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Attention those of us who live in South Louisiana! It’s time to plant Irish potatoes! It’s also a good time to start seed for head lettuce and beets.

What is “deadheading”?

When you remove the old, dead flowers (or dying flowers) from your plant, you are deadheading! Are you leaving those old dead heads on your plant? You may want to consider removing them. Deadheading has some distinct advantages for your plant and your garden.

First of all, your plant, and garden, looks better when you deadhead. Old, dying flowers just aren’t as attractive as bright beautiful new ones. But there are other benefits to deadheading, as well. Removing the old blooms encourages your plant to form new ones; so with a little effort, you may get more blooms! And if your plant is self-seeding, removing the dead blooms will prevent unwanted plants from growing.

What plants do best with deadheading? Deadheading is best for annuals and perennials that bloom for a long time. You may want to deadhead your: crape myrtles, vitex, roses, oleander and althea.

“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.”

From now until early September is a good time to plant whole small potatoes. Make sure your potatoes are well-watered and be patient; your potatoes have to take a rest before they sprout! Once your potatoes are ready for harvest, be sure to save the smaller potatoes for seed pieces!

“The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine. But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker – travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.”

Do you have snails and slugs destroying your garden? Go buy some beer!

No, your not buying it to drown away your frustration, it turns out that snails and slugs like beer too! And you can trap them with it! Here’s how:

Get a small disposable bowl and bury it to the rim in your garden. Then, pour some beer into the bowl. The snails and slugs in your garden will be attracted to the smell of the beer and creep into the bowl. Once in the bowl, they will not be able to get out. Each morning, check your bowl and get rid of the snails and slugs that have gotten trapped there.

Soon, you will notice fewer and fewer pests showing up in your bowl… and in your garden!

 

Do you like cabbage? Good for soups, coleslaw and smothering pork chops, you can plant seeds through September or transplant small plants through mid-October. Space cabbage and Chinese cabbage about 12 to 14 inches apart. Plant two drills of plants

Have you fertilized, watered and carefully treated your plants, yet they still seem unhealthy? Maybe it’s your soil!

Soil testing is easy and inexpensive. Take samples yourself to your nearest LSU AgCenter Extension office, or let us take it for you. In a short time, you can learn the right combination of ingredients for your soil and give your plants what they need to become healthy and beautiful!

“Hold tight to good advice; don’t relax your grip. Guard it well – your life is at stake!”

You can plants seeds directly for both broccoli and cauliflower from mid-July to September or you can transplant them from early August to early September. If you plant them from seed, you will see transplantable vegetables in about four to six weeks.

Keep broccoli and cauliflower well watered and fertilized with appropriate fertilizer (8-24-24 or 13-13-13, five to six pounds/pints per 100 feet of row). Additionally, side-dress plants with 3/4 pound (1 1/2 cups) of ammonium nitrate per 100 feet of row 3 to 4 weeks after planting and again 2 weeks after that.

Recommended varieties are below…

Broccoli: Arcadia, Gypsy, Diplomat, Packman

Cauliflower: Majestic, Candid Charm, Cumberland, Snow Crown, Freedom

 

Information from Horticulture Hints, Summer 2011, LSU AgCenter

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