IN THE YARD: Vegetable garden

There are lots of things that can be planted in the vegetable garden this month.

A short list includes collards, eggplant, okra, spinach and squash.

It’s a good time to be planting herbs, too, and some of those include basil, mint and oregano.

Check with the LSU AgCenter’s website,, for more candidates.

Summertime is also a good time to plant palms in the yard; just be sure to keep them watered, the center says.

The homegrown tomato harvest is coming in, as well, this month.

A friend said that some creature, larger than an insect and with a bigger appetite, too, had been eating the bottoms of her tomatoes that were just waiting to be picked.

Someone advised her to put plastic snakes in the garden to scare away the intrepid tomato taster, and she gave it a try.

Four plastic snakes and about a week later, her tomatoes are staying intact on the vine.

If you’ve found a way to keep unwanted mystery guests from your garden, send me an email at

I’d like to start canvassing for a “creative scarecrow” picture feature in the future, so you’re welcome to send such photos to the above email address, too.

Incidentally, tomatoes can be picked during the pink stage and ripened inside at room temperature, and you don’t have to put them on a window sill, either, says the LSU AgCenter.

GARDEN STORIES: At 10:30 a.m. Monday, children ages 3 to 6 can listen to gardening stories at the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd., then decorate a biodegradable flower pot afterward.

Space is limited, so the library asks that parents register by calling (225) 231-3760.

GARDEN FEST: On Saturday, enjoy a morning out at the Garden Fest at the Burden Center on Essen Lane.

It’s the second year for the event that’s held in the Botanic Gardens research area of the center.

Activities will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include hayrides; tastings of tomatoes, watermelon and more; food and beverages, and a “Red Stick Idol” singing contest.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 4 to 10, with children under 3 admitted free. For more information, call (225) 763-3990.

Ellyn Couvillion

Advocate staff writer