Louisiana Gardeners Here’s Why You Need to Wait One More Week
Valentines Day has come and gone and so has Mardi Gras and judging by the number of leaves in the gutters of my house I think we can safely surmise that Louisiana is poised, ready, and waiting for springtime. For a lot of us, that means digging in the dirt and planting our flowerbeds and gardens for the spring and summer growing season.
The warm weather over the weekend certainly had a lot of garden centers around the state quite busy with customers filling their baskets with tomato plants, pepper plants, maybe even some watermelon, and okra too. Gardening is a big deal in Louisiana and it's actually a big part of our heritage.
If you've already put your plants in the ground then you'll probably need to take action by this weekend to protect your investment. If you're like me and only thought about planting your garden this past weekend, your laziness, er forethought and wise planning I mean, should serve you well because we're not quite done with winter temperatures.
The Olde Farmer's Almanac suggests that the last frost for our climate zone along I-10 happens in late February there is a strong cold front pushing toward the area for this weekend. This frontal system could skew those results and do some serious damage to your newly planted plants.
The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Lake Charles says temperatures on Saturday morning following the front's passage could dip to or just below the freezing mark. Unfortunately, that could be enough to damage or destroy any new plants you may have put in the ground. So, plan now to at least cover them for early Friday and especially Saturday morning.
Another way your procrastination about planting will pay big dividends is the amount of rain that is forecast for the area between now and this weekend. The Weather Prediction Center has placed almost all of Louisiana at a marginal risk for excessive rainfall through the day today.
In fact, there is a chance of showers and storms for the area on Wednesday too. We will get a bit of a break on Thursday but by Friday we'll start to see the threat of showers increasing across the area again as that strong cold front moves in and through the area during the day.
If you are looking for more advice on better ways to grow a better garden I can highly recommend a visit to the LSU AgCenter website. They have a lot of resources and there are people you can call in your home parish at the State Extension Service that can answer questions that are very specific for your soil conditions and climate.
So, let the record show, for once putting off until next week was better than getting it done today. Now I know how our elected leaders feel. But, if you'd like some more insights on better gardening, you can give this project a try too.
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