LSU AgCenter prepares for March garden shows

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana gardeners can work in their yards almost every day of the year, but spring is prime time for gardening.
The LSU AgCenter has announced a lineup of garden shows that kick off in March.
The Hammond Spring Garden Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 8 at the LSU AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station at 21549 Old Covington Highway (La. 1067 just off U.S. 190).
This year’s program will feature plants for sale, a plant swap, educational gardening seminars and children’s activities, said Sandra Benjamin, LSU AgCenter extension agent.
“You can ask about your plant problems and get gardening advice and plant information all in one place,” Benjamin said.
Speakers will include Mike Seal, owner of The Funny Farm, LSU AgCenter horticulture specialist Kiki Fontenot will discuss tomato gardening and varieties, Robert Taylor, a board member of the Louisiana Beekeepers Association, will talk on beginner backyard beekeeping.
Commercial and educational exhibits, commercial vendors and concessions will be available.
“Tours of the station will showcase some of the research being conducted there,” Benjamin said. “You will also be able to pick up soil sample boxes to mail to the LSU AgCenter soil lab for testing.”
Those attending spring garden day are asked to bring nonperishable food items to donate to the Tangi Food Pantry.
Admission is $5 per vehicle. Only cash and checks will be accepted at the gate and at all vendors, Benjamin said.
The event is open to the public and is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter and the Tangipahoa Parish Master Gardeners Association.
The LSU AgCenter and the St. Tammany Master Gardener Association will hold the 2014 Northshore Garden Show and Plant Sale March 14 and 15 at the St Tammany Fairgrounds in Covington.
Speakers include Mariah Bock on insect control in the home garden, Allen Owings on considerations for the 2014 garden, Scotty May on home watermelon production. Dan Gill on ornamental grasses in the home garden, Buddy Lee on Southern Living plant varieties, Ron Strahan on weed control, and a cooking demonstration by Chefs Nealy and Keith Frentz of Lola restaurant.
Gates will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 14 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 15.
Admission is $5 for adults. All proceeds fund the Bobby Fetcher Sr. Memorial Scholarship.
For more information, contact William Afton at 985-875-2635.
The 12th annual Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show is set for March 29 and 30 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.
LSU AgCenter horticulturist David Himelrick said the floor of the coliseum will be transformed into a world of plants and gardens for the event.
“At this year’s show, you also will be able to walk next door and talk to some of the world’s best chili cooks,” Himelrick said.
In addition to the garden show and the eighth annual Louisiana State and Regional Chili Cook-off, participants also can visit the fifth annual Baton Rouge Spring Car Show and the events’ first Koi and Goldfish Show.
Children’s activities also will be available.
For information contact Himelrick at 225-578-2222.

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