Outdoor Living: A Beautiful Garden Is a Work of Art

March 08, 2019

By Robin Gregg

Spring is on it’s way and some of you like to garden, as do I. I’ve already started some veggies in the house and they are sprouting like crazy! The outdoor temperature needs to hurry up and get warmer though!!!!!

Missouri has a warm climate and a great growing season that can last from March to October for many different types of veggies.

My dad always starting planting our garden when I was growing up on my birthday on February 26, rather there was snow on the ground or not. I do the same when I do have a garden and this year is no different.

The University of Missouri Extension offers a vegetable planting calendar that details planting dates for each vegetable......

Gardening Tips For March Vegetables:

 Cultivate weeds and remove old, dead stalks of last years’ growth from the asparagus bed before new spears emerge.

 Asparagus and rhubarb roots should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked.

 Plant peas, lettuce, radishes, mustard greens, turnips, Irish potatoes, spinach, and onions (seeds and sets) outdoors.

 Plant beets, carrots, parsley, and parsnip seeds outdoors. Set out broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, and cauliflower transplants into the garden.

 Start seeds of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants indoors.

Ornamentals:

 To control Iris borer, destroy old foliage before new growth begins.

 Fertilize bulbs with a “bulb booster” formulation.

 Loosen winter mulches from perennials cautiously.

 Dormant mail order plants should be unwrapped immediately. Keep roots from drying out.

 Trees, shrubs, and perennials may be planted as soon as they become available at local nurseries.

 Seeds of hardy annuals such as larkspur, bachelor’s buttons, Shirley and California poppies should be direct sown in the garden now.

 Heavy pruning of trees should be complete before growth occurs. Trees should not be pruned while the new leaves are growing.

 Summer and fall blooming perennials should be divided in spring.

 Apply sulfur to the soils around acid-loving plants such as Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Hollies, and Dogwoods. Use a granular formulation at the rate of ½ pound per 100 square feet.

 Apply a balanced fertilizer such as 6-12-12 to perennial beds when new growth appears.

 Spring bedding plants such as pansies and toadflax may be planted now.

 Ornamental grasses should be cut to the ground as new growth begins.

 Gradually start to pull back mulch from rose bushes.

Fruits:

 Gradually remove mulch from strawberries as the weather warms.

 Continue pruning grapes. Bleeding causes no injury to the vines.

 Continue pruning apple trees. Burn or destroy all prunings to minimize insect or disease occurrence.

 Apply dormant oil sprays now. Choose a dry day when freezing temperatures are not expected.

 Spray peach trees with a fungicide for control of peach leaf curl disease.

 Aphids begin to hatch on fruit trees as the buds begin to open.

 Peaches and nectarines should be pruned just before they bloom.

 Mulch all bramble fruits for weed control.

Lawn And Turf:

 Mow lawns low to remove old growth before new growth begins.

 Apply controls for wild garlic. It takes several years for complete control.

 Apply broadleaf herbicides for control of cool-season perennial and annual weeds. These must not be applied to areas that will be seeded soon.

 Thin spots and bare patches in the lawn can be over-seeded now.

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden & Jennifer Schutter-Barnes, University of Missouri Extension