Category: Outdoor/Gardening

Louisiana gardening by the month: August!

Here’s what to plant for August‼️

 Vegetables to plant in August include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bunching onions, cabbage, cauliflower, Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage, collards, cucumbers, lima beans, mustard, snap beans, Southern peas, shallots, squash and turnips. Plant transplants of bell peppers, tomatoes and eggplants by mid-August.
For late-summer color, continue to plant heat-tolerant bedding plants available at local nurseries and garden centers.
Prune everblooming roses back about one-third their height in late August or early September. This pruning prepares the roses for the outstanding blooming season in October, November and early December.
Hot, dry weather is ideal for chinch bug damage to show up on lawns, particularly in St. Augustine grass. Treat if needed with lawn insecticides.
Begin to order spring-flowering bulbs from catalogs for delivery in October.
If you need to, dig and divide Louisiana irises, acanthus, Easter lilies and calla lilies this month and in September.
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Planting in a Shady Area?

Here are 7 plants that thrive in part sun to shade.  They are easy to grow perennials, so there is no need to replant them yearly.

Hydrangea ‘Bloomstruck’

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This beautiful Hydrangea is the newest of the Endless Summer series in which they bloom on new growth.  With a light pruning after their first bloom cycle they will again flower.  Bloomstruck’s Mop head bloom clusters are blue to white to pink depending on the Ph level of your soil.  The new variety has a more dwarf, spreading growth habit than the Original Endless Summer and tend to have a much higher bloom count.

Japanese Ardisia

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This evergreen is a terrific groundcover for a shady location and blooms small cluster of light pink flowers yielding red berries in the fall.

 

Philodendron ‘Xanadu’

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This tropical looking beauty is hardy in the Baton Rouge area and has a dwarf growth habit (about 3’) compared to other Philodendron.

 

Brunfelsia (Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow)

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This semi-evergreen shrub grows best in part sun and has large beautiful blooms in cycles from spring through fall.  It gets it’s common name because the flowers change colors.  Blossoms turn from purple (yesterday) to lavender (today) to white (tomorrow).

 

Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’

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This new variety of Mahonia is in the Southern Living Plant Collection and is slow growing evergreen for the shade.  The soft textured foliage plant mixes great with other broadleaf plants.

How to grow a tomato plant from a tomato slice!

Did you know that you can grow a tomato plant from a slice of a tomato??  

Well you can!

Here’s what you need:

  • Small pot
  • Potting soil
  • Tomato slice

Fill the small pot with soil about 3/4 full, next place your slice of Tomato on top and cover it will soil.  Water the soil and place the pot in a warm place and you should see sprouts in about 6-10 days!  Move the pot to a cool place and water regularly.

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Spanish Moss

Do you have Spanish Moss living in your trees?


Contrary to what many people believe, Spanish moss is not a parasite and does not injure a tree by obtaining any nourishment from it.


Spanish moss is an epiphyte, a plant that lives in a tree without any contact with the ground. It only uses the tree for support and does not invade the living tissue, like mistletoe and other parasitic plants. As in the case of lichens, Spanish moss obtains the water and minerals it needs from rain and makes its own food through photosynthesis.

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Louisiana gardening by the month: July!

Here’s what to plant for July‼️

July: Vegetables to plant in July include cantaloupes, collards, cucumbers, luffa, okra, pumpkins, Southern peas, shallots, squashes and watermelons. In addition, you can plant seeds to grow transplants of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, peppers and tomatoes.
Finish pruning spring-flowering shrubs, such as azaleas and spirea, in early July. 
Sharpen your lawnmower blades. They generally will have become dull by this time of the year.

Keep up with weeding. Weeds can get out of hand very fast. Use mulches wherever possible.
Plant palms through August, since they establish best when planted into warm soil. Select hardier palms, such as cabbage palm, windmill palm, jelly palm, Mediterranean fan palm, Canary Island date palm, palmetto and needle palm. Keep them well-watered during their period of getting established.
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The Impact of Swimming Pools on Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Swimming Season Is Under Way, Are You Covered?

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Backyard swimming pools are a great place to spend time with friends and family during the hot summer months. And nothing helps beat the heat like taking a swim in your own backyard. But pool ownership also comes with responsibility. If the unexpected strikes, do you have the necessary insurance in place? Whether it’s damage to the physical structure of the pool or your own liability, you’ll likely want to have certain safeguards in place. You may want to start by considering the following questions.

Is a Pool Covered By My Homeowners Policy?

If you have a pool or you’re planning to install one, it’s a good idea to let your insurer know, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says. Pools are typically covered by homeowners insurance policies, but you’ll probably want to review your coverage to make sure you have the right amount of protection in place.

Property coverage. The property component of your homeowners policy likely extends to your backyard swimming pool, so if a tree falls on your pool, your coverage may help pay to remove the tree and cover repairs to your pool, up to the limits included in your policy. Your agent can help you determine whether you should consider increasing your policy’s property coverage limits based on the value of your pool and any accessories, such as a deck or water slide.

Keep in mind that most homeowners policies exclude coverage for damages caused if water freezes in your pool, so you’ll want to be sure you drain it at the end of each season.

Liability coverage. You’ll also want to take your liability coverage into consideration. Thousands of people go to the emergency room each year with pool-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If someone suffers an injury at your pool, you could potentially incur medical or legal expenses that stem from the incident. Liability protection is a standard part of a typical homeowners policy, but because a pool can increase your liability risk, says the III, you may want to consider increasing your coverage.

A homeowners policy typically provides $100,000 in base liability coverage. The III recommends increasing those limits to $300,000 or $500,000 if you have a backyard pool.

Do I Need More Protection?

To add an extra layer of protection, the III says pool owners should consider purchasing a personal umbrella policy (PUP). A PUP provides liability coverage above the limits of your homeowners policy — generally up to $1 million. PUP protection begins when you’ve exhausted the required underlying insurance amount of your homeowners policy. Your agent can help you determine whether you have appropriate protection in place on your underlying policy to help prevent a gap in your coverage.

What Other Precautions Can I Take?

By taking a few safety precautions, you can help reduce the risk of accidents at your pool. The CPSC recommends installing a fence at least 4 feet tall around the pool along with gates that are both self-closing and self-latching. Some states or municipalities have laws in regard to pool fences, so it’s a good idea to find out what might be required in your area.

Children should be supervised around the pool as well as taught water safety skills, CPSC’s Pool Safely program says. In addition, the program says parents should learn how to swim and make sure their children also know how to swim.

By being proactive with both safety measures and insurance protection, you can gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re prepared — and spend pool time enjoying your backyard swims.