"The last fling of winter is over...
The earth, the soil itself, has a dreaming quality about it.
It is warm now to the touch; it has come alive;
it hides secrets that in a moment, in a little while, it will tell."
~ Donald Culross Peattie
A witch hazel Shrub (Hamamelis) in full bloom in March.
The newsletter took a brief sabbatical, but it is back and ready to help you (hopefully) better enjoy your garden. The last few months we have been busy completing some remodeling, surviving a wonderful Valentine's Day (Thank you!), keeping the greenhouse filled with lush house plants, and of course, getting the store ready for spring. We are ready for planting season to begin and hopefully the weather will now cooperate. Last week's snow has melted and the strong winds have blown away, so let's go outside and play.
The store is filled with merchandise to help you complete your spring tasks. While last year's difficulty in acquiring stock is not completely gone, we have been able to order the majority of our garden supplies. Unfortunately, tree and shrub availability is still low and we may be short of a few varieties of plants this season. As we are all aware the cost of freight has vastly increased over the last few years. Unfortunately, this means that our cost to provide products has increased. But we will have a good selection and our staff are here to help you with any and all garden questions.
March is a month of moving and loosening up the stiffness winter left in our muscles. It begs for us to be outside and to prepare our landscapes for warmer weather. So shake out the cold aches of winter and have a 'spring' in your step as we embrace Spring.
March in the Garden
March signals the time to prepare your garden, and yourself, for the coming spring. Here is a list of our top must-dos:
Enjoy the early blooms of crocus and hellebores and witch hazels. Look forward to the brilliant yellow of forsythia blooms and other early spring blooming plants.
Start seeds indoors. Peppers & tomatoes should be started by early or mid-March. Follow the instructions of the seed packet on planting depth and when to start.
Clean-up garden beds. Cut down perennial grasses & liriope.
Get ready to mow: set mower blades higher, and only cut off 1/3 of the grass blades' total height. De-thatch, weed, & edge as needed.
Re-pot house plants if needed.
Start fertilizing house plants as days become longer.
Have a soil test if you are planning on starting a new garden bed or want to know which fertilizer and how much you should apply.
Direct sow cool weather veggies (once the soil has thawed):
* Early March: spinach, mustard, beets, & peas
* Mid to late March: carrots, collards, kale, radishes, turnips, & green onions
* Mid to late March: plant asparagus & rhubarb crowns, potato & onion sets
* Mid to late March: plant transplants of cabbage & kohlrabi
Check mulch levels around trees and plants. Mulch should only be 2"-3" deep; pull away from trunks to encourage spring root growth. Here is a great (and humorous) article on mulch.
Summer-flowering trees & shrubs that bloom on new spring growth can be pruned: ex: Mimosa, Smoketree, Butterfly bush, Beautyberry, Annabelle Hydrangea, PeeGee Hydrangea, & Clethra.
Plant pansies, violas, primroses, snapdragons, Sweet William, & other cool season annuals in mid to late March.
Plant trees, shrubs, & perennials once soil is workable.
Sow grass seed.
The list could go on. March is a month to be spent in the garden.
As the days lengthen and soils warm you will notice more unwanted plants popping up in your grass. Now is the time to apply preventive herbicide to stop those unwanted plants from spreading. Keep in mind that if you are sowing grass seed you will need to wait about a month of until you have mowed twice to apply any preemergent. Our two favorite products for late winter/early spring application are Fertilome's All Seasons II and Hi-Yield's Turf & Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper with Dimension.
All Seasons II contains micronutrients and trace elements with its dual nitrogen release that will provide your lawn with steady dark green growth. All Seasons II also contains a preemergent herbicide that can last 6 to 8 months. Crabgrass, purslane, knotweed, and other listed broadleaf weed seeds will be prevented from germinating. If you have weeds already emerging use Hi-Yield's Turf & Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper with Dimension. This kills weeds 2 to 3 weeks after they have emerged, as well as providing preemergent protection.
We have a variety of grass seed available, including perennial rye which grows rapidly. We are ready to help with any questions on lawn care, weed control, or grass seed. Let us help you take the guesswork out of creating and maintaining a healthy lawn.
Go Green this St. Patrick's Day
While you may not want oxalis in your yard, they make wonderful houseplants.
St. Patrick's Day is Thursday, March 17th and what better way to celebrate than with shamrocks. Oxalis species make wonderful gifts and houseplants that are easy to grow and live for years. If shamrocks aren't your thing, don't worry we have plenty of lush green plants for you to choose from, as well as stunning orchids, African violets, and colorful blooming kalanchoes. Visit the greenhouse to see what is new and maybe find a green friend or two.
Don't forget about fresh cut flowers for St. Patrick's day. Our team of professional floral designers will create an arrangement to satisfy your verdant wishes.
Now is the time to start seeds to be planted outside mid May, such as tomatoes and peppers. The joy and thrill to see your seeds sprout is difficult to explain. Upon seeing a little sprout one can truly imagine that there is magic within a seed. To understand that a tiny feeble-looking stalk will grow into a plant that will provide a season's (or many years') worth of joy is awe-inspiring. Then to realize that you were the one to grow such a magnificent plant is fulfillment in itself. Thoreau was correct when he said;
"Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders."
~ Henry David Thoreau
We carry a wide variety of seeds from Botanical Interests, Renee's Gardens, and Cornucopia, along with seed starting supplies. What will you grow?
To learn more about starting your own seeds visit our Starting Seeds post.
Check your calendars and be prepared for the hustle and bustle that Spring's warmer weather and beautiful days bring. It is not too early to order fresh cut arrangements and blooming plants for Easter. To place an order visit us at the store, call 859.331.0222, or order flowers online.
Below are a few well-known and lesser-known upcoming holidays.
Wednesday, March 16h National Artichoke Day
Thursday, March 17th St. Patrick's Day
Sunday, March 20th First Day of Spring/Vernal Equinox
Saturday, March 26th National Spinach Day
Monday, March 28th Respect Your Cat Day (Blackberry says that is everyday.)
April National Garden Month
Tuesday, April 5th National Dandelion Day
Wednesday, April 13th International Plant Appreciation Day
Sunday, May 17th Easter
Tuesday, April 19th National Garlic Day
Friday, April 22nd Earth Day
Saturday, April 30th National Arbor Day
"All Nature seems to work. Slugs leave their lair,
The bees are stirring, birds are on the wing,
And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring."
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Stay safe and be well.
Your friends at Jackson Florist & Garden Center