Rivercities Garden Club

Meeting 10/2/11

Program - Gardening Problems; Dr. Joe Whiteour buffet


Use appropriate herbicides.  Image, Manage, several  other newer ones for nut sedge.  Bayer, Ortho, other companies sell post-emergence herbicides that kill up  to 200 species of weeds that frequent lawns.   Be sure the ones you buy are safe on southern grass species. Some of the newer and better herbicides can be found at stores such as the Farmer's Co-Op at Keithville, Paul's Farm and  Garden Store on North Market, Flemings Irrigation on Linwood and Serio's Farm Store on Hwy. 80 in Bossier.

Timing is important.  Mid-October is when you should apply pre-emergent  herbicide to control summer annuals such as crabgrass, etc.  recommended herbicides  in this class include: Hi Yield Dimension, Scott's Halts, Portrait and Atrazine.   Mid-February is when you should apply a pre-emergent herbicide to control  summer annuals such as crabgrass, etc.   Recommended herbicides include:  all listed above plus Greenlight Crabgrass Preventer and G. Preventer 2, StaGreen Crabex and Bayer's Crabgrass killer.

The post-emergent herbicides which kill on contact should be applied as soon  as spring weather arrives and you see a new crop of weeds beginning to appear.   Usually two or three applications will be needed and spraying should stop by the end of May except for Bermuda and Zoysia lawns. These may damage centepede grass in hot weather.  MSMA and DSMA can only be used on these last two lawns and best results  occur when applied from June through August.

When mixing herbicides make sure to use the right concentrations.


club membersAmazon series of dianthus      These are cool season annual bedding plants. There are three varieties: Rose Magic, Neon Purple and Neon Cherry.

Camelot series of foxglove     Varieties are Cream, Rose, Lavender and White. They bloom in the spring after a fall planting. Have lots of heat tolerance for late spring bloom. No winter protection required. Prefer full sun, but can handle 4-6 hours of sun.  Shishi Gashira camellia This landscape stalwart is a low-growing evergreen shrub that produces semi-double rose pink flowers from October through January. Prefers acid soils and several hours of full sun.

Serena series of angelonia    These are summer annual bedding plants and extremely heat tolerant. The four varieties are S. Purple, S. Lavender, S. Lavender-Pink and S. White. Mature size is approximately one foot high by one foot wide. Plant after frost. Butterfly series of pentas   Also a summer annual and one that flowers from spring to  frost. Great heat and humidity tolerance. Several colors available. Attract both butterflies and hummingbirds due to abundant nectar. Full sun or partial shade. Frostproff Gardenia  This small evergreen shrub tops out at a height of 5 feet with similar spread. Bears small, velvety white flowers that are double and fragrant. Although widely adapted, does best in acid soil and full sun to part shade.   Shoal Creek Vitex - this small multi-trunked tree or shrub has deep, lavender blue flowers in early summer and sometimes a repeat bloom in August.  Matures at a hi=eight of 10 to 15 feet, is drought tolerant once established and attracts butterflies and hummers.

'Belinda's Dream' Rose   An already widely popular shrub rose that bears medium pink, semi-double flowers with a height expectation of some 5 to 6 feet. Most gardeners maintain the plant at 4 feet. Unlike many shrub roses that have only 8 to 12 petals per flower, this variety has 40 to 45 petals in each blossom. Expect only minimum to moderate black spot problems, even during rainy seasons with no fungicides applied.  Maintenance is relatively easy as little or no fertilization is needed and irrigation needs are low.

Redbor'  kale    Winter hardy landscape foliage plants are not exactly plentiful for the cold months of the year. This cultivar is a great addition to the ornamental cabbages and kales that are currently available in local markets. Its vigorous performance and heat tolerance are both noteworthy. As a bedding plant the extremely curly and early dark purple foliage makes an eye-catching display in the landscape, particularly when it reaches its mature size of around 3 feet. Hey, and if you get tired of looking at it, you can eat it too. This variety seldom flowers.

Swan series Columbine       This is a short-life perennial which is grown as a cool-season annual here in Louisiana. The swan series columbines produce larger flowers than other columbines and there is a wide range of colors from which to choose. Plant transplants in the late fall or late winter in full sun to part shade and expect pretty flowers from late March to sometime in May. Their blue-green foliage is an excellent background for their many shades of blue, yellow, pink,  red and white.Shoal Creek Vitex     This small multi-trunked tree or shrub has deep, lavender blue flowers in early summer and sometimes a repeat bloom in August. Matures at a height of 10 to 15 feet, is drought tolerant once established and attracts butterflies and hummers.


1.       Eliminate existing weeds

Repeated cultivation

Black plastic (or other material) covering for one season. Probably too expensive for large gardens.

Herbicides (non-selective types (Round-Up, others containing glyphosate)   Repeat applications usually necessary.


Crop rotation to include frequent cultivation of some of the crops

2.  Soil solarization (clear plastic over moist soil)

 Kills soil pathogens that affect plants, weed seed and weed seedlings, nematodes,  some kinds of destructive soil inhabiting mites. Four to six weeks rquired for  best results.

3.  Preventing weeds

Organic mulches ( grain straw, pine straw, sawdust, wood chips, etc.)

Black plastic mulches (short term solution, usually a single season)

Paper mulches (keep moist or anchor to keep in place)

Carpet mulches

Mow adjacent areas frequently to prevent weeds from making seed

Use pre-emergent herbicides in adjacent areas. (Preen, etc.)

Hand weeding

4. Re-use of harvested  spaces (vegetables or cover crops)  Recultivate lightly then use roundup then plant in three weeks


Test your soil.  Soil changes over time so this information is necessary to have a good garden.  Use the Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide La Planting Guide PDF  In the fall make sure the plant will mature before the first frost. 

All notes are from Dr. White

Our special thanks to Genie Johnson who offered her home for this meeting.


Dr. Joe WhiteThe Speaker -  Dr. Joe White

Dr. White

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