At last: spring is here! It’s time to turn some attention back to your garden. Hopefully with this recent warm weather, you’ve had the itch to get out already and start weeding your beds. If not now is high time! Besides weeding, here are some other garden chores to focus on this month:
Fertilize your trees and shrubs
Trees and shrubs will be leafing out and/or blooming soon (some already are). Feed them with a liquid or granular fertilizer this month to give them a boost. Use the appropriate fertilizer for the plant you’re fertilizing. Azaleas and Camellias need a high acid fertilizer. Roses and other blooming shrubs need a fertilizer high in phosphorus. Ornamental foliage trees like Japanese Maples benefit from a boost in nitrogen.
You’ll find the proportion of each nutrient on the label of your fertilizer. 10-30-10 is a typical bloom booster ratio. The first number is the amount of nitrogen. Nitrogen promotes vegetative growth. The second number is phosphorus, which promotes flowers and healthy roots. Finally the last number indicates the amount of potassium. Potassium gives plants a general health boost. If you’re unsure what to use, buy a fertilizer that contains equal parts of each, such as 10-10-10.
If you have large perennials you’ve been wanting to divide and transplant, do so as soon as new foliage emerges at the base. Long lived perennials like Hostas, Iris, and Daylilies benefit from being divided every few years.
Plant annual bulbs like Dahlias and Lilies. Put together a container garden with spring annuals like Pansies, Ranunculus, and Osteospermum.
Plant cold crop veggies mid-February to mid-March. These include lettuce, kale, radishes, mustard greens, carrots, potatoes, and peas. Even if warm days tempt you, wait to put out tomatoes and peppers until the official last frost date has passed (April 4 in North Carolina).