Spring is coming! Spring is coming!
The first day of spring is arriving this month! That means there will be plenty to do in the garden. We have been fortunate with a mild winter so you may be noticing some early spring bloomers blooming earlier than usual! Enjoy! Keep a watch for my new updated website. It should be live in the next few weeks. Per last year's survey, I will have a page for monthly "In the Garden" information along with having it available here in the newsletter. Your feedback is always appreciated! I am looking forward to seeing you at the many upcoming events! Happy spring!
February 29 to March 8, 2020
Philadelphia Flower Show
March 6 to March 8, 2020
Please visit our website for more information
Lehigh Valley Flower and Garden Show
Agri-Plex, Allentown Fairgrounds
March 9, 2020, 7:30 pm
Landscape Lighting FUN-damentals
Parkland Garden Club
Meets at Jordan Lutheran Church
5103 Snowdrift Rd.
Orefield, PA 18064
Interested in learning more about how landscape lighting can transform your garden after the sun goes down? What's the difference between halogen and LED? What new technologies are on the horizon? Emphasis on the effects and patterns that can be created to make the most of your landscape plants and architecture after dark. Presented by Lori Metz.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
April 11, 2020, 10:00 am -12:00 pm
Early Season Shrub and Perennial Care Workshop
By Carriage House Landscape Design
Pierce Memorial Garden at the Chrin Community Center Park
4100 Green Pond Rd. Dr.
Palmer, PA 18045
Knowing how and when to prune is an important part of caring for your garden and landscape plants. Join Lori for an informal workshop and learn how and when to properly care for your landscape plants at the beginning of the growing season. This workshop is free but registration is required. Please register by April 10, 2020, by calling 484.483.3495 or by emailing email@example.com. Light refreshments will be provided.
Everyone Has a Story in Life
A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train's window shouted...
"Dad, look the trees are going behind!"
Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old's childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed...
"Dad, look the clouds are running with us!"
The couple couldn't resist and said to the old man...
"Why don't you take your son to a good doctor? "The old man smiled and said..."I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today.
Every single person on the planet has a story. Don't judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you.
March In Your Garden
- Houseplants begin actively growing. Begin fertilizing now and continue until September.
- As day lengths increase, plants begin new growth. Re-pot root-bound plants, moving them to containers 2 inches larger in diameter than their current pot. Check for insect activity and apply controls as needed. Leggy plants may be pruned now.
- Do not leave foliage houseplants continually in one position, as leaves and stems grow toward the light and eventually create an unsightly plant. Instead, turn the plant a quarter of a turn every few days.
- Flowers: Lift and divide large, congested clumps of herbaceous plants. Use a garden fork to dig up under the clump and to prize it gently apart. Replant young parts from around the outside. Discard the old, woody, central parts
- When buying houseplants, avoid those with roots coming out of drainage holes in their pots. Also, do not buy house plants with pots covered with moss or algae, flowers fully open, or stems bare of leaves. Additionally, discard large plants in small pots or small plants in large pots.
- Consider using a moisture meter to help determine the water needed for houseplants.
- Re-pot all plants that fill their pots with roots.
- Grass cutting begins soon. For the first cut, set blades high, gradually reducing their height as the season progresses.
- If you haven't already sharpened your mower blades, do it now before the mowing season begins.
- Apply controls for wild garlic. It will take several years of annual applications for complete control.
- Repair bed edges, especially where soil has fallen against the lawn.
- Apply broadleaf herbicides now for control of cool-season perennial and annual weeds. These must not be applied to areas that will be seeded soon.
- Trees, shrubs and perennials may be planted as soon as they become available at local nurseries.
- To control iris borer, clean up and destroy the old foliage before new growth begins.
- Fertilize bulbs with a "bulb booster" formulation broadcast over the planting beds. Hose off any granules that stick to the foliage.
- Dormant mail order plants should be unwrapped immediately. Keep the roots from drying out, store in a cool protected spot, and plant as soon as conditions allow.
- Loosen winter mulches from perennials cautiously. Re-cover plants at night if frost returns. Clean up beds by removing all weeds and dead foliage at this time.
- Heavy pruning of trees should be complete before growth occurs. Trees should not be pruned while the new leaves are growing.
- Seeds of hardy annuals such as larkspur, bachelor's buttons, Shirley and California poppies should be direct sown in the garden now.
- Rose bushes affected by black spot last year should be tidied up by removing and burning all leaves from around them.
- Romantic, scent-enriched bowers should be planned now. Many roses, as well as several clematis, are scented and will create leafy and floriferous overhead canopies.
- Trim winter-flowering heathers as soon as their flowers fade. Use hedge shears to clip lightly over them, creating a gently undulating surface.
- Dormant Sprays can be applied to ornamental trees and shrubs now. Do this on a mild day while temperatures are above freezing.
- In warm areas, prune shrubs that flowered late during the previous summer. Pruning now encourages development of shoots that will bear flowers later in the year.
- Clean out rain barrels, especially if leaves have fallen in them. Consider using Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) granules to keep mosquitoes from breeding.
Edibles: Fruits & Vegetables
- Vegetables: Any root crops such as horseradish, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, or carrots still in the ground from last year should be harvested before new green top growth appears.
- Vegetables: Cultivate weeds and remove the old, dead stalks of last year's growth from the asparagus bed before the new spears emerge.
- Vegetables: Fertilize the garden as the soil is being prepared for planting. Unless directed otherwise by a soil test, 1 to 2 pounds of 12-12-12 or an equivalent fertilizer per 100 square feet is usually sufficient.
- Fruits: Gradually remove mulch from strawberries as the weather begins to warm.
- Sow seeds of broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage indoors now for transplanting into the garden later this spring.
- Grapes and bramble fruits may be pruned now.
- Finish pruning fruit trees. Start with apples and pears first. Peaches and nectarines should be pruned just before they bloom.
- When pruning diseased branches, sterilize tools with a one part bleach, nine parts water solution in between cuts. Dry your tools at day's end and rub them lightly with oil to prevent rusting.
- Established fruit trees can be fertilized once frost leaves the ground. Use about one-half pound of 12-12-12 per tree, per year of age, up to a maximum of 10 pounds fertilizer per tree. Broadcast fertilizers over the root zone staying at least one foot from the tree trunk.
- If soil conditions allow, take a chance sowing peas, lettuce, spinach and radish. If the weather obliges, you will be rewarded with extra early harvests.
- Sow celery seeds in boxes or pots in greenhouses, placing them in 55-61 ˚F.
- From now and until May, sow radishes thinly in drills ½ inch deep and 10 inches apart.
- Sow parsnip seeds in groups of three, 6-8 inches apart, ½ inch deep and in drills 15 inches apart. These are later thinned to the strongest seedling at each position.
- Sow sweet pea seeds ½ inch deep in seedtrays and place in 61-68 ˚F. They can also be sown outdoors in April in the garden.
- Vegetables: Asparagus and rhubarb roots should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked.
- Fruits: Finish pruning grapes. Bleeding causes no injury to the vines. Tie vines to the trellis before the buds swell to prevent bud injury and crop loss. Save grape vine prunings for making into attractive wreaths and other craft objects.
- Fruits: Continue pruning apple trees. Burn or destroy all prunings to minimize insect or disease occurrence.
- Fruits: Cleft and splice grafting can be done now. This must be completed before rootstocks break dormancy.
- Sow onion seeds thinly in drills ½ inch deep and 9-12 inches apart.
- Vegetables: Sow fava beans 3 inches deep and 8 inches apart in drills 10-12 inches apart. Usually, they are sown in double rows, with a 2 feet wide path between each pair.
- Fruit: Soft fruits can still be planted. Also, check plants put in earlier, re-firming soil loosened by frost.
- Vegetables: Plant peas, lettuce, radishes, kohlrabi, mustard greens, collards, turnips, Irish potatoes, spinach and onions (seeds and sets) outdoors.
Spring Equinox is March 19th. Happy first day of spring!
- Now is a good time to apply appropriate sprays for the control of lawn weeds such as chickweed and dandelion.
- Tall and leggy house plants such as dracaena, dieffenbachia and rubber plants may be air layered now.
- Late winter storms often bury birds' natural food supplies and a well stocked feeding station will provide a life-giving haven for our feathered friends.
- Encourage birds to nest in your yard by providing water and by putting up bird houses. --Planting suitable shrubs, trees, vines and evergreens will provide wild food sources and nesting habitat.
- Red maples begin to bloom.
- Set up nesting boxes for bluebirds.
- Raise purple martin houses this week.
- Greenhouse: Take cuttings of Pelargoniums (aka Geraniums). Trim off the lower leaves, cutting stems below leaf-joints and inserting them into sandy compost. Place in gentle warmth.
- Spicebush is blooming in moist woodlands.
- When sowing large seeds with hard coats, such as sweet peas, either nick the seed's coat with a sharp knife or scrape with a nail-file. This allows the seed readily to absorb moisture, an essential stage in germination.
Pests and Problems
- Scout for Spotted Lanternfly egg masses and scrape as many as you can reach to help control populations. Bottom line with SLF: Kill them if you can. Use recommended practices. Don't move them around.
- Spray to control lawn weeds such as chickweed and dandelion now when they are growing actively.
- Apply crabgrass preventer between mid-March to mid-April or about the time forsythia is blooming. If you decide to use a weed and feed product, do not use a fertilizer high in nitrogen.
- If not already done, remove and dispose of the foliage of plants such as roses, peonies, iris, daylilies, apples, and horsechestnut, which are subject to annual fungal leaf diseases.
- Scout for and remove tent caterpillar webs.
- Frost is possible this month. Do not uncover plants or plant tender plants too early. Little can be done to protect large trees and shrubs but you may be able to give some protection to small plants closer to the ground.
- Apples, pears, and other plants infected with fireblight should have had diseased wood pruned out by the end of February. If this was not completed by then, wait until dry weather in mid summer. Pruning wounds made at this time of year may provide entry points for the bacteria that caused the disease.
- Don't forget to inspect plants you are overwintering indoors for insects. Insect populations can increase rapidly at this time of year before the plants are set outside for the summer.
- Cool-season grasses are best fertilized in fall. If you do apply fertilizer in spring, make sure it is low in nitrogen. Nitrogen applied in spring encourages excess growth, which is more susceptible to disease.
- Do not apply dormant oil sprays to a plant after its buds have begun to swell as damage may occur.
- Do not work wet soils.
- Observe indoor seedlings closely for signs of damping off. Treat if necessary.