March In Your Garden
Liriope and mondo grass ravaged by the
winter cold should be cut back to 1 inch at the beginning of March.
Fertilize your shrubs and trees using
an all-purpose fertilizer such as 10-10-10.
It is time to plant cool-weather vegetables.
Set out perennials and divide and
transplant mature, existing perennials.
Prune the old and damaged wood off your
Prune camellia bushes after they bloom.
Prune hydrangeas; root prune if they
are old and not blooming well.
Plant trees, shrubs, fruit trees, and
Begin regular spray program as plants
start into active growth.
Stimulate pecan growth by applying 1
pound of aluminum sulfate per inch of trunk diameter for established
Remember to let spring foliage die back
on your bulbs before removing because it provides food for next year's
Fertilize established fescue lawns and
core if needed. Plant new lawns in fescue before the end of March.
Renew mulch in flower beds and under trees
and shrubs. A layer of mulch 2-4 inches thick will reduce weed
problems and protect against moisture loss.
Tip of the Month
For bird lovers
who own cats, locating a bird feeder can be a problem. You might feel
that you are offering up the birds on a silver platter to your cat. Try
locating your feeder in the middle of some sturdy rose bushes. If hybrid
teas are too tall for what you have in mind, try some of the shorter shrub
roses. The thorny roses will discourage your cat from getting too close
Repair, fertilize, and aerate established
turf grass lawns. You can plant Bermuda grass or Centipede grass now
on new lawn areas. Mow winter grass very low.
Fertilize azaleas and camellias after
Prune and feed those roses! Start your
regular spray program.
Mark clumps of daffodils so crowded
they have ceased to bloom. Dig these next July.
Encourage foliage of spring-flowering bulbs
to remain green as long as possible. Water and fertilize. Do not cut until
foliage dies. Set out annuals to conceal maturing foliage.
Plant annuals, vegetables, shrubs, trees,
strawberries, perennials, and half-hardy summer-flowering bulbs.
Caladiums should not be set out until temperatures remain above 40 degrees
around the clock.
As soon as you notice new growth from
the crown of your hardy water lily, it is time to divide it.
Tip of the Month
When planting cell packs of annuals in borders, beds, or containers,
keep a bucket of water nearby. With the
plants still in the plastic packet, submerge the six-pack, and let it soak
up water. Then remove the packet from the bucket, and allow it to drain
before planting. Now you can loosen the roots with less damage, and the
flowers will transition into soil better.
Soil = Better Garden
Good soil absolutely means lusher growth, less fertilizing, fewer
pests, and stronger plants. When starting out with awful soil, you have
three options - dig out and replace the original soil; build raised beds
filled with new soil atop the original soil; or improve the original soil.
The first option is is both time-consuming and expensive. Either of the
other two will work well with less cost and effort.
If you are amending your existing soil you will
need good, clean, loose, dark topsoil. Topsoil isn't enough by itself,
however, it usually lacks the organic matter that most plants crave. Add
sphagnum peat moss or composted manure to supplement the topsoil. Then add
a layer of sand. Sand loosens the soil and aids aeration and drainage. Use
a heavy-duty roto-tiller to mix these ingredients together and you are
ready to plant.