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Master Gardener: March gardening tips

Lawns. Don’t use herbicides on the lawn during the green-up period. Turf grass is very sensitive during this time. Apply pre-emergent for crabgrass control by March 15th. Lawns may be sodded now.

Trees/Shrubs. Plant evergreens such as magnolia and holly. Flowering shrubs may be moved with a ball of dirt; small plants, bare-rooted. Dig or cut away sprouts of lilac and other flowering shrubs and transplant or give away to neighbors and friends. Fertilize trees if not done already. Fertilize and lime boxwood. Prune crepe myrtles, althea and evergreens.

Annuals. Sort through any old seed packets you come across. Most flower seeds are good for two or three years. If you decide to use old packets, sow on the generous side. Plant indoors seeds of warm season flowers six weeks before the last expected frost date.

Bulbs. Plant gladiolus at two week intervals for continuation of bloom. Fertilize tulips and daffodils with a small amount of super phosphate, bone meal or 0-20-20.

Perennials. Plant new perennials. Divide and replant those that are crowded. Cut back liriope with mower set high. Fertilize peonies and wisteria with super phosphate.

Houseplants. Start to fertilize again as growth resumes. Trim off any dead leaves. Trim off fern fronds with dead tips or any dead leaves at all. They’ll look rough at first, but will put out nicely later.

Roses. Prune immediately if you have been putting it off. Apply final dormant spray. Spray for potential blackspot twice weekly for the first two to three weeks after roses leaf out. Plant new roses before March 15th.

Vegetables. Plant cabbage, kale, lettuce, peas, spinach and turnips. Set out transplants of onions, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, parsley and Brussels sprouts. Plant potatoes mid-month. Plant seeds inside of eggplant, pepper and tomatoes.

In general…. Remember to feed and water your feathered friends. Rake up seed hulls from under feeders as they will smother anything under them. Start weeding as you see them.

Celebrate Arbor Day (3rd Monday in March) by giving someone a tree.

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