Recently, a gardener came to the AgCenter to ask a question about his vegetable garden. He planted sweet potatoes, and while planting, he added Sevin to the soil to control the sweet potato weevil.

Apparently, he was having second thoughts about what he had done and asked if it was safe to place the Sevin in the soil with his sweet potatoes. The label for Sevin discusses applying this insecticide as a preplant dip for SP slips or as a foliar spray. There is no recommendation for a soil application.

However, this gardener, depending on his variety, will harvest in 90 to 120 day, and the Sevin will be inactive by harvest so the sweet potatoes will be safe to eat. The lesson here is to read the label of each pesticide you use, and then you can use the product safely.

Another gardener had read her label and wanted to convert the rates to her scale of gardening. Her label described applying her product in term of gallons per acres, and she asked for guidance for the correct rate. First, AHA commended this gardener for her responsible use of the label. We came up with an answer for her question about rates for her garden, and she seemed pleased with the solution. Again, the lesson is to read the label, and when there is a question, feel free to call your local AgCenter to help solve your issue.

Nancy of Leesville sent an artistic image and an email message: "Hi! I got your email address from your article in the Leesville paper. I wonder if you can ID these flowers. I can't find them in any of my flower books or online. The flowers look like the lily family, but the leaves and stem remind me of a carnation. They are blooming right now on Blackmon road in Vernon Parish, in a shady area, if that helps.”

The flower in this image is a parrot lily, a plant from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. As introduced plants go, the parrot lily seems to be less aggressive than other exotic plants so gardeners may be tolerant of this attractive plant.

Brenda send her email with several images, and she share her frustration about a certain weed: “I am battling this devil weed as I call it!   It is a field bindweed. It began last year in our garden and choked out the corn and most of our peas that were planted. It seemed to come up around the corn and peas so I am leaning toward the weed being attached to the seed but cannot be sure.  From everything that we have read the garden would have to be sprayed with a strong herbicide to get rid of it and continue to do so for several years. “She also share her reluctance to use herbicide on her garden plants including her corn and peas.

The name of this weed is small flower morning glory (SFMG). This is a good news and bad news story. The good news is the corn can be salvaged with the herbicide called atrazine. Atrazine is also good for any other broad-leaf weeds in corn. However, control of SFMG will entail treating the whole infested area including peas and beans. SFMG may require repeated treatment for total control.

Thomas sent his picture and his email complaint: “It seems that something is attacking my peas but I can’t find anything. What does it look like to you? “

Pea plants have suffered from an attack by thrips, a tiny, soft bodied, cigar-shaped insect. Thrips would be 1/8 inch or less in size. The presence of thrips in flowers at early bloom may result in poor fruit set due to pollination interference by thrips feeding. Thrips have rasping mouthparts and then feed on plants juices. The damage to foliage is mostly cosmetic.

If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337-463-7006 or Also, please share the name of your parish.