The winners were recently announced in the LSU Agricultural Center’s Ascension Parish Home Vegetable Garden Contest.

Five adults and three 4-H youth participated in the contest, horticulture agent Craig Roussel said.

This year, the group added a school garden category in conjunction with the Greauxing Gardens school garden grant from PCS Nitrogen for 14 primary and middle schools in Ascension Parish. Eight of the 14 schools participated in the contest. Judging was conducted by Ascension Parish Master Gardeners.

Gardens were judged on record keeping; insect, weed and disease control; productivity; site selection; and use of varieties recommended by the LSU AgCenter.

Record keeping is an important step in gardening because it allows producers to provide information to extension agents and chemical company representatives if problems arise, Roussel said.

“Additionally, gardeners can refer back to their records from year to year to anticipate what problems to expect and when to expect them,” he said. “It is also good to have records about which varieties of vegetables performed well and which ones did not.”

Home gardening provides a source of fresh and healthy vegetables for family consumption, he said. Caring for a vegetable garden provides physical exercise for youth and adults and continuous learning experiences.

In the 4-H youth category, Sean Turner won first place, with Ava Andermann-Moran taking second, and Beau Rachal, third.

Pattie Campo won the adult small garden category, and George Spruill was second.

Dale Falcon was first and Mika Whitaker was second in the adult medium garden division.

Ronald Daigle won the adult large garden category.

Gonzales Middle School won the school garden contest, with St. Amant Primary School in second and Central Primary, third.

The Ascension Farm Bureau and Ascension Master Gardener Association sponsored the contest awards.