How to care for your garden in the Louisiana heat

Horticulture expert from the LSU Ag Center provides insight on how to care for your home garden during the Louisiana heat.

A little dead branch might not look scary now. But can you imagine it 10 times bigger and falling on your house? Heather Kirk Ballard from the LSU Ag Center says August is an important month for prepping your home gardens.

“Now is the time to go look at those large trees that may cause damage during a hurricane,” said Kirk-Ballard, the Assistant Professor of Consumer Horticulture

She recommends calling a professional to do the job or safely removing dead tree limbs yourself. In the middle of hurricane season, you can never be too safe with wobbly trees. She also wants you to be on the look out for chinch bugs.

“When it’s hot and dry, chinch bugs are a problem, ” she added. “The grass tends to turn to a straw-like color. That could be an indication of chinch bugs.”

However, chinch bugs aren’t the only explanation for dried and browned grass. You can call the professionals at the LSU Ag Center to know for sure. 

After cleaning up your yard a bit, you can start thinking about fall. According to Kirk-Ballard, August is a great time to plan.

Related content: 5 Tips for Vegetable Garden Success

“It’s a great time to plan what you’re going to do in your garden during the fall in the next month or so when it starts to cool down a little bit.”

You can be thinking about cabbage and kale for the colder months. But, if you don’t have much of a green thumb, it’s never too late to start. Besides boosting your home appearance, gardening can boost your mental health, as well. 

“It feels good to garden and it’s a sense of well being. It beautifies the area. It adds aesthetic value, monetary value. And in a lot of cases, can increase the value of your home by landscaping.” 

Gardening can be a good way to bring the family together right in your backyard. Of course, just be sure to drink lots of water when you’re out in this August heat. 

And, if you think you have a diseased tree or want your soil tested, contact the LSU Ag Center. Give them a call at 225-578-4161. Or, watch Kirk-Ballard’s Get it Growing segment. She shows you the best ways to exercise your green thumb. 

Find the pros at 101 Efferson Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.