The March Checklist

In case you haven’t noticed, spring has sprung!  Last month we shifted into first gear and this month it is second gear.  It’s time to make sure your seat belt is fastened tight, because it’s going to be a wild ride.  Here’s your roadmap for March…


FROST PROTECTION: If the mercury drops below 30 degrees, cover your plants before you go to bed and remove the fabric in the morning after the sun is out for a couple of hours.


LAWNS: I continue to be amazed at how well organic lawn foods work, especially E.B. Stone Organics.  Yes, they may seem a little expensive, but they last 3-4 times as long as the commercial ones do and improve the soil over the long run.  Get some food and lime on the lawn, treat for moss and see how the lawn responds.  April is the best month for drastic action like de-thatching and re-seeding.


PRUNING: Continue with whatever you didn’t finish in February.  Trim the fruit trees, tidy up the hedges, cut back the ornamental grasses, massacre the roses and shape up the wisteria and clematis.  


PERENNIALS:  Be very careful this month when you are tromping through the flower beds.  The tender new shoots of perennials are starting to pop through the surface and the last thing you want to do is squash them.  


VEGGIE GARDENS:  It’s time to get the veggie garden in shape.  Remove any weeds you have and spread some lime, organic fertilizer and compost.  Till it all together and you will be ready to plant all the cool season crops you’d like, such as potatoes, carrots, peas, radishes, onions, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, to name just a few.  Buy a roll of “row cover” to protect your babies on the really chilly nights.  This is also the time to plant perennial veggies like rhubarb and asparagus.


SMALL FRUITS AND BERRIES: Blueberries, raspberries, black berries and strawberries are all itching to be planted this month.  They are still dormant and will slip into your garden now without skipping a beat.  Grapes, kiwis, currants and gooseberries can also be planted now.  Always use some compost and organic starter fertilizer when you are planting new plants, again E.B. Stone is a sure bet for success. 


FRUIT TREES: Like I mentioned above, this is the consummate month to prune and spray your fruit trees with copper and oil.  It is also a perfect time to plant a few new ones as well.  Most trees these days are on dwarf or mini-dwarf root stocks that keep them 10 to 12 feet tall.  Buy them while they are still at bareroot sale prices.


BULBS:  Summer blooming bulbs are now in stock such as dahlias, gladiolas and lilies.  They should be purchased this month to ensure you get the best selection. Get some bone meal when you buy your bulbs and drop a handful in each hole when you plant.


ROSES:  It’s time to prune and plant new ones.  Buy them this month while they are still dormant.  As a whole, roses like to be pampered so treat them accordingly with lots of food and compost.  That is unless you are planting landscape roses, which thrive on neglect.


WEEDS:  I’ll be succinct.  I don’t care how you do it, remove them now before they go to seed.


EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITES:  We are offering a total of six classes this month, two of them on Sundays.  Check out our website  for details and more information.  You can also come see us at the Everett Home and Garden Show Friday, March 11th through Sunday, March 13th to find out what is new and interesting for 2016.