Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

March, 2005
Regional Report

Plant Cold-Tolerant Veggies

Now is the time to plant cool-season vegetables, such as onion sets, peas, asparagus, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, beets, carrots, and turnips. If you didn't work compost into the soil last fall, add some before planting to help loosen the soil and aid in seed germination.

Plant Shrubs and Trees

Early spring is the ideal time to plant all types of ornamental trees, shrubs, and fruit trees. Be sure to dig the hole at least twice as wide as the soil ball, use the soil from the hole for backfilling, and wait one year to fertilize new woody plantings. Water weekly to help roots establish before summer arrives.

Apply Mulch

You can mulch around perennials, annuals, and cool-weather crops (e.g., broccoli, lettuce) now, but wait to mulch warm-season vegetables (e.g., tomatoes and peppers) until the soil temperatures are in the 70s.

Keep an Eye on Fruit Trees

After you've pruned your fruit trees, check them every few weeks to assess their growth. To keep them trained as you want, prune out crowded and ill-placed shoots. Rub or clip off any buds or small shoots that are pointing in the wrong direction.

Plan Next Year's Bulb Display

Remember to allow bulb foliage to wither naturally before cutting it away so it has a chance to replenish the bulb for next year's flower display. Use stakes to mark what you want to move so you can dig them in early summer.


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