The end of the year often leads people to reflect on the past 12 months and look ahead to the coming year. And that frequently results in traditional New Year’s resolutions.
It’s a good time for gardeners and homeowners to think about their landscapes and what they may want to do in 2015. Here’s some suggestions from a few LSU AgCenter experts:
AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings suggests planting some Louisiana Super Plants. With almost 30 great plant varieties to choose among, people can enhance their landscapes with an assortment of trees, flowering shrubs, warm-season flowers and cool-season flowers that Owings says are “university tested and industry approved.”
AgCenter vegetable specialist Kiki Fontenot suggests making a special effort to measure fertilizers and pesticides before applying them to your garden. “No more guessing,” she says. And always read the label with any pesticides to make sure you’re using the right product for the right problem at the right time.
Fontenot also suggests planting at least one vegetable you think you don’t like but have actually never tried.
AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill’s leading resolution is not to let weeds get out of control before making effective efforts to control them.
Another of Gill’s suggestions is to learn as much as possible about them before trying new plants.
Nevertheless, still try plants that may be “questionable,” knowing that sometimes we find something new and wonderful that no one thought would grow here.
AgCenter “plant doctor” Raj Singh advises buying disease-free, healthy plants for starting a new garden or introducing new plants into an existing landscape. When buying, check for any yellow foliage, stem cankers, leaf distortion, root color or other signs of diseases.
Don’t blame yourself for gardening failures, Owings suggests. Oftentimes, Mother Nature is not our friend when it comes to gardening. Or life gets in the way. Don’t despair. Simply try again and learn from experience.
Finally, resolve to simply sit and enjoy your efforts, whether they are for a large expanse or merely a porch or patio. Relax. Your garden does not always have to look like the cover of a magazine.
Got a gardening question? Write to GardenNews@agcenter.lsu.edu.