The Botanic Gardens at Burden is a unique part of the LSU AgCenter in that it conducts both research and outreach on horticultural, agronomic, coastal and wetlands plants as part of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station and Extension Service. In line with our Mission, our research explores the subjects of Food and Fiber and Ornamental, Turf and Coastal horticulture.
Food and Fiber Research Facility
Sweet potato researchers at the Botanic Gardens are studying host-plant resistance to sweet potato weevils and banded cucumber beetles. Other research includes screening lines from the AgCenter breeding program for resistance to major diseases and determining the role of viruses in the decline in yield and quality of sweet potato varieties.
Fruits and vegetables
Other researchers use the facility to evaluate performance of varieties of strawberries, mayhaws, figs, peaches and pawpaws while vegetable studies include tomato variety performance and new technologies and practices to improve the profitability for small and medium-scale fresh-market producers.
Sustainable vegetable production
Sustainable agriculture research includes organic vegetable production, summer and winter cover crops, production practices and variety trials. Extension demonstration projects feature field days and organic vegetable production demonstrations.
Ornamental, Turf and Coastal Research Facility
Ornamental research includes research on production of woody, herbaceous annuals and perennials and landscape maintenance and management.
The turfgrass research program focuses on erosion control, non-point source pollution and native grasses. The model garden at the Botanic Gardens will provide Louisiana’s educators a place to learn about gardening as well as educational and nutritional activities that tie a garden to the state curriculum. This model garden will also provide a location for youth related organizations and individual families to experience outdoor education focusing on vegetable, herb, and butterfly garden plantings. Activities will be tied to the Louisiana Grade Level Expectations (La GLE’s).
This program's work is based on selection of improved coastal plants for enhanced establishment and growth to prevent coastal erosion and stabilization of the Gulf Coast.
Outreach programming at Burden Center is primarily conducted through the Botanical Gardens by AgCenter extension personnel and associated organizations. The Garden Fest at Burden Center is an annual field day for producers and the general public highlighting the horticulture research conducted at Botanic Gardens.
USDA Specialty Crops Research
The intent of the USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) is to promote collaboration, open communication, the exchange of information, and the development of resources that accelerate application of scientific discovery and technology to solving needs of the various specialty crop industries. Specialty crops are defined in law as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.