March In Your Garden

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! This could be an interesting year ahead with most plants springing to life about 5 weeks early!!!!

Weed
Sigh.

Lawns
Aerate, topdress with sand or soil as needed. Overseed any dead patches. If you haven't done so already - lime. Lime makes the soil less acidic and therefore helps to reduce the occurence of moss. Dolopril Lime is the traditional favourite but have a look at the Way-To-Grow Brand Organic Lime made from eggshells. It's an excellent option thats good for your lawn and the environment!

Time to make that long distance phone call to any friends or relatives you have back east so that they might enjoy the sound of your lawn mower. Yes, I said mow. If you don't have any friends or relatives back east you can phone mine. They love the sound of mowing…don't let their anguished mutterings in french deter you.

Towards the end of the month you can fertilize with a good spring lawn food like Art's Triple-17 with Iron. Why Iron? Its a greening agent that makes your lawn colour deep and beautiful.

Pruning
Normally I'd say March is a great time to prune, but this year I'm really pushing my luck pruning my fruit trees this week, I can see the Gravenstein is about to bloom!!! You can still squeeze in a little tidy up of some shrubs if they are still dormant. I use the Forsythia as my timeclock. While it is still in bloom you can do a little clean up of your shrubs. I think you are pushing your luck to do too much more than that. Avoid pruning Maples or Birch, it is too late for them. You will have another shot at thining your Birch or Maples again in August when the sap has slowed. Any deciduous ornamental grasses can be cut back. I did a little thinning on my roses even though they were leafing up. Your mantra for pruning is only remove dead, damaged, crossing, rubbing or broken branches. The tree or shrub should not look like it has been pruned. It should just look more open.

Check the International Society of Arboriculture website for guidelines or check with your local gardening club or come and visit us for some pruning tips. Hedge trimming can be done now. Trim your Heather once the blooms have finished for a nice dense shrub.

Planting!!
Now is a great time to be planting new trees, shrubs and perennials. New stock is coming in to Art's and keep your eyes open for those hard to find plants. Bareroot fruit trees are in and the new Camellias and Daphne. You can also get your veggie and flower garden ready and sow those sweet peas. Start your tomatoes inside in the grow trays. There are amazing varieties and starting from seed is easy peasy. You can also pick up your garlic and onion sets. The strawberry and raspberry starts should be in soon. Seed peas, cabbage, swiss chard, cauliflower and other cool season veggies. You could try some salad green in a pot on your porch too! Now normally we'd get off to a more sedate pace, but jeepers, look at the weather!!!

Bulbs
If you ran out of time to plant your bulbs, don't sweat it, we've got some great spring colour potted up for you. When they're done blooming, just bring them round to the back yard give them a bit of bulb food and let the leaves die down naturally. This is the number one rule for bulbs!!! Don't cut the leaves or tie them in lovely bows. They are making food for next years bloom. If you do mess with the leaves you will get smaller and smaller blooms each successive year. If you've placed your bulbs in pots, just bring the pots round to the back to die down.

Art's has their selection of summer bulbs and corms like Dahlias, Lilies, Glads in-stock now. Now is the best selection to buy them. Some of the plants in the packages can go in right now like the Hostas and ferns and other hardy perennials. I'd wait a bit to put the Dahlia's and Glads in though. Check the package timing and you can probably put them in a good 2-3 weeks early this year.

Ponds
Check and do any additional cleaning, clipping and skimming needed. Watch your fish and begin feeding once they are active. New water plants will be in-stock soon!

Fertilize
Feed your Rhodo's, and other acid loving plants with a fertilizer designed for these types of plants like GardenPro Rhodo & Azalea Food.

Apply lime around the dripline of your fruit trees. By mid-month fertilize your deciduous trees and shrubs with a good slow release fertilizer.

Top dress your garden beds with compost or mulch. Remember never raise it up more than 3 inches or you will stress your plants.

Oh yes…Weed some more.

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8940 192nd Street,
Surrey, BC, Canada,
V4N 3W8

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