Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

# Mid-Atlantic

## April, 2001 Regional Report

#### Calculating Cubic Amounts

It\'s always hard to know how much bulk mulch or compost to buy. Here\'s a quick way to calculate it. One cubic yard of bulk material equals a 1-inch layer over roughly 324 square feet. Multiply the square footage by the depth desired (in inches) and divide by 324 to figure how many cubic yards you need. Or, if shopping for bagged materials, one cubic yard is 27 cubic feet. Personally, I need a calculator to do this accurately.

#### Enjoy Spring Ephemerals

Take time this spring to locate a wildflower preserve in your area for a quick visit. Many parks and botanical gardens offer guided walks to help you find and identify these fast-changing displays. The native spring ephemerals come and go quickly, but they are a true joy to behold.

#### Fertilize Roses

Fertilize your roses with a little extra something this year: magnesium. Sprinkle about one-half cup of epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) around the base of each rose bush and water in thoroughly. Apply the epsom salts three times over two months beginning now.

#### Protect Strawberries

Strawberry plants are very cold hardy, but their flower buds can be damaged by frosts once they've opened. On cold nights, protect these delicate blooms with mulch or floating row covers. The floating row cover fabrics allow air, water, and light to pass through them but give several degrees of frost protection.

#### Measure Fertilizer

Here\'s a simple method to calculate how much fertilizer to use. Weigh your granular fertilizer with a measuring cup. Two cups all-purpose fertilizer weighs about 1 pound. If you want to add 2 pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet of garden, use 4 cups sprinkled evenly over the soil.