All about March

March Means Time For to Prepare Soil, Plant Vegetables & Flowers

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Signs of spring are beginning to show. Nowhere is this more evident than on the trees and bushes in Southern California yards as they bloom and sprout new growth. March is the time to prepare gardens for a successful growing season.

Determine Your Garden’s Soil: The dirt in your backyard is primarily two types–sandy or clay. Sandy soil contains large particles and will not hold together easily even when wet. While it quickly drains, its porous nature does hold water or nutrients necessary for plants. Clay soil is dense and sticky when wet. Although it drains poorly, it holds in nutrients and water. Adding compost to either type of soil solves problems associated with each. The decaying materials found in compost allow air and water to traverse through the soil to reach plant roots. Microorganisms and earthworms in the compost naturally reinvigorate and enrich the soil.

Prepare Your Planting Beds and Garden Area: Add compost throughout the planting area–before planting begins and when replanting existing gardening beds or lawns, dividing perennials or repotting container plants. Use a rototiller if possible and till in compost about two to three inches into the soil.

Planning & Saving on Your 2009 March Madness Travel Experience

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

While a total of 65 teams initially take part in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, aka March Madness, only one will be crowned 2008-2009 national champions on April 6 in downtown Detroit – at Ford Field.

That’s right – at “a field.” And in April.

Ah, yes, while most of the Madness still takes place in March, gone are the days when the tournament took place in basketball-only venues. This year, some teams on “The Road to the Final Four” will play at the usual confines of a baseball domed-stadium (the Metrodome in Minneapolis) while others will partake in a gigantic, almost monolith edifice you could fit multiple 747 airplanes inside (Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona).

A total of seven sights make their March Madness debuts, and, of course, only one is within walking distance of the heart of a college campus! All told, of the 13 sites for this year’s Madness, there are three “Arenas,” plus two each of the “Garden,” “Center,” and “Stadium” variety, and one each of a “Coliseum,” “Forum,” “Dome” and, ahem, “Field.” As in a cozy “Fieldhouse?” Well, not exactly.

March is Busy Time For Southern California Gardeners

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Warm weather is within sight for gardeners, meaning plenty of planting opportunities in March for Southern California gardeners.

Planting From Seed: Nothing can be more gratifying for a gardener than to watch vegetables and flowers grow from seed. Many plants grow healthier and stronger from seed by avoiding the trauma of transplanting. Local nurseries carry an assortment of seed packs. Follow the directions carefully for the best results.

Warm Season Flowers And Vegetables: Cool season gardens should have grown beautifully this year because of our mild winter. March signals a changeover from cool season to warm season flowers and vegetables. Plant spring flowers such as marigolds, petunias, freesias, gladiolus, daffodils and grape hyacinths. March is the perfect time to plant beans, summer and winter squash, corn, eggplant, onion, peppers, turnips and some spring tomatoes.

Potato Planting: A fun garden project for kids is to plant potatoes. Start by filling your planting area with about four inches of compost. Water well. Place small whole potatoes or pieces of potato with at least one or two “eyes (the best variety are available at garden centers) six to eight inches deep in rows. Cover with four inches of compost. Water regularly but don’t soak. Potatoes grow between the planted pieces and the surface of the soil. As stems grow, continue to add soil half way up the stem. Harvest the potatoes three weeks after the plants have finished flowering.

Gardening Care and Tips

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

With spring just around the corner, many Texans will be getting spring fever and will begin to til the land preparing for a garden. Having a garden is not only fun, it can be handy during hard economic times.

Growing your own vegetables and fruits not only cost less, but they taste much better than what you can buy in the grocery store.

You cannot have a successful garden unless you know when to plant and what to plant. Many gardeners begin planting in late March. The average last frost day in central Texas is March 15. To be safe, most people wait until the end of March to plant.

Not sure what to plant? Here is a list of a few vegetables that can be planted in late March.
* Broccoli.
* Chard
* Collards
* leaf lettuce
* mustard

It is important to follow planting directions when planting vegetables to get the best results.

March – The Best Month to Rework the Rock Garden

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

As perennials in the South begin growing during March keep a close check on them for diseases. When peonies start out they make rapid growth, so keep a close check for botrytis blight and aphids, both of which can cause the buds to blight and fall off.

March on pests! Now is the time to save many long hours of trouble later on with roses. Check for any kind of dead tissue and remove it; remove old leaves and litter all are harboring places for insects or disease spores. As soon as new growth is a few inches long start spraying and dusting to control black spot.

If the protective mounds of soil around the base of the canes have not been removed they should be now. Prune back any winter killed canes. In case of a late freeze (which is entirely possible in much of our area), do not remove the blackened canes too soon. After a few days nature will form a ring around the cane to a point where the tissues have been killed-prune to this point and new growth will then be stimulated. Paint the wounds made by this pruning to prevent bleeding. When you are certain that the danger of freezing is past put on a mulch of well-rotted cow manure to improve the quality and increase the quantity of the first crop of blooms. Keep the manure from touching the canes.

March Madness For Venues – NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Arenas

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

On Selection Sunday, March 15th, sixty-five teams are selected for the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tournament. This begins March Madness and the drive to see who makes it to the Final Four tournament at Ford Field in Detroit.

The NCAA basketball tournament means it’s show time for the venues who host the games. Attendance is expected to soar to over 700,000 this year, making March Madness a mini stimulus package for the host city and a chance for venues to shine on a national stage.

The Road to the Final Four plays through 13 cities. Here’s a quick venue tour of the final rounds of the NCAA tournament:

TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
East Regional – March 26 & 28, 2009

Boston has a long and successful history as a sports town and the NCAA East Regional Championship games will, no doubt, build on Boston’s reputation for being a top-notch host for big events. Inside the TD Banknorth Gardens is the Sports Museum of New England. For $6 for adults, $4 for children and $15 per family visitors can see Larry Bird’s locker, a Boston Garden penalty box, lots of Red Sox memorabilia and more.

Garden Flowers and Shrubs in Early March

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Garden flower seed sowing can begin if the weather is friendly and a general fertilizer at around 2 ozs. to the sq. yd. should be worked into the bed for annuals and half-hardies.

Gardeners in the south, who have hardened off their sweet pea seedlings, can now plant them out during a mild spell. Those in the north must be more patient. The drills should be watered the day previously and the roots carefully disentangled before planting.

Care should be taken that the brown mark or collar above the seed stem is left visible and not buried. Finally, a few bushy twigs should be placed around each plant.

Sweet pea seed can now be sown 1-l&1/2 ins. deep outdoors. Beware of mice!

Insofar as your shrubs are concerned, think about the following tasks.

Many herbaceous plants should be restricted at an early stage to 6-8 shoots a plant.

When should roses be pruned? This is the most controversial subject among rosarians, but the majority agree that mid-February in the south to mid-April in the north is the best time – when the sap begins to rise. But there are many who prune in December or January and are confident that this leads to earlier and larger blooms. Much will depend on climate and weather.

Gardener’s Calendar For March

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

March is when things start getting busy in the garden. The hard, cold days of winter are gone and the weather is warming. It’s time to put the plans and dreams of February into action.

You Shall Reap What You Sow

An abundance of fresh produce is the gardener’s reward and now is the time to begin planting some of the early crops. Start garden favourites, like tomatoes, peppers and tubers on a sunny windowsill or in the greenhouse. Early vegetables may be sown under cloches, which will warm the soil to allow germination and protect tender seedlings from cold night-time temperatures.

Examine existing fruit trees to ensure that grease bands are in place and in good condition. Work manure into the ground around all trees and evaluate where grafting may be desired. Put container grown fruit trees, canes and bushes into the ground and mulch well. Tend to the strawberry patch and prune raspberries, if needed.

Protect from the Cold

In preparation for a late season cold snap, have plenty of horticultural fleece on hand. Should severe weather be forecast, protect all plants from damage by covering them with fleece. Check coldframes to ensure that they have enough insulation, as well.

March Garden Calendar – What to Do

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

In Northern United States and Canada

When severe Winter weather is over and signs of new growth are evident, carefully remove Winter protection from bulbs, Roses, perennials, evergreens and other plants. Complete pruning fruit trees and all ornamental shrubs such as Butterfly Bush, Peegee Hydrangea, Vitex, Rose of Sharon and others that bloom at midsummer and later. Don’t prune Spring-blooming kinds such as Forsythia, Flowering Quince, and Deutzias until they are through blooming.

You may rejuvenate old straggly Lilacs, Rhododendrons and Yews by cutting them to within a foot or so of the ground at this time, following this drastic pruning by fertilizing and mulching’ them, and by being sure to water them generously during dry weather in Summer. Don’t be in too great a hurry to prune bush Roses but do it before their leaf buds expand.

As soon as the ground is dry enough to work, sow Peas, Sweet Peas, Larkspurs, Cornflowers, Poppies and other very hardy annuals. Spade ground when dry enough in preparation for later plantings. Where Winter Rye has been sown as a green manure turn this under. Plant deciduous (leaf-losing) trees and shrubs. If you intend to use dormant sprays, such as sulphur and miscible oil, to control mites, scale insects and certain other pests do so before new growth begins, when the temperature is above 40 degrees and there is no danger of freezing the night following the application.

Spring is Almost Here – March Gardening Tips

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

The beginning of spring is among us. Beautiful days, cool nights, and wind especially in the southwest (it can’t always be perfect).

You should be able to plant just about anything including bulbs, trees, shrubs, bedding plants. Be careful with tomato plants,however, the weather can be a bit tricky during this month.

If you do plant frost tender plants during the March gardening season, be prepared to cover them in event of a late frost.

In the Southwest New Mexico area or lower elevations of the southwest we usually get a cold snap followed by some pretty warm days during the month of March. Try using “Wall-o-waters” for your tomato plants to help protect them from temps down to 15 degrees f.

Some flowering shrubs, trees, and vines you may want to consider are wisteria, Idaho locust, rhaphiolepsis, carolina jessamine, cross-vine, roses, flowering cherry, crape myrtle, texas sage, trumpet vine to name a few.

Fruit trees should be abundant at this time of year, and can be planted as late as May without undo stress. Varieties that we carry are cherry, apple, plum, apricot, pear, peach, nectarine, pecan, almond, fig, loquat, grapes, raspberries, blackberries and more.

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