spring planting

10 Tips for the March Gardener

  1. Make plans to attend the UConn Garden Conference on March 19, 2015. Go to http://2015garden.uconn.edu
  1. Send your soil sample to the UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory before April 1st to avoid the spring rush. Add limestone, fertilizer or organic materials as
    feel the earth
    Photo: UNH Extension

    recommended but wait until mid-April to fertilize the lawn.

  1. Start seeds of annual flowers and vegetables that require 10-12 weeks of growth before transplanting such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
  1. Direct plant seeds of cold weather vegetables such as spinach, peas, lettuce, and broccoli as soon as the soil is workable.
  1. Also, as the ground becomes workable, de-thatch any areas of the lawn that have an inch or more of thatch, then reseed any bare spots.
  1. Consider putting in raised garden beds in any areas where the soil is especially poor, compacted or does not drain well.
  1. Plant cool-season annuals like pansies, snapdragons, and calendulas at the end of the month if the weather permits.
  1. Carefully remove winter mulches from planting beds as the snow melts and the temperatures warm.
  1. Save plastic milk jugs or 2-liter bottles to use as individual hot caps for small garden plants. Remember to remove them for watering or if the temperature rises.
  1. Prune apple and pear trees as well as blueberry bushes during mild spells. If everbearing raspberries were not cut down last fall, prune the canes to the ground now.

For more information please visit the UConn Home & Garden Education Center or call 1-877-486-6271.

10 Tips for the April Gardener

Clemson pansies
Photo: Clemson Extension

1.     Choose planting areas based on exposure to sun, shade, wind and distance from water source.

2.     Purchase onion sets for planting and set 1 inch deep and 4 to 5 inches apart when soil can be worked.

3.     Get the jump on weeds in garden beds by pulling out any that overwinter and applying mulch.

4.     Early spring is a great time to spot spray or hand-dig dandelions. If spraying, choose a product that won’t kill grass. If digging, wait until after a rain, when soil is soft.

5.     Complete removal of diseased, weak, or crossing branches on shrubs and small trees.

6.     For an instant spring show, fill containers with purchased forced spring bulbs from supermarkets and garden centers.

7.     Celebrate Arbor Day on April 25th by planting a tree.

8.     Continue to apply horticultural oil sprays to control insect pests on fruit trees if temperature is over 40°F.

9.     Spread fertilizer under roses, apple trees and small fruits except strawberries, which are fertilized in late August.

10.  Freezing temperatures don’t harm pansies, but if they have been grown in a greenhouse they should be gradually exposed to outdoor temperatures before planting.