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Moving to New Orleans...

Posted by xanthus1 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 20, 06 at 16:44

I'm relocating to New Orleans from Chicago, IL (not sure when yet, waiting for house sale) and was wondering if anyone could recommend books, magazines, etc that will help educate me on gardening in the South. Chicago is Zone 5 and the warmest I've ever lived is Zone 6... so this a big change for me! I'm really excited about all the new plants I will be able to grow and any help or advice would be much appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

Southern Living Magazine always has great garden articles, plus they put out a yearly gardening book as well. Other than peonies and lilacs, there isn't much we can't grow here. You are going to find post Katrina New Orleans quite different if you have ever visited before. But it does help that crime is down 86%.

Betty


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

You'll find a lot of information here--but slowly! We'll be happy to have someone new to ask questions. I'd also recommend Louisiana Gardener magazine, and there are some excellent books. Depends somewhat on what your interests are. LSU has excellent information. I moved here from Nebraska (thought I'd died and gone to heaven, tho' sometimes in the summer I wonder if maybe it's the other place!) and I found absolutely the best source of information to be people who'd been gardening here for some time, maybe all their lives, and were reasonably serious about it (or passionately addicted!) You'll love it, and as you say there are many, many new plants you couldn't grow in Chicago. You may want to spend some time visiting nurseries to see what's available, and if they offer lilacs or bearded iris, go somewhere else!


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

greenelbows, I have to say, I've taken some bearded iris in trade the last couple of years and had some beautiful blooms this year. I have a white one that was here when I moved in 5 years ago, that has bloomed every year starting in January. But I can't even get a peonie that was cultivated for the south to put out a bloom, won't even try lilacs even though there are now supposed to be some southern cultivars. If you love roses, the antique roses, chinas, teas, and noisettes love the south. For sweet smellies, we have gardenia, jasmine, butterfly ginger, night blooming jasmine. On and on.

Betty


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

Check out the LA extension service website. I also enjoy listening to Dan Gill the local extension agent. He appears on TV fairly regularly, has a radio program and responds to your e-mails. Keep in mind that the soil and growing conditions on the Northshore are a good bit different from the Southshore and New Orleans proper.

Good Luck and Welcome. You'll love our Creole Tomatos, Citrus, Strawberries, Figs, Merliton, Watermelons,and Seafood.


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

Gotta ask alblancher, what do you find different in the growing conditions from north to southshore. I lived on the south shore for 30 years, on the north shore for the past 12, and grow exactly the same things I did there. Just curious.

Betty


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

Great book is Charlotte Seidenberg's The New Orleans Garden:Gardening in the Gulf South. Used it often as a reference when I started gardening in New Orleans 10 years ago. Also, Southern Living Gardening Book and Dan Gill's Louisiana Gardeners Guide.
cajunmama


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

Betty, about the bearded iris--yes, there are some that do well here. But when I lived in Nebraska I belonged to two Iris Societies, and what grows here are the old diploids. The newer ones are not really on the same wavelength, and I also preferred the little ones--miniature, dwarf, and intermediate bearded, which are hardier and less able to live here. And I went into a 'leading' nursery here, and they had bins of beautiful bearded iris more like the ones we grew up there, for sale at the wrong time of year for planting, and I had been told I couldn't grow them here 'but with those beautiful Louisianas you'll never miss them', and I really haven't. But I kinda questioned the nursery folks as to the bad timing and the wisdom of trying to grow them, and maybe I came across as not properly unquestioning of their superior knowledge, but I didn't come away with a very positive feeling about them either.


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

That may be the answer greenelbows, all that I have are considered heirlooms. The white one was here when I moved into the house, and I have divided it a few times and spread it around. I have found that they need very well drained soil. I recieved a beautiful yellow as a gift from a friend who also lives in the same zone. But I had lavender, purple, bronze and gold, as well as the white and yellow, bloom this year. Now I know not to bother with the new cultivars, but that's ok, I love the fragrance of the heirlooms.

Betty


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

Betty,

I agree you can grow the same plants on both the N and S shore but the plants have to be treated differently. I currently live north of Franklinton.

Oak Tree leaves vs Pine needle mulch

During the winter the northshore can be 10 - 15 degrees cooler with significantly more freezes. The further away from the lake the greater the temperature changes.

My figs die back during the winter, never had that problem in Metairie or in Plaquemines Parish.

At the farm we have well drained, sandy soil that needs to be heaviy ammended with organics vs fine alluvial soil that will sprout a dropped toothpick.

Last but not least My tomatos just never taste quite as good as the "creoles" we get from friends

Al


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

  • Posted by danbo 8b MS Coast (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 25, 06 at 7:31

What you can grow in New Orleans but can't on the north shore.

Used to live below the French Quarter in Bywater. Though I'm not now on the north shore but the Mississippi Coast Just above the Bay Of St Louis.
In Bywater I had a huge Bouganvilla that almost coverd my old Creole cottage. Though the occasional frost did give it trouble in winter. Every spring and summer I was blessed with all that color. I've tried to grow Bougainvilla several times here. Every winter the frost kills it.

Xanthus. Welcome to the deep south. Seems around Thanksgiving or at least by Christmas you'll start seeing the 1st of the early Camillia blooming. Then the mid season and late season Camilias. Oh you have to plant your pansy's and petunia early to get rooted before the frost. They'll be gone the 1st of summer. The Camillias will be followed, by the oriental Magnolias. They by the Louisiana phlox, azelias and on the north shore and Mississippi dogwood. Then the Louisiana Irises. Amaryliss. Then you're headed into warm weather. And we have the tropicals. Then you look for an air conditioner to stand next to till fall where it begins again. What did I leave out?


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

xanthus my favorite gardening book is The Southern living Garden Book. I call it my "bible" for gardening. I also really enjoy a book from the Audubon Society called National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southeastern States. If you are interested in native animals, butterflies, reptiles, insects, plants and anything you find here, it's a great book for identifying them. My daughter and I have had countless hours identifying native plants in the woods.


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

Thanks all for the wonderful information, I'm going to get a few of the books that were recommended and I can't wait to start reading. I've been back twice since the storm and it is different in appearance, but the people are exactly the same (which I'm happy about). I was just there 2 weeks ago to look at houses, we are looking in Bywater/Marigny area. My realtor told me that there are high concentrations of lead in the soil and because of that it's better to plant your vegetables and herbs in pots instead of in beds. Just wondering if this was true and what your thoughts were on it. I look forward to being able to grow my herbs, tomatoes, and peppers (even if it's only for 2 months up here) and I'm hoping I won't have to stop. I can't imagine trying to grow vegetables and such in pots in the deep south, I'm afraid I'd have to quit my job and take up watering full time!


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

I've had wonderful success with the very large self-watering pots sold by Gardeners Supply, I think their name is. First got them thinking maybe I'd be able to grow some z8 things because in pots their roots would be less insulated, but found they were especially good for growing a lot of things that need good drainage (funny in a self-watering pot, huh?) I've had things that came through the winter even tho' they're not supposed to be hardy here, so I suspect the drainage thing may be just as important as the temperatures.


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

I hadn't heard about the high concentrations of lead etc. in New Orleans. I know that in St. Bernard and Plaquemine there was a lot of oil spills. Have your soil tested before you start planting.

Betty


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

I am just west of New Orleans. My website has my garden logs which should be similar. I have a books pages, and a links page which you might find interesting. Beware, I am a common gardener. Lots of common names and not terribly scientific. It is the log of an amateur gardener's trials and tribulations. Hey, but I have a whole lot of fun learning.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden Log


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RE: Moving to New Orleans...

  • Posted by danbo 8b MS Coast (My Page) on
    Wed, May 17, 06 at 21:45

Had an old creole cottage in Bywater. Built about 1835. Loved that house.

Lead may very well be a potential problem. The houses in Bywater and Marigny are old. The newer houses are about a hundred years old, There was a lot of lead paint.

You could use raised beds also. Hauling in soil. The soil in that part of town is so good. (Looks like h---. But everythings grows so well.) Didn't usually grow tomatoes or herbs, but usually had a great crop of mirletons. And that boganvillia.


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