Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association


March, 2010
Regional Report

Protect Early Annuals From Frost

Warm, sunny spring weather can move us to buy tender annuals such as basil, impatiens, vinca, tomatoes, and peppers. They may be available, but it's too early in the season to leave them outdoors at night. They'll be fine in 60 to 70 degree sunshine. They'll won't tolerate cool or cold days or nights or a frost. Bring them indoors on cold days. If you need to wear a jacket to keep warm, your annuals should be indoors in a sunny, warm window.

Plant Primroses and Flowering Bulbs Outdoors In Warm Weather

After the last frost, plant perennial flowers you've kept indoors and bulbs you received as gifts - in your garden. For example, miniature roses will bloom all summer. Primroses may die back but they'll perk up come autumn and flower spring after spring for many years to come. Clip away the dead flowers from daffodils, hyacinths, Easter lilies, and other lilies before planting. They won't bloom again this season but will flower next spring or early summer.

Prune and Fertilize Roses

Sharpen the pruners. Get alcohol and a small rag to wipe the blades. Also a small bottle of white glue to cover the cuts. It's time to prune and fertilize roses. Pruning techniques vary according to rose type. Climbers and ramblers are clipped differently than their bush rose cousins. All are best pruned before they leaf out. Consult a good rose pruning guide such as Lee Reich's The Pruning Book to learn the specific steps for your type of rose.

Fertilize Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Daffies, crocus, snowdrop, Camassia - most all spring-blooming bulbs benefit from a boost of bulb fertilizer while in flower. The fertilizer won't affect this season's blossoms. The plants will store the food in the bulb below ground - for next spring's show.

Trim Your Lilyturf

Carefully clip away last year's lilyturf blades to make room for this spring's growth. Winter's left the mounds tattered and brown-spotted. Don't cut off tender new shoots at the crown. Gather the clipped weathered blades for your compost or use to cover paths in vegetable garden beds.


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