Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

March, 2010
Regional Report

Choosing Healthy Bedding Plants

Many annuals are easy to grow from seed, and some can even be started outdoors right in the garden, but if you plan to buy stock from a nursery, choose your plants carefully. Look for deep green, healthy plants that are neither too compact nor too spindly. They will do better if they are not yet in bloom when planted. If you can't plant them right away, keep them in a lightly shaded spot and water carefully so the soil doesn't dry out.

Refurbish Raspberry Plants

Cut out all the dead canes from your raspberry patch. The new canes that will bear this year's fruit should have new, swollen buds along the edges. Thin these to five canes per foot of row to allow good air circulation and prevent overcrowding.

Rake and Renew Flowerbeds

Start renewing mulch around flower beds and trees. Incorporate decaying mulch into the soil, fluff up existing mulch, and refresh it by adding a thin layer of new material. Add three inches or so of mulch to areas that have not been previously mulched. Take care to keep mulch away from direct contact with your plants.

Plan for More Color

To extend the blooming period of gladiolus, plant early-season, mid-season, and late-season selections each week until the middle of June. Choose a sunny location and plant the corms 4 to 6 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches apart.

Pick Up Yard Debris

Remove sticks, rocks, and other debris from your lawn to prevent damaging your lawn mower or injuring yourself when mowing. Check your lawn mower and other lawn care equipment in preparation for the coming season.


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