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GARDENING INFO FROM DOUG – Marching Into Spring

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

KNOWLEDGE IS THE KEY TO BEING A SUCCESSFUL GARDENER

March is finally here and Spring is in the air!!

March is an exciting month for gardeners and landscapers. To enhance this excitement is that we have Daylight Saving Time that begins on Sunday, March 13.  With Daylight Saving Time we “spring forward” on clocks one hour that will give us more daylight later into the evening. Also, the spring season is officially here on Sunday, March 20 (Vernal Equinox).

Let me go back and re-cap February. On February 2, we had Groundhogs Day. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow thus predicting six more weeks of winter ( six weeks would be through March 16). On the other hand, Buckeye Chuck (I am a Buckeye from Ohio) did not see his shadow meaning that we will have an early spring. Let’s go with Buckeye Chuck on this one.

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a cold, dry winter for us in the Mid-Atlantic region. I would say that the Almanac is half right so far.  We had a cold January. But, we got some much-needed moisture in January and also in February. Matter of fact, as of February 4, we are no longer considered in a drought situation. This is great news as we begin to ratchet up gardening activities here in March.

So, in a nutshell, do we want to believe in a groundhog or believe in the Farmer’s Almanac? Personally, one of the first things to alert me that spring is arriving is hearing the peepers singing loudly. What a beautiful sound. Maybe it is my age and getting older but I sure appreciate the positive things in life and hearing those peepers puts a smile on my face.

NOW A REALITY CHECK  –    IT IS ONLY THE FIRST OF MARCH.  LET’S NOT GET AHEAD OF OURSELVES.  MOST OF THE MONTH OF MARCH IS CONSIDERED WINTER.  WE NEED TO KEEP IN MIND THAT MARCH CAN STILL DELIVER US SOME COLD DAYS AND SOME SNOW (IT HAS HAPPENED TO US BEFORE0).  LET’S KEEP EVERYTHING INTO PERSPECTIVE RIGHT NOW AND, IF WE DO THEN WE WILL ALL HAVE A GOOD, PRODUCTIVE, AND SUCCESSFUL SPRING GARDENING SEASON.

HERE ARE A FEW GARDENING CHORES THAT WE CAN WORK ON THIS MONTH

  1. Lawn care  –  If you had a crabgrass problem last year then now is the best time for control. Put down a crabgrass pre-emergent now. This will keep the crabgrass seed from germinating and growing.  You want to do this chore before our Forsythia shrubs finish blooming.
  2. Grub control  –  if you had an issue last summer with Japanese Beetles then now is the time to apply a white grub worm control. Grubs are beginning to surface now that we are warming up.  The first thing that these grubs will eat is our lawn grass roots. Killing these white grubs now will reduce the damage to our turf and will reduce the population of Japanese Beetles later this summer.
  3. Pruning  –  now is a good time to do any needed pruning on most anything that blooms in the summer. And, pruning any evergreens, such as hollies, boxwoods, etc. – IF NEEDED !!  Don’t prune just to prune.  A new landscaping trend that is becoming more popular is to let our evergreens grow natural without any altered pruning.
  4. Cole crop vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, collards, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and more can be planted in the garden now.  These leafy vegetables are tolerant of the colder air and soil temperatures.
  5. Now is a good time to inspect all your garden tools – pruners, shovels, lawn mower blades, scissors, etc.  and have them sharpened and cleaned.

SHARP AGAIN

Sharp Again will be here on Sunday, March 20, from 10 AM to 2 PM offering to sharpen your tools. Prices will vary depending on what you are having sharpen.

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