Lifestyle

Prepare ahead to keep food safe

With Hurricane Laura expected to make landfall on the coast of Louisiana, many residents in the state may find themselves without electricity.
The safety of refrigerated and frozen foods is always a concern following extended power outages.
LSU AgCenter food safety expert Wennie Xu recommends planning ahead to have plenty of ice on hand before the anticipated outage.
You can purchase or make ice and store it in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. You also can freeze gel packs for use in coolers.

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Fig leaf rust on a fig leaf. (Photo by Randy LaBauve/LSU AgCenter)

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Ripe figs are sweet and juicy. (Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter)

Get It Growing: Why won’t my figs ripen?

Fig season is well underway, and many fig varieties are wrapping up their production while others are still producing and ripening. Fig season can begin in Louisiana as early as mid-June and end as late as early October, depending on the varieties. Your trees may still have green figs that just won’t seem to ripen, and that can be for many reasons.

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Overcrowded daylilies can be divided and replanted after flowering. (LSU AgCenter file photo)

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Irises, like these in a rain garden, can be thinned and transplanted during August. Photo by Rick Bogren/LSU AgCenter

August gardening means going slow

It’s August in Louisiana, and we don’t recommend doing much in the garden or, shall we say, not much in this heat. Right now, it’s enough of a chore to help our struggling plants survive. It’s best to stay on top of watering, preventing pests and removing weeds from garden beds.
During summer, Southern turfgrasses and tropical plants are thriving. But most of our annual bedding plants, shrubs and trees are just trying to stick out the heat.

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Large, irregularly shaped areas of turf may die, and patches of bare ground appear. (Photo by Raj Singh/LSU AgCenter)

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Take-all patch creeping up in Louisiana lawns

Take-all patch, also known as take-all root rot, is causing problems in some Louisiana lawns.
The fungus is frequently found in turfgrass roots without causing significant disease, said Raj Singh, LSU AgCenter plant doctor.
“This disease can be quite destructive as aboveground symptoms appear after the root system has already been severely compromised,” Singh said.
The appearance of these symptoms generally coincides with periods of several abiotic, or physical, stresses.

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Pollinators are responsible for one in three bites of food we eat. )Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter)

Plants, the essentials of life

As humans, we need water, food and sleep. OK — more than that. We also need a good immune system, among other things. But thanks to plants and the sun, we as humans can eat, breathe and live. Ultimately, our survival depends on them.

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