September Is Key Gardening Month Says LSU AgCenter Horticulturist

September is a key month for Louisiana vegetable gardens. This is the time that we put in most of our fall crops, with just a few held over until October, notes LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske. 

“It’s already too late to expect success from starting several of our main crops like tomatoes, pole beans, butter beans, cucumber, eggplant, peppers, okra, mirliton, melons, southern peas, pumpkins, sweet potato and squash,” the horticulturist says, with a nod to the southern parishes. 

“Only some of the lower and gulf parishes might try some of these crops, because the season’s terminating frost will be much later down there,” Koske says. 

He advises checking out the days-to-harvest values in the LSU AgCenter “Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide” (publication 1980) to see if it’s worth the risk. 

In September, Louisiana gardeners can safely plant seeds for beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, Chinese cabbage, collards, endive, escarole, onions, shallots for bulbs, lettuce (both head and leaf), kale, mustard, parsley, snow peas, English peas, radish, rutabaga, rhubarb and turnips. 

Sweet corn, Irish potatoes and bush snap beans can be seeded in south Louisiana, and north Louisiana can start spinach in September. 

Crops that can be transplanted now include broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, collards, green shallot, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. 

“As you can see, there is still time for a full garden of the faster-growing spring vegetables,” Koske says, adding, “If you have some long-season spring crops that are still in good shape, fertilize, prune and protect them for continued production into late fall. 

For related topics, look for Gardening and Get It Growing links in the Feature section of the LSU AgCenter Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com. Additional yard and garden topics are available from an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.

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