This week’s gardening tips: Lettuce can be direct seeded into the garden now. Good cultivars include Black-seeded Simpson, Oakleaf, Redsails, Cos Romaine, Buttercrunch and many others. There’s still time to plant other greens, such as mustard, collard and turnip.
To remove unattractive foliage, rejuvenate the plants and control growth, clip ground covers now before new growth appears. Liriope, monkey grass, ferns (if browned back by freezes), wedelia, Japanese ardisia and Asiatic jasmine, among others, can be cut back with a lawn mower adjusted to its highest setting (make sure the blade is sharp), a string trimmer or even hedge clippers. Selectively remove unattractive leaves on aspidistra (cast iron plant) and holly ferns by hand.
Pick snow peas frequently. Ideally, the pods should be harvested when flat before the seeds begin to enlarge.
Continue to regularly mow lawns overseeded with annual ryegrass. Warm temperatures and rainfall will make it grow rapidly.
At this time of year, you may find blooming calla lilies available in pots at area nurseries. The white-flowered Zantedeschia aethiopica is a reliable, long-lived perennial here. Plant calla lilies into beds that receive sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. They grow well in wet soil and can be used in aquatic gardens and around ponds.
Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter.