Monthly Gardening Tips

March 2019

Watering

  • Water lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs once to twice a week depending on temperatures and snow/rainfall.
  • Water winter annuals in containers every week or two depending on pot size.
  • New plantings will require more water the first year.

Fertilizing

  • Start applying a good tree and shrub fertilizer on trees, shrubs and lawns.
  • Fertilize houseplants with a good water-soluble fertilizer. Be sure not to over-fertilize or over-water houseplants in winter months.
  • Start improving your garden soil by mixing in some organic material such as compost or a top dressing of manure.
  • Start fertilizing Roses, Iris, Crape Myrtle, Lilacs and Peonies and other flowering shrubs.
  • Fertilize cool season vegetables with a good organic fertilizer.

Yard And Garden

  • Plant bare root roses, trees and shrubs.
  • Prune roses in early spring.
  • Plant trees, shrubs and perennials.
  • Plant flowering cool season annuals such as pansies and ornamental kale and perennials.
  • Dethatch, aerate and water cool season lawns. Start mowing as soon as you start to see new growth.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses into a ball shape if you have not done so already.
  • Transplant any mislocated plants while dormant.
  • Prune deciduous trees and shrubs. The best time to prune is when plants have gone fully dormant. Prune Summer-flowering shrubs such as Crepe Myrtle, Butterfly Bush and Rose of Sharon. Do not prune Spring-flowering plants until after they bloom.
  • Prune berries and grapes in late March, except Heritage raspberries, which are pruned in fall.
  • Pruning Guidelines:
    • No more than 1/3 of the plant
    • Prune to shape
    • Prune all dead or damaged branches
    • Prune off branches that cross and rub
    • Prune to thin the interior of the plant to increase air circulation

Insects And Diseases

  • Clean your garden area by removing all debris to prevent unwanted over- wintering pests but watch out for cocoons that may be harboring a butterfly! Refresh with a fresh layer of cypress, cedar or pecan mulch.
  • Be sure to remove fallen leaves from your lawn. Wet leaves can block sunlight and increase the chance of disease.
  • Keep an eye out for early aphids and eliminate as needed.
  • Use horticultural or dormant spray on deciduous trees and shrubs, especially fruit trees, to kill wintering insects and help prevent disease. It’s important to spray early before buds start to swell as long as we stay below 65 degrees.
  • Apply iron sulfate or Soil Acidifier with iron to chlorosis prone trees and shrubs, chitalpa, maples, aspens, willow and euonymus and photinia.
  • Apply a good root drench systemic insecticide to trees and shrubs for year long protection from insects, except no vegetable plants. Read your label for specifics.
  • Kill early weeds with a good herbicide.
  • Apply pre-emergent weed control to prevent seed germination.

Vegetables

  • Plant cool-season vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, swiss chard, kale and mustards in a cold frame or use frost cloth.
  • Plant tomatoes in Wall O’ Water to get a head start and prevent from freezing.
  • Improve soils in vegetable beds by adding BTE compost, peat moss, home compost or manure.
  • Continue planting seeds for the upcoming spring season!
  • Plant onion sets, strawberries, rhubarb and asparagus.

Misc.

  • Protect any tender plants from freezing with a frost cloth. Protect small plants with leaves or mulch.
  • Start a new compost bin.
  • Attend Osuna University!