, and 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. They are also located at most Terrebonne Parish libraries,
South Louisiana Feed and Seed, Ganier’s Nursery, Lowe’s, Starke’s Garden Center and the Home Depot. Please call us at
985-873-6495 or email us at Terrebonne@agcenter.lsu.edu., or you can also visit the LSU AgCenter’s web site:
The Terrebonne Horticulture Hints are adapted for Terrebonne Parish residents by Barton Joffrion, County Agent of
Terrebonne Parish For the latest research-based information on just about anything, visit our web site: www.lsuagcenter.com
The LSU AgCenter provides equal opportunities and employment. Cooperating agencies: LSU AgCenter, Louisiana parish governing
bodies and United States Department of Agriculture.