Archive for March, 2011

Dr. Lauren Quinn, researcher with the University of Illinois, is seeking help from Master Gardeners to locate and identify individual or whole populations of Miscanthus sinensis – Chinese silver grass and/or Miscanthus sacchariflorus – Amur silver grass growing in natural areas of Louisiana.  These varieties are large ornamental grasses commonly planted in gardens and used for landscaping. Unfortunately, both varieties have the capacity to produce seed and establish in natural areas such as roadsides, pastures, forest openings to become invasive.  Dr. Quinn feels that Louisiana Master Gardeners could aid with the research because of their strong knowledge of plants, commitment to conservation and interest to help with plant research projects.

M. sinensis: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MISI                                 M. sacchariflorus: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MISA
A side-by-side comparison of M. sinesis and M. sacchariflorus: http://miscanthus.cfans.umn.edu/identification.html

Information needed (but whatever could be documented) would include:
Location (GPS coordinates, if possible. If not, an intersection, or other landmark);
Description of environmental context (e.g. roadside, pasture, etc);
Population size (a rough estimate of the number of plants. i.e. one, a handful, a dozen, hundreds, etc);
If on private property, names/contact info of property owners if possible;
If possible, an estimate of the history of the population (how long it has been there, where the nearest planting is and when it was planted);
A photo of the population;
Your contact info;

Sightings of M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus can be added to the map of naturalized populations on EDD Maps. This is a fairly painless process described here: http://www.eddmaps.org/report/index2.cfm or sightings/information can be sent directly to Dr. Quinn ldquinn@illinois.edu e-mail address.

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Help your local 4-H programs and visit your nearest Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers ® Restaurant on Wednesday, April 20. 15% of every order when mentioning 4-H will be donated to support the local 4-H programs in the respective restaurants’ areas. There are 53 locations of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers ® in Louisiana. Customers must mention 4-H when placing their order for 15% of their purchase to be donated. Every parish in the state will benefit. To see which store(s) your parish is affiliated with, see the form at the bottom of this page or CLICK HERE.

DON’T FORGET Customers must mention 4-H when placing their order for 15% of their purchase to be donated. Let’s show Raising Cane’s ® what over 48,000 4-H’ers in Louisiana can do and pack their restaurants on Wednesday, April 20!!

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The LSU AgCenter’s LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center will hold its spring garden day on Friday, April 8, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  The event will include a vegetable plant sale, a tour of the sustainable house, presentations and exhibits.

The agenda for the event is:

9-9:45 a.m., Vegetable garden presentation and tour with Kiki Fontenot.

9:45-10:30 a.m., Blackberries, fig and citrus tree presentation and tour with Charlie Johnson.

10:30-11:30 a.m., Louisiana landscape exhibit tour with Kyle Huffstickler.

12-1:00 p.m., Louisiana Super Plants Lunch and Learn with Allen Owings.

1:30-2:30 p.m., Flower arrangements demonstration with Pat Cobb.

LSU AgCenter-recommended varieties of herbs, tomatoes and eggplants will be on sale payable with cash or check only.  The event is free, and no registration is required. LaHouse is located at 2858 Gourrier Ave., across the street from Alex Box Baseball Stadium and south of the LSU campus.

For more information about the LSU AgCenter’s LaHouse Spring Garden Day event, contact Matthew Keppinger at 225 938 2049(cell) or mkeppinger@agcenter.lsu.edu

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The LSU AgCenter recently released a guidebook with details about plants growing in Louisiana that contribute to honey production. Titled “Louisiana Honey Plants,” the publication was authored by retired LSU AgCenter professor and entomologist Dr. Dale Pollet. The publication contains details on 53 plants that are capable of producing nectar.  The major nectar plants in Louisiana are Chinese tallow, willow, clover, American buckwheat vine, aster and goldenrod.

Designed as a guidebook for beekeepers, the 6-inch-by-9-inch guidebook also can be of interest to anyone who wants to attract honeybees to their landscape. Its 32 pages are illustrated with color photos of each plant and include descriptions of the plants and the honey produced from each source. It also includes a handy chart showing the blooming season for each plant.

The guide can be purchased for $10 plus tax and shipping from the LSU AgCenter’s online store at https://store.lsuagcenter.com/ or by phoning LSU AgCenter Communications at 225-578-2263.

See the latest LSU AgCenter News at www.lsuagcenter.com/news.

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Six beautiful gardens have been selected to be on the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners’ garden tour, Le Tour des Jardins, for 2011. Of the six gardens, one is a professionally designed garden.  As usual, all of the gardens have their own unique and individual stamp of the garden owner!

The Pioneer Heritage Center Gardens, a project of the NW LA Master Gardeners, will again host a Garden Bazaar.  That special something that you have been trying to find for your garden may be waiting for you there!

The dates for the 2011 tour are May 7 and May 8. This is Mother’s Day weekend. Surprise Mom with tickets to the tour! Tickets are available at a cost of $10 in advance and $12 the day of the tour.

For more information about the 2011 Le Tour des Jardin or the NWLA Master Gardeners, please call (318) 698-0010.

 Click Flyer2.pdf  for the names and addresses of the gardens.

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The LSU AgCenter’s Plant Diagnostic Center has been answering questions for individuals and commercial operators with plant disease problems since 2010. The newly enhanced center provides a one-stop-shop for all plant health-related problems. Whether it’s an insect,weed, nematode, plant disease, or a soil related problem, the center can provide the answers.  The center has a team of specialists that include plant pathologists, nematologist, entomologist, horticulturists and weed scientists.

LSU AgCenter plant diagnostician Raghuwinder Singh says the answers to plant health-related problems in the garden and turf are just a click or a phone call away.“If you suspect there’s a problem, you can bring a sample to your local LSU AgCenter county agent, or you can contact us directly, and we’ll make a diagnosis.” The cost of having a routine diagnostic test run at the center is $20, and the costs of more advanced tests usually range from $40-$100.

In addition to the center being a place for consumers and contractors to bring their plants for diagnosis, it’s also on the front line in the nation’s fight against bioterrorism. The LSU AgCenter’s Plant Diagnostic Center is part of the National Plant Diagnostic Network, which has as its mission national agricultural security, which prevents bioterrorism.  Once a problem is diagnosed, the results are sent to the client and to the national plant diagnostic database that retains a record of all activity.

To learn more about the LSU AgCenter Plant diagnostic Center visit on-line at: www.LSUAgCenter.com/plantdiagnostics

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The ninth annual Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show is set for March 26-27 at the John M. Parker Coliseum on Highland Road in Baton Rouge. The show will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and include local nurseries and other vendors selling plants and other garden wares, including tools, pots, ornaments and landscaping materials. Representatives from the LSU AgCenter will conduct a plant health clinic to help gardeners diagnose plant pest and health problems and answer garden questions. Other faculty members will give one-hour talks during the day. Children’s activities also will be available.      

 In addition to the garden show, the 5th Annual Louisiana State and Regional Chili Cook-Off will be held next door in the 4-H Mini Farm both days, and the Second Annual Baton Rouge Spring Car Show will take place March 27.

 More information is available from David Himelrick at 225-578-2158 or dhimelrick@agctr.lsu.edu.

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