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Archives for March 6, 2016

There’s no space like home at the 92nd REALTORS® Home & Garden Show

Spring is just around the corner, so sweep aside your outdated and overgrown home and garden spaces, and get inspired at the 92nd REALTORS® Home Garden Show presented by Unilock at State Fair Park.

Returning to the Wisconsin Expo Center from March 18-26, this show is the nation’s longest running home and garden show, attracting the area’s most knowledgeable professionals.

With more than 350 exhibitors specializing in heating, cooling, kitchen and bath design, HVAC, plumbing, foundation repair, landscaping, tree services and more, visitors can meet one-on-one with industry experts and browse the latest interior and exterior products. Siding, roofing, windows, cabinetry, awnings, fencing, hot tubs, pavers and more are all on display for inspection and from a variety of vendors. Talk about a one-stop shop!

To find insight and inspiration for your outdoor living spaces, look no further than the show’s Garden Promenade presented by the Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association (WLCA). Boasting over 10,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, enjoy a sneak peek into spring as you tour through 12 elaborately landscaped outdoor living areas showcasing the latest trends in landscape design, including water features, landscape lighting and plantings as well as creature comforts like outdoor kitchens, fire pits, pergolas, pavers and more, to bring any homeowner’s dream yard to reality.

Attendees can stroll through each garden and meet the creators, which include Aquatica, Badgerland Lawn Landscape, Inc., Breezy Hill Nursery, Brennan Landscaping, Inc., Exteriors Unlimited Landscape Contractors, Inc., Extreme Exteriors, Ground Affects Landscaping, Inc., Innovative Exteriors Landscape, Kelly’s Greenscapes, LLC, Landscape Master LLC, Loomis Landscaping, MJS Landscaping Services, and Quality Landscaping. All 12 landscapers will bring their own unique expertise to the show and transform the exhibit hall into amazing outdoor living spaces.

Dean Pipito, immediate past president of the WLCA and owner of Aquatica, believes water elements are a top outdoor living trend this year. “I not only see people moving more towards water elements like ponds and water gardens, but I also continue to see indoor amenities being brought outdoors like fireplaces, kitchens, ovens and sinks as well as couches, speakers, televisions and other furniture,” adds Pipito.

Make the Most of Your Home and Garden Show Visit
If it’s time to liven up your yard or finally deal with a long-term landscape problem, a trip to the home and garden show will deliver a one-stop opportunity for fresh ideas that make outdoor spaces more functional and enjoyable. As you stroll through the Garden Promenade, consider the following tips from the WLCA to make your time at the REALTORS® Home Garden Show more productive:
• Make a list of current landscape concerns and a wish list for potential projects before visiting the show.
• While visiting the show’s landscape displays, make note of the plants, technologies and outdoor amenities that appeal to you.
• Seek suggestions from the professionals on hand for quick advice about a problem you may be facing in your own yard. Even a short chat will lead to useful advice about the complexity of your problem or one small tip that confirms you’re headed in the right direction.
• Attend one of the many free seminars offered at the Solutions Stage, featuring gardening and landscape information from renowned WLCA professionals as well as from garden expert and television host, Melinda Myers. For a complete listing of all landscape workshops and seminars, please visit www.mkehgs.com.

Gaining inspiration from the helpful information about outdoor living spaces and plants at the show will help you prioritize your projects for the upcoming growing season.

Discover Sustainable Solutions
Breckenridge Landscape will once again take you through smart spaces equipped with the latest trends in green landscaping and energy-saving technologies such as permeable pavers, LED outdoor lighting and natural mosquito repellent systems. The Sustainable Solutions Display will have a modern craftsman style to it and be designed using locally sourced materials, providing inspiration and ideas for even the most eco-conscious homeowner.

If You Go
The 92nd REALTORS® Home Garden Show presented by Unilock runs for seven days from March 18 to March 26 (closed March 21 22) at State Fair Park. Show hours are Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, free for children 12 and younger, and free for active military with ID. For a special $2 off admission discount offer sponsored by Weather Tight, please visit www.mkehgs.com.

About the Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association:
The REALTORS® Home Garden Show welcomes the Metro Milwaukee Chapter of the Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association (WLCA) as the 2016 presenting sponsor of the show’s popular Garden Promenade. The WLCA is committed to helping homeowners find the perfect landscape contractor for projects of any size and can provide helpful consumer resources to assist you in selecting a qualified landscape contractor. WLCA members strive to provide the highest quality materials, superb landscape maintenance, unique designs and satisfying results. For more information about WLCA, including questions to consider when hiring a landscape contractor, visit www.findalandscaper.org.
 

Article source: http://www.jsonline.com/homes/additionalfeatures/370943551.html

Home and Garden show provides economic boost for community

HOME AND GARDEN SHOW-PKG

MASON CITY, Iowa – Spring may not have sprung outside yet, but inside the North Iowa Events Center, home and garden vendors from around the area are gathering. That includes Midland Concrete, to show off the products they offer.

“We love to showcase our new products and of course get our name out there let people know who we are what we do,” Landscaping Specialist Tim Starr said. “So it’s a good place platform to do that.”

This weekend marks the 25th celebration of the North Iowa Home Improvement and Landscaping Show in Mason City. Vendors and consumers come in from all around to check out the event, and inject money into the community.

“They’ll go to the movies, they’ll go to a restaurant, they’ll do some shopping around town,” show manager Marty Bunge said. “I mean I hear a lot of that toom so that’s one thing it does dom it’s one more drawn to the Mason City area.”

Each year the show brings in anywhere from five to seven thousand people. Starr says though he thinks it may be a little less this year because so many people went to the Mason City Mohawk girls’ basketball game in Des Moines.

But Starr does say the shows boosts business for them, as they get people coming into the shop after seeing the exhibit.

“Every year we get several people that come in and say we stopped to see you at the home show booth,” Starr said. ”And they’re looking for ideas when they come in and see us.”

Article source: http://kimt.com/2016/03/05/home-and-garden-show-provides-economic-boost-for-community/

Where home ideas sprout

COEUR d’ALENE — Jim Atha’s eyes lit up on Friday — and it wasn’t just because the sun snuck from behind the clouds.

The Medimont man was one of hundreds of attendees at the first day of the North Idaho Building Contractors Association’s 44th annual Home and Garden Show at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.

“We came out to see all the new items that we don’t need,” Atha joked.

Atha said he and his wife, Gaye, spend as much time as possible in their yard when the weather is nice — and when it’s not, he’s tinkering in his shop.

“We always like to see landscaping ideas,” he said.

The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $6, which is good for all days, and kids 12 and younger are admitted free. A can of food for the local food bank saves $1 at the door.

The first 300 families in the door each day will receive a free flower to plant.

Ben Christen, of New Leaf Nursery in Hayden, said fruit-producing plants, such as strawberries and blueberries, are popular in the landscaping world this year.

“A lot of people are using strawberries as ground cover rather than planting annuals,” Christen said. “That way the kids get to pick them. If you’re going to spend money on plants, why not benefit from growing your own fruit? And you control how it is grown.”

Christen said many residents are also interested in deer-resistant plants, especially with the common visitors to yards in Dalton Gardens and Hayden.

Christen said rhododendrons, a woody plant that blooms, and grasses are popular choices that deer generally skip.

In an unpredictable economy, Christen said, many consumers are holding onto and improving what they already own, including improving yards — and translating into good business for New Leaf Nursery.

“Plants really help curb appeal,” he said. “The trend is to spend money to improve your current place.”

On the homefront, Warren Murray, president of JTM Construction Services in Hayden, said his business has grown 10 percent per year since 2007, including during the Great Recession.

“Quality,” Murray said, referring to why his business has grown. “If you do a quality job, you’ll stay employed. And the guys who have been around a long time are being rewarded for it.”

Murray said woods are wide open in terms of what’s popular indoors.

“A lot of customers are going with cherry and other dark woods, but oak is also making a comeback,” he said.

Some find changing handles is a quick and inexpensive way to change a home’s look.

“You know the economy is good when handles are selling,” Murray said with a smile.

Brenda Solt, of the log home builder Caribou Creek in Bonners Ferry, said the company survived lean times by working on smaller jobs such as fireplace mantles and staircases, but consumer confidence has resulted in widespread orders from North Carolina to South Dakota.

A challenge the company faces, Solt said, is there’s little to no communication between similar builders in the industry to share ideas. But she said Caribou Creek understands that.

“We’ve had calls wondering where we get our logs only to find out that it was competitors,” she said.

There are about 100 vendors at the show, which also includes a Kids Zone for youths to build crafts, food booths and Coeur d’Alene High dance performances today and Sunday.

About 2,500 people attended the show last year and the goal is to reach 3,000 this year, said Shelly Donovan, NIBCA’s executive officer. She said the first-day attendance surpassed expectations.

“We wanted to make it so people could spend the day here with their kids,” Donovan said. “There’s a lot more going on compared to previous years. We believe it’s going to be a record year.”

Article source: http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_28961d24-e29a-11e5-82fd-671cad974cb7.html

Mark Cullen: Must-sees at the Canada Blooms garden festival

In less than a week, the continent’s premier flower and garden festival opens in Toronto.

Canada Blooms is the largest event of its kind in North America, with an expected attendance of more than 200,000 over its 10 days (Friday, March 11 to Sunday, March 20). 

The event demands that you wear sensible walking shoes, bring a camera (because you won’t remember all of the magnificent images) and carve enough time out of your schedule to do it justice. A full day works for most people, several days for gardening fanatics. 

This edition of Canada Blooms marks the event’s 20th anniversary. If you have never been, well, this is the perfect year to go. For the uninitiated, I can recommend that you head straight for the 27 feature gardens as soon as you arrive. Award-winning landscapes, created by the country’s leading designers, landscape architects and landscape companies are second to none.

Based on my inside information, these are some of the can’t-miss feature gardens.

Landscape Ontario’s “Choose Your Path” garden:  A play on words that reflects the many career opportunities in the industry, illustrated by a walk down a wonderfully enhanced garden path. Landscape Ontario focuses on the vast number of careers available outdoors and in the “green” professions. As always, this garden is a collaborative effort between many designers and landscapers, each dedicated to a mutual interest of promoting the industry. This is a tangible expression of pride.

Modern Landscape Design’s “The Stingray Garden:” This feature garden provides an artistic approach to form and function. Thematic zones –   think in terms of a quiet space in your back yard, replete with garden art and comfy places to lounge and add a special area for entertaining. This addition to the festival knits the outdoor gardening experience together with soft music. Prepare to slow down! 

University Pro Landscapers’ “Party of a Lifetime” garden: This one is equipped with an outdoor kitchen, glass-walled infinity pool and lots of room for guests to lounge. Pparty guests can linger by the water’s edge and when the party is over you, the host, will enjoy the quiet side of nature, surrounded by a backyard filled with the sounds of song birds and gently flowing water.

Genoscape Landscaping’s “H 20 Yeah!” garden: Last year Genoscape earned the top award for garden design at Canada Blooms. Owner Joe Genovese pours his heart and soul into every project and this year is no exception. Come and meander through the winding pathways and let the sights and sounds of water lead your way. Be sure to take a detour into the one-of-a-kind wood igloo that is constructed out of old pallets. Genoscape specializes in the use of water in the landscape. If you are thinking of adding a water feature to your yard this year, this garden is a must-see. 

Royal Stone AquaSpa Pools Landscape and Design’s “Let’s Party” garden: This one reflects a carefully planned outdoor living space that is livable, a home with a vacation feel. Knowing that this garden is waiting for you when you arrive home from work will tempt you to leave early and even skip some Fridays or Mondays to create a long weekend experience in your back yard. The strong linear lines of this garden make excellent use of space while the walls of trees, the small lawn area, the outdoor kitchen and the lap pool create a warm and inviting space.

Whatever you do, be sure plan a visit to the 20th edition of Canada Blooms. For more information, go to canadablooms.com.

Mark Cullen appears on Canada AM Wednesdays at 8:40 a.m. He is the lawn and garden expert for Home Hardware. Sign up for his free monthly newsletter at markcullen.com.

 

Article source: http://ottawacitizen.com/life/homes/gardening/mark-cullen-must-sees-at-the-canada-blooms-garden-festival

Wow House: Cotswild-Inspired Home Framed by Stone Courtyards, Idyllic Gardens

EAST HAMPTON, NY — $22,000,000

From Zillow:

Set on 10 +/- acres, this world class estate minutes from East Hampton Village includes an 18,000 square foot 12+ bedroom main house, chic 6 bedroom former carriage house, caretakers cottage, and charming horse stables with paddocks and riding fields. Majestic vistas with big sky views and landscaping by Edmund Hollander create “world away” privacy for the ultimate estate compound. The Cotswold-inspired main house with heated gunite pool, oversized spa, pool house with full kitchen and bedroom, and hardcourt tennis is framed by stone courtyards, covered arbors, and idyllic gardens typical of a storied estate. The finished 3,500 square foot lower level of the main house offers sunken spa, sauna, steam room, massage room, fully equipped gym, and theatre. The 6 bedroom guest house has a dramatic 20×50 foot heated salt water pool with underwater music, an 8×8 foot spa, and bluestone terraces. A 5.2 +/- acre agricultural reserve completes this dream family compound.

For additional information and photos of this home, click here.


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Article source: http://patch.com/new-york/easthampton/wow-house-cotswild-inspired-home-framed-stone-courtyards-idyllic-gardens

SEE “LANDSCAPING OF THE FUTURE” AT NATIVE GARDEN TOUR APRIL 2-3

 

 

This year’s tour highlights numerous gardens in East County and inland San Diego

By David Fleitner

Cover photo:  The view from the California Sunflower trail in the “Nature Adorned” garden

March 5, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Jean and Jerry Kaiwi look contentedly over their 2½-acre home site near Flynn Springs, enjoying the view from a patio table along a trail above their house. “It used to be that you couldn’t even see the land contours – the entire lot was covered with waist-high mustard,” says Jean. “ Now the beautiful natural contours and rock outcrops are finally visible, complemented by our native plants.   We so enjoy them, along with all the native birds, lizards, snakes and bees that now share this space with us.”  

Jean had been a pretty successful “plant any ole’ thing” gardener, even winning 2nd place as Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Garden of the Year 2005.  So you can imagine Jerry’s shock when he came home one day to find that she had ripped out a dozen pepper trees that she had planted only a few days before. 

(Photo, right:  Native Mohave yucca provide a stark contrast with the boulders in the Kaiwi’s landscape)

“I had an epiphany after talking with my sister, an avid native gardener in the Bay Area, who got me thinking about reducing water consumption and providing habitat for the native fauna” Jean said.  That conversation led her to decide to quit ignoring the environment and start celebrating the plants that are adapted to our hot, dry conditions.  They removed a lot of non-natives, encouraged the native plants already growing on site, and added other California species that they particularly liked.  A decade later, they’re so pleased with the changes they’ve made that they decided to open their property for hundreds of strangers to visit. 

The Kaiwi’s landscape is one of 20 native plant gardens featured in the Garden Native Tour, April 2nd and 3rd, presented by the San Diego chapter of the California Native Plant Society.  Each year, the tour focuses on a different part of the County, with this year’s “Landscaping for the Future” tour highlighting inland San Diego County, from SDSU to the foothills.

 “Everyone in the region is starting to experience more extreme weather conditions, so it makes sense to look to gardens that are thriving in the hotter, drier areas as an example to all of us”, says tour organizer Dave Flietner. “California natives have evolved in this climate and can look great with minimal water.”

(Photo, left:  Jean and Jerry enjoy watching the sunset over their garden from this perch)

Because they’re located relatively far from the bulk of the gardens on the tour, Jean and Jerry’s garden, dubbed “Nature Adorned,” will be viewable only on Saturday, but it will be open until 6:00 p.m., later than the 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. viewing period for most tour gardens.  Two other far-flung gardens, in the Deerhorn Valley area, similarly will be open late on Sunday. 

Knowledgeable volunteer docents will be on hand at all the gardens to share the unique pleasures of that garden.  Many gardens include some special feature, like a demonstration of a lawn-to-meadow conversion in Santee, or a steep slope planting near Mt. Helix.  Visitors to “Nature Adorned” can grab a map of the trails winding through the property, with the native plant highlights noted.

To learn more about the Garden Native Tour and to purchase tickets — $25 for adults, kids free – visit www.gardennative.org.

Article source: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/see-%E2%80%9Clandscaping-future%E2%80%9D-native-garden-tour-april-2-3

March gardening tips

winchester

slideshow

ORNAMENTALS

♦ Be aware that a brown plastic material that looks and feels like natural burlap, but does not break down in the soil, may be used to wrap root balls of BB plants. Synthetic materials enclosing the roots of trees and shrubs must be completely removed to ensure success of the transplants.

♦ Propagate deciduous shrubs, such as forsythia and winter jasmine, now by ground layering.

♦ Give your roses a starter application of complete fertilizer.

♦ Cut back butterfly bushes to one third desired height.

♦ Fertilize spring bulbs after they bloom. Do not remove leaves until they turn yellow.

♦ Prune Crape myrtles only removing the old flower heads. Do not cut back to the same spot each year as it creates a weak joint and the branches can split and fall in the summer with the additional weight of heavy flower heads. Remove sprouts at the base of the tree.

♦ If you have left a few inches of plant stems on your perennials to ID the plant’s location cut them back before the new growth emerges. It is also a good time to cut back the tattered foliage on evergreen ferns and perennials.

♦ Cut foliage off tattered Liriope.

♦ Start fertilizing pansies and winter annuals with houseplant fertilizer.

♦ Divide daylily and hosta clumps when the leaves just start to emerge from the ground so you don’t damage the new growth.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

♦ Don’t rush to remove mulch from strawberries. Leave it over your plants to protect them from late cold spells. When plants start to grow, the mulch must be removed to allow leaves to develop in the light. If leaves develop under the mulch, they will become etiolated (blanched) and yellow from lack of chlorophyll, and may burn and die when exposed to the sun.

♦ Begin vegetable seedlings inside now.

♦ Spring applications of pesticides should be made on peaches, apples and pears. Correct timing for spraying depends on the stage of development of flowers. Check the label and follow the directions.

♦ Lettuce is very sensitive to low pH. Lime should be applied to the soil if the pH is below 6.0.

♦ If your garden is on a hillside, plant across the slope (not up and down) to help hold moisture in the soil and reduce erosion.

♦ Seed root crops, such as carrots beets, radishes and parsnips, in your garden.

♦ Do not add lime to the area for potatoes. The lower pH helps control scab.

MISCELLANEOUS

♦ One way to avoid the danger of unusually cold nights is to set water-filled plastic jugs around each seedling. Warmed by the sun, these will radiate heat all night, preventing cold damage.

♦ Place bird houses outdoors early this month. Birds will begin looking for nesting sites soon and the houses should attract several mating pairs. Ideally, houses erected on smooth metal poles where predators cannot climb are most often selected, but placement on top of fence posts or in trees will usually suffice.

♦ Put out hummingbird feeders in mid-March.

♦ Re-pot houseplants that have grown too large for their containers. Cut back leggy plants to encourage compact growth. Root the cuttings in moist media to increase your supply of plants.

♦ Houseplants can be watered more frequently with the onset of spring and new growth. Start fertilizing houseplants now for good growth.

Marcia Winchester is one of many UGA Master Gardener Extension Volunteers of Cherokee County. For more information or questions contact the Cherokee County Extension Office at 770-721-7803 or for upcoming seminars follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/cherokeemastergardeners.

Article source: http://cherokeetribune.com/pages/full_story/push?article-March+gardening+tips%20&id=27111127

Gardening Etcetera: Tips for Successful Seed Starting

This article is a prelude to the presentation I will be giving at the Coconino Master Gardener Association meeting on Thursday, March 10. Please check the Arizona Daily Sun’s Community Calendar for location.

Gardening in northern Arizona has its challenges, but with some knowledge, proper planning and seed selection, your efforts can be rewarded with a bountiful harvest.

Determining when to start seeds is critical to a successful garden and is done using the last frost date and some calendar math. The First and Last Frost Dates tool (http://bit.ly/FirstLastFrostDates) uses weather data from the three closest stations to your ZIP code. This tool shows when the expected last frost date is, which happens to be around June 9, depending on where you live in Flagstaff. Colder areas can be a bit later. It also provides much more information, helping to plan later season planting as well as fall and winter gardening planning.

Peppers and eggplant need 8 – 10 weeks before transplanting, while tomatoes need 6 – 8. Growing the seedlings an extra week or two results in larger and more robust transplants with earlier fruiting. This means eggplant and pepper seeds should be started around March 31 – April 7, and tomatoes started around April 14 – 21. Three techniques benefitting seedling size will be discussed at the meeting.

Choosing varieties appropriate to the climate is often overlooked. With an average 60—80 day growing season, it makes no sense picking a 90 day tomato variety unless you have a greenhouse or protection. There are plenty of fast maturing choices, so knowing your season length is important.

Part of the selection process is deciding what they will be used for. Do you want tomatoes for fresh eating, sauce or salsa, or canning and drying? Are you needing fresh sweet peppers for stuffing, frying or pickling? Hot chiles for salsa, chile powder or dried for later uses?

By knowing your growing season length, realistic last frost date and what you want to grow, you can hone in on what varieties work best for you, eliminating guessing and the trial-and-error approach.

Seeds have three major needs to sprout into vigorous starts – moisture, warmth and light. Each need changes as the seed sprouts into a young seedling, and changes again as it grows into the transplant stage.

Generally, vegetable seeds do not need light to germinate, but do need a very moist and warm soil. Moist enough so it’s almost wet and around 85°F for tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Once the seeds start sprouting, the moisture and temperature levels should be reduced to where soil moisture is barely damp and about 70°F.

Once the leaves start appearing, light is needed. 16 – 18 hours of light each day increases healthy growth, with the lights positioned about 2 – 4 inches above the tops of the seedlings. The lights need to move up as the seedlings grow. We’ll show how to plan for successful seed germination at the meeting.

Weather protection is important during the early and late parts of the season. A simple row cover of plastic or bubble wrap gives seedlings a temperature buffer during cold nights, preventing your hard work and care from being lost. Floating row covers, bubble wrap, mini-high tunnels and other weather protections will be discussed at the meeting, showing how easy it can be to quickly set these up.

Becoming a consistently successful gardener in challenging climates isn’t a matter of luck, but of proper knowledge along with weather data and a system that builds flexibility and success into it.

We’ll show you the knowledge and system to be that gardener.

Article source: http://azdailysun.com/lifestyles/columnists/gardening-etcetera-tips-for-successful-seed-starting/article_c115b14e-38b1-5aa5-83e9-9e4ad27f7cf2.html

Garden tips for March

Although most gardeners probably have already prepared a list of garden activities for the spring months, those with limited experience may forget or just don’t know about some of the things that are needed to get the gardening season underway. And while I realize that it’s unlikely I will mention everything that should be considered, the following suggestions may be helpful:

ORNAMENTALS

March may be our last month for a killing frost (no guarantee) and thus is a good time to install sturdy transplants of cool season annuals. Do include some of the Louisiana Super Plants that fall in that category. They are Columbine (Swan series), Dianthus (Amazon series), Foxglove (Camelot series), Viola (Sorbet series) and Delphinium (‘Diamonds Blue’). It may not be the best time to plant some of these, however. Do not exclude other species that have done well for you in the past.

Get hanging baskets ready for later planting to utilize vertical garden space. Some plants used in hanging baskets need full sun, some partial shade and some an even deeper shade. Knowing where each will be displayed and the light levels at the respective locations will determine which species to buy.

Try to finish planting shrubs and trees to give them a better chance to get established before the “acid test of the first summer.”

VEGETABLES

Plant “regular” sweet corn varieties (such as ‘Silver Queen) at mid-month and thereafter at two week intervals until mid-April. By then the soil should be warm enough to plant the supersweet cultivars. Always plant three rows abreast for good pollination and ears full of kernels.

Direct-seeded vegetables commonly come up too thick and need to be thinned early to reduce competition and improve performance. This usually translates into faster growth and greater yields.

Planting LSU AgCenter recommended vegetable varieties typically improves garden success. But don’t necessarily limit your planting to these only.

Make use of mulches. Black plastic warms the soil and accelerates plant growth while early application of organic mulches delays warming of the soil and slows growth and development of garden plants.

FRUITS

Fertilize blackberry plants, the sooner the better. This practice should increase yields.

Pears will be blooming this month. Spray with a copper-based chemical or an anti-biotic to help control fire blight, the most serious pear bacterial disease. Spray blossoms thoroughly for greatest effectiveness.

Don’t cultivate under and around established fruit trees to avoid root damage. Mow or use appropriate herbicides to control weeds.

Use soluble fertilizers every few days during the producing season to get better yields from your strawberries.

LAWNS

Mow winter lawn grasses short to reduce competition from the awakening permanent turf grass. Remove leaves and other debris from lawn surface and add to a compost pile.

Treat lawn with pre-emergence herbicides now to kill germinating summer annual weeds, such as crabgrass.

Also treat lawn with post-emergence herbicides to eliminate winter annuals as well as perennials weeds that are beginning to appear.

Stock up on slow-release fertilizers for applying in mid-April. A 3:1:2 ratio (such as 15-5-10) is excellent for grass. Do understand that the length of time these products are effective is always somewhat less than the product claims, particularly here in the South.

Several fire ant killers are slow to become effective. Therefore, March is a good time to apply them to your property.

GENERAL

Check out and repair or replace irrigation equipment in lawns, vegetable gardens, flower beds, vineyards and orchards. We never know how much water nature will provide nor when it will come.

Service lawn and garden equipment so it will be ready when needed.

Joe W. White is a retired Extension horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter. Email him at jo2bar@comcast.net.

Article source: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/life/columnists/joe-white/2016/03/05/garden-tips-march/81186564/