Gardenscapes by Claudia

This Month in the Garden



Dear friends,
With the early time change, it seems that we've gotten a jump start on Spring!  The first official day is March 20th, and the sun is quickly moving north back into it's Spring position.  And the flowers, plants and trees are sitting up to take notice! 

Here's what's happening now, and what you can put on your calendar for this month:

  • Adjust those sprinklers for our STAGE 2 drought situation.  Visit your water district's website for your assigned days and time limits. A 2" layer of mulch can reduce evaporation by 20%!
  • Your roses should be trimmed back by now, and you can start fertilizing as soon as new growth appears.  Organic fertilizers are the best way to feed your plants, and your soil!
  • This is the last month to plant natives (i.e. salvias and sages, yarrow, coral bells, monkey flower, California poppy, penstemon, etc.).  Otherwise wait until fall.
  • Prune your lavender, rosemary, hibiscus and fuschias this month.  Clear out all deadwood.  And if you haven't yet, make sure to trim back mexican sage, and fountain grasses, as well as other ornamental grasses. 
  • Wash off aphids, ants and whiteflies with a blast of water.
  • Use Sluggo organic snail and slug bait, or handpick and remove.  You can also put out a pie pan of beer at night (submerge into dirt so they can crawl in and meet their demise).  Empty in the morning.
  • Clear out any spent plant debris under plants to discourage sow bugs and disease development.
  • Get your gardener to bring you a yard of good black compost to refresh and top off all your beds.  Remove old bark first if necessary.
  • Stay on top of those weeds!  They'll sky-rocket if ignored, stealing nutrients from your plants.
  • Make sure you're feeding your container plants with an organic fertilizer every other week along with the rest of your plants.

Herbs and Vegetables you can plant now:

  • Artichokes
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Eggplants
  • Lettuce
  • Melon
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes

Bulbs, Perennials, Annuals, Etc.:

  • Delphinium
  • Foxglove
  • Lavender
  • Penstemon
  • Rosemary
  • Salvia
  • Yarrow
  • Begonia
  • Calla Lily
  • Canna Lily
  • Dahlia
  • Gladiolus
  • Coreopsis
  • Cosmos
  • Gaillardia
  • Hollyhock
  • Marigold
  • Portulaca
  • Salvia
  • Sunflower
  • Vebena
  • Ornamental trees
  • Citrus
  • Succulents
  • Palms
  • Roses

Selecting Plants
Here's some important questions to ask or read up on before you buy any plant:

1.    Hardiness: Will the plant survive the highs, lows, and winds in your area?  Does it thrive in your area without a lot of work?

2.    Type:  Is it annual, biennial, or perennial?  What is the estimated lifespan?  Is it deciduous or evergreen?

3.    Size:  How fast does it grow?  How tall and how wide will it get in 1 year? In 5 years?  In 10 years? 

4.    Soil:  Does it require special soil amendments to maintain a preferred pH (i.e. acid or alkaline)?

5.    Water: Does it like wet, dry or average soil?  Will it survive on rainfall once established?

6.    Sun:  Does it prefer sun, shade, or will it tolerate a bit of both?

7.    Pests & Diseases:  What is it susceptible to, and how to treat?

8.    Maintenance: What type of pruning, grooming, staking, etc. will the plant require?

9.    Companion plantings:  What looks best planted along side this plant?

10.  And most importantly, ANY BAD HABITS?  Does the plant self-seed, spread, litter, grow uncontrollably, have invasive roots, lift sidewalks, or make a nuisance of itself in any way?

Have a great Spring!

Botanically Yours,

Call or email today to get your landscape project started! 

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