Orchids, composting are subject of September 27 Master Gardener Talks

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Rehn and other local orchid enthusiasts grow these tropical beauties without a greenhouse.

The East Baton Rouge Master Gardener (EBRMG) Association will offer presentations on “Growing Orchids Without a Greenhouse” and “Composting” on Thursday, September 27, at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library (EBRPL) Main Branch (7711 Goodwood Boulevard). The talks, which are scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., are free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

In the first presentation, “Growing Orchids Without a Greenhouse,” Louisiana Master Gardener (LMG) Terry Rehn reviews the wide array of orchids that have become available in recent years. He explains how to evaluate a plant’s health and how to care for orchids so they thrive and rebloom. “Many people assume it’s difficult to care for orchids or that you need a greenhouse to grow them,” Rehn says. He says they are actually quite carefree if you follow a few simple rules and will offer examples of local gardeners who grow orchids successfully without greenhouse.

LMG Bob Dillemuth will follow with a presentation on “Home Composting,” explaining the process of converting ordinary yard trimmings, food scraps, and other organic waste into free, nutritious soil amendments. “As the general community has become more environmentally conscious, gardeners are increasingly turning to composting as a way to reduce their reliance on yard chemicals,” Dillemuth says. “Composting is also a great alternative for recycling many types of home waste without sending it to a landfill.”

Rehn and Dillemuth are lifelong gardening enthusiasts who completed the LMG program in 2011 and 2006, respectively. Both are active in both the EBRMG Association and the Friends of Hilltop Arboretum. The program is the 11th event in the EBRMG association’s 2018 Library Series of gardening presentations, which has visited seven East Baton Rouge Parish Library (EBRPL) locations over the course of the year (the Main Library as well as the Bluebonnet, Carver, Central, Fairwood, Jones Creek, and Zachary branches).

Each program includes two presentations on topics requested by Library Series attendees and/or recommended by researchers for their importance and relevance to home gardening in this region. The final program in the 2018 series. The series concludes at the Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library at 6:30 p.m. October 25 with presentations on “Landscaping a Small Yard” and “A Year in the Garden with Bulbs.”

Library Series presentations are delivered by EBRMGs, all of whom have completed a Master Gardener curriculum through the LSU Agcenter’s or elsewhere in the United States. For additional information on the 2019 Louisiana Master Gardener course, contact Lee Rouse, assistant county agent for East Baton Rouge Parish, by email ( or phone (225-389-3055).

The Library Series is an avenue for LMGs to help extend the LSU Agcenter’s mission to share research-based educational information with the people of Louisiana and promote a love of gardening. The EBRMGA Educational Presentations Committee coordinates both the Library Series and the Great Garden Speakers (GGS) program, which offers free garden talks to garden clubs and nonprofits throughout East Baton Rouge Parish on request.

The EBRMG association also conducts plant health clinics at local garden centers and the Red Stick Market, works with school and community gardens throughout East Baton Rouge parish, and conducts a plant sale at the LSU Agcenter Botanic Gardens at Burden each spring.

For additional information on the Fall 2018 EBRMG Library presentations or the association’s other outreach activities, visit the association’s website (

Contributed by EBRMG Association