March is the time to start working and planning your summer garden and yard.
Gardeners know March can be a very busy month with all there is to do outside. Don’t get overwhelmed. Here are some helpful tips to get you organized and started.
This is the best month to cut back ornamental grasses for re-growth. Lop the grasses back just above the crown of the plant 4 to 6 inches from the ground. Use an electric trimmer or hedge shears with a metal blade. We always tied our grasses up with hay bale twine before cutting to make clean-up easier. Toss the bundles into your compost.
Tackle the Monkey grass next. Old growth is prone to anthracnose, a fungus which can leave dead spots on the grass’s leaves. Trim the grass back to 2 inches above the ground. If it’s not too thick you can use a lawn mower – but be careful not to scalp the plant. This will destroy the plants ability to grow. Or use trimmers or hedge shears.
Perennials will need a dose of liquid fertilizer to help strengthen them for spring blossoms. Start searching online and in garden magazines for fun summer annuals.
Though the least favorite of tasks, now is the perfect time to pull weeds. Once they go to seed you will have double the trouble and workload. Plus, the soil in March is damp and with cooler temperatures the job should be a snap.
Keep vigilance over any spruce, junipers, hemlock or pine trees for spider mites. Spider mites spend their winters on host plants and will soon begin hatching. The earlier you spot these bad bugs the better. Look for yellowish colored needles. You can also place a piece of white paper under a branch and gently shake the branch over the paper. If mites have invaded they will drop on the paper and look like very small dots. If you find these loathsome creatures on your plants now is the time to order beneficial insects.
The release of lady bugs, lacewings, and predatory mites will help to control spider mites and other bad bugs.
Now is also the time to order your seeds for garden plants. Even though they are readily available at local lawn and garden retailers they often sell out. The Farmer’s Almanac is in if you have questions about when or how to plant your garden.
Taking time to plan and clean up now will greatly reduce the workload later this spring as well as reduce the bad bugs that can infect your yards and gardens. Give Brad a call at 800.328.9140 as he is happy to help with all your beneficial insect questions and problems!
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