(News article for April 3, 2020)
A lot of people find themselves at home right now with children and youth who would normally be in school. Some people are taking the opportunity to teach the next generation about gardening. This is a good time for this, since it’s time to plant many of our warm season vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, corn, cucumbers, watermelons, squash, snap beans, southern peas (blackeye, crowder, etc.), and more.
I want to share some resources that you might find useful for vegetable gardening, in general, and for gardening with kids, specifically.
First, our Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide has most of the basic information you need to know to plant a vegetable garden. It has planting dates, variety and spacing recommendations, fertilizer suggestions, and more. You can do a general internet search for this publication by name, or enter the name into the search box on the LSU AgCenter website.
Additional vegetable gardening resources can be found in the Vegetables section of our website.
Once you get to that main Vegetables page, there are four sections. The first, which says “Home Garden Series,” has fact sheets on building raised beds (often a good option for home gardens, especially when drainage in your yard isn’t great), growing vegetable transplants, managing weeds and insects in the garden, and when to harvest/how to store spring- and fall-harvested vegetables.
The second section on the main Vegetable page is titled “Individual Crops” and has separate fact sheets about growing specific vegetables in the home garden.
The third section is titled “Newsletters.” This has links to issues of the Horticulture Hints newsletter that LSU AgCenter faculty members and agents put together each quarter. For young people specifically, there is also a link to issues of the Veggie Bytes newsletter.
I want to draw attention to the Veggie Bytes newsletter. This newsletter is put together by Dr. Kiki Fontenot and Research Associate Mary Sexton for people who work with school gardens. Issues archived on the website have ideas that you might find useful as you look for educational activities to do with children and youth.
There are several other school garden publications on our website. An easy way to find them is to do general internet search for them by name and add “LSU” (without the quotation marks) after the name. Available publications include the following: Steps to Growing a Successful School Garden, A Guide to Growing a School Herb Garden, A Guide to Growing a School Butterfly Garden, A Guide to Controlling Insects in the School Garden, and Food Safety in Louisiana School Gardens.
If you have questions, please let me know. E-mail is the best way to reach me at this time.
Contact Mary Helen Ferguson.