March into Spring

Catron Courier - - News - by Wilma Stan­ton, Mas­ter Gar­dener

Time re­ally flies! It is hard to be­lieve that Day­light Sav­ings Time be­gins on March 13, and that the Ver­nal Equinox is March 20, which marks the be­gin­ning of spring. By now, your land­scap­ing and gar­den­ing plans should be com­plete, your tools should be pre­pared and you are wait­ing to be­gin. Seeds are read­ily avail­able in the stores, in cat­a­logs and on the In­ter­net. Take some time and pe­ruse the seeds in the store and see what new and in­ter­est­ing ones might be avail­able. When you are check­ing the seed pack­ets, be sure and find out the growth cy­cle on the side of the packet, in other words, how long it takes to grow from a seed to a large veg­gie, or a flower. Last year, I pur­chased seeds for a new va­ri­ety of squash and didn't read about it and, you guessed it, the frost came be­fore the squash had reached a us­able ma­tu­rity.

I'm sure some of you pur­chase those round bowls of multi-col­ored flow­ers. Buy the small plants your­self and put to­gether a bowl that will be beau­ti­ful and so much cheaper. I also do that with hang­ing bas­kets. I es­pe­cially like ivy gera­ni­ums in hang­ing bas­kets, and it re­ally does cut down on your ex­penses. You can usu­ally do sev­eral for the price of one pur­chased at a nurs­ery. An­other thing I have done is to or­der hang­ing be­go­nias from New York, as I have never found the bulbs in this area and the plants are gor­geous.

An­other thing I wanted to men­tion is that even though the weather seems nice, don't plant your gar­den yet. It will freeze at some point and you will just have to re­plant. Even though you may have gar­den­ing fever, wait un­til next month. I am go­ing to have my gar­den ro­totilled this month. I plan to add a small amount of ma­nure to the soil be­fore it is worked, but you can't add much at this time of year, as it will burn the plants. My flower beds are ready to go, as is my as­para­gus bed, my iris and my red-hot poker plants.

Good luck with your gar­den­ing dur­ing the 2016 grow­ing sea­son. Try to in­clude all fam­ily mem­bers by as­sign­ing spe­cial chores for each per­son to do. Now, take a deep breath, re­lax and you will soon en­joy the fruits of your la­bor.

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