March Gardening Guide.~

Start winter cleanup of the lawn when the grass is no longer sopping wet and planting beds stop being a sea of mud. Rake your lawn to get rid of dead growth, winter debris and let light and air to the soil level.

  • Re-seed bare or damaged patches of lawn. Scratch up the soil with a rake first. Mix a shovel of Bumper Crop with a couple of scoops of grass seed and spread in the patch you're fixing.
  • Remove tree guards or burlap winter protection from any young trees or shrubs. They don't allow enough air movement around the base of the trunk and that can promote rot of the bark.
  • Apply dormant oil spray to fruit trees, magnolias, crabapples and shrubs such as euonymous to control scale insects and other overwintering pests. Use Master Nursery Horticultural Year Round Spray Oil. Apply when temperatures are between 40 and 70 degrees F (4-21 degrees C).
  • Garden tool maintenance is an on going function of good gardening. Just as no one wants to be known as Not Being the Sharpest Tool in the Shed, a dull, poorly maintained garden tool will cause you to do more work and disseminates diseases.

    The lawn mower is probably the biggest perpetrator. A dirty lawn mower under carriage disseminates disease from your last use or from its last lawn. Dull blades will cause the leaf blades of your lawn to be torn instead of being cut cleanly. This slows the healing process; weakens the plant and allows for much easier access to disease. Secateurs or Hand pruners, Hedge Shears, Grass Shears, Loppers should be cleaned, sharpened and lubricated each spring.When sharpening the blades sharpen only the cutting blade. The blades are sharpened on the beveled side. Clean with soapy water and dry by hand. Lubricate with olive oil or mineral oil.

    Clean up and trim back any remaining dead perennial foliage from last season (trimmings can go into the compost).

  • Cut back ornamental grasses to about 10 inches from the ground.
  • Remove winter protection of mounded earth from roses. Prune rose bushes before they start to leaf out.
  • Grass growth is vigorous in the early spring garden, so edge your flower beds with a sharp trench between them and the grass to keep it in bounds. Repeat this job a couple of times through the season, or installing permanent edging goes a long way towards having a lower maintenance flower garden.

    Place birdhouses outside this month. Clean out any existing houses for new bird families to move in. It's time for starting seeds. We carry seed starting kits and a full range of seed packets.

    Add some Color to Your Outdoor Planters and Pots with some Pansies! Pansies can withstand the cooler unpredictable temperatures of March!

    Happy Gardening!