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Landscaping - March Gardening Tips from Pikes
Date Posted: Mar 01, 2005
March is a transitional gardening month. It's not winter anymore, but it's not quite spring either. Temperatures and weather patterns often change with little or no warning. Although we can't control the whims of Mother Nature, there are a lot of gardening preparations to keep you busy during the month of March.
  • In the event of an early spring cold snap, it is not unusual for spring blooming plants and trees to suffer minor cold damage. Although the blooms can't be salvaged, healthy plants will replace the injured leaves as the growing season progresses.
  • Apply crabgrass preventer to your lawn before mid-March. Crabgrass preventers put a barrier on the soil that prevents crabgrass and certain other weed seed from germinating. Don't wait too long, this product will do little or no good once crabgrass has sprouted.
  • Control weeds that have already sprouted, like Chickweed, Dandelions and Henbit, with a post-emergent weed killer. Check the label to make sure that the chemical used in the product is safe for your type of grass.
  • Aerate your lawn and planting areas to increase water penetration and air circulation in the soil. The response will be improved plant growth.
  • Test the pH of your soil. Our clay soil tends to have an acidic pH level. Lime is used to reduce the soil's acidity. Apply 40 pounds of lime per 1000 square feet to reduce the acidity by one-half point.
  • Feed Fescue lawns with Atlanta Turf Special 31-3-10 fertilizer. Wait to fertilize dormant turf grasses, such as Bermuda or Zoysia until April when they are at least 50% green.
  • Overseed Fescue lawns. 25 pounds of seed will cover 5000 square feet. Do not apply a crabgrass preventer if you sow grass seed in the spring. Not only does it prevent crabgrass seed from germinating, it can prevent your grass seed from germinating, too.
  • Fertilize shrubs and trees with a 16-4-8 or 12-6-6 fertilizer, according to package directions. Do not fertilize spring flowering plants or trees, like azaleas, camellias and dogwoods, until they finish blooming.
  • Plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Planting now will give the plants time to establish their root systems before summer's heat arrives.
  • Freshen the mulch in your planting areas. Mulches, like pine straw or bark nuggets help to control weed growth by preventing the rays of the sun from reaching the weed seeds. They also help to reduce evaporation and conserve moisture in the soil.
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