The weather forecasts are predicting a dry June for both Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and throughout south Louisiana. Look out for dustier cars, panting animals, and stressed plants. Read on for some steps to take with the dry weather just around the corner.
Don’t stress out! We are not just taking about you. Don’t stress out your plants any more than they already will be. Keep your grass cut about a quarter inch higher than normal. Avoid selective herbicides if possible. Keep excessive shrub pruning to a minimum on susceptible plants. Give them a some water if they start to look droopy.
Add a good layer of mulch to your landscape beds. Keep it between two and three inches. A proper mulch layer will help to maintain a better moisture level in the soil near the roots of your plants. Soil with more moisture in a dry period means better looking plants. Leave an inch or so gap near tree trunks and the base of shrubs. Building up mulch near the base of these can lead to some long term problems.
Install a rain barrel to collect rain water from your roof. Less rain in June does not mean no rain. The roof of your home will channel the rain water toward your gutters and down into your rain barrel. Use the stored water to hydrate the plants and save yourself some money on your monthly water bill.
Plant flowers that are drought tolerant. Some flower varieties need constant attention and a lot of water. Skip these unless you have a lot of spare time. Peruse the annual selection at your local garden center for flowers that can take both the heat and dry times.
Install an irrigation system with an automatic timer. An irrigation system, or lawn sprinkler, is your insurance against drought. The automatic timer will keep your plants watered without you needing to worry about it. These systems last a long time and usually take a small amount of maintenance once a year. Good luck with the dry heat this summer.
We get asked very often about Louisiana super plants. What are they? Where to get Louisiana super plants? When to plant them? Where to plant them? Below all of these questions will be answered.
What is a Louisiana Super Plant?
What is a Louisiana super plant? These are plants which are strong enough to handle Louisiana's climate and pretty enough for you to want them in your landscape. Candidates for the super plant program undergo two strenuous years of testing in both north and south Louisiana. They also have to be easy to grow and distribute for nurseries. They are almost always marked with the Louisiana super plants logo shown to the left.
Louisiana Super Plants List
This is a list of the current Louisiana Super Plants. New plants are added twice a year so we will try to update this list when new plants are added. If you are interested in any of the plants, click on the name to follow a link to the LSU Agcenter page for each plant. There is information on planting, sun tolerance, and planting advice.
Where to Buy Louisiana Super Plants
Most nurseries will carry at least one or two Louisiana super plants. Click on this Louisiana super plant nursery list for names, locations, and phone numbers for all registered Louisiana super plant suppliers in the state. It would be best to call before you go to make sure they have the plants in stock since they have been known to sell out.
GreenSeasons is always proud to offer Louisiana super plants in any of our landscape designs. If you are looking for a landscape plan that focuses on using Louisiana super plants, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some landscaping advice with Louisiana super plants, please contact us.
One day you come outside and notice the oak tree in your yard has white webbing covering most of its trunk and some branches. Your first reaction is, "What is this on my tree and how do I get rid of it?" Well most people would have that reaction, but the good news is it is an overreaction. What you are seeing is the protective webbing of psocids, commonly referred to as bark lice. Believe it or not, this is a good thing.
Bark Lice, aka Tree Cattle
Bark lice show up on trees during the summer and early part of fall. Tree cattle eat algae, mold, fungi, lichen and dead insects that are in and on your tree's exterior. Most of these food sources are plentiful when given heat and excessive humidity which is why southern Louisiana is home to large invasions of psocids. They typically feed on hard wood trees and palms. I personally believe their tree of choice is an oak tree since it is what I have seen bark lice on the most. The good news is bark lice does not do any damage to the tree. By eating these foreign objects on the hard wood trees and palms, they are actually cleaning the tree. Be sure to thank them.
How to Get Rid of Bark Lice
Bark lice will go away on their own. After they have gone, the bark lice webbing will dissolve over the next few weeks. If you just can't stand the sight of the webbing in your tree, a soapy water solution may encourage them to move along. Mix three tablespoons of dish soap per gallon of water and apply it to the infested area. If this does not work, you will have to learn to live with the tree cattle until they move on to their next tree.
GreenSeasons is glad to help with any concerns regarding your trees you may have. If you would like for us to come out and perform a tree inspection, tree pruning, tree fertilzation, tree removal, or any other tree work, just click here and we will give your a call.
If you would just like some more advice on trees, please contact us.
Home vegetable gardens do not take a lot of your time and provide a solid reward for the work your do. Gardening can really help households come together have a hobby together. Especially consider a vegetable garden if you:
Vegetable Garden Advice
Working around your home garden during the summer can be exhausting. The hot summers in south Louisiana can quickly lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke even for people who have never had either before. Both younger and older people are more susceptible to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. They, and those caring for them, need to be fully informed on the symptoms and ways to prevent it from occurring.
Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion Prevention
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
These are the symptoms you will notice for the onset of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. The further down the list you get, the more severe the situation. In my experience, red, hot dry skin is one of the first sure signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke that is definitive and would not be confused with symptoms of some other ailment.
Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke Treatment
Call 911 if the person has any of the following symptoms:
Lower Body Temperature
See a doctor
GreenSeasons is glad to help with any pest control or landscaping needs you may have. If you want help, please contact us.
Butterflies are nature's dancing flowers. No other living creature has as many colors and moves in such great numbers as butterflies. This is all the more reason to have them visit your home. With the addition of a few plants, your number of butterfly visits will swell. Another benefit of a butterfly garden is hummingbirds are attracted to many of the same plants as butterflies, so it is like getting a 2 for 1 deal!
Plants for Butterflies
There are two classifications of butterfly plants you will want, host and nectar. You will want a good mix of both. Nectar plants will allow butterflies to feed while host plants are where butterflies leave their eggs. Important: Since butterflies leave their eggs on the host plant, do not treat it with insecticide. Also be willing to accept the host plant losing most of its foliage when the caterpillars appear.
A few nectar plants are zinnia, marigold, petunia, lantana, rudbeckia, butterlybush, purple coneflowers, butterfly milkweed, and salvia. Host plants include artemisa, nettles, hops, pawpaw, dill, legumes, parsley, fennel, wisteria, tulip poplar and passion vine.
Pick a spot that gets a lot of sun and very little wind. Create a raised landscape bed with some good dark soil. Landscape beds can be any size and shape. An idea is to have two separate landscape beds on both sides of an outdoor sitting area everyone can enjoy them regardless of where they are looking. Another option is to have them border a pathway in your yard so you can see the butterflies every time you walk through. Be creative! Once your beds are built, it is time to select where you want to put the plants in your garden.
There is only one thing to do once your plants are in and your garden is finished. Wait. The butterflies will come, they just have to realize there is a butterfly all you can eat buffet in your backyard. The best time to see butterflies in south Louisiana will be between 10 am to 3 pm during August and October. Butterflies can still be seen in the meantime, but those two months are butterfly prime time. So until then, keep an eye out and enjoy the show.
Watermelon will grown on a large vine sprawling out from the seed you plant. The plant loves heat and sunlight. In southern Louisiana this means planting watermelon seeds in late March to Mid April for best results. There are two beautiful things about growing watermelon. First, once they start growing, they need very little attention. Second, they are great to eat!
If you have any questions, please ask in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.
Spring and Summer Annuals
We get a lot of questions about what warm season flowers to plant in areas from Baton Rouge to Slidell to New Orleans, Louisiana. To help, we have put together a list of some of the common flowers you can plant, along with the sun requirements, distance from other plants and average height of each species. We hope this helps with adding beautiful flowers to your landscape.
List of Spring and Summer Flowers for Southern Louisiana:
^ Louisiana Super Plant