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The time for planning is over. It’s time to get to work!

Cottage garden, formal garden, woodland garden, herb garden, the list goes on and on. Whichever type of garden you have (my favorite is English!), March in the garden is a busy time. Putting the work in now helps your plants to be happy and healthy and lets you enjoy their beauty all summer long. Below are a few tips for garden success.

  • Prune dead or damaged branches from trees, shrubs, and roses. Don’t trim types that bleed, such as birch and maple, until after their leaves are fully developed.

  • If you’ve had a mild winter, look for hosta shoots poking up their heads. Dig up clumps that need to be divided, split them apart, and replant them. Water generously.

  • Fertilize evergreens, only if needed. If they’re established and healthy, their nutrient needs should be minimal.

  • Spray trees and shrubs for webworms and leaf rollers, if present.

  • Now is a good time to apply appropriate sprays for the control of lawn weeds such as chickweed, crabgrass, spurge, and dandelion.

  • Loosen winter mulches from perennials cautiously. Re-cover plants at night if there’s a danger of frost. Clean up flower beds by removing all weeds and dead foliage.

  • Cut back all ornamental grasses to the ground just as the new growth begins. Tie up ornamental grasses, and use serrated knife to cut them back to a few inches above ground level.

  • Finish pruning non-spring flowering shrubs and ornamental trees before they start growing. (Prune spring bloomers as soon as they finish flowering.)

  • WEED! Get a jump on the weeds by patrolling your gardens when the weather is nice. Small, newly emerging weeds are easier to remove, and if you keep on top of them through June, the rest of the season will be much more manageable.

  • Check outdoor furniture for signs of rust. Remove any surface rust with steel wool and paint with rust-inhibitive paint.

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