Kyle’s Korner: The Busiest Gardening Months

PurpleFlowersThis is one of the busiest gardening months of the year. March weather can be a little fickle, so timing is key. If you decide to take a chance with tender plants, like tomatoes or begonias be prepared to give them a protective covering.

PLANTING

This is prime time to buy and plant most landscape plants. The sooner you plant, the quicker the plant will get established. This is key for the plant to survive a hot, stressful summer. This is also a great time to consider a vegetable garden. This is a great family project! The kids will enjoy growing their own vegetables, and everyone can enjoy the harvest. You can even pick a theme for your garden. I’ve listed a few examples below.

  • Bulbs & Seeds: Dahlia, Louisiana Iris, Byzantine Gladiolus, Early Cosmos and Sweet Alyssum are great choices for adding some color to your garden. This is a great time to start hanging baskets of petunias, begonias and other annuals. These baskets will add an extra dimension to your landscape.
  • Vegetables: Try an Asian or Italian inspired garden if you enjoy ethnic cooking. A Colorful vegetable garden plan seems to be a new trend. You can use mixed flowers and greens to create a garden that is beautiful and delicious. Seasonal gardens can be great too. Spring, summer and fall each have crops that they are known for.

Broccoli, cabbage, collard seeds, beets, carrots, mustard greens, lettuce, radish, turnips and spinach should be planted right away. Sum- mer vegetables can wait until late March. These include beans, sweet corn, cucumber, melons, tomatoes & squash. Delay planting crops like okra, sweet potatoes and peppers until April since they don’t do well in cool soil.

LAWN CARE

You don’t have to spend a lot of time and money to keep your lawn beautiful. To avoid summer problems, start tending your lawn early in the growing season. This will ward off weeds, insects and disease better than any other measures. For the best weed prevention mow frequently, proper fertilizing and timely watering. Now is the time to apply a pre-emergence herbicide, like Scotts Weed & Feed. Sharpen your mower blade and tune up mower and check sprinkler systems. You also need to keep a look out for insects. If a problem arises you can treat with an insecticide, such as Over’ n Out.

OTHER TASKS

  • Fertilize: Fruit and pecan trees should be fertilized, along with shrubs and annual flower beds. Vegetables should be fertilized about a month after growth starts with a nitrogen fertilizer. Slow release formulas work best. They will continue to feed your plants over a longer period of time.
  • Mulch: Renew the mulch around plants and shrubs if it has decomposed or washed away. Pine straw, bark mulch and shredded leaves are good options. Mulch helps keep down weeds and preserve moisture.
  • Prune: Prune evergreen and summer flowering shrubs in early March. Wait to prune spring flowering trees and shrubs like azaleas, until after they finish blooming. Do not prune hydrangeas until after they bloom in the summer.