March Gardening 2016

by Jane Ahrens


From Mélie’s Garden

Last weekend was beautiful and warm on Fishers Island. I spent most of it working in my flowerbeds, cutting back what I didn’t get to last fall and cleaning up wind-blown debris. Little green weeds and grass have emerged among the bulbs trying to poke up and I quickly removed the invaders, so the bulbs would not be robbed of nutrients in the earth. I was amazed to find the soil so workable since it was zero degrees on the island only a week ago. Apparently the severe cold didn’t last long enough for the ground to really freeze and everything came out easily. I know that this lovely warm spell will only remain briefly. March, which can be a particularly challenging month on Fishers Island, will soon be upon us, but the brief glimpse of spring was very comforting to my soul and the signal that a new gardening year is about to begin.

My Early Spring – To Do List

A sign of Spring ~ M. Bloethe

Remove broken branches on trees and shrubs to keep them healthy.

Finish clearing underbrush before the leaves come out in April.

Prune Fruit Trees while they are still dormant to avoid disease.

Prune Boxwood and other evergreen shrubs and feed with Hollytone acidic fertilizer.

Clean Up Flowerbeds, removing debris and anything green that is not a bulb – it is a weed!

Edge Flowerbeds and fertilize with organic fertilizer.

Check Soil by sending samples to UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Lab and fertilize as directed.

Make a list of plants you want to add to the garden this spring and review your gardening notes taken last fall.

Plan your Vegetable Garden remembering to rotate crops from last year.

Order seeds to start inside in early April or to have ready to plant when the ground warms up in the garden in May and June.

Order Dahlia tubers to plant in May and check on ones you might be wintering over to see if they are viable for this year.

Clean Birdfeeders and Birdhouses with 1 part bleach to 9 parts water

Oil and Organize Gardening Tools and buy new tools and gloves, if needed.

Start Feeding Houseplants, every couple of weeks now that the days are getting longer with organic fertilizer and give them a good bath in the shower. Spray with insecticidal soap if bugs are present.

And finally, if you have received a mailing from the Arbor Day Foundation send a donation and they will mail to you some little trees. They arrive as sticks and need to be planted in pots at first, but I now have about ten little trees in my vegetable garden that are ready to be transplanted out into the real world – happy spring!

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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