March Delaware Garden Guide// here is the normal content // ?>
Here’s your gardening calendar for March.
For the first half of March:
- Finish pruning shrubs and ornamental trees, except spring flowering shrubs before growth starts. Prune spring flowering shrubs (lilac, forsythia, etc.), as soon as they finish flowering.
- In addition, finish pruning home fruit trees. Do not leave stubs; they usually die and become great entry ways for fungus.
- To prevent the infection of fungal spores and bacteria into the plant as a result of fresh cuts, do not prune in damp or wet weather.
- Plan your vegetable garden on paper. Use space efficiently and rotate vegetables to reduce insect and disease problems.
- Turn your compost pile or start one.
- If soil is dry enough, begin primary soil tillage.
- Add soil nutrients based on results of soil test.
- To support newly transplanted trees from spring winds, use flexible ties between rigid stakes.
- If weeds are beginning to grow in flower bulb beds, pull them by hand to prevent disturbing the bulbs and roots.
- Spray home fruit trees (apples and pears) before buds swell with dormant oil and when temperatures are not likely to drop below 40o for twenty-four hours.
- Spray peaches with Ferbam or Lime sulfur. No spray is needed for cherries or plums at this time.
- Fertilize trees, roses, shrubs and evergreens.
For the second half of March:
- Plant cool-season crops (peas, lettuce, cabbage, onions, kale, broccoli, radishes, and turnips) if weather conditions permit.
- Harden off young tender plants, even hardy varieties, before transplanting in the garden to reduce the chance of frost damage. Place them outdoors in a protected spot from the cool spring winds. Gradually reduce water and temperature to allow plants to toughen up so they will be able to tolerate their new living environment.
- If a pre-emergence weed control is going to be used on the lawn, apply it now. Please read and follow all label directions.
- Leave mulch over strawberries until the plants begin to grow. At that time, the mulch must be removed to allow leaves to develop in the light.
- Prune hedges before new growth begins.
- Fertilize azaleas and rhododendrons with acid-type fertilizer.
For more information on any of the above, call your local Extension Office:
Sussex County – #856-7303
Kent County – #739-5205 or #697-4000