Gardening this weekend? Here’s the best advice from Dan Gil | Home & Garden

With temperatures soaring into the 90s and afternoon rain showers coming quickly and suddenly, New Orleans weather is returning to a familiar summer pattern.

Now it’s time to get your lawn and garden ready for the season with up-to-date tips from expert Dan Gill.

Basil is one of the many things grown at the South Community Garden on S. Pierce Street.

FLAVOR SAVERS: Dan says now is a great time to harvest and preserve spring herbs, and it’s also a good time to plant those that will thrive in the coming heat. See Dan’s checklist here.

And is there anything more satisfying than picking some fragrant herbs from your garden and then preparing a simple summer meal? Our food writer Judy Walker doesn’t think: Here are some recipes that use herbs like basil, mint, and oregano.


A butterfly takes advantage of the pleasant weather at the BREC Botanical Gardens in Independence Park on Monday, October 11, 2021 in Baton Rouge, La.

WINGED THINGS: Colorful butterflies dancing around bright flowers create one of nature’s most dazzling combinations. Dan Gil tells us how to create a butterfly garden at home that not only invites you to visit the delicate creatures, but also looks naturally beautiful.

We know monarch butterflies love milkweed. Be careful though, as some species of spurge can do more harm than good to monarchs. Dan explains why that is and how to do it Make sure your milkweed is safe.

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dr Pamela Autrey, left, holds the plant in place while Amelia Young, right, moves soil to hold it in place. Autrey is a preschool teacher who uses a garden to facilitate classes not only on plants and food but also math and other subjects at the Belfair Montessori Magnet School at 4451 Fairfields Avenue on Thursday October 7, 2021 in Baton Rouge , La, to improve.

DO’S AND DONTS OF DIRT: Well-drained soil, now filled with the right nutrients, means a lush, full garden later. Dan Gil has the facts how to supplement your soil and what you absolutely do not have to do to make your garden grow.

Chocolate mint growing in a container in the backyard garden with ornamental and editable plants at the home of Ryan Houlihan and Jennifer Jane in New Orleans, photographed on Sunday, August 2, 2020.

And what about expensive potting soil from the store? You don’t have to go out and get everything new every year. Your container garden can continue to produce well with a few simple additions to the soil. Read all about it here.

I love cooking with herbs and I think they are worth the effort of growing them. Fresh herbs add so much to the flavor of our cuisine.

Ounce for ounce, herbs are the most useful plants to cultivate. You can put them in almost anything except cream sauce. Well maybe you have…

The human eye is strongly attracted to bright colors. When you look at a garden, the first thing you will see are the colorful flower beds. Our eye…

Gardening columnist Dan Gill answers readers’ questions each week. To submit a question, email Gill at

Get the most out of your garden soil: Dan Gill explains the do's and don'ts of managing content

There are several problems when dealing with soil when gardening. Gardeners quickly learn that bed preparation techniques and soil properties p…

Gardening columnist Dan Gill answers readers’ questions each week. To submit a question, email Gill at

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