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Fruit, vegetable field day July 3

The LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center in Baton Rouge, La., will host a tour of fruit and vegetable research and variety trials Saturday, July 3.

This field day has something for everyone, including producers, home gardeners and anyone who just wants to come out and enjoy the gardens at Burden Center, said LSU AgCenter horticulturist Jeff Kuehny.

Tours will begin at the All America Selections Display Garden at Burden and continue with a hayride to the food and fiber research fields. There, LSU AgCenter faculty and staff will explain their latest research on fruits and vegetables as well as variety trials.

“At each of these stations, you will be able to glean the latest information on production in the Deep South, as well as taste the bounty of the summer harvest,” Kuehny said.

Some of the vegetable highlights include variety trials of seedless watermelons and sweet corn with Jimmy Boudreaux and tomato variety trials by Kathryn Fontenot. The two LSU AgCenter horticulturists will provide information on how to grow sweeter corn and larger tomatoes along with best management practices for optimizing production and yield, Kuehny said.

LSU AgCenter horticulturist Charles Johnson will review information on 20 fig varieties he evaluates each year for horticultural characteristics such as fruit size, shape, sugar content and shelf life.

“If you’ve ever considered growing oriental persimmons, you may be interested in Dr. Johnson’s work evaluating this unique fruit for more than 10 years for fruit quality and tree adaptation,” Kuehny said. “He’ll also discuss the marketing aspects of persimmons.”

Another presentation will provide information on which varieties of satsuma are the most cold tolerant and cultural practices that can improve fruit quality. In addition, LSU AgCenter faculty will tell about the 13 varieties of muscadines and seven varieties of bunch grapes that are being evaluated for adaptation to south Louisiana conditions.

The Burden Center is located at the intersection of I-10 and Essen Lane in Baton Rouge.

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