Wow! I can’t believe 2009 is here already. If you haven’t been to visit in a while things have changed quite a bit. We have put in a pergola and arbor out in front and a meandering creek bed that winds from the back to the front yard. We will be landscaping the back yard so that diners can enjoy their lunch outside, since we have a great new Cafe coming here in March. The food will be excellent. We are getting our spring herbs and plants in weekly because spring is just around the corner. So here are a few tips on what your gardens will need.
February is a great time to plant fruit trees. Be sure to prune early prior to spring blooming time. Camellias, fruit trees and other plants should be sprayed now for scale infestation. Dormant oil will smother out scale insects. Bury or discard any dried fruit to reduce disease problems.
February is the time to plant Irish and new potatoes before the hot weather sets in. Now is when you start planting gladiolas. Plant at two week intervals to extend your flowering season into summer. Continue feeding your violas, pansies, stock, snapdragons, and nasturtiums every 4 to 6 weeks. Keeping the soil moist will encourage bloom production and vigor. Trim back your herbs that are starting to look leggy so that they will become full and healthy as it gets warmer.
This is a good time to add manure and compost to trees and shrubs so that when spring rains come, the materials will be ready to release nutrients to the roots of your plants. Late winter is a wonderful time to plant roses. Bare root roses should go in the ground soon so the roots will be established by the time the heat arrives in the summer. Repeat blooming roses should be pruned just before spring growth, in late winter. Climbing roses and one time bloomers should be pruned after spring.
Dormant oil sprays can be applied now before new growth begins, to control scales insects on camellias, euonymus, and beautyberry. By February your pruning of deciduous fruit trees, bushes and vines should be coming to an end. Remove dead, unproductive wood and thin branches. Vines and fruit trees require a significant amount of pruning, although blueberries and pears require very little.
In March azaleas need to be sprayed each week as the flowers open to avoid petal blight. After blooming, fertilize, and prune. Camellias need to be sprayed for tea scale, and lightly fertilized. Fertilize all shrubs, roses, and plants with a fast acting fertilizer for rapid spring growth.
March is a good month to plant herbs. Plant hydrangeas with a northern exposure, they enjoy good drainage and a lot of peat moss, and mulch mixed into the soil. Roses should be put on a monthly feeding plan. Spray weekly for black spot. Roses require 6” of water per week. Vegetables can be planted now, weather permitting. Interplanting with herbs can help repel some insects. Gardening can be relaxing and very rewarding.
So Happy Gardening!