LSU Agricultural Center and Ascension Master Gardeners held a Vegetable Garden Field Day at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales on June 11.

Craig Roussel, of the LSU AgCenter Cooperative Extension Service, spoke on topics such as general requirements for growing a vegetable garden; new tomato, bell pepper and cucumber varieties; disease management; insect management; and pesticide usage.

Attendees participated in a blind taste test evaluating the flavor of the six tomato varieties planted this year. Participants ranked Mountain Glory, a hybrid tomato developed by North Carolina State University, as the best. Red Bounty came in second.

The group also visited the demonstration garden where they got a look at the tomato varieties and their characteristics, as well as the Florida weave system of staking and supporting tomatoes.

Winners of the 2015 Ascension Parish Garden Contest were announced. Judging was conducted by four Ascension Parish Master Gardeners who evaluated contestants’ record keeping, insect control, weed control, disease control, productivity, site selection and varieties recommended by the LSU AgCenter.

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

The winners of the 2015 Ascension Parish LSU AgCenter Vegetable Garden Contest are:

4-H YOUTH: First place: Sean Turner, $50 cash award and plaque; second place: McKenzie Latino, plaque; and third place: Camille Russell, plaque.

ADULT SMALL GARDEN: First place: Dale Doty, $50 cash award and plaque.

ADULT MEDIUM GARDEN: First place: Mika Whittaker, $50 cash award and plaque; second place: Shafter Kling, plaque; and third place: Dale Falcon, plaque.