Japanese maple in fall color. Photo: Buddy Lee, LSU AgCenter
Dave of Alexandria is preparing for a change in his home’s landscape, “Is this a suitable time of year to [replace coral bark maples]? If not, when would you recommend?”
Dan Gill, retired AgCenter horticulturist, wrote, “October to March is the prime season for planting hardy trees in Louisiana, and November through early December is an especially suitable time. The soil is still warm, which encourages vigorous root growth, and trees will have several months to get established before next summer’s heat.
At the same time, the weather is cool, and the trees are going dormant, which reduce stress. Generous rainfall during winter makes constant attention to watering unnecessary. Planting at this time is especially beneficial for balled-and-bur lapped trees because they lose so much of their root system when they are dug.”
A garden cat. Photo: Gary Bachman, MS State Extension.
Shirley is frustrated with cats, “Can you give me any info concerning cats causing problems in a veggie garden -as to how to keep them out!!?? Maybe --what to plant??”
Dr. Brooke Edmunds, a horticulturist with Oregon State University, offers these tips:
Southern highbush blueberry with salt injury. Photo: Jeremy Kichler, Georgia Extension.
Tom is helping a fellow gardener and sent this question, “A friend of mine wants to plant blueberries on his place and his soil test shows that he has 3,555.63 [ppm] Sodium which is “excessive”. Please ask our blueberry specialist if he should plant them in that soil.”
Dr. Mary Helen Ferguson, an Area Horticulture Agent and blueberry specialist in Tangipahoa Parish, shared her counsel with regards to this sodium problem, “Yes, I cannot imagine that blueberries would do well in a soil with a sodium concentration that high. That [level of sodium] is about 10 times (or more) what would be acceptable. They might consider growing some southern highbush blueberry plants (varieties with a chill requirement compatible with their location) in 10 to 15 gallons pots, with aged pine bark as a substrate. It would take more attention to nutrition (Fertilizing Blueberries in Pine Bark Beds | UGA Cooperative Extension) but at least could allow production at that location (assuming the sodium content of the water isn't too high).
If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits, and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337.284.5188 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label, and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”
“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”