With this in mind, the LSU AgCenter has announced a lineup of garden shows that will provide the tools, plants and needed information.
The shows kick off in March and continue into May in Hammond, Covington, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, New Orleans and Houma.
March 9, Hammond
The Hammond Spring Garden Day is set from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 9 at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station.
This year’s program will include a plant swap, the annual plant sale, children’s activities, commercial and educational exhibits, educational presentations, concessions and the plant diagnostic center.
Tours at 10 a.m. and noon will showcase some of the research at the station.
The event is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter and the Tangipahoa Parish Master Gardeners Association.
Admission is $5 per vehicle. More information is available from Sandra Benjamin at 985-748-9381 or 985-748-5462.
The research station is located at 21549 Old Covington Highway (La. 1067 off of La. 190).
March 15-16, Covington
The LSU AgCenter and the St. Tammany Master Gardeners will hold their annual Northshore Garden Show and Plant Sale March 15and 16 at the St. Tammany Fairgrounds in Covington.
The show will feature free plant and gardening information by local Master Gardeners, hourly presentations by horticulture experts, more than 35 exhibitor booths, children’s activities and food concessions, said Rusty Batty, LSU AgCenter county agent.
Gates will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Admission is $3 for adults. Children under 12 may enter free.
The event will be held under a pavilion, so weather will not be a problem. Parking is free.
For additional information, contact Batty at 985-875-2635.
March 9-10, Baton Rouge
A weekend full of food, flowers and fun is scheduled for Baton Rouge on March 9 and 10 when the LSU AgCenter presents the 11th annual Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show, the 7th annual Louisiana State and Regional Chili Cook-off and the 4th annual Baton Rouge Spring Car Show.
All of the events will be held in the John M. Parker Coliseum on Highland Road on the LSU campus.
The garden show will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, the chili cook-off will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and the car show will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on March 10.
Admission is $5 for adults; children under 12 will be admitted at no charge. Registration for exhibiting in the car show is $25.
For additional information about the garden show contact Amy Blanchard at 225-578-2222. For chili cook-off information contact email@example.com or call 225-806-9306. For car show information, contact George D’Antoni at 225-261-5708 (home) or 225-921-6375 (cell).
March 22-23, Lake Charles
The 14th annual Southwest Louisiana Garden Festival will be held March 22 and 23 at Burton Coliseum.
The festival opens at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. both days. Admission is $3, but children age 12 and younger are free.
“The garden festival is a wholesome, educational environment and the perfect activity to bring together friends and families,” said LSU AgCenter horticulturist Robert Turley.
The Federated Garden Clubs of Southwest Louisiana will have a flower show. Vendors will have garden-related products for sale, and LSU AgCenter experts will be available to diagnose plant problems and answer questions. Also, 4-H Club members will be available for a fee to help haul plants to vehicles.
Master Gardeners will present a preview party, gumbo supper and silent auction at 6 p.m. March 21 in the Chalkley Room of Burton Coliseum. Tickets are $10 and can be obtained from the LSU AgCenter Extension Office adjacent to the Burton Coliseum parking lot.
For more information, contact Turley at 337-475-8812.
April 6-7, New Orleans
The New Orleans 2012 Spring Garden Show will be held at the City Park Botanical Garden from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. April 6 and 7.
Master Gardeners and LSU AgCenter horticulture experts will be available to answer questions from homeowners, who also may bring soil samples for analysis by the LSU AgCenter’s Soil Testing Lab. The cost for each one-pint soil sample is $10, payable by check or money order.
As with past shows, exhibits and sales booths will be featured throughout the garden. And 4-H members will be helping in the kids’ discovery area.
Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 5 to 12. Children under five and members of Friends of City Park may enter for free.
The New Orleans Spring Garden Show is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter in cooperation with the Metro Area Horticulture Foundation and the New Orleans Botanical Garden.
More information about the spring garden show is available from LSU AgCenter horticulture agents Andrew Loyd at 504-483-9471 and J.B. Anders at 504-736-6519.
May 4, Houma
The TARC Garden and Market Festival in Houma will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 4 at the TARC-Houma Airbase.
The event will feature plant, lawn and garden vendors; speakers; educational displays; live entertainment; concessions and the Ask the Experts booth with LSU horticulture specialists.
Admission is $3 at the gate, and children under 5 enter free.
More information about the spring garden and market festival is available from Barton Joffrion at 985-873-6495.