Agriculture

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Spring-blooming azaleas should be pruned right after blooming before new buds set for next year’s show. (Photos by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter)

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Summer-blooming plants such as Lime Sizzler firebush can be trimmed anytime to control growth or keep a particular shape. Flowers form on new growth.

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Buds set on last year’s growth on flowering trees such as this Japanese magnolia should not be pruned until after they finish blooming in the spring.

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Dormant ornamental grasses can be trimmed in wintertime but make for great food and nesting areas for birds. It’s recommended to wait until spring.

Tips to overcome your pruning fears

Pruning intimidates some gardeners. When to prune and when not to prune? It can be scary.
For trees and shrubs that are grown for their flowers, you must consider when they bloom before you decide when to prune them. Prune at the wrong time, and many of our spring-blooming shrubs and trees will not put on their much-anticipated spring flower show.

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Reality trims seed catalogue dreams

One hot day summer day some years ago I was pulling weeds along a row of tomato plants, when the realization came to me that I was crawling down garden rows to cultivate vegetables that we would mostly give to friends and neighbors who also grew more veggies than they would eat and were planning on giving some to me.
Since then I have kept a modest garden, a couple of raised beds that are easy on the back and knees and big enough to grow everything we want and need.

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Fresh strawberries have been slowly coming in for the past two months. But growers say that will increase soon if they can avoid extremely low January temperatures. (Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter)

Strawberry crop early, looking good

Despite the recent cold snap, Louisiana strawberries are coming in at a steady clip.
LSU AgCenter agent Mary Helen Ferguson said the producers are off to a good start this season, with no extreme temperatures so far.
“You should be able to find berries at a few locations now and that will increase over the coming weeks,” she said. “The growers I’ve talked to seem pretty satisfied with how things are going.”
Experts with the AgCenter say favorable weather and new strawberry varieties are helping farmers start bringing the crop in earlier than in past years.

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Sheriff K.P. Gibson

Acadia Parish sheriff says focus is on patrol deputies

Sheriff K.P. Gibson has made a number of changes in the way things are run at the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office since he first took office in 2016 — and more are on the way.
“Anything we do is to prepare for the future, beyond me,” he told members of the Crowley Lions Club during their recent luncheon meeting.
Pointing out that he is only the eighth sheriff in the 130-plus year history of the parish, Gibson said, “We are always working to better serve our customers, who are our citizens.”

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Louisiana Master Farmer Program graduates 2020 class

The Louisiana Master Farmer Program, an LSU AgCenter-led initiative that teaches about conservation, recently graduated its 2020 class.
Five new Master Farmer certifications as well as 14 recertifications were awarded Jan. 13 during a virtual meeting of the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts. Also, Mead Hardwick, of Tensas Parish, was named the 2020 Louisiana Outstanding Master Farmer.

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