Archive for June, 2014

2014 Beauregard Master Gardener Graduates

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2014 Beauregard Master Gardener Graduates

2014 BPMG CLASS 1

Congratulations to MG Grads

Graduates are listed in alphabetic order:

 

Lisa Ann Clark
Steve Coleman
Heather Grimes
Paige LeBeau
Paul LeBeau
Marguerite McNeely
Jennifer Newbury
Steven Newbury
Judy Newman
Kay Nyros
Darline Parish
Gary Parish
Byron Redger
Violet Redger
Evan Scoggins
Niki Scoggins
Elizabeth Smith
Jeff Solinsky
Darla Solinsky
Diana Todd
Ronald Weathersby

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Inspection of Hives on Saturday, May 17 th, 2014

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Inspection of JEC’s Bee Hives on Saturday May 17, 2014

Banks Hive 1

One Brood Box with 10 frames on bottom with inner cover and top.

This is split swarm from Ronnie Banks house.   Only 12 bees around hive now, one roach, several small ants, basically empty. Need bees and queen for this hive.

Hebert Hive

One Brood Box on bottom and one brood box on top. Ten frames each.

Calm bees, working hard, three frames in top box full, all frames in bottom box full of bees, working well.

Shirley Hive

One brood box on bottom and one brood box on top.

Bees all working, Bottom box full of bees. Top box 75 % so added super to top brood box. Tallow blooms are not quite open yet.

Banks 2 Hive

Calm bees, but not a lot. This is second of swarm from Ronnie Banks House.

Have only one brood box with inner and top lid. Only 8 frames in box need to add two more frames.

Carollyn Hive

Calm bees, one brood box about 50 percent full. Put inner and outer cover on lower brood box. Working bees.

 

Much Obliged  

Jimmy Earl 

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SWLA Beekeepers May 2014 Meeting

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The Southwest Louisiana Beekeepers Association met on May 4th at the WMCC.  President Richard Herbert discussed starting a beehive, the pros and cons.  Obtain your starter bees from a reputable supplier, a swarm, or split from a large healthy hive.  Place bee hive in full sun, near water, not near neighbors, convinent area, and check bees generally weekly.  Talllow trees produce the largest nectar flow in Beauregard Parish, from late May to early June – approx a 2 week period.
The next SWLA Beeks meeting will be the first Monday in June where harvesting and tasting local honey honey will be demonstrated.  Hot Biscuits will be served with the honey.  YALL COME!    Jec

 

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Toxins in Mulch – Allelopathic Phytochemicals

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Toxins in Mulch – Allelopathic Phytochemicals

By George Giltner, MS, Adv. Master Gardener

Select your choice of mulch wisely!  Remember that when leaf, bark, wood, nut stem or root mulch is placed around vegetation, you are essentially placing organic chemicals within the living space of growing plants.  When many of these compounds are not decomposed, they perform their original function as a competition inhibitor or toxin.  Think of plants as competitors in a continuous battle for nutrients, water, sunlight, and space.  “Better living through chemistry” is how they win.

Pliny the Elder, a roman scholar, observed that walnut trees were toxic to other plants.  As history repeats itself, gardeners have experienced the effect of juglone, the chemical allelopathic compound of walnut trees that is responsible for reduced growth or death of surrounding plants.  Juglone is concentrated in the buds, nut hulls, and roots, but it is also present in leaves and other plant parts.

Tomatoes, peppers, and other Solanaceous plants are very susceptible to juglone’s effect as a respiration inhibitor.  The plants will exhibit symptoms as wilting, yellowing, and eventual death.  Plants that are sensitive to juglone include apple, azalea, blackberry, blueberry, chrysanthemum, pine, potato, rhododendron, thyme, and many others.  However plants that are resistant to juglone include beets, carrots, corn, snap beans, melons, onions, etc.  Yet these plants may exhibit some degree of toxicity.

Trees related to walnuts, such as hickories, pecans, and English walnuts also produce juglone, but in smaller quantities.  These trees are responsible for pollen allergies in humans and horses.  Horses may even be affected by walnut wood chips when it is used as a bedding material.

Aerobic composting of leaves is effective in degrading juglone and other allelochemicals.  Moisture, mixing, temperature, and microbial action are factors that determine the degree of decomposition to non-toxic levels which can occur in as little as three weeks.  However, it would be safer to allow 6 months of complete decomposition time before using this compost.  Also maintain high organic matter around plants to produce microbial populations that can metabolize toxins.  Twigs, chips, and sawdust from walnut trees are harder to digest, therefore it is best to avoid using them for mulch, compost, or bedding material.

Another allelotoxin is ailanthone from the ‘Tree-Of-Heaven’, Ailanthus altissima.  This tree plant toxin has potent post-emergence herbicidal activity and poses a serious weed problem in urban areas.  Sorghum produces sorgolene in most species which disrupts photosynthesis.  Therefore it is being extensively researched as a weed suppressant.  There are many other allelopathic species which include grasses like Rice, Tall Fescue, some Perennial Rye, woody plants as Cherry, Sycamore, Rhododenderon, Elderberry, Fragrant Sumac, and even Pea (Pisum sativum), Goldenrod,  that have allelotoxins.

One way to test for allelopathy is to grow seeds in potentially toxic mulches, compost, or soils.  Use side by side control pots with “clean” soil as a control.  Over time observe germination, growth rate, length of stem and roots, color of leaves, etc. for any sign of toxicity.  “Use What Works” to avoid problems!

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