From the Desk of Ed Hume: Spring Garden Projects

March 19, 2012 at 2:29 PM 1 comment

You don’t have to look very far if you’re looking for things to do in the garden this time of year. Weeding, lawn care, feeding, planting, transplanting, and slug control head the list of things to be done in the days and weeks ahead.


I don’t know about your garden, but weeds are already flowering and going to seed in mine. If those weeds are not eliminated before they go to seed, you’ll be fighting those weeds for years to come. So make weeding a top priority now. After weeding you can put down a granular herbicide to help control future weed growth. Check with your local garden specialist to determine which one best suits your needs.


In the next few weeks you might want to spend some time getting the lawn in shape for the spring and summer months. Early spring is a great time to fertilize with a spring lawn food. If you have moss in the lawn, you can even choose a fertilizer that contains a moss control product. Some moss control products contain iron, and thus will stain walkways, stone, and concrete, so read the label and apply as directed. Over-seeding, aerating, and weed control should not be attempted until temperatures are a little warmer and the lawn is a bit dryer.


Mid-February to mid-March is a good time to feed any plants that need feeding. An early feeding will encourage root development. A second feeding, if needed, can be made in May. This later feeding encourages healthy leaf and top growth. Use a rhododendron or evergreen fertilizer to feed evergreens, and a rose or all-purpose fertilizer to feed roses, deciduous trees, vegetables, annuals, and perennials. Those are the only fertilizers I use, although specialty fertilizers for roses, bulbs, flowers, and vegetables exist, and can be used if you desire.


If needed, there is still time to transplant trees and shrubs. This is also a wonderful time to plant fruit, flowering, and shade trees. In fact, most nurseries and garden centers have their best selection of new trees right now. Likewise, this is a good time to plant new evergreen trees and shrubs.

Slug Control

Most people may think it’s too early, but if you’ve been in the garden you’ve undoubtedly seen some slugs or leaf damage. I think this is the most important time of year to control slugs. The slugs that are in your garden right now are apt to reproduce up to 250 offspring in the weeks and months ahead. The more you can eliminate now, the fewer you’ll have later this year.


Yes, a little time spent in the garden within the next few weeks can save you a lot of time in the weeks and months ahead.




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Clip of the Week: Preparing Your Vegetable Garden Ed’s Podcasts: Perennial Vegetables

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. domesticateddilettante  |  March 19, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    True words! I have weeded around my roses (and have the scratches to prove it); our next step will be to till our new garden (we’re old hands at gardening, but new home = new vegetable plot). Assuming we get enough dry weather to till it up soon!
    Happy gardening!


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