is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture. In gardens, ornamental plants are often grown for their flowers, foliage, or overall appearance; useful plants, such as root vegetables ,leaf vegetables, fruits, and herbs, are grown for consumption, for use as dyes, or for medicinal or cosmetic use.
A gardener is someone who practices gardening, either professionally or as a hobby. Gardening is considered to be a relaxing activity for many people.

In some areas of the United States, known as food deserts, fresh vegetables are not widely available unless they are grown in gardens. Most clients of the SU Ag Center are located in food desert areas. Many vegetables are tastier and provide more food value when they are fresh and locally grown. In the supermarket, the cost of local or homegrown vegetables is higher than those that are imported. Vegetable gardening has become a popular, cost-saving hobby for individuals, families, communities, and neighborhoods. For example, community gardens provide exercise, recreation, therapy, a sense of community support, and an opportunity to be close with nature. A home garden is a valuable asset to any home, regardless of whether it is in a rural or urban setting, because gardens provide an opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, while yielding a valuable return for time well spent. Gardening helps to improve the human spirit and teaches vital lessons about sharing, self-nurturing and living in harmony with the earth.

The Southern University Ag Land-Grant Campus focuses on teaching organic and sustainable gardening practices to youth and adults for several reasons. Our curriculum teaches youth and adults how to manage a garden in ways that are sympathetic to the participants' health and to the earth. The sustainability aspect focuses on a low-cost and eventually lower maintenance gardening technique to help ensure that gardens can prevail even when funding and labor are scarce. The curriculum strives to give gardeners positive experiences to share with other community and family members. The intended long term goal is healthy cooking and eating for overall healthier living for citizens of Louisiana.

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Bell Peppers and Eggplants- These non-hybrid bell pepper varieties are recommended:Resistant Giant No. 4, Capistrano, Jupiter, Purple Beauty, and Yolo Wonder B.Recommended eggplant varieties are Blacknite (hybrid) Classic (hybrid) Blackbell (hybrid), Epic (hybrid),Dusky (hybrid), Hibush (hybrid) or Black Magic(hybrid).
Cucurbits- All members of the cucurbit family can be planted in May, but yields of squash and cucumbers may be lower than normal with the late plantings. Plant these outside well after the danger of frost is over. For transplants, start in pots two or three weeks before transplanting.
Fertilization- General fertilizer recommendations for several vegetables are listed. This is the amount of complete fertilizer such as
8-24-24 or equivalent to add per 100 feet of row on soils of low to medium fertility.
Fruits & Nuts- Gardening tips for fruits and nuts.
Harvesting Vegetables- Tips on harvesting vegetables.
Landscape/Ornamentals- Lantanas are good plants for Louisiana Landscapes
Southern Peas (Field peas, Cow peas)- Southern peas may be planted through May. Use a low nitrogen fertilizer such as 8-24-24 or 6-24-24 at the rate of 1 to 2 pounds per 100 feet of row. Too much nitrogen causes a lot of plant growth and few peas. If soils are rich, peas may not need fertilizer.
Sweet Corn- Plant early to help reduce problems from the corn earworm. The earliest planting should be made seven days before the average last frost date for your area. Plant every two to three weeks to provide a continuous supply of sweet corn.
Sweet Potatoes- Beauregard, is the recommended variety. It is high yielding, very attractive and tastes good.
Tomatoes- Begin transplanting in mid-March in south Louisiana after the danger of frost is over. Be prepared to cover early transplanted tomatoes in case of a frost. Spray tomatoes every 7-10 days with a fungicide (daconil or maneb) and an insecticide (sevin malathion or thiodan).
Turfgrass - Lawngrasses are now showing spring regrowth. Be careful not to push the season by forcing early growth with fertilizer. If put on too early, it will feed the winter weeds.
Vegetable Gardening- Month by month vegetable gardening.



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