Monday, March 14, 2011

MARCH - A TIME OF ESSENTIAL PREPARATION IN THE GARDEN


 Well, the day finally arrived!  My first day out in the flower beds, and I have to say--"It was HEAVEN!"  And, although storms are sure to continue our way, and we'll most certainly have more freezing nights and probably more snow, the spring growth on the perennials has begun, and so must our essential work to ensure a beautiful and healthy garden in the months ahead.  It's in March that your beds really start to come alive!  It's also in these early days that a little attention now brings great dividends later on.  I always sprinkle super phosphate (0-20-0), or super triple phosphate (0-46-0) on all beds this time of year. Phosphate gives your perennials the extra boost they need for vigorous growth--root, tuber, and seed.   When I sprinkle it, I just throw it out, being somewhat careful not to get it on the leaves, just the soil surrounding the plant; then I lightly work it into the soil.  This is great to do on a day that rain is expected--or, even better yet, when a light rain is falling.  You can also give your flowers an additional fertilization of 10-20-10.  (Remember that fertilizers high in nitrogen are harmful to tubers--don't use fertilizers with high nitrogen on them).  For iris, a sprinkling of a low nitrogen now, then about a month before bloom, and then  after they bloom are all appropriate times to fertilize.  I also like to use a quick-release fertilizer on my tulips and daffodils at this time.  You should also remove any dead, decayed, or old leaves from existing perennials, so that the new growth can bask in the spring elements.  Be careful when doing any digging, as some perennials are late to emerge, and you don't want to disturb or harm any of the tender shoots that may be just under the soil.  (That's why it's a good idea to mark the spots of such plants).  Spring rains will really makes things grow, and before you know it, those little plants will be big and blooming.  Spring is indeed a favorite time of year for me!  Happy gardening!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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