By Marné Deranger
Do you have a green thumb or do plants shudder at the sound of your name? Me, I’ve moved 13 times and killed plants in six states. When I decided to “put down roots” in North Louisiana, I knew something had to change. Luckily, I discovered the LSU AgCenter and the Master Gardener Association of Natchitoches Parish.
Hopefully, you already know about the LSU Ag Center. You know to send you soil to them for testing and analysis before attempting to plant or change anything in your landscape. You know when and where to plant based on their pamphlets. You pounce on anything written by Dan Gill. But did you know about the Master Gardeners?
According to LSU AgCenter’s website, “The Louisiana Master Gardener Program is a volunteer development program offered by the LSU AgCenter. Master Gardener volunteers are highly trained and provide proven, research-based educational programs to Louisiana residents.” I think the Master Gardeners are more than that. They are a community of classes, lectures, contacts, resources, and a network available for advice on anything green…or anything that should be green, and isn’t.
Come see your parish Master Gardeners. Sit in on meetings (second Wednesday of each month at the Art Center) and listen to guest speakers. Admire the vegetable gardens they help maintain at the Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic site (historically accurate) and many local school gardens. Swing by their booth at Blooming on the Bricks Saturday, March 18 and ask them gardening questions. Better yet, become a Master Gardener yourself. Swing by your Parish Extension office at 624 Second Street, and sign up for the course (if there’s enough interest, a class may be held in May or June).
To keep up to date on what your Natchitoches Parish Master Gardeners are doing, and receive daily tips and information on Northern Louisiana gardening, “like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NatchitochesMasterGardener/