March Gardening Tips
Apply ferti•lome All Seasons Crabgrass & Weed Preventer plus Lawn Food containing prodiamine now through mid April. This is the first step in Johnson’s ferti•lome Lawn Care Program for cool season grasses, like fescue. On warm season lawns, like bermuda, use Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper; it does not contain any fertilizer which makes it a better choice for bermuda—since warm season grasses don’t need food now. We offer Lawn Care Programs specifically for cool weather grasses, as well as warm weather and a natural program. Our basic program includes five applications— four fertilizations (one early spring, one late spring and two fall feedings) and a soil conditioner, Natural Guard Top Dressing. Top Dressing is a soil amendment that can go on in spring or fall. It contains humates which help improve the soil by increasing the soils ability to absorb and retain moisture. A good practice to start now to decrease water use this summer is to water as little as possible in spring. This will toughen up the grass, encouraging deeper rooting.
March is a good time to seed or overseed cool-season grasses. Expect the seed to germinate more slowly than in the fall because of cooler soil temperatures. Another potential problem with spring planting is weed competition. In late May to June use Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper to prevent at least some of the later crabgrass. This product contains the pre-emergent Dimension, but no fertilizer. Dimension prevents germination of a wide range of weeds and kills small crabgrass seedlings. That makes it a good choice to use on warm-season grasses and to use later in the season than conventional pre-emergents. It is also a good weed preventer to use in landscape beds.
Time to Get Growing
Vegetable gardening moves into full swing in March. Plant seeds of beets, lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach and turnips. It’s also time to put out cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants. Other vegetables to plant now include asparagus, garlic, rhubarb, potatoes and onion plants or sets. Asparagus and rhubarb are planted as perennial roots. They don’t produce the first year and harvesting the second year will be limited.
Both garlic and onion sets are bulbs. They may be planted 1-2 inches deep and about 3 inches apart. Onion sets are generally used to grow green onions. Use onion plants to grow larger slicing onions. Potatoes are traditionally planted around St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th. Prepare seed potatoes by cutting them into 11⁄2 to 2 inch pieces, each with one or two good eyes (buds). Allow the cut pieces to heal (or dry) for several days before planting. Plant the pieces with the eye up, 3 to 4 inches deep and 12 inches apart.
All these vegetables will benefit from loose, well-drained soil. Water in all transplants with ferti•lome Blooming & Rooting or FoxFarm Big Bloom, to get them off to a good start and ensure higher yields.
Tree & Shrub Care
Every season in Kansas presents some extreme weather that our plants have to deal with. Healthy plants are the best insurance against weather, disease and insect attacks. The first step is adequate food and water. ferti•lome Tree & Shrub Food is an easy, effective way to fertilize; just broadcast the granules around the entire area under the tree or shrub and water it in. For extra protection on stressed or insect susceptible trees use ferti•lome Systemic Insect Drench. This is a liquid application watered in at the tree base once a year.
If you need to replace a tree or just plant a new one, early spring is a good time. Planting at this time gives trees and shrubs a cool season to get established before the heat of summer. Use ferti•lome Root Stimulator when planting new trees and shrubs. Work Cotton Burr Compost into the planting hole and backfill to enrich the soil and improve drainage. Adding MYKE Tree & Shrub when planting or transplanting is another way to ensure success. MYKE contains mycorrhizae beneficial fungus, which colonize on plant roots to encourage more fibrous root growth, reducing transplant shock and increasing growth and health for the life of the plant.