Monday, March 19, 2012

March Garden Tips & Chores

It's hard to believe it's almost the end of March. I spotted the first of my daffodils opening this weekend, and all the trees and shrubs have buds on them, including both lilacs. I've always loved this time of year. Today I'm sharing Spring gardening tips.

Reminder: Don't prune any shrubs or trees that have spring blooms. Prune after the blooms have died off.

-The first spring chore should be walking around your landscape and cutting off any damaged or diseased wood from shrubs and trees. Mine made it through fairly well with just a small amount of damage to my Rose of Sharon. Use sharp garden shears that have been cleaned.

-The next chore is gently raking leaves and debris from all the garden beds that collected over the winter, and cutting back any dead foliage, or pulling up any annuals that were forgotten in the fall. If their isn't any disease present this can all be composted.

-Wait to till or dig in the garden until the soil is dry enough to crumble. If it's too wet from spring rains and moisture it will clump and be hard to work with later.

-If you didn't cut back the old wood on your butterfly bushes (for the type that grow from the ground each year, not on the old wood) then be sure to cut the old stems back to the ground now.

-Once the soil reaches a temperature of about 45 degrees and it's dry enough to work with you can plant peas, spinach, beets, carrots, radishes, lettuce, greens and calendula outside by sowing the seeds into the soil or containers.

-Cut back all ornamental grasses before they start to sprout from the ground so the new growth isn't accidentally snipped.

On OFL I have an article on growing peas: