Annuals and Perennials
Begin your seeds indoors for summer annuals such as impatiens, zinnias, ageratum, Asters, Calendula, Campanula, Candytuft, Carnations, Chrysanthemums, Coleus, Columbine, Coreopsis, Dahlia, Gerbena, Geraniums, Impatiens, Petunia, Salvia, and Snapdragon.
Cut back dormant perennials, liriope and ornamental grasses almost to the ground to make room for new growth. Mulch and edge garden beds, then apply weed control to prevent weeds from germinating.
Pansies, violas and primroses provide early spring color in the landscape.
Fertilize bulbs with a slow release fertilizer as they emerge.
Pick up your summer blooming bulbs, such as gladiolus, cannas and dahlias now. Wait until late April or early May to plant them outdoors.
Divide and transplant perennials, if needed.
Clean and install bluebird houses.
Fruits and Vegetables
Begin planting: Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chives, Collard, Horseradish, Kale, Lettuce, Mustard greens, Onions, Parsley, Parsnips, Peas, Potatoes, Rhubarb, Spinach, Swiss chard.
Mix compost and lime into your vegetable garden to improve the soil. Make sure that the soil is not wet when you do this – it will cause the soil to clump and become difficult to work with.
Prevent cedar-apple rust by applying Immunox on apple, hawthorn and other rosaceous host plants.
As the length of the day increases, resume turning your houseplants by a quarter each week so that all sides receive adequate light and the foliage remains balanced.
Check the leaves of your indoor plants for insect problems such as scale, mites or mealy bugs. If you find any issues, bring a sample into our plant clinic for diagnosis and treatment solutions.
Keep your houseplants together on humidity trays to increase the humidity until the weather warms and you are able to turn your heater off.
Get an early start to having a beautiful, weed free lawn this year. Prevent new weeds by applying a pre-emergent weed control. Most weed preventers remain effective for about three months and then need to be reapplied. You can also use a lawn weed killer a sunny, dry day when temperatures are above 50 to eliminate existing broadleaf weeds.
On recently seeded lawns, do not use any weed controls until the new grass has been mowed at least twice.
With most weed controls, you must wait 2-12 weeks following application before you can put down new grass seed. Check the product label for specific instructions.
Fill in and repair bare spots and thin areas of your lawn with one of Merrifield’s Custom Blended Grass Seed Mixtures. Cultivate the soil, broadcast the seed and fertilize with Merrifield Select Seed Starting Lawn Food. Then cover everything with a thin layer of compost and the seed will grow as the soil gradually warms this spring.
If needed, lime the lawn to raise soil pH. Lawns prefer a pH range of 6.2 – 6.8. If your tests show a level lower than 6.0, or you have not limed the lawn in the past two years, you should lime at the rate of 50 lb. of lime per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. This will raise the pH 1/2 point. If you need to apply more lime, wait six weeks between applications.
Trees and Shrubs
Fertilizer trees and shrubs in March. Use a flowering plant food for flowering plants and trees (azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, cherries and dogwoods) and a tree and shrub food for evergreens and deciduous trees (hollies, boxwoods, yews, maples and oaks).
Prune roses, crape myrtle, panicle hydrangea, althea and other vigorous summer blooming shrubs. This is also the time to prune boxwoods, hollies and yews.
Cherries, peaches, plums and pears all bloom this month.
For all your new plantings, fertilize with a starter plant food at the time of planting. This will encourage root growth and help get the plant off to a vigorous start.