Gardeners from 13 states will converge on Baton Rouge on Oct. 21-24 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to learn from gardening specialists, tour local sites and learn how to cook and feast Louisiana-style.

This is the first time that the biannual Southern Region Master Gardener Conference has been held in Louisiana and will be hosted by the East Baton Rouge Parish Master Gardeners, a division of the LSU AgCenter.

More than 550 gardening enthusiasts are registered for the conference “which surpassed our goal by quite a lot,” said Mary Tauzin, conference chairwoman.

A few classes or events may still be available for registration at southernregionmgconf2014.com

All are invited on Oct. 22-23 to visit the Master Gardeners’ “Southern Garden Marketplace,” also at the Crowne Plaza. Six states will be represented by 25 vendors who will have fully-stocked booths with plants, garden tools, art, birdhouses, feeders, pottery, gift baskets and many other items, open to the public.

“I’m so glad that we could open the Marketplace to gardeners in this area who might not have registered,” Tauzin said. “Unique, helpful and newly designed items are going to be worth coming to see and to buy.”