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March Gardening Tips
Well I am a couple of weeks late getting this out. Sorry for the delay. The nursery has been pretty busy with the beautiful spring weather and I got a little behind. But better late than never right? I don’t think that is a good excuse but anyway here it is.
March is the month to get ready for fertilizing the landscape. Almost everything in the landscape should be fertilized soon. As soon as deciduous plants have their full set of leaves and the danger of hard freeze is over fertilizing should be done. 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.
This year we have large bags of balanced organic fertilizer. Dr Earth Life organic fertilizer is available in 25 pound and 40 pound bags. It’s formulation is 5-5-5. I used this last year on the orchard here at the nursery and it works really well. It is easy to use and the results I found were great. It also works well on container plants and raised beds. The 25 pound bag will cover 750 sq. ft. and costs $42.99. The 40 pound bag covers 1200 sq. ft. and costs $59.99. It is also available in a 4 pound bag for $12.99. We also carry a full line of organic fertilizer for all other fertilizing needs.
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.
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.
Watch for aphids. If you see them, start a control program early. Neem oil works well for aphids too. 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 now carry Monterey Once A Year Insect Control. It is much less expensive than the comparable Bayer brand we used to carry. A quart is $10.25 and a gallon is $31.00. 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.
Well we finally are supposed to have a little bit of rain this week. We really do need it. After this passes through it is supposed to get back into the mid 70’s. Really nice. Although we do need more rain. I would like it to rain once a week but not on weekends for about the next month. Wishful thinking.
In the mean time, hope you can get out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather we have around here and we hope to see you soon,
Special – Japanese Maples
5 gallon $35.00
Oshio Beni – Arching Branches, 15 – 20 ft. tall. Red leaves
Emperor One – 12-15 ft. Tall. Dark red leaves. Black bark. Tolerates sun.
Bloodgood – 12-15 ft. tall. Dark red leaves. Tolerates sun.
Fireglow – 12-15 ft. tall. Red leaves turn bright red in fall. Tolerates sun
Coming Up Soon
Rhododendrons and azaleas will be blooming soon.
Roses should start blooming in Late March or early April.
Summer annuals should start arriving in April.
Summer vegetables are arriving now and will continue through the next couple of months.
Organically grown vegetable starts will be available in mid April. they are in the greenhouse growing right now. We will have a large selection.
The first day of spring is March 20th.
Yuba City Spring Home Show: March 23, 24, 25. We will be there.
Organic vegetable gardening clinics in early to mid April.
We will be closed Easter Sunday, March 31st.