March Gardening Tips

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Fertilizing

It’s time to get ready to start fertilizing. Almost everything should be fertilized soon. As soon as deciduous plants have their full set of leaves fertilizing should be done I’ve actually done it in timing with the rain and had the rain water it in for me. If the rains time themselves right, it makes it easy. Hopefully we get some decent rains in the next several weeks to help with that. For most plants you should use a balanced fertilizer or an all purpose fertilizer. The three numbers will be the same such as 16-16-16 or 5-5-5 for organics. When fertilizing trees and shrubs apply the fertilizer at the drip line and work it into the soil. Make sure the plant is watered well before applying the fertilizer and water the fertilizer in after application.

We carry 16-16-16 in 33 pound bags priced @ $24.95. We have organic balanced fertilizer from DR. Earth in 12 pound and 50 pound bags as well as 4 pound boxes. We also carry a full line of organic fertilizer for all other fertilizing needs.

Vegetable Gardens

Prepare the soil with good amendments. Also incorporate into the soil a vegetable fertilizer and bone meal or oystershell lime for calcium. This will help to prevent blossom end rot on your tomatoes and squash and other vegetables. We carry Dr Earth organic tomato and vegetable fertilizer in 4 pound 12 pound or 50 pound sizes. I have used it for the past several years on my vegetable garden at home and here at the nursery and it works very well. I also incorporate some kelp meal into the garden which helps with disease prevention.

Specialty Fertilizers

Some plants need specialty fertilizers. Rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias like acid fertilizers. Use a fertilizer that is labeled for them. When fertilizing these plants, you want to fertilize them 3 times after they are done blooming. Each fertilizer application should be 30 days apart after bloom. Then don’t fertilize them again for the season. If they are fertilized too late in the season, they tend to grow and not set blooms for the next year. Gardenias also like acid fertilizer but they do better with monthly feeding through the growing season. Another tip for gardenias; avoid getting water on the flower buds when watering. It tends to make the buds fall off and you get fewer blooms. Water them from the bottom of the plant and all the buds will bloom.

Citrus need to be fertilized with a citrus fertilizer. Most packages say to fertilize three or four times per year. We have found that doing it monthly during the growing season gives better results. Just make sure you reduce the dosage for monthly feeding if the directions are giving the dosage for quarterly feedings.

Fertilizing Roses

Roses should be fertilized monthly through the growing and blooming season. They are heavy feeders and perform best with regular fertilizing. Use a rose fertilizer. If you want to prevent the aphids at the same time, use a systemic rose food. It is also time to start spraying roses for fungus soon. If you start early and stay ahead of it, it is much easier than trying to catch up once the fungus has started. We use neem oil mixed with Monterey Horticultural Oil on the roses here. It works as an insecticide and fungicide. If done regularly it works very well and both are an organic fungicide/insecticide. If the fungus problems get severe a rose fungicide will usually take care of it better.

Aphids

Watch for aphids. If you see them, start a control program early. Neem oil works well for aphids. Or you can use an insecticide. Beneficial insects released in the garden work too. We do not carry those but there are places to get them if you want to go that route. If you are going to apply an annual systemic treatment on your trees, now is the time to apply it. We carry Monterey Once A Year Insect Control. A quart is $14.89. You use one ounce for each one inch of distance around the trunk measured at chest height. It is good for aphid control and borer control. It is not labeled for fruit trees. We highly recommend it for birch trees for borer control and for any tree which is subject to aphids. It is also excellent for controlling aphids on Crape Myrtle. A once a year application is all it takes. Easy to use. Mix it with water and pour it at the base of the tree. This product works really well!

Mulching

Two to three inches of mulch around your plants will stop evaporation and will greatly reduce the amount of water you use and still have very healthy plants. That and drip irrigating does save quite a bit of water. We are installing a drip system on the hillside we are landscaping. We have already mulched, and even through the dry January, we only watered twice. The ground under the mulch does not dry out very fast.

Hillside Garden and Garden Railroad

When you come in, be sure to take a walk through the hillside landscape and beautification project. It’s beyond the trees in our retail area and across a red bridge. It’s really pretty. We have benches to sit on where you can relax and enjoy the natural beauty. Large boulders and old oaks. I am building a garden railroad that I hope to have running in April. I think it will be fun. At least for me and I’m sure kids will enjoy watching the train. We have a picnic table there so you can bring a lunch and sit and enjoy. It is really nice and peaceful there. If you visit it, sit and relax and enjoy!

The weather is beautiful for gardening or any other outdoor activities. We have lots of inventory and lots coming in regularly. It’s a beautiful time for gardening.

Hopefully we see you soon.

Jeff

Coming Up Soon

  • Citrus trees and Avocados arrived earlier this month. Nice selection.
  • Rhododendrons and azaleas will be blooming soon.
  • Roses should start blooming in Late March or early April.
  • Summer annuals are starting to arrive and will continue in greater variety as the season progresses.
  • Summer vegetables are arriving now in limited quantities and will continue in greater quantities as the weather warms and through the next couple of months.
  • We started 32 different varieties of tomatoes in the greenhouse at the beginning of March and expect they will be ready for sale in April.
  • We are starting hanging baskets in the green house this week. They should be ready some time in April.

The first day of spring is March 20th.

Yuba City Spring Home Show: March 27th 28th and 29th. We will be there.

Organic vegetable gardening clinics in late March and early April. I will send out notifications of the exact dates.

Any suggestions or desires for other gardening clinics? Let us know.