Weekends are for gardening: How to plant flowers and veggies, attract birds and love your lawn | Home/Garden

Are you itching to get into the garden this weekend? Good news: It’s planting time in South Louisiana.

Grab a trowel, pull on your gardening gloves and get down and dirty with these timely tips from NOLA.com lawn and garden expert Dan Gill.

FLOWER POWER: Dan recommends flowers that will pop with color all summer long. Think marigolds, pentas and zinnias. Get the low-down on starting a gorgeous flower garden right here.

Aphrodite althea is a Louisiana Super Plant and a member of the hibiscus family. LSU AgCenter file photo by Allen Owings

Or are you looking for a showy shrub? The answer is always hibiscus. With nonstop flowers in every color of the rainbow and an easygoing nature, it’s easy to understand why hibiscus is a South Louisiana favorite. Dan has the details on choosing and caring for this backyard beauty.

TELL ME MOWER: Warm weather means the return of lawn care. Here’s everything you need to know about insect control, weeds and watering to get your lawn off to the right start. Yes, there’s a right way to cut the grass. Read on…


THORNY QUESTION: The warm spring weather has our roses growing wild. But hold off on pruning. Here’s a quick guide.

WINGED THINGS: We’re not the only creatures who love the garden! Our feathered friends are already singing its praises, so check out these tips for attracting and supporting birds. And don’t forget to welcome pollinators: bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

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MaKenna Landry, left, and Avery McMillian weed the pollinator mix of plants in the Horticulture Club’s plot of land as students tending their raised gardening beds at LSU’s Hill Farm.

RISE UP! Raised beds are the way to go for many vegetable gardeners: Here’s everything you need to know to grow peppers, tomatoes, spinach and more in a raised bed. The LSU Ag Center has a useful guide on what to plant when. Find it here.

NATIVE BEAUTY: It’s prime time for the Louisiana iris. Find out how to grow them yourself for a gorgeous backyard display.

MULCH ADO ABOUT.… It’s not the sexiest part of gardening, but it’s vital to a healthy garden that’s easier to keep moist and disease-free. Learn how, where and when to mulch right here.

AND A WARNING: Finally, some common flowering plants can be dangerous to dogs and cats if ingested. The very worst is found everywhere in the New Orleans landscape, and that’s the striking, spiny Sago palm. Read about toxic plants here.

This is the time of year that cool-season bedding plants like pansies, violas, snapdragons, dianthus and petunias really shine — particularly…

Lawns are just waking up this time of the year. While they’re showing signs of becoming active, it’s a good time to consider strategies that w…

Garden columnist Dan Gill answers readers’ questions each week. To send a question, email Gill at gnogardening@agcenter.lsu.edu.

South Louisiana gardeners are big fans of the tropical hibiscus and its hybrids. No other summer-flowering shrub surpasses the hibiscus for gl…

Home gardeners can help maintain, and even encourage, populations of honeybees, native bees, wasps, beetles, butterflies, moths and hummingbir…

While working in my yard and enjoying this amazing fall weather, the sounds of birds were a welcome delight. I love to hear the chirping and s…

If you have been thinking of starting a vegetable garden, consider building or buying a raised bed.

Louisiana iris is the name used worldwide for a unique group of Louisiana native iris species and, in particular, their hybrids. Their extraor…

I love to garden, but I don’t like to do work needlessly. If I can find a gardening technique that saves me time, effort and money — well, I’m…

With spring planting in full swing, gardeners should keep in mind that not all plant varieties are safe for pets. In fact, some are deadly and…

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