March in the Garden
Because of the mild winter here on the Delmarva Peninsula, the trees are leafing out, the daffodils are blooming, and the lawns are greening up. Usually the lirope dies down during the winter, but not this year.
I cannot recall such a mild winter, and am looking forward to the coming spring and summer, and wondering what they have in store.
- Check your asparagus beds for tender, early shoots - cover if a late heavy frost is forecast.
- Prepare your garden soil as soon as it is dry enough, which means a handful of soil, when squeezed, crumbles easily. If so, then work in three and a half to five pounds of lime per 100 square feet of garden, and add two to three inches of compost or organic matter such as shredded leaves.
- Sow sees of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Sow about 20 seeds of each, allowing for poor germination and weak plants, in 4-inch pots filled with commercial potting soil. Set pots in a warm, bright spot and when seedlings are about one inch tall, transplant the best ones into individual spaces in six-packs.
- Grow a pea patch. It's easy. First moisten the seeds with water and dust with a legume innoculant. No other fertilizer is necessary at this point. Sow in a trench about four inches deep and six inches wide. Cover with one inch of soil and tamp down. Stick branches in the ground for the tendrils to grow up into.
- If you have a willow tree, start a fedge, which is a cross between a hedge and a fence. Simply take 3-foot cuttings from your willow tree and push them down into the ground about 6-inches where you want a little privacy. Place the cuttings about a foot apart. Allow the cuttings to root and then criss-cross them and tie in place with twist-ties.
- Speaking of willows. If your pussy willow hasn't bloomed out yet, take cuttings, place in a vase of warm water and enjoy a beautiful bouquet. For a long-lasting arrangement, spray the silver catkins with hairspray to keep them from blooming all the way out.
- After your daffodils bloom, allow the foliage to die down naturally.
- Transplant trees, shrubs and perennials.
- Plant pansies for early spring color. They will last until hot weather arrives.
- Prune fruit trees.
- After all danger of frost remove dead, dried vegetation from around your daylilies, lirope, or other groundcover.
- Apply mulch after cleaning up your borders.