Summer is the best time to just kick back and enjoy your garden.
Those tropical plants should be bursting with color. If you don't have hibiscus, gingers, angel’s trumpet, cannas, Turk’s cap, mandevilla, bougainvillea or other tropicals, add them to your list and plant them in late September to enjoy next summer.
You can still transplant another fall crop of heat-set tomatoes along with bell peppers. And keep the eggplants and okra going. They should be really producing by now.
While you’re sitting around waiting for cooler days, use this time to begin planning for your fall garden.
Now is the time to start ordering those seeds for cool-season vegetable crops, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, cabbage, kale, lettuce, mustard greens and root crops, such as carrots, beets and radishes. You can plant the transplants as early as mid-August, but LSU AgCenter experts suggest waiting until mid-September.
Fall is also a great time for those larger landscape projects.
As the weather cools, planting trees and shrubs becomes a lot more ideal. Work with licensed landscapers to help select your plant materials and properly install and maintain your yard.
Most experts recommend using a licensed landscape contractor who have to pass a professional exam. In Louisiana, it is the Landscape Horticulturist License with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
Licensed professionals must be knowledgeable in plant identification, soils, fertilization, turf grass management, proper planting techniques, pesticide application, irrigation and landscape design, as well as environmental standards for applying chemicals and associated regulations.
Moreover, a licensed landscaper is bonded and insured, protecting you financially if any property damage occurs and often offering warranties on plants they have installed. A voluntary certification can be obtained through the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association. At its website, lnla.org, you can find a list of licensed professionals and information about course offerings.
You can find licensed arborists, landscape horticulturists, architects, retail plant dealers, wholesale growers, florists and landscape irrigation professionals at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry at ldaf.state.la.us.