March has started out a bit cool this year. Winter wants to hang on. Which it can until the 20th which is the first day of spring. Lots of nice rain this year. A little too much at once a few times, but we need the moisture so no complaints. 38 inches since October here at the nursery. Considering the warmer weather coming and the ground is good and moist, be ready to start fertilizing soon. As soon as deciduous trees and shrubs have their full set of leaves, you should give them their first fertilizing of the year. A balanced fertilizer works well for most things. Use a rhododendron, camellia, azalea fertilizer for your acid loving plants. Fertilize azaleas and rhododendrons after they are done blooming. Same thing for camellias. Citrus should use a citrus fertilizer. Lots of citrus may be looking a bit yellow after the winter and all the rain. Start fertilizing as soon as the danger of frost is past. I think it is safe now but considering how cool we have been, maybe wait another week or so. Fertilize citrus monthly through the growing season. Speaking of citrus, we now have our citrus and avocados in. Nice selection to choose from.
Roses should be leafing out now. If you have not pruned back roses, it is still a good time to do it. If you have any that are really large cause of neglected pruning during prior seasons, prune them down now.
Be sure to start spraying with a fungicide now. With all the moisture this year, rose diseases could be worse than usual. We use Neem Oil every two weeks here at the nursery on the roses to prevent aphids and fungus problems.
It’s time to start fertilizing roses as well. Roses are heavy feeders. They should be fertilized about every 6 weeks. Use a rose food or you can use triple 16 too. I use a combination of the two on my roses and it works very well.
As soon as we get a few warm days, we will have requests for summer vegetable starts. It really is too early to put them in now. We will wait a couple of weeks before we will be carrying them. Maybe longer depending on weather. The rule of thumb is to wait till overnight lows are consistently 50 degrees or higher and the ground is no longer cold to the touch. You can start prepping the soil now. Add bone meal or calcium to the soil along with the vegetable fertilizer when you are prepping the soil. This will help to prevent blossom end rot. We also have calcium nitrate which can be added to help prevent it. I use organic fertilizer on my vegetable garden. I use bone meal for calcium, and tomato and vegetable fertilizer and kelp meal. Kelp meal helps to prevent diseases. About half way through the season I re apply fertilizer and bone meal.
If you were not able to get the dormant spraying done on your fruit trees because of all the rain, we do have a fungicide that works after the fact if you end up with leaf curl. It is made by Dr. Earth and it works well at curing the problem. One other thing to consider with fruit trees is the damage that occurs on nectarines and peaches. The fruit can be damaged by a bug when it is very small and then as it matures the damage grows. To prevent this, spray with neem oil or horticultural oil after the petals have dropped and you are sure the bees have finished pollinatiing. This should help to minimize the problem by keeping the bug that causes the damage off the small fruit that is forming. Be sure to fertilize your fruit trees when they have their full set of leaves.
This time of year, we start getting lots of merchandise in. Usually weekly or every other week we get things in. If there is something that you are looking for that we do not have, we can usually have it within a week. Two at the longest as long as it is availalble. Lots of new stuff comes in regularly through the spring.
Don’t forget daylight savings time begins March 12th.
A note on our hours. We are open 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday and 10 to 4 Sunday. My personal hours are almost daily, but I do plan to have Tuesday off. Something I have to force. We still have people to take care of you that day. But if you need me, I won’t be there Tuesday. At least that is what I am planning to do. We’ll see how that goes.
We are looking forward to a very nice green spring this year with lots of water from all the rain. And we hope to see you soon.