Pixel Tracker

Friday, March 22 , 2019, 10:54 am | A Few Clouds 57º

 
 
 
 

Prepare and Plant Your Garden in March

March 20 is officially the first day of spring, but Southern California gardeners don’t have to wait until then to start their spring planting, say experts at Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from organic material collected from more than 50 California cities including the cities in Santa Barbara County.

» Prepare garden soil: Cultivate the soil down one foot. Mix in appropriate organic soil amendments before planting. If the soil is mostly clay (sticky and clumpy), use an amendment that will loosen the soil, allowing roots to grow and water to penetrate. If the soil is sandy, add organic humus to build up the soil.

» Plant warm-season vegetables: Cold-weather vegetable yields have just about run their course in March. It’s time to trim the hardy plants for possible regrowth or remove them and plant summer vegetables as long as the danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm. Soil should be consistently about 60 degrees. It’s early enough in the season to plant vegetables from seed. These include tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, onion, potatoes, spinach, turnips and corn. You can still plant cool-season vegetables including broccoli, lettuce, cabbage and kale.

» Keep weeds under control: If you have been adding mulch to your garden over that past several years, weeds should be relatively few. Besides suppressing weed growth, mulch adds to the nutrients in the ground as it slowly decomposes and it keeps moisture in the soil as the weather warms. Add at least 2 to 3 inches around trees, shrubs, flowers and plants. Be careful to keep the mulch from touching tree bark or plant stems.

» Fertilize citrus and avocado trees: Spring and fall are the best time to give your trees nutrients. Feed avocado, citrus trees, fruit trees and roses with a well-balanced fertilizer containing nitrogen. Fertilize prior to new signs of new growth.

» Prepare lawns for spring growth: Depending on the type of grass, lawn growth may have come to a standstill during winter. To encourage growth, rake the lawn lightly and aerate to loosen compacted soil (aerators can be rented at local nurseries).

» Divide perennials: Over the winter, perennials such agapanthus, asters, bellflowers, callas, cymbidiums, daylilies, rudbeckia, Shasta daisies, penstemon and yarrow can become crowded. Divide them by digging up each clump so that the rootball comes up intact. Wash or gently shake off excess soil, then cut into divisions with a sharp knife. Each division should have plenty of roots and a few leaves. Replant immediately, leaving several inches between each plant.

» Plant blooming flowers for full garden: If you can’t wait for summer flowers to come in season, there is a variety of blooming flowers available at nurseries this month. Purchasing plants in bloom provides instant color to gardens. Favorites include azaleas, camellias and Indian Hawthorne.

» Natural protection from snails: Snails can decimate fruits and vegetables. Here are natural ways to keep them away from your garden. Place a small copper wire around your garden bed. Snails will receive a small shock when they come in contact. Place crushed eggshells around plants. Snails have a soft underbelly and will not try to pass over the sharp shells.

Click here for more gardening tips.

— Diane Rumbaugh is a publicist representing Agromin.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

Email
I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
"We both love this business. We strive to make life long relationships from each real estate transaction."

Full Profile >

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >