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Archives for March 1, 2015

Sneak peak: Philly’s movie-themed Flower Show

The Philadelphia Flower Show has rolled out the red carpet for you. Literally.

Doors to the 10-acre exhibit hall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City were blocked off Thursday night to bar admission while crews painstakingly placed the carpet beneath a flower-bedecked art deco theater marquee that highlights the show’s “Celebrate the Movies” theme. The show opens Saturday and runs through March 8.

Inside, floral and landscape designers ranging from internationally known names to Hockessin’s Irwin Landscaping and University of Delaware students have created tableaux based on Disney and Pixar movies, including “Mulan” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

And, yes, “Frozen” fans: There is a garden for you. And you “Frozen” fans probably also will love Robertson’s Flowers’ “A Fairy Tale Ending – Cinderella’s Wedding,” featuring a horseshoe-shaped dining table and feasts of pale-colored flowers.

Surprisingly, the exhibits are not as candy-colored as the animation possibilities of Disney movies might lead you to expect. Many of the gardens use an element of a show, such as television showing “The Lion King” in a spectacular backyard kitchen and bar. A riot of color and shapes is Schaffer Designs’ “Nightmare Before Christmas” display.

Irwin Landscaping chose “Winnie the Pooh” and created an idyllic wooded garden complete with a bridge over a stream and a honey pot tipped over and spilling “honey” made of caramel heuchera.

The idea behind the exhibit, dubbed “Pooh’s Honey Depot,” was to give gardeners ideas for things they can do at their own homes. They won’t want to plant all of the daffodils, river birch, heuchera and other plants, but some of the combinations may please them, says Tom Taylor, a retired landscape designer who works with Pete Irwin every year on the exhibit.

During a Thursday night preview, Taylor was busy rearranging a stone border to accommodate the plants.

“The goal is to not have any of the mulch showing,” Taylor said.

Like many of the exhibitors, Irwin Landscaping lost plants to frigid temperatures on the loading docks. Most of the plants in the show, forced into bloom or greenery, are fragile. They are transported to the show in 80-degree trucks, but then put on the loading dock to be moved. Several of Irwin’s trees and plants died, and they had to scramble for replacement.

Show designer Sam Lemheney said 250 New Guinea inpatiens set to go into the entrance plaza also lost all their blooms. They were replaced with variegated geraniums.

The exhibit space also gets very cold, particularly at night, and on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the show concourse was filled with delicate plants because it was warmer there than inside.

“The weather has not been kind to us,” Lemheney said.

This year’s movie theme is part of a deliberate move by the Flower Show to cast a wider net and appeal to younger people, particularly families, said Drew Becher, who is president of the Philadelphia Horticulture Society. The Flower Show is a fundraiser for the society’s greening, education and community gardening efforts. Ticket sales are particularly brisk this year, he said. Most early events sold out unusually early.

Becher said sales like that help the society do such things as planting the 500,000th tree this spring in a regional campaign to plant 1 million trees.

Lemheney and Becher said they couldn’t think of a movie they expected to be done that was not, although Lemheney said he personally would have done some of John Hughes’ movies, such as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Pretty in Pink.” He also said “The Lion King” interpretation is beautiful, but he was secretly hoping for a giant Pride Rock kind of treatment.

Lemheney was not surprised so many designers did elegant wooded gardens, many complete with shacks or structures. The Burke Bros.’ “Root 66,” honoring “Cars,” even comes with live chickens.

Show organizers want home gardeners to be inspired to try to new ideas, he said. This year, the show will highlight it with “Reel to Real” markers pointing out ideas that could be used at home, ranging from sustainability practices to plant combinations.

To reinforce the idea of good gardening practices, organizers are trying to make the show’s materials completely recycled and reused after the exhibit ends. Materials are 80 percent recycled now, but Becher says that within three years, he hopes to be at 100 percent.

Contact Betsy Price at (302) 324-2884 or beprice@delawareonline.com.

If you go

WHAT: 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show, “Celebrate the Movies”

WHEN: Through Sunday March 28. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily through Friday; 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia.

TICKETS: Online $32, adults; $22, students ages 17-24 with I.D.; $17, children ages 2-16 at the door; cheaper online, but print-at-home service fees apply.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.theflowershow.com; (215) 988-8899.

Article source: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/life/2015/02/27/sneak-peak-phillys-movie-themed-flower-show/24113169/

This dreamer has a totally crazy, possibly genius idea

Mural of America creator Doug Arnholter poses inDetail of the makeshift desk and work area of localSmokey, the resident cat, wanders through the studioThe Mural of America creator Doug Arnholter is aboutA 5-gallon bucket of artist's brushes is  ready forDetail of a portion of a canvas showing the signaturesDoug Arnholter plays a little jazz piano during a FirstDoug Arnholter shows off samples of his paint-by-numbersDoug Arnholter's studio is a small Northside garageOn his Mural of America project, creator Doug Arnholter

He once wanted to turn the moon purple. Yes, purple. Just aim lasers at it for a whole night and day, long enough for everyone in the world to get a glimpse.

Doug Arnholter’s got a lot of ideas. He has one right now, and he’s serious. It’s also kind of awesome and crazy — maybe just crazy enough to work.

Six years in, it’s almost in launch mode now, though he spends a lot of time inside a barely heated garage on the Northwestside wondering if it will actually take off.

Yes, there are doubts. With the way things have been going — no RV, no big sponsors, a fraction of the money coming in — there’s a good chance it won’t even happen, at least not according to plan.

But tell this 56-year-old his head’s in the clouds, and he’ll tell you that’s not nearly high enough. Some people’s dreams stop at their doorstep. His stretch all the way into the cosmos.

What’s Arnholter’s big idea? It’s simple. Ambitiously simple. Create a mural made by thousands of people in every state in the country, plus Washington, D.C. Call it the “Mural of America,” make it about reminding people that humanity is a shared experience and allot 15 months, 16,000 miles and $175,000 to do it.

“It’s important for this country,” Arnholter says. “We’re always bickering, so we miss the big picture. A woman once told me this project is about ‘the cohesion of diversity.’ That’s the best way I’ve heard anyone describe it.”

Traveling to a new state every weekend, with a break in the winter, Arnholter wants to stop by the Boston Marathon, the Las Vegas Art Festival, the Treme Gumbo Creole Festival in New Orleans and the Broad Ripple Art Fair. He’ll use a similar route taken by the Ringling Brothers Circus in the 1900s. He’ll live in an RV.

First stop: Pendleton, S.C.

“I won’t have a salary, but I get to live,” he says.

He’ll set up shop at art and state fairs and invite passers-by to pick up a brush and make their mark on two identical paint-by-numbers canvasses. One mural will go to the state, and the other he’ll take with him to present at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Fourth of July weekend in 2016.

That’s when he’ll combine all 51 murals into an 8-foot-tall, 200-foot-long “Mural of America.” The project’s supposed to remind us that, even in our increasingly fractured society, there is such a thing as community. Everyone is a part of the “Mural of America.”

If you want to really understand what he’s trying to do, though, you have to enter his world. As Arnholter opens up the door to the small garage, smoke and the sounds of jazz piano escape into the air.

It’s a chaotic scene inside. There are brushes and paint cans and Solo cups and random boxes everywhere. There’s a lawnmower. Arnholter’s workspace? Basically a wooden armchair next to a makeshift table covered in dust, ash and paint and under which a small electric heater quietly coos.

He crouches over an old laptop as he waits for online donations to roll in. They don’t. Behind him are these 8-foot-tall painted canvases, which are signed by hundreds of people in the margins. A cat scampers in from the house. This is Arnholter’s impossible little alcove of art and ambition, and it’ll do.

He doesn’t live here. He doesn’t live anywhere. He’s homeless and jobless. This is his niece and nephew’s home, and he’s scraping by with what little money he has from selling art. A long time ago, in the 1980s and 90s, he was wealthy, he says.

He helped sell home furnishings in South Carolina and later worked as an executive in Dallas, where he helped a pest-control company absorb local landscaping businesses. When he realized there was no joy in what he did, and that he had a 3-year-old daughter he barely knew, he quit his job to raise her on an organic farm outside Bloomington.

It was the start of a new life. Working and living off the land, with plenty of time left over to think up new ideas. They moved to a farm bustling with swans and peacocks. After that, one called “On Top of the World.”

He eventually found his way to Indianapolis, he says, when he began working as a studio and commercial artist in the early 2000s. He says it was a total accident. Then, in 2009, he decided he could no longer ignore that thing that had been rattling in his brain for years.

Time is running out. He’s supposed to leave by April, but the way the money’s been trickling in, that probably won’t happen. His fundraising page is indiegogo.com/projects/mural-of-america-world-the-big-picture. It’s been causing him a lot of stress lately.

It would be wrong to call Arnholter out of touch. He knows the task ahead of him. He knows how easily it is to throw up his hands and say, “Oh, it was all just a stupid dream.”

“I know this thing won’t really matter in the end. All I’ll ever do will really just be this tiny, tiny drop,” he says.

But, in the face of all of this, Arnholter does the only thing he can do. It’s the only option, really, for anyone who dares to dream big.

“I’m trying,” he says.

That’s how Doug Arnholter thinks. His ideas seem far-fetched at first, but then you realize all he wants is to do something worth remembering. Pointing lasers at the moon to make it appear purple is actually possible, says former NASA roboticist Randall Monroe, if you give every living human being a copy of the spotlight on the roof of the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.

The ideas are about making a difference, maybe even making history.

“Doug energizes me,” says Mary Lett, a close friend.

“He’s this really charismatic, eccentric, lovable, thoughtful guy,” says his daughter, Molly Arnholter, now a 24-year-old child care provider living in California.

He’s a bit off-kilter, sure, but wasn’t also John Lennon, Joan Baez, Salvadore Dalí and perhaps every other artist who did anything worth remembering? No one changes the world by conforming to it.

Arnholter’s big idea? It just might be genius.

Wei-Huan Chen can be reached at wei-huan.chen@indystar.com or on Twitter at @weihuanchen.

Article source: http://www.indystar.com/story/life/2015/02/26/dreamer-totally-crazy-possibly-genius-idea/24076323/

Home Help: Low-maintenance landscaping ideas – Times Herald


Posted Feb. 23, 2015 at 2:01 AM


Article source: http://www.recordonline.com/article/20150223/News/150229992

Portland Flower Show promises to be a breath of lush air

Sweet Lillie Landscaping of Bar Mills will celebrate its coming-out Wednesday at the gala opening of the Portland Flower Show.

Stephanie Shaw, company founder, has been thinking about her flower show exhibition garden since last summer when she could actually see and smell some of the flowers she planned to have in her display. But her planning was complicated by a move this winter, which required that she dismantle her greenhouse and nurture most of her plants in the guest bedroom of her new home – boxwoods, needled evergreens, junipers, heather.

Additional Images

A Jewel of Africa nasturtium at the 2010 Portland Flower Show.A Jewel of Africa nasturtium at the 2010 Portland Flower Show.

Geese add life to a garden at last year’s show. Exhibitors have planned this year’s displays around the theme “Taste of Spring.”Geese add life to a garden at last year’s show. Exhibitors have planned this year’s displays around the theme “Taste of Spring.”

The Cozy Acres Greenhouses exhibit “Jack is our Hero” won the Best in Show award at the 2014 Portland Flower Show.The Cozy Acres Greenhouses exhibit “Jack is our Hero” won the Best in Show award at the 2014 Portland Flower Show.

PORTLAND FLOWER SHOW: A TASTE OF SPRING

WHERE: Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore St., Portland

WHEN: Gala opening: 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Show hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 8

HOW MUCH: $30-$40 for gala; $12-$15 for the show

INFO: portlandcompany.com/flower/

Sweet Lillie’s depiction of a Maine café will be one of the 13 gardens covering 9,800 square feet and using 300 cubic yards of mulch at the Portland Flower Show this week. The exhibition gardens and that wonderful smell of mulch after an especially long winter will greet the 10,000 to 13,000 people expected to attend the show, through March 8, at the Portland Company Complex.

The flower show garden is a big step for Shaw, who graduated from the University of Maine in 2009 with a degree in landscape horticulture and has put in time working for O’Donal’s Nursery in Gorham since then. “We’re trying to build ourselves as a larger company and get some exposure,” she said. Her spare bedroom-cum-nursery this winter has meant some challenges: “The big failure was my leafy things,” she said. “I dug them out too late from under the 4 feet of snow we had.” They didn’t thaw out until Presidents Day. Her perennials have sprouted but not yet blossomed, and without her greenhouse she will be buying the flowering annuals for her display.

Joanna Sprague, who has coordinated the Portland Flower Show for 16 of the past 18 years, says that typically, the tougher the winter, the higher the attendance. So if that holds true, the Portland Company Complex should be jammed to the rafters this year.

Each year, exhibitors at the show create gardens based on a theme; this year it is “Taste of Spring,” so the displays will use early-spring vegetables and flowers. Gardens built by companies from throughout southern Maine are the show’s prime attraction.

Sprague is especially pleased that her show is one of only two remaining flower shows in the East that are professionally judged – the other is the huge, historic flower show in Philadelphia – and that winners earn prize money: $500 for Best in Show and People’s Choice and $250 each for winners in 11 other categories.

The creators of display gardens, especially, “need to benefit from this show as they put in at least a week of many labor hours building the gardens, planning since October, and they pay for all materials,” Sprague said. “And getting flowers at this time of year is horrendous.”

Jeff O’Donal of the Gorham nursery, who in past years has won the Best in Show and People’s Choice awards, said he builds a display garden because his customers expect it; in the years he has skipped the show, they’ve let him know. Also, being in the show brings business, he and other exhibitors agree.

While some attendees study the plant labels for exciting varieties, gather design tips for their own gardens or pick a garden center to shop at in May, others simply want to escape the frozen, snow-covered streets and revel in the enticing smells of mulch and foliage, the vibrant colors of flowers and vegetables and the joy of spending time with like-minded gardeners.

Once visitors have toured the displays, they can check out the nonprofits. As always, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will have its children’s discovery center; the Maine Soil Testing Service will help you figure out if your garden is ready for the season; and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, McLaughlin Garden and the Garden Club Federation of Maine will discuss the values of membership.

And then there’s shopping: In addition to plants, past shows have featured items from paintings to poison-ivy treatment, patio furniture to jewelry. Keep in mind, if you buy a granite birdbath, you may have to carry it home yourself.

The Morrison Center in Scarborough will be selling orchids and other houseplants at bargain prices. Morrison’s clients are developmentally disabled, but their gardening talents are shown to great advantage in the hardy container-grown plants they produce.

Every year, I bring home a bunch of fragrant Maplecrest lilies. Sometimes I buy lily bulbs from the Parsonsfield company, but my wife tells me our gardens are out of space. And I’m always tempted by tools to make gardening easier – not to mention fudge. (Every garden show needs fudge.)

Speakers range from the mundane – I’m discussing invasive plants and answering questions at 10:30 a.m. Thursday – to the exciting – Kerry Ann Mendez, an author of several gardening books, including her latest on small gardens, will give a presentation on “The Right-Size Flower Garden” at noon Sunday. Other talks include O’Donal on deer-proofing your garden (not to be missed if the deer ate your daylily blooms last summer); Peter Felsenthal, who will discuss and show photographs from his book on six Maine organic farms; David Homa of Post Carbon Designs on bee-friendly permaculture landscaping; and Christopher Paquette of Robin’s Nest Aquatics on garden swim ponds.

If your schedule permits, get to the show early – both early in the week and early in the day. The gardens are at their best early in the show, and the show is less crowded Thursday and Friday. Also, the Morrison Center’s selection of orchids is much bigger early in the week.

This year’s show could be the last at the historic industrial site, where it has been held most years since 1998. The Sprague family sold the complex in 2013 but has been allowed to hold events there while the new owners work on redevelopment plans.

“We are in negotiation for next year,” Sprague said, “so I’d never say never.”

If the show can’t be held there, it may not be held at all for a couple of years. Maine Landscape and Nursery Association members have discussed sponsoring it, but have yet to vote on the proposal or find a large enough location with on-site parking. So don’t miss it this year – it might by your only bit of warmth for a while.

Tom Atwell is a freelance writer gardening in Cape Elizabeth and can be contacted at 767-2297 or at [email protected]


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Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2015/03/01/maine-gardener-the-portland-flower-show-promises-to-be-a-breath-of-lush-air/

Hundreds think spring at Niles home and garden show

26th annual event at Eastwood Expo Center features more than 100 vendors

By Jordan Cohen

news@vindy.com

NILES

With sub-zero temperatures and probably more snow, it may be difficult to think spring, even though the season officially begins in 19 days. Yet that’s what hundreds are doing based on the turnout this weekend at the 26th annual Nature Stone Mahoning Valley Home and Garden Show at Eastwood Expo Center.

More than 100 vendors of everything from kitchens and windows to landscaping and waterproofing are hoping that thoughts of spring cleaning and upgrades will bring customers despite the weather. Admission is free, which may be a factor in the large turnout.

“It’s a big plus, and a lot more people will show up,” said Nicki Beil of Youngstown. Accompanied by her son, his fiancee Courtney Dean of Girard, and her mother, the four were pricing kitchens, but had to stop and check out a display of soaps, perfumes and toiletries.

“Might have to have a party with these,” Beil said.

Another way to get into the mood is to smell and buy the fresh hyacinths offered by Colonial Gardens of Vienna. Manager John Hinely said he had purchased 400 pots of the spring flower and sold nearly half of them for $5 each by Saturday afternoon.

“I wanted to give everybody a taste of spring,” said Hinely, “so I bought them, and they’re snapping them up.”

One of the buyers was Cassidy Wedman of Warren, a representative of the Department of Veterans Affairs, one of the vendors at the show. “I’m just trying to get into

spring,” she said as she and others were lured by the sweet smell of the flowers.

Another major draw is the huge display of hot tubs — a seemingly perfect counter to frozen bones and bodies from the coldest February on record in the Valley.

“If this was outside, I’d be in it right now,” said Sam Thou of Niles, who was looking to price a hot tub with a whirlpool. Why? “Because I’m old and falling apart,” laughed Thou, who works in the heating and air-conditioning field.

One of the tubs contained two water jets with colorful sprays, but according to Ben O’Connell of Strong Spas of Danville, Pa., the manufacturer, the jets aren’t designed to be therapeutic.

“They have a very scientific purpose — fun,” O’Connell said. Thou agreed. “My grandson would love that,” he said.

Outside, trees are either barren or snow-covered, but inside, a number of vendors keep the focus on spring by offering gutter protection from leaves that have yet to sprout. Becky Recher, an Akron distributor of Leaf Filter, said she tells potential buyers that her product has a lifetime warranty, but only to keep leaves out.

It does not apply to protection from the snow and ice that have been pelting Valley roofs with regularity the last few weeks.

“No gutter protection for leaves can do that,” she said. Recher recommends concerned homeowners contact a certified electrician to discuss ice-melting options such as installation of a low voltage line.

The show resumes at 10 a.m. today and concludes its run at 5 p.m., with plenty of reminders that at some point, spring will be here.

Article source: http://www.vindy.com/news/2015/mar/01/home-amp-garden-show/

Garden Q&A: Keep a running tally of favorite vegetables – Tribune

Question: I grow lots of different veggies in my garden, but I’ve never paid much attention to which varieties are the most disease-resistant and which perform best in our area. I’m one of those gardeners who sees a new or interesting variety in a catalog and can’t resist buying it. Lots of times, I end up having a garden that’s less than successful.

Do you have a list of your favorite vegetable varieties that perform well in your garden? I’m most interested in tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, sugar snap peas, beans and beets.

Answer: As with most things in life, a list of favorite vegetable varieties is primarily a matter of taste. However, I do keep track of veggie selections that not only taste great but also perform well in my garden. I try not to replant a particular variety if it was the first to develop a disease, or if it was fussy about water or fertilizer needs. And I keep a careful eye out for pests. If one variety attracts more pests than another, I make note not to plant that variety again.

This is not to say I don’t enjoy trying new varieties in my garden every year. I tend to plant a garden that consists of about 80 percent old-standbys and 20 percent new-to-me varieties.

I include lots of flowering herbs and annuals, as these welcome many different beneficial insects that help me naturally control pests and promote good pollination. I always have sweet alyssum, dill, fennel, oregano, zinnias, cosmos and lots of sunflowers blooming in the vegetable garden side-by-side with my vegetables.

Here is a quick list of some of my favorite reliable varieties and why I like them so much.

“Red Ace� beets: I have yet to find a red variety that produces better roots than “Red Ace.� Its traditional beet taste is tops in my house.

“Provider� bush beans: “Provider� is hands-down my favorite green bean variety. It produces stringless pods for weeks on end, as long as the mature pods are regularly harvested. I plant a new row every two or three weeks from May 15 thru July 15 and have plenty of green beans to freeze for winter use.

“Sugar Daddyâ€� snap pea: I’m particularly fond of “Sugar Daddyâ€� because it doesn’t get quite as tall as some other snap pea varieties. Its 24-inch height means minimal staking and easy harvests. The pods are super sweet and stringless.

“Sugar Ann� snap pea: Because I do like to grow some sugar snaps up a trellis, I also plant “Sugar Ann.� The 3-foottall vines are slightly more prolific than “Sugar Daddy� but just as sweet.

“Marketmore 76â€� cucumber: I’ve been growing this variety for 15 years. It is resistant to bacterial wilt and bears tons of straight cukes, perfect for making bread-and-butter pickles or fresh eating. I plant dill in my cucumber patch to deter cucumber beetles and promote good pollination.

“County Fair� cucumber: This is a tried-and-true, old-fashioned pickling cuke. It has high yields, resistance to bacterial wilt and old-timey cucumber flavor.

“Delicata� squash: My favorite winter squash has single-serving-sized fruits that are oval. Their white-and-green-striped skin is beautiful, and the pale orange flesh is awesome roasted. There is also a bush variety of “Delicata� that is great for smaller gardens.

“Black Beautyâ€� zucchini: This summer squash produces like crazy in my garden, even though it sometimes succumbs to squash vine borer (don’t they all?). If I protect the base of young vines with a strip of aluminum foil to keep the adult vine borers from laying eggs, I have better success. I plant my zucchini in batches, sowing a few seeds every two weeks rather than planting them all at once.

“Lipstick� pepper: This beautiful, red sweet pepper is not a bell-type. Instead, it yields cone-shaped, 4-inch-long beauties that mature to a dark red. “Lipstick� produces well even during cool summers and the plants are surprisingly prolific.

“Antohi Romanianâ€� pepper: This is another pepper I can’t do without. Very prolific, 4-inch-long tapered fruits are a mix of yellow, orange and red, depending on their maturity. The plants do not need staking and yield far earlier than bell-types.

“Snow White� cherry tomato: My favorite cherry tomato of all time, these small, super-sweet cherries are incredibly prolific. The plants are decently resistant to late blight in my garden and bear so many fruits, we can barely keep up.

“Pineapple� tomato: This is my hands-down, no-doubt-about-it favorite variety of beefsteak tomato. Huge, yellow-and-pink fruits are the perfect balance of sweet and acid. Yes, the plants are prone to blight, but I still grow a few every year because the taste is so irresistible.

Seeds for all these varieties are available from Johnny’s Selected Seeds (johnnyseeds.com), High Mowing Seeds (highmowingseeds.com), or Territorial Seeds (territorialseed.com).

Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners� at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio. Her website is www.jessicawalliser.com.

Send your gardening or landscaping questions to tribliving@tribweb.com or The Good Earth, 503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor, D.L. Clark Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.


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Article source: http://triblive.com/lifestyles/jessicawalliser/7847933-74/garden-variety-favorite

Garden tips for March

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2015 12:00 am

Garden tips for March


0 comments

By Ray Ridlen

March is a busy time of preparation for gardeners. Here are a few things that might need your attention:

• Prepare lawn mower for seasonal cuttings: install clean filter, sharpen blade, etc.

• Cultivate annual flower beds to destroy winter weeds. Clean area around perennials and mulch.

• Apply organic mulch to control weeds in beds. Landscape fabric can reduce the amount of mulch but care should be taken to ensure proper water penetration to plant roots.

• Remove excessive thatch from warm season lawns. Dethatching, if necessary, should precede crabgrass control treatment.

• March is the second best time of the year to seed cool-season turfgrass; however fall is the best time to plant.

• Cool-season lawns such as bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass may be fertilized now with the first application of the season. Usually, four applications of fertilizer are required per year, in March, May, October and November.

• Broadleaf weeds can easily be controlled in cool-season lawns at this time with post-emergent broadleaf herbicides.

• Begin mowing cool season grasses at 1 ½ to 3 ½ inches high.

• Chemical and physical control of galls (swellings) on stems and foliage of trees should begin now.

• Dormant oil can still be applied to control mites, galls, overwintering aphids, etc.

• The first generation of Nantucket Pine Tip Moth appears at this time. Begin pesticide applications in late March based on pheromone catches.

• Anthracnose control on sycamore, maple and oak should begin at bud swell.

• Prune roses just before growth starts and begin a regular disease spray program as the loliage appears. Check with garden center personnel for roses that don’t require chemical applications.

• Divide and replant summer and fall blooming perennials. Mow or cut back old liriope and other ornamental grass foliage.

• Arbor Day will be celebrated the last full week of March. Consider planting a tree.

During this time of year many gardeners are watching weather forecast to see when that last freeze might occur. March is a good time to augment garden soil. It is a good idea to collect a soil sample and submit it to your local County Extension Service. The soil sample report will suggest amendments in needed. Almost all soil can benefit from the addition of organic material spread over the tilled area then spaded into the soil.

Fact sheets for these tips are available at OSU Extension offices or online at osufacts.okstate.edu.

on

Friday, February 27, 2015 12:00 am.

Article source: http://www.hpj.com/horticulture/garden-tips-for-march/article_03b9e730-fe5c-56b7-9241-570c011442c8.html