March is a very busy month for Bermuda Run gardeners. It’s the month to prune trees and shrubs and roses. Dear Violet has been pruning all month. Oh my aching back.
Remember you can NOT trim back any spring blooming shrubs or they will NOT bloom. Wait to prune back any spring blooming bush until it finishes blooming. That way the new buds for next year will form on the new branches.
Crepe Myrtles are usually trimmed this month. Do NOT Crepe murder your trees. Grumpy Gardener for Southern Living magazine has a great article on the correct way to trim Crepe Myrtles.
March is also the perfect month for cutting back roses, though you want to check on freezing temperatures. When you cut back rose bushes, you can expose the fresh cuts to freezing temperatures which will damage the canes. This Monday morning the temperatures are due to fall to or below freezing. The National Roses society at rose.org has several articles and videos on the care and pruning of roses.
March is also the perfect month for transplanting perennials, shrubs and conifers. Check out Adrienne Roething, the PJCBG Garden Curator’s tip on transplanting on the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden website. While you are on this website, look at the up coming events at the Gardens. Dear Violet has marked her calendar for the April 10th Spectacular Spring Tulip Bloom and Lecture from Brent Heath owner of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs catalog. Dear Violet attended Adrienne’s “Lunch and Learn” on perennials and came back with several wonderful ideas for my garden.
Don’t forget about your pansies. This very hot weather has probably toasted your pansies. Water them! The rain and cooler temperatures this weekend will help to bring them back to life. Ever hear someone called a Pansy. It’s because they (and pansies) can’t stand the heat.
If your tulips are blooming, then it’s also time to fertilize your Irises. Use a 6-10-10 fertilizer. Apply 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon per rhizome clump in early spring and again about one month after bloom. Work into the soil. Take care to keep fertilizer away from direct contact with rhizomes. Water well after each application. Also check your Iris rhizomes for soft spots (bacteria rot), trim back old leaves and be sure to remove any dead debris from around the rhizomes so their “backs” can feel the sun.
You should also start cleaning up, if you didn’t last fall, your gardens. Start weeding now and your job will be easier the rest of the year. Weeds have jumped with all the warm weather and now rain. Perfect combo for weeds.
There’s a great article on the New Garden Landscaping Spring 2016 newsletter online about the Impatiens Downy Mildew. This newsletter also contents helpful tips for March, April and May. Impatiens Downy Mildew is the fungus that has been causing your Impatiens to drop their leaves and the flowers to fall off over night.
Hope all this information helps and as always, Happy Gardening. Is there anything better than dirt under your nails!!!