Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Posted By: in Gardening
viburnum pink dawn

Geez talk about March blowing in like a lion! In one day we’ve had sunshine, gale force winds, rain, sleet, snow and then some sun again. I’m looking forward to March going out like a Lamb! I’ll believe that when I see it. Here is the list:

Gardens
Time to wake up your gardens. Clean up, topdress with compost or well rotted manure. Divide up and move around any perennials that are overgrowing their space. Great time to pot up divisions for sharing. Be mindful of bulbs and overwintering native bees and other pollinating insects. Don’t be too quick to pull out that dandelion…it is a favorite food of bees.

Ensure you have a good range of early blooming bee food such as heather, crocus etc. As the weather improves towards the end of the month and into the beginning of April, you can finalize your clean up by pruning down any dead grasses, twiggy bits etc. This gives any overwintering insects a chance to emerge.

bypass pruners

Shrubs
When the ground is not too waterlogged, March is a great time to move shrubs around or to add new plantings. You can topdress or mulch your shrub borders as well as fertilize your Rhododendrons, blueberrys, conifers etc. by mid month if the weather is promising.

You can prune if you haven’t done so already. It’s a good time to finish up the pruning on your roses. Remember, never remove more than one third of the plant and yes, sometimes that means only one cut Mr. Scissorhands! Check with us for info on proper pruning techniques.

Trees
Finish up the pruning if needed. The same one third rule applies. Prune hedges. If you have a fair amount of pruning needed it would be worthwhile to call a certified arborist. Give us a ring at the nursery and we can direct you to some fantastic folks who know what they are doing! Great time to plant as well.

triple 17 fertilizer

Lawns
Aerate, Topdress and Lime as long as the ground isn’t soggy. If the weather warms up (I’m an optimist) you could even think about a spring fertilizer like Arts Triple 17 with Iron.. If March doesn’t go out like a lamb then you can wait for April for that part.

The aerating and topdressing and liming will keep you busy enough. If it stops snowing and hailing long enough for the grass to grow, start up your mower and then call your relatives back east or on the praries to let them know what you are doing. This never gets old, there has to be some perks to the sky high housing rates and this is one of them.

Veggie Gardens
Many of you right now have little dome houses filled with seedlings in your living room windows, others in the kitchen windows. You are starting to look like a grow op and your neighborhood officer is parked in front of your house.

tomato seeds

This is good. Because right about now you have realized that you have planted too many. Did you really need 30 tomato plants? Start handing out little seedlings to all of your friends, the nice officer, the mail lady and explain that it is a heirloom tomatoe/pepper/etc.

If you haven’t started your seeds yet, you still can get in on the action. Don’t over plant. You can set out your fall sown sweet peas as well as direct seed some hardy veggies such as brussel sprouts, lettuce and even potatoes by mid-end of the month if the ground is not soggy. Here on the wet coast its not so much the cold that prevents us from early planting, but the wet!!

House plantsRepot if needed and start to increase watering and then feeding by the end of the month.

Ponds
Clean up and watch the fish. Feed once they become active. Check pump and fittings.

Propagating
Depending on the plant, this is a good time to take cuttings, layer, graft and divide.

Tools
Brush off the cobwebs and get started. Check sprinklers, hose ends and other tools for damage. The new tools are hitting the shelves as we speak if you just can’t get another year out of that shovel.

Cheers,

Laurelle

Laurelle Olfdord-Down

Laurelle Olfdord-Down

Laurelle is a certified horticulturalist and Landscape designer. She is currently an up and coming apple guru, growing over 120 cultivars which explains her passion for edible garden design. Laurelle works part time for Art’s Nursery. You can also interact with her through Art’s monthly newsletter, our blog and our gardening channel on YouTube.


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