Believe it or NOT ......
It is time to Spring Forward Sunday March 9th and Spring begins March 20th!!
You may be impatience as you watch another snowfall cover your yard, but March is one of the most important months for gardeners.
There's still time to do all of your prep work, as you day dream about the warm weather, tastes and colors of your next garden.
Get ahead of the spring crowds by dropping off your lawn mower now to have the oil changed, bolts tightened and blades sharpened.
- Remove soil from your tools' metal parts using sandpaper or a hose.
- Sand rough edges on wooden tool handles, then coat them with linseed oil.
- Sharpen your tools. A file will sharpen tools of all sizes, from shovels and hoes to trowels and clippers.
- After sharpening, use a rag to apply a thin, penetrating oil to metal tool parts; follow with a heavier oil on tools that have moving parts.
Once your soil has had a chance to thaw and lose some of its winter moisture, you'll want to prep it for planting.
- Remove mulch over the course of several days, exposing the soil gradually.
- Till or spade soil six to 12 inches deep.
- Mix in compost, peat moss and fertilizer for plants or vegetables. For vegetable gardens, include processed or well-rotted manure in the mix (using fresh manure in the spring may burn or damage your plants). Rake the soil level to smooth out low spots; pockets of water can make the soil cool, which slows plant growth.
Start planning your vegetable garden.
- Choose neighboring vegetables carefully and you may double your vegetable harvest. Take into consideration that onions, are no friend to peas and beans but make good bed-mates for tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce and beets.
- Depending on your planting zone you can plant some perennial vegetables right in your rich new soil. Later in the month (in most zones) you can seed or set out hardier vegetables, such as chard and Brussels sprouts.
Your warm crops can be started indoors from seeds, including tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.
- Whether you use egg cartons, trays or pots, be sure the seedlings get lots of light.
- Hardy flower seeds, such as petunias and marigolds can be started early.
Pruning will give bushes a more attractive shape and also result in larger blooms and longer stems. Use gloves to protect your hands from thorns.
- With a sturdy clipper, make your cuts just above outside buds to encourage new outward growth, giving the plant more sunlight and air.
- Other pruning tips can be found in a good gardening book or one of the many reputable gardening websites.
Gardening Centers and Nurseries are at their peak in March. Get there early for the best selection.
- From late March into April is perfect for planting fruit trees and berries. Make sure they have enough water as they get used to their new environment.
- Plant new roses and cool-loving flowers such as snapdragons and pansies.