March 2014 Garden Tip of the Month

March Tip of the Month by Linda Dodds, Master Gardener

foxislandspringHope all of you who went to the northwest Flower and Garden show had a great time smelling all the blooming plants and browsing through all the shopping opportunities and then came home believing spring is right around the corner.  And actually March is the transitional month between the cold of winter and the gradual warming of spring.  Crocus are in bloom with daffodils right behind.  After that hyacinths and tulips will be blooming all the way into April and houseplants are starting to show signs of new growth.  That means it’s time to start feeding your indoor lovelies and to give them extra nutrients.  One of the best ways to feed them is not necessarily a plant food, but a plant and soil booster.  And of course I am talking about the delicious (to plants only) plant booster available right here in the Gig Harbor area.  It’s called Garden Grog and is made from responsibly hand harvested and promptly cold roasted Alaskan sea kelp. You can contact Andy Dahl who is a local distributor for information and to order some now.  Andy is available by emailing him at adahl@mac.com.  Two little capfuls makes a gallon of solution.

If your soil was ready to sow seeds of lettuce and spinach, they ,may be large enough to start thinning.  Looseleaf lettuce should be thinned 4-6 inches apart while Butterhead, Cos and Romaine should be thinned 6-12 inches apart.  Spinach – 5-6 inches and Swiss Chard 8-10.  And you don’t have to throw away the sprouts you pull up, just cut off the tiny roots and add them to the compost pile, then  gently wash and toss the greens into a lovely salad.

Watch the local garden stores now for asparagus roots, Artichokes, potatoes and all the cabbage family seeds or bedding plants.

Turn over compost piles while it’s still rainy and turn over often to incorporate air into them.  You will be needing a good supply of compost to add to your garden later on.

Lawns need a good Spring fertilizer application to help them fill in any bare spots or weeds fill it in instead.  Nature abhors a vacuum.  In other words–if there is a bare space in the ground, nature will fill it in if it isn’t planted by something else…first.  And that translates into meaning weeds and especially into well watered, fed and groomed lawns.

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