Garden Planner: Mar/Apr 2006

Everything you need to know to get your garden ready for spring.

In March, plant Dahlia tubers for stunning summer blooms and finish pruning evergreens (below).


Your March/April Checklist

MARCH

* Remember, March 14 is our average last frost date, but don’t rely on it; we often have a late freeze in the final days of March and even April.

* Finish pruning evergreens and summer flowering trees such as crape myrtles by early March.

* Prepare beds for summer vegetables and flowers.

* Dig and divide summer and fall flowering perennials, bulbs, and rhizomes before they emerge and begin their spring growth.

* Order caladium tubers. Fertilize azaleas and camellias after they finish blooming.

* Try using Osmocote Outdoor & Indoor Smart Release Plant Food for easy and effective rose feeding. Plant container-grown roses, shrubs, and trees.

* Plant dahlia tubers in rich, well-drained soil.

* Begin planting hardy vegetables such as eggplant, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers.

* Repot houseplants that have outgrown their containers.

* Fertilize pansies for a final flush of blooms.

* Begin to set out summer annuals in mid to late March.

* Begin to seed Bermuda grass and sod St. Augustine.

* Take advantage of your last chance to sow seeds of cosmos, larkspur, and poppies.

* Turn compost and add a little fertilizer to it.

* Do preventative treatment for black spot and mildew with a fungicide such as Fertilome Systemic Fungicide. It is easier to prevent infection than to stop once it has started.

* Watch for aphids, lace bugs, and scale insects on azaleas, and treat immediately before infestation becomes severe.


APRIL

* It is too late for bare root stock, but container-grown and B&B (balled and burlapped) specimens are plentiful.

* Look over established annuals and perennials, and deadhead to perpetuate blooming.

* Watch for black spot on roses and treat with a fungicide such as Fertilome Systemic Fungicide when symptoms appear.

* After they finish blooming, prune climbing roses, forsythia, quince, and Indian hawthorn.

* Some evergreen plants shed old leaves this time of year, so don’t be alarmed if leaves on your magnolias, photinia, abelia, ligustrum, gardenia, and pittosporum turn yellow and drop off.

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A Garden Stroll

The Colleyville Garden Club’s tour features gardens built from scratch, including one (below) that was a horse pasture eight years ago and another (above) that incorporates 65,000 tons of rock.

Looking for ideas for the back yard? Then check out the COLLEYVILLE GARDEN CLUB’S PROMENADE GARDEN TOUR on April 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. View four gardens that have been cultivated from blank slates to garden sanctuaries. Along the tour, you’ll see koi ponds, one garden with 80 different types of perennials, and a mountain escape that incorporated 65,000 tons of rock. There’s also a shade garden, which shows off which plants to use when sunshine is limited. But the real attractions are the garden club members who serve as hostesses of the tour and are on hand to answer any questions attendees might have. Along with spectacular scenery, visit an educational exhibit on attracting birds to your yard, a plant sale, and a raffle. And be sure to keep an eye out for a backyard look you love. Plants are labeled for easy identification, and if you can’t buy the plant there, hostesses will point you in the right direction. Admission is $10 in advance and $12 at the event. For more information, visit www.colleyvillegardenclub.org.             
–  Hannah Seddelmeyer

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