Friday, March 21, 2008

March Garden Talk

WoW! Here we are at the tail-end of March already, and our little cottage garden is nowhere near the shape it should be in! Well, I *did* get out at de-weed my fruit trees, and fertilized them all just yesterday; as that task should have been completed last month, we're adhering to the motto of "better late than never". We tried a new product this season - "Sta-Green" fertilizer for citrus, fruit & nut trees. My fig tree produces ample fruit every year, but in the two years we've had them, not one of my citrus trees have bared fruit. We shall see if perhaps a direct delivery of nutrients will change that.

If you have St. Augustine grass (like we do), now is also the time to begin fertilizing your lawn, as well, which should be done four times a year (March, May, July and September). This is assuming that you've already raked all the dead grass & leaves into the compost pile. Again, tho, here at the cottage...well, we're a bit behind schedule on that front!

If you have palm trees, now's the time to fertilize them, as well, begining in March, and continuing every two months through September.

Heavy pruning of hedges should be done this month. To encourage bushy growth, prune just prior to the bud swell. To slow growth, prune just after bud swell, and after the leaves have fully expanded. Any cold-weather damaged plants should be pruned AFTER new growth appears (if you prune too soon, you can nremove too much and it will take longer for the plant to recover).

Do you have poinsettias from the holiday season, still? Now, until early-April is the best time to get those incorporated into your landscape. Cut them back to about 12" of ground-level, and pinch back the new growth every four weeks until September; Plant away from any lighting that will be on at night. Fertilize every month from May until September.

And, if you've turned your beds at least two weeks in advance (again...I've dropped the ball on this one, but, I'll get to it before the month is out, I guarantee!!), now is the time to start planting those tender annuals and vegetables!! Some of the veggies to plant this month: snap beans, lima beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, potatoes, summer squash,and tomatoes. Some favorite annuals to plant: begonias, coleus, dahlias, geranuims, impatiens, daisies, marigolds, salvia, periwinkles, and zinnias.

Happy Gardening!!

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