All Food + Farmers Garden + Grow

Start Planting!

Get to gardening as we outline which plants to use, including native and heirloom, and where to get them locally.

Go native

Consider using native plants in your garden. Native plants are those that occur naturally or have existed for many years in an area. These can be trees, flowers, grasses or any other plants.

The advantages to using native plants include:

  • Native plants are acclimated to climate and conditions and require minimal care.
  • Native plants do not require commercial fertilizer or pesticides.
  • Native plants provide food for wildlife and attract birds, butterflies and other helpful insects.

More Info:
Louisiana Native Plant Society
Folsom Native Plant Society’s List of LA Native Plants

Check Out Seeds from the Library

Parkway Partners now has five Seed Libraries offering free seeds (veggies, herbs, & flowers) to community gardens, urban farms, and any community member looking to try out gardening or to test their green thumb on a new variety. Get more information and locations.

The Mid-City branch (at 4140 Canal St.) of the New Orleans Public Library also has a “seed library” where patrons can check out (and keep) more than 400 kinds of vegetable, flower and herb seeds for free. There’s a limit of four seed envelopes every six months, and the library has lots of information on starting a garden.

Local Nurseries (by ZipCode)

Double M Feed Garden Supply
3212 W. Esplanade Ave. Metairie, LA 70002
(504) 835-9800

Laughing Buddha Nursery
4516 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 70002
(504) 887-4336

Perino’s Garden Center, Inc
3100 Veterans Blvd, Metairie, LA 70002
(504) 834-7888

Charvet’s Garden Center
4511 Clearview Pkwy, Metairie, LA 70006
(504) 215-8159

Double M Feed Garden Supply
543 Holmes Blvd. Terrytown, LA 70056
(504) 361-4405

Bantings Nursery
3425 River Road, Bridge City, LA 70094
(504) 436-4343

American Aquatic Gardens
621 Elysian Fields Ave., NOLA 70117
(504) 944-0410

Harold’s Plants of New Orleans
1135 Press Street, New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 947-7554

The Plant Gallery
9401 Airline Drive, NOLA 70118
(504) 488-8887

Jefferson Feed Garden Center
4421 Jefferson Hwy, Jefferson, LA 70121
(504) 733-8572

Double M Feed Garden Supply
8400 Jefferson Hwy, Harahan, LA 70123
(504) 738-5007

New Orleans Botanical Garden Nursery
City Park, NOLA 70124
(504) 482-4888
(List of monthly plant sales)

Bantings Nursery
26300 Highway 190, Lacombe, LA 70445
(985) 882-5550

Month-by-Month Gardening in Louisiana
by Dan Gill
The New Orleans Garden: Gardening in the Gulf South
by Charlotte Seidenberg
Jacques-Felix Lelievre’s New Louisiana Gardener
by Jacques-Felix Lelievre

Heirloom Plants & Seed Saving

An heirloom plant or heritage variety is an open-pollinated cultivar that was commonly grown during earlier periods in human history, but which is not used in modern large-scale agriculture. Since most popular heirloom plants are vegetables, the term heirloom vegetable is often used instead. The trend of growing heirloom plants in gardens has been growing in popularity in the United States and Europe over the last decade.

Before the industrialization of agriculture, a much wider variety of plant foods was grown for human consumption. In modern agriculture in the industrialized world, most food crops are now grown in large, monocultural plots. In order to maximize consistency, few varieties of each type of crop are grown. These varieties are often selected for their productivity, their ability to withstand mechanical picking and cross-country shipping, and their tolerance to drought, frost, or pesticides. Nutrition, flavor, and variety are frequently secondary concerns, if a concern at all.wikipedia

One way to increase heirloom seeds is via seed saving. In agriculture and gardening, seed saving is the practice of saving seeds from open-pollinated vegetables and flowers for use from year to year. This is the traditional way farms and gardens were maintained. Much of the grassroots seed-saving activity today is the work of amateur gardeners, organic farmers, and enthusiasts with environmentalist interests. Open pollination is the key to seed saving. Plants that reproduce through natural means tend to adapt to local conditions, and evolve as reliable performers, particularly in their localities.wikipedia

More Info:

chioggia beet
red burgundy okra
green zebra tomato pics & seeds

Seed Savers Exchange
Seed Savers Exchange is a nonprofit organization that saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage.

The Southern Bulb Company
Southern Bulbs specializes in growing and supplying rare bulbs and other “tried and true” species of bulbs for warm climates.

Southern Seed Legacy
The Southern Seed Legacy maintains a collection of over 460 named varieties of southern heirloom seeds.

Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide
Use this handy guide from the LSU Ag Center to make your seed selections and to guarantee growing success.

Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners
This book by Suzanne Ashworth and Kent Whealy is a complete seed-saving guide that describes specific techniques for saving the seeds of 160 different vegetables.