March 2017 Tips & Tricks

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Spring blooming bulbs should be fertilized just as the new growth emerges. If your bulbs have already flowered, wait until November to fertilize with a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Summer flowering bulbs can be fertilized when the shoots emerge.

Fertilize trees and shrubs before active growth begins (before mid-March). Fertilize based on your soil test for best results. For more information about fertilizing trees and shrubs, stop by the office and pick up a copy of “A Gardener’s Guide to Fertilizing Trees and Shrubs”. Fertilize perennials and annuals in April. Do not fertilize warm season grasses yet. Wait until May or June for best results.

If necessary, continue application of preemergent herbicides to centipede and St Augustine lawns through early March. Avoid applications of once turf starts to green up. Bring weed samples to the plant clinic for specific herbicide recommendations. Most of the weeds that we are seeing right now are winter weeds that are best controlled in the fall and early winter. Proper identification now will allow you to control these weeds proactively next season. While you are here, request a lawn maintenance calendar for your turf type.

March is an excellent time to relocate plants or transplant container grown plants. Fall blooming perennials can be divided now. (Divide spring blooming perennials in the fall.)  Keep an eye on new plants and replanted divisions through the spring and summer and provide adequate water to make sure they establish well.

Many cool season spring vegetable crops can be planted now. Early March is a good time to transplant broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage plants. Asparagus beds should be established by the end of March. Kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, radish, turnips, and spinach can be started from seed through the beginning of April. Potatoes can be planted until the beginning of May.

Remember to wait until after the last frost to plant warm season crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and peppers. The last frost in Onslow County is usually the second or third week in April. However, this is just an average – in any given year the last frost may be earlier or later. Plan to plant tender crops after April 20 and be prepared to protect these crops from a late frost if necessary. Heat-loving crops like okra, eggplant, sweet potato and watermelons will do better if you wait an extra couple of weeks for the soil temperatures to warm.

Written By

Photo of Lisa Rayburn, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionLisa RayburnExtension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture (910) 455-5873 (Office) lisa_rayburn@ncsu.eduOnslow County, North Carolina
Posted on Mar 14, 2017
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