VEGETABLES TO PLANTHorticulture HintsSpring / Summer 2010St. Tammany Parish Extension Service1301 N. Florida StreetCovington, LA 70433P.O. Box 5438Covington, LA 70434(985) 875-2635www.lsuagcenter.comSpring is a great time to start a vegetable garden. There are six prominent times to plant vegetable seeds and transplants in yourgarden—March, April, May, June, July and August. Planting schedule are listed below.March: Plant snap beans, Swiss chard, collards, mustards, turnips, cabbage, broccoli and sweet corn. Transplant tomatoes, peppers andeggplants. Plant cantaloupes, squash, cucumbers and watermelons well after danger of a frost is over. Black plastic will help early growth.April: Plant snap beans, butter beans, collards, cucumbers, eggplants, cantaloupes, okra, Southern peas (field peas), peanuts, pumpkins,winter squash, summer squash, sweet corn, sweet potatoes (late April), tomatoes (transplants), peppers (transplants) and watermelons.May: Sweet potatoes (transplants), heat-tolerant tomatoes, okra, Southern peas, pumpkins, peanuts, sweet corn, watermelons, cucumbers,butter beans, squash, cantaloupes, collards and eggplants (transplants). Fruit set in these vegetables is sensitive to high temperatures, so plantthem during the first part of May for best results: snap beans, butter beans, sweet corn, tomatoes (except heat-tolerant varieties) and peppers(transplants).June: This is a marginal month to plant. Transplant heat-set tomatoes for fruit production in August and September. Plant collards,cucumbers, melons, cantaloupes, okra, southern peas, pumpkins and summer squash. Transplant eggplants, all the peppers and sweet potatoslips. Summer temperatures may lower the yield of some, but enhance the yield on others. Good pest control practices are necessary becauseof the high incidence of insects and diseases this time of year.July: Transplant tomatoes beginning about mid-July for fall production. Also plant okra, southern peas, cucumbers, squash, cantaloupes,pumpkins and watermelons.Mid To Late July: Seed broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, cabbage, collards; transplant bell peppers and tomatoes.August: Transplant tomatoes and bell peppers in early August; seed broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, cabbage,collards, mustard, turnips, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, lima beans and southern peas (early August).Mid To Late August: Carrots, beets, collards, mustard, turnips, snap beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce. Transplant broccoli,cauliflower and cabbage. Plant shallot bulbs and Irish potatoes.VEGETABLESTOMATOES- Begin transplanting in mid-March in south Louisiana or end of March in North Louisiana after the danger of frost is over. Beprepared to cover early transplanted tomatoes in case of a frost. Start spraying tomatoes after fruit set every 7 to 10 days with a fungicide(daconil or maneb) and an insecticide (sevin, Malathion or thiodan). Plant tomatoes in a well-drained site that receives plenty of directsunlight, preferable all day, but at least 7 to 8 hours. When tomatoes receive too little sunlight, few blossoms are formed, and many that doform fall off before setting any fruit. Space tomato plants 18 to 24 inches apart. Tomato vines may be determinate or indeterminate.Indeterminate types are long and vining and will continue to grow. Prune to maintain one vigorous stem. Determinants have very productivevines that grow to heights of 4 feet. Stems end in a flower cluster. Determinants should be pruned only once or twice up to the first cluster.BELL PEPPERS & EGGPLANTS- Delay transplanting bell peppers and eggplants until the weather has warmed considerably. Thesevegetables are sensitive to cold soils and weather. Once stunted by cool weather, they recover slowly. A garden site with full sun is requiredto be successful with bell peppers.OKRA- Soil needs to be warm (65 to 75 degrees F) for okra seed to germinate. Soak seed overnight in tap water to soften seed coat beforeplanting.SNAP BEANS - Plant bush varieties about every two weeks, beginning about the time of the average last frost date for your area. This willprovide a continuous harvest for an extended period. Good bush snaps for Louisiana are Ambra, Bronco, Contender, Dusky, Festina, Hialea,Lynx, Magnum, Shade, Storm, Strike, Provider and Bush Blue Lake 274. An All-America Selection is Derby. Try Roma II for a good-eating,flat Italian pod bean. For a purple pod bush snap try Royal Burgundy in early spring. Those who prefer the yellow wax beans should chooseGolden Rod Wax, Goldmine or Golden Improved. One-half pound of seed will be more than enough to plant a 100-foot row. Plant seed about1-2 inches apart in the row. High temperatures at bloom cause many of the flowers to fall off. Generally they don’t produce well when plantedin late May. For best quality, harvest pods before the developing seeds cause the pod to bulge. Beans can be held for up to seven days at 40 Fto 45 F and 90 percent to 95 percent humidity. Pole snap bean varieties produce larger yields, since they produce for a longer period than bushvarieties. Space seed about 6-12 inches apart. About 2-3 ounces of seed will plant a 100-foot row. For pole snaps, the All-America Selectionwinner is Kentucky Blue. The Blue Lake and McCaslan have done well in Louisiana. For those who want a bean that sets well in the heat, trythe vigorous Yardlong Asparagus Bean, and harvest pods when about 18 inches high.
Vegetables cont.CUCURBIT HINTS- Cucumber yields may be doubled by growing plants on a trellis. To get cucumber vines to climb a trellis or fence,you may need to tie them to the trellis in the beginning. Once they catch hold, they’ll continue to climb. Use pesticides on cucurbits late inthe afternoon so as not to reduce the bee population. Sidedress cucumbers, squash, watermelons and cantaloupes with 3/4 pint ammoniumnitrate per 100 feet of row as vines begin to run. Weekly applications of a general purpose fungicide (daconil or maneb) and insecticide(sevin or thiodan) starting at first bloom will protect the foliage and improve yield. Plastic mulch will reduce fruit rot and enhance theproduction of cantaloupes and the other cucurbits.IRISH POTATOES- Begin digging 90-120 days after planting. Plant tops yellow as tubers reach maturity. Allowing the potatoes toremain in the ground a few days after tops die or after tops are cut will help set or toughen the skin and reduce skinning, bruising and rots instorage. Spaying potatoes with a general purpose fungicide (daconil or Maneb) at the end of April or early May will protect the foliage fromearly blight and improve yields. To keep potatoes for several weeks, allow cuts and skinned places to heal over at high temperatures, thenstore in a cool, dark place with high humidity. Don’t store where they will receive light, because they will turn green and develop anundesirable taste.Landscape Gardening / Ornamentals and Lawn CareSummer Bulbs: Summer flowering bulbs provide an excellent way to introduce color and interest into the summer landscape. Most summerflowering bulbs are native to tropical or subtropical climates and will reliably bloom here for many years. Indeed, for some of these plants thetrick is not getting them to grow, but keeping them under control. Summer flowering bulbs are generally planted in April and May, althoughplants growing in pots canbe planted through the summer. These plants fill a wide variety of uses in the landscape providing valuable additions toflower beds, perennial borders, ground covers and containers. There are summer bulbs adapted to just about every growing condition in yourlandscape, from sun to shade and well-drained beds to boggy areas. Think of them as long-lived herbaceous perennials that will contributeflowers and/or foliage to the area where they are planted for many years.Bed Preparation and Fertilizing: Summer bulbs will grow more vigorously if you prepare the planting bed properly and fertilize them occasionally.You should generally dig generous amounts of organic matter, such as compost, aged manure or peat moss, into the area before youplant your bulbs. A light sprinkling of a general purpose fertilizer should be incorporated along with the organic matter. For existing summerbulb plantings, fertilizing in April and again in July with a general purpose granular fertilizer is quite sufficient. You may have found thatsome of your summerbulbs have grown vigorously in the past without fertilization (perhaps even more vigorously than you anticipated or desired). Under thosecircumstances you do not need to, and probably shouldn’t, fertilize them.These summer bulbs thrive in Louisiana:• Full sun to part sun: Agapanthus, Belamcanda, Bulbine Calla, Canna, Crinum, Crocosmia, Dahlia, Dietes, Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum),Gladiolus, Gloriosa Lily, Habranthus, Hymenocallis, Iris, Lilies, Oxalis, Scilla peruviana, Stargrass (Hypoxis angustifolia), Tigridia,Society Garlic(Tulbaghia), Zephyranthes.• Part shade to shade: Achimenes, Alpinia, Arisaema, Bletilla, Caladium, Calla, Costus,Curcuma, Globba, Hedychium, Hymenocallis, Kaempferia, Walking Iris, Oxalis.Prune Roses in Late SummerRoses are generally pruned around mid- to late August in North Louisiana and in late August or the first week in September in South Louisiana.This pruning is not as severe as the one done in late winter, and it prepares roses for the outstanding October/November blooming season.For vigorously upright-growing hybrid teas and grand floras, this pruning is particularly important to control height and produce a morepleasingly shaped shrub. These roses should be pruned back to about 2 to 3 feet (cut back larger, more vigorous cultivars at the lower level).Remove any dead canes and thin weak canes the size of a pencil or smaller.Old garden roses, such as China, Bourbon, Noisette, Tea and others, would likely benefit from a late summer pruning, but such pruning ismore optional. Trim these roses as needed to keep them shapely and the desired size. Modern shrub and landscape roses also may be prunednow. Generally, these roses are cut back about one-third their height, but the amount of pruning is generally determined by the situation anddesires of the gardener. It is particularly important to cut back any especially long, vigorous shoots that make the shrub look less shapely.Bushes that are pruned to keep them smaller will need more pruning than those that can be allowed to grow to their natural size.It is also a good idea to fertilize roses at the time they are pruned. Choose a con-trolled-release fertilizer that will feed the roses over anextended period. Using fertiliz-ers that contain systemic insecticides and fungicides may help control these pests during the fall bloom season.Dealing with Snails and SlugsHow to Trap Snails and Slugs: Trapping also works if you are persistent. It’s a good way to monitor population levels. In the early eveningplace several bowls around the garden where snails and slugs have been a problem. Sind the bowls in the soil or mulch up to their rim and fillhalf full with fresh beer. Snails and slugs are powerfully attracted by the yeasty smell of the beer. They crawl into the bowl and once the beerwashes off the slime from their undersides, cannot crawl out again. Each morning empty the traps noting how many you caught. Continue toput out traps each evening until very few of the pesky critters show up in the beer. Toads are an excellent ally in this fight and should be welcomein the garden (even if you are squeamish about them).
Lawn Weed ControlHerbicides can reduce weeds in your turf. Some useful materials are 2,4-D blends, Speed Zone, Image, Vantage, Simazine and Atrazine. Yourcounty agent can advise you. Apply herbicides either before or several weeks after first green-up, but not during. Some herbicides should notbe used on certain grass types (read labels well). Broadleaf weeds often can be controlled by using selective postemergence blends thatcontain two or more herbicides. Formulations of 2,4-D or blends with 2,4-D are available for most southern grasses, but be extra careful usingit on St. Augustine. Examples of 2,4 D blends are Spectracide Weed Stop, Green Light Wipe Out, Kmart Broadleaf Weed Killer for southerngrasses, Spectrum 33 Plus, Advanced Southern Weed Killer, Trimec, Fertilome Weed Out and Weed B Gon (Southern Lawn II) and SpeedZone. Most labels will stress use on younger weeds growing in the cooler midspring. A temporary discoloration of the lawn may occur. Asecond application two or three weeks later is usually needed (sometimes a third). Wet the foliage only; don’t saturate the soil. Control weedsNOW, in spring! Mow herbicide treated lawns several times without a bag before collecting clippings for compost or mulch. Read and followlabel directions! Some products contain phenoxy (2,4-D) herbicides. Avoid drift and keep spray away from gardens. Clean these sprayersthoroughly with an ammonia solution if sprayer is used on good plants. Best to buy a sprayer only for weed killers. For bermuda or zoysialawns, weed killers with MSMA or DSMA often provide good selective control for most grassy and some broadleaf weeds. Use thesearsenicals in June through August. Preemergence herbicides can be applied to thin lawns to protect them from weeds until they thicken andcover. These PreE are not for newly seeded areas or areas with growing weeds.Fertilizing Your LawnDuring April or May, all grasses should be in full swing. Start feeding your lawn. Turf fertilizers with high first number, low second numberand medium last number are preferred unless a soil test shows otherwise.Start with a complete fertilizer like 13-13-13 if you know your soil phosphorus is not high. If you have Bermuda grass, use 7-8 pounds per1,000 sq. ft. On zoysia or St. Augustine, use 6-7 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. One centipede or carpet grasses use 6 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. Afterthis application, use just a nitrogen fertilizer at a rate of ½ to 1 pound of pure nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. every five to six weeks until late summer;then go back to the complete fertilizer.On zoysia, and centipede lawns, apply fertilizer only one or two more times this year. Use only ½ pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. eachtime. Carpet grass needs very little fertilizer; once in spring is enough.Choose Correct Mower SettingsCutting heights are important for healthy grass. Choose the higher cut for grass in shade. Sharpen that mower blade before the season and atmid-season, too. Replace old oil with new and stale gas with fresh before you start your mower this spring.Cut grass to these inch heights: common Bermuda, 1 ½; hybrid Bermuda, 1; zoysia, 1-1 ½; centipede/carpet, 1 (2 shade); tall fescue (NorthLA.), 2 (spring), 3 ½ (summer); St. Augustine, 2 ½-3 (3 shade).It’s Still Not Too Late to Plant Colorful Summer Flower BedsDespite the heat, you can continue to add bedding plants to provide color in your landscape. A great selection of heat-tolerant plants comes ina wide variety of colors and growth habits. Here are some the best.Low Growing (less than 2 feet). Choose Mexican heather, ornamental peppers, ornamental sweet potatoes, dwarf angelonia, coleus, impatiens,periwinkle, dwarf cosmos, begonia, dwarf pentas, dwarf globe amaranth, ageratum, salvia Victoria, marigold, portulaca, blue daze,perennial verbena, purslane, dusty miller, rudbeckia, abelmoschus, narrow-leaf zinnia, wishbone flower, Dahlberg daisy, caladium, balsam,gerbera daisy, gaillardia, celosia, dwarf lantana, scaevola or dwarf melampodium.Taller growing (over 2 feet). Choose butterfly weed, angelonia, shrimp plant, cleome, pentas, melampodium, four o’clock, perilla, cosmos,hardy hibiscus (mallow), sunflower, salvias, lantana, cigar flower or Mexican sunflower (tithonia).FruitsPeachesEating fresh tree ripe peaches is one of the joys of summer. Although each peach variety produces ripe fruit for one to two weeks, a carefulselection of peach varieties can yield ripe fruit most of the summer. The most reliable indicator of peach ripeness is the change in under color(ground color) of the fruit. The change from dark green to yellow ground color varies slightly among peach varieties. A red blush often developsover the green ground color before ripening. The firm ripe stage of maturity is the stage at which most commercial growers harvest fruit.This stage allows the growers to pack and ship fruit without bruising and to store peaches a short time without loss of quality. Peaches left onthe tree until the soft ripe stage of maturity (usually one to two days after firm ripe) will be sweeter and slightly larger. Unfortunately, peachesin the soft ripe stage cannot be shipped and handled without bruising. They must be used quickly.Blackberry DiseaseA serious infection of erect and trailing blackberries is rosette or double-blossom disease, caused by the fungus Cercosporella rubi. Buds onnew canes are infected in the early summer, but no symptoms develop until the next spring. Numerous leafy sprouts (witches’ brooms) appearfrom infected buds in the early spring. These shoots are stunted and pale green (later turning to bronze). Flowers are pink, and the petals aretwisted. A whitish spore mass covers the pistals and stamens of the flowers. Berries do not form from infected blooms, and those from noninfectedblooms on the same cane will be small and of poor quality. Chemical control of double blossom has not been very effective. Adequatecontrol can be obtained by pruning out the infected rosettes in the spring before they bloom. The thornless blackberry varieties Arapaho,Apache, Ouachita and Navaho have shown good resistance to rosette disease.
Home Blueberry ProductionBlueberries fit into any general home landscape design and can serve as hedges, borders or backgrounds. The blueberry’s native adaptation toboth the soil and the climate of the Southeast makes it a productive fruit for Louisiana. Blueberries are typically used in the landscape ashedges for screening purposes, but they can also be used in cluster plantings or as single specimen plants. Blueberries are an ideal year-roundaddition to the landscape with delicate white flowers in the spring, attractive blue fruit in the sum-mer and the possibility of colorful fallfoliage. In addition, blueberry plants lend themselves to the “organic” approach of gardening because they typically have few insect or diseaseproblems, and pesticides are rarely needed in home garden plantings.◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊ATTENTION: There has been an increase in the Soil testing fees.Please call for more details at the LSU AgCenterExtension Service Office in Covington, LA985-875-2635◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊Prepared by: J.B. Anders, Jr.County AgentSt. Tammany ParishTo receive an electronic copy of the horticulture hints by e-mail contact : firstname.lastname@example.orgTo access horticulture hints in its entirety on the web visit:http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/our_offices/parishes/St.+Tammany/Features/Newsletters/◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊Florida Parish Forestry ForumMarch 19, 2010; 8:00 am—3:00 pm at SLU, University Center, Hammond, LA.Northshore Garden ShowMarch 20 & 21, 2010; 9:00 am—4:00pm at St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds, Covington, LA.Private Pesticide ApplicatorRe-Certification for the private pesticide applicator’s license will be on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at the LSU AgCenterExtension Service Office in Covington, LA at 6:45 p.m. Please call for more details at 985-875-2635.Slidell Herb FestivalApril 13,2010; 4:00 pm—6:00 pm at the Slidell LibrarySt. Tammany Parish FairSeptember 29, 2010—October 3, 2010St. Tammany 4-H4-H Achievement Day, April 28, 2010HolidaysOur office will be closed on April 2, 2010 ( Easter); July 5, 2010 (Independence Day)