Across the Nation, clock time moves forward to accommodate another daylight savings year. And, while people are reminded to check safety alarms for workable batteries, it is also time to think early Spring gardening chores. As Ashwood Gardens & Nursery staff says, “Are you ready-set-to-grow?”
Communities, nation-wide, are tired of talking about the gray cold days of winter. So, let's think positive - the worst is over and now we can get down to gardening! How? Most buy-local nurseries such as Ashwood do have good selections of cool season vegetable plants; and, because there is so much to do, Ashwood Nursery provides for their customers a ‘March to Do List’.
Similarly, central Virginia gardeners have options of visiting other equally qualified buy-local nursery sites such as Sneeds Nursery and Lavender Fields Farm . Still, it is the Ashwood staff who reminds us “Don't forget our feathered friends!” Their site has locally made sturdy cedar bluebird boxes; and in fact, provide handouts that list the best choices of seeds and planting materials. Now open with spring hours - Mon.-Fri. 9-6, Sat. 9-5, and Sun. 12-5. These hours are good thru June.
So, across the Nation as we are reminded to ‘Spring forward’, be aware it is also time to be ‘ready-set-to-grow. Identify and visit your community buy-local nurseries. Why? ‘Spring forward’ is more than simply a time change.
March To Do List – recommended by Ashwood Nursery
• It's time to mulch and edge your garden beds and fertilize your existing plants. We like to use any of the Espoma fertilizers (Plant-tone, Holly-tone, Rose-tone) because they are slow release and won’t harm your plants.
• Cut back hybrid tea and repeat blooming roses before the buds break. Wait to prune one time blooming roses until after they have bloomed. Crape myrtles, butterfly bush, group C and group B clematis should also be pruned in late winter/early spring.
• Cut back liriope and ornamental grasses before new growth begins.
• Prune early spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia, quince, winter honeysuckle and winter jasmine immediately after the flowers fade.
• Divide and transplant perennials if needed.
• Plant pansies, violas and primroses for early spring color in the landscape.
• Apply vole deterrent such as imustgarden’s Mole and Vole Repellent. Go to www.imustgarden.com/repel-moles-voles/ to read about voles and how to apply affectively the granular repellent.
• Get a jump start on spring. Check your seed packets to find out how long it takes the different varieties to sprout. Mark the last frost date (April 20th) on the calendar and count back the number of weeks needed for sprouting. This is the date you should sow your seeds indoors.
• If you haven’t done so already, remove dead fronds from your asparagus plants.
• Refer to “Fruit Tree Spray Program” for pest and fungus control.
• Plant early vegetables such as onion sets, rhubarb, asparagus, lettuce, spinach, kale and potatoes. Plant peas when the soil temperature is around 45 or 50 degrees. If planted too early, they may rot. Some recommend 6 weeks before last frost date.