The following is a garden checklist that gardeners need to be considering for March:
Last call to sign up for the Baxter County Master Gardener Seminar on March 11 at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Center in Mtn. Home. Seminar topics and speakers are: “Trends in Gardening”, “Edible Landscape – Herbs, Vegetables, Fruits and More” – Janet Carson; “Outstanding Plants Through the Seasons” – Lucinda Reynolds; “Widder Wilcox – AR Cabin Gardens of the Past” – Tina Marie Wilcox; and “Ornamental Grasses and Vines” – Dr. Kim Pittcock. There is a fee of $25 per person to attend the seminar and this includes lunch. Attendance is limited and pre-registration is required. To register mail name, address, phone number, e-mail (if available) and check payable to BCMG to: Kathrine Gilmore, BCMG Seminar, 275 Sharon Dr., Mtn. Home, AR 72653 or go to http://www.baxtercountymg.com/spring-seminar.html.
Now is as late as you want to wait if you want to use glyphosate (i.e., Roundup) to control winter weeds in your bermuda yard. If you wait too much longer your bermudagrass will begin to green-up. Check bermuda first for signs of green-up. Look up against sidewalks and buildings where bermuda would start growing the earliest. Do not use glyphosate if your bermuda has started to green-up. Also adding a broadleaf weed killer such as Weed-B-Gon or Trimec will control a broader range of weeds.
Wait to fertilize fescue lawns until they have started growing good. You could even wait until April to fertilize them. If you have some bare spots or a thin lawn, now is the time to seed tall fescue.
Spray broadleaf weeds in lawns with a broadleaf weed killer such as Weed-B-Gon or Trimec. Spray weeds when we have a forecast of 50°F or higher temperature for at least three days.
Pre-emerge herbicides can be applied from early to mid-March on lawns to control early weeds and crabgrass. Don’t apply pre-emerge on newly seeded lawns, however.
March is a good time to plant trees and shrubs. Be sure to remove ties and strings around balled-in-burlap plants. Cut the burlap in several places. Don’t leave any burlap above the ground as it can wick moisture away from the plant.
Bareroot plants, those in plastic sleeves, must be planted while dormant.
Check ornamental cherries, plums, and peaches for egg masses of the spring webworm. These egg masses are wrapped around small twigs and are shiny black in color. Prune and destroy these otherwise they will hatch out later with a vicious appetite.
Avoid moving houseplants outside until late April.
Fertilize pansies. This is a prime blooming and growing month for them.
A general rule of thumb is divide fall bloomers in the spring and spring bloomers in the fall. Dig and divide hostas, chrysanthemums and sedums.
Give ornamental grasses such as liriope a haircut to remove old leaves. This should be done before new growth begins.
Overwintering tropicals should be sheared back.
Prune hybrid tea roses if not done already. Roses should be pruned in late February or early March. Remember to cut 1/4 inch above an outward facing bud at a 45 degree angle. Seal cut wounds with sealer to prevent dieback from diseases and insects.
Prune fruit trees, grape vines, and blueberry plants. These should all be pruned while dormant. Peaches can be pruned even while blooming, just be careful not to knock off the blooms.
Prune crepe myrtles, buddleias, and summer blooming spireas.
Prune spring blooming plants after bloom. As soon as quince, forsythia, and other cane producing spring flowering shrubs have finished blooming, prune out a third of the old canes. This rejuvenation cut will encourage vigorous new growth which will bloom next spring.
Start seeds indoors for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.
Plant cool season vegetables – potatoes, turnips, lettuce, spinach, kale. Set out transplants of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Start planting sweet corn later in the month.
Set out onion plants or onion sets.
Avoid planting tender vegetables and bedding plants until mid to late April when frost danger is past.
Allow bulbs six weeks of growth after bloom.
If you want a specific color azalea, buy it in bloom to assure a color match.
For more information on any of the above points, contact the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension office at 425-2335.