Gardening Tips for March

If you haven’t spread a pre-emergent on your lawn, do so as soon as possible.  With the unusually warm winter, weed seeds like crab grass are beginning to sprout.  Pre-emergents stop the germination of weeds that invade lawns during the spring and summer.  A simple treatment of your lawn will save you the time, money and headache of weeding later.  If you use organics, spreadable corn gluten is recommended as a pre-emergent.  Corn gluten is kid, pet and environmentally friendly.     

 Fertilizing your lawn in March will help bring the grass out of dormancy and boost the growth of new shoots and green up the grass quickly.  McDade’s balanced slow-release fertilizer is specially formulated for Cedar Creek and the surrounding area.

March is a great time to be planting a vegetable garden.  There is nothing better than tasting a fresh tomato picked directly from the vine, sliced and sprinkled with salt and pepper!  Growing vegetables is easy, fun, economical and healthy for you.  

Tomatoes and peppers can be planted outside when the threat of frost has past.  The last average freeze date for the Cedar Creek Lake and surrounding area is March 15.   However, if temperatures drop close to 32 degrees, it’s best to protect them by covering with a ground cloth.

Snap beans, lima beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, mustard and watermelon can be planted from seed after the middle of March while eggplant, okra, peppers, pumpkins and squash are best planted later in the month.  If you have a greenhouse or a warm indoor room or patio you can start them earlier.

Prepare your flower beds by applying a thick layer of compost.  Decomposed organic matter improves the soil structure, helps keep moisture in the ground and provides important nutrients to support healthy plant growth.   Apply a layer of compost on top of you beds and till or dig in up to a depth of five to six inches.

Always remember to use mulch in your garden.  Two to three inches of mulch helps prevent weeds, regulates the temperature of the soil and prevents the evaporation of water, saving money on your water bill.  If insects are a concern, try using a cedar or cypress mulch that act as natural repellants.

By working your yard in March, you will get a head start on gardening for the rest of the year.  Your plants will also like it and reward you with big blooms and a healthy harvest.

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