LENOIR, NC (March 2, 2017)…March Gardening Tips from the Caldwell County Center of the NC Cooperative Extension.
• Prune spring flowering plants like breath-of-Spring (Winter Honeysuckle) and flowering quince after the flowers fade.
• Prune roses late in March.
• Prune shrubs like abelia, mahonia and nandina this month if needed.
• Pick off faded flowers of pansy and daffodil. Pansies will flower longer if old flowers are removed.
• Overgrown shrubs can be severely pruned (not needled evergreens).
• Spray the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: euonymus-scale, juniper-spruce spider mites and hybrid rhododendron-borer.
• Start your rose spray program just prior to bud break.
• Spray your apple and pear trees with streptomycin for control of fireblight while the trees are in bloom.
• Cool-season lawns may be fertilized with 10-10-10, but NOT with slow-release fertilizer. Apply recommended soil test rates. Do not fertilize tall fescue after mid March.
• Apply crabgrass herbicides to your lawn late this month to help control crabgrass in the turf.
• Mow your tall fescue lawn as needed. Mow lawn at height of 3 inches.
• Seed fescue and bluegrass if not done in September.
• Continue to divide perennials like daylilies, shasta daisy, gaillardia and coreopsis this month.
• Check garden supplies like fertilizer, insecticides and fungicides to see if you have adequate amounts.
• Check all garden equipment, lawn mowers, tillers, hedge trimmers, tools, hoses and sprayers to see if they are in find working order before they are needed.
• Be certain that old plantings of perennials like peony, hollyhock and phlox are clean of last season’s growth.
Visit Granite Falls and Sawmills Hardware for all of your gardening needs and supplies…
Every year, the National Garden Bureau selects one edible crop, one annual flower and one perennial flower to recognize with their “The Year Of” designation. This year, they are also recognizing a bulb and have named 2017 as The Year of the Daffodil.
It has been a very hard winter, and I cannot wait to see some cheery yellow daffodils. How about you? These spring blooming bulbs have their origins in Europe, where they are native in the woodlands and meadows of southern Europe and northern Africa.
It is believed that daffodils have been cultivated in gardens since at least 300 B.C., but they did not become a popular garden flower until after the 1600s. Much later, in the 1800s, they became an important commercial crop of the Netherlands.
The daffodil was introduced to the British by the Romans during their invasion and conquest of the country. Daffodils came to America with early English colonists, and then traveled westward with the pioneers.
Narcissus is the botanical name of the genus to which daffodils belong. The name may have been derived from the Greek word narkissos, or narke, meaning sleep or numbness, perhaps because of the alkaloids in the plant that have a sedative effect on people. The name also could come from the Greek myth about a boy named Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection and died staring at it. The common name of daffodil is derived from the old English word asphodel, or affodyle, which means “that which comes early.”
The sap of daffodils can cause skin rashes, and all parts of the plant, especially the bulb, are poisonous.
When talking to daffodil experts, it can get confusing because there are more than 40 species within the Narcissus genus. The experts have broken the thousands of cultivated varieties into 13 classifications based on species and characteristics. While I appreciate this botanical enthusiasm, I prefer the common category names of daffodil (with large trumpeted bright yellow flowers), jonquil (with smaller yellow fragrant flowers borne in clusters on round, reed-like stems) and paperwhites, or narcissus, (with miniature white fragrant blooms).
One of the best things about these easy-care perennial bulbs is that they return annually if cared for correctly. Here is what you need to know to keep your daffodils returning year after year:
1. Deadheading or removing the faded flowers is fine, but not necessary. However, it is important to allow the leaves of the plant to remain until they turn yellow and shrivel. The green daffodil leaves need to receive at least six weeks of full sunlight after bloom to “feed” the bulb for growth and flowering next year.
2. A light fertilization in the spring just as the leaves start to emerge is advisable if nutrients in the soil are low. Keep fertilizer off the leaves.
3. Native to dry climates, it is best to plant daffodils in areas with well-drained soil and where they will not be kept moist with frequent irrigation during the summer.
4. Plant the bulbs at the recommended depth of three times the height of the bulb. Both planting bulbs too deep and too shallow can both effect bulb growth and flower production.
Lack of bloom is often due to a lack of sunlight or removal of leaves too soon, too much vegetative growth due to over-fertilization with nitrogen, or wet soil conditions resulting in bulb rot. A failure to produce flowers may also be due to a plant virus, poor growing conditions the previous spring, or the bulbs may have become crowded and need to be divided.
One final important note: The sap of daffodils can cause skin rashes, and all parts of the plant, especially the bulb, are poisonous.
Marianne C. Ophardt is a retired horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.
The Connacht Tribune will publish a Home Garden glossy magazine this week and it will be available free with the Galway City Tribune and Connacht Tribune.
We have an excellent piece on extending or renovating your home from one of Galway’s top architects, Patrick McCabe.
There are suggestions for weekend DIY jobs which will help transform your home.
Spring has arrived and with it longer days and a change in our weather.
We look at our homes in this new light – hardly having seen them from the outside at all during the dark winter months.
And we consider what improvements we could make inside and outside.
Our thoughts turn to the garden, if we have one, and the hope rather than expectation of warmer evenings when we can enjoy our own little patch of outdoors.
The boundary between indoors and outdoors is being blurred. Interiors are being designed with an eye towards opening the doors and moving outside quickly – and back again at the drop of a hat if the weather turns.
Garden design is aimed at bringing the outdoors in making the colour and life of your garden more accessible and visible from inside.
It’s an exciting time to be planning changes to your living environment with an ever-expanding choice of services and products available on your doorstep her in Galway.
Pick up your free copy of the Home Garden glossy magazine with this week’s Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune.
University of California Master Gardeners will share their expertise at several events during March, all of which are free and open to the public.
* Saturday, March 11: “Drip Irrigation Techniques for the Garden,” taught by Arlen Feldman, who will share his expertise in using different irrigation techniques, the costs and benefits of irrigation systems, as well as maintenance of the system. Feldman also will discuss how to convert existing systems to drip.
The workshop will run from 10 to 11 a.m. in Building 400 at Woodland Community College, 2300 E. Gibson Road in Woodland.
* Saturday, March 18: Two workshops are planned at Central Park Gardens, Third and B streets in downtown Davis. From 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Master Gardeners will share information on design methods, preparation, plant choice and maintenance for a California water-wise cottage garden.
From 11 a.m. to noon, the focus is on how to design a vegetable garden for easy access and maximum crop yield, with a discussion on crop rotation. In the event of rain, the workshops will take place in the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, 303 Third St.
* Saturday, March 18: Master Gardener Sue Fitz will discuss which succulents are frost-hardy and also able to tolerate summer heat, and she’ll show samples. The workshop runs from 10 to 11 a.m. in Building 400 at Woodland Community College, 2300 E. Gibson Road in Woodland.
* Sunday, March 19: Bring your questions to an open forum from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Small Conference Room at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. Master Gardeners will answer questions and discuss irrigation, weed control choices and starting seeds, as well as other gardening concerns.
* Saturday, March 25: “Composting and Vermiculture,” a free workshop, will cover how to turn garbage into gold for your garden. The event runs from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Turner Branch Library, 1212 Merkley Ave. in West Sacramento.
* Saturday, March 25: “Landscaping With Succulents” is offered from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Woodland Community College, 2300 E. Gibson Road in Woodland. Master Gardener Sue Fitz will demonstrate how to create a succulent garden from the ground up, what type of soil and amendments work best in Yolo County, how to use mounds and rocks to create interest, and how to group succulents of various shapes and colors to maximize their visual appeal.
* Sunday, March 26: “Year-Round Kitchen Gardening” will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Small Conference Room at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. in Davis. Master Gardeners will discuss planting edible flowers and herbs, pruning cover crops, feeding garden beds and fruit trees, and what to harvest this time of year.
For more information on any of these workshops, call 530-666-8737 or email [email protected]