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Gardeners eager to spring into action after winter lull

Posted: March 20, 2012 - 3:40pm  |  Updated: March 28, 2012 - 10:36am

Spring has just begun, and gardeners are beginning to get a little peek at the results of all of their winter garden preparations. This is a crucial time for gardening because of the danger of a late freeze, so watch the weather forecast. It takes year-round planning and maintenance to be rewarded with a beautiful lawn and garden.

You should still fertilize your houseplants monthly. When your houseplant outgrows its container, you need to repot it. One sure way to kill a houseplant is for it to become root bound.

March is the time to prune ornamentals (like crape myrtles) for shaping. The South Carolina Master Gardener Training Manual advises, “that crape myrtles do not require heavy pruning to promote bloom. Crape myrtles will produce flowers without any pruning, but they will produce larger flowers and bloom more profusely if pruned lightly.” Also, now is the time to prune, fertilize and mulch shrubbery. If you want shrubs, plant them now and water them well.

If you did not apply pre-emergence herbicides to your lawn in February, apply them now. To top-dress your lawn, apply compost, sand or soil over the surface. Golf courses have been top-dressed since the sport began in Scotland. Imagine what it can do for your home lawn.

Building good soil increases the soil’s life.

Prepare your garden for planting spring and summer annuals. Begin planting your annuals (plants that complete their life cycle in one growing season), and perennials (plants that live for more than two years).

Fertilize your roses and bulbs, and remove any dead flower heads. Dead-heading (removing dead flowers) from your plant encourages your plant to produce more flowers.

Fertilize fruit trees and plant strawberries, but do not prune fig trees until late March. Do not spray fruit trees with anything containing insecticides while they are in bloom.

Remember your Clemson University Gardening Information Center telephone number, (888) 656-9988, and Web site, hgic.clemson.edu, for help with gardening questions or problems you may have.

 

VICTORIA HALL, A NORTH AUGUSTA RESIDENT, HAS BEEN A MASTER GARDENER SINCE 2008.

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