LSU AgCenter Garden News: Keep pesky pests away from gardens, landscapes _lowres

 

The LSU AgCenter has published five new information brochures on home vegetable gardening in Louisiana. The series is a practical guide to help you have a successful home vegetable garden, says LSU AgCenter vegetable specialist Kiki Fontenot.

The Home Garden Series includes five publications.

The harvest publications — “Spring Harvest” and “Fall Harvest” — include information on determining when to harvest and how to store produce from vegetable gardens.

“Growing Transplants” provides information on how to choose, plant and care for vegetable transplants for the home garden. A transplant is a small plant germinated from a seed. The transplant publication can help vegetable gardeners expand their knowledge and expertise. The two additional publications include “Weed Management,” a guide for controlling weeds in the home vegetable garden, and “Raised Beds,” which describes the benefits and provides how-to information for constructing raised planting beds.

“Growing your own vegetable transplants is very rewarding,” Fontenot says. “By using these basic tips, a gardener will be able to grow all kinds of exciting vegetable varieties in their own backyard.”

The Home Garden Series publications are available for free downloading online. They can be found at lsuagcenter.com; put “home garden series” in the search box.

You asked

I understand that foxglove plants — all parts of the plant — are poisonous. I live on a farm with animals, pet cats and dogs, and children of all ages as well as older people, some with allergies. Is this plant and its beautiful flowers poisonous, or have the breeding programs created a plant that is not poisonous? It is a Louisiana Super Plant selection for 2010? — Judith

Yes, foxglove (Digitalis) is classified as a “poisonous” plant, as are many plants commonly used in landscapes. Plant-breeding programs, at least in the ornamental horticulture area, have not yet addressed removal of the poisonous properties from various landscape plants. Until then, we need to decide on plant selection based on concerns about the individual plants. While foxglove is poisonous, it is widely used, and cases of problems with the plant due to its poisonous qualities are not widely reported. — Allen Owings, LSU AgCenter horticulturist.

Got a gardening question? Write to GardenNews@agcenter.lsu.edu.