East Tennessee's Mountain Views

East Tennessee's Mountain Views

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P.O. Box 432

Vonore, TN 37885

865.856.6463

March in the Garden

Sunday, March 4th, 2018 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Spring is in the air! Temperatures are warmer than average, daffodils are blooming, and the peepers (frogs) are singing in the ponds.

Don’t get carried away. This won’t last. I don’t know exactly what the weather will do, but I do know that our average last frost is early to mid-April. I have seen people plant too early way too many times, and it never works out well.

There are, however, many things that you can do on those lovely days when Mother Nature teases us with warm temperatures:

» The first and most important spring chore is a good cleanup. Get fallen leaves and plant debris out of the beds, and see how badly the weeds have taken over. Cut perennials back to where new growth is emerging.

» Pull those weeds out and treat the beds with Preen or another pre-emergent to keep them from coming back.

» Work some good compost into the soil to add nutrients.

» Mulch if you haven’t already to protect the plants from the freeze/thaw cycles and keep moisture stable. Do NOT use too much. Three inches is optimal. NEVER pile the mulch around the base of plants or create volcanoes around trees. Your mulch should look like a flattened donut around trees and shrub.

» If you mulched last fall, take a rake and fluff the mulch up. It can become very hard and compacted during the winter.

» You can plant cool season annuals, perennials, and vegetables. No, you should not plant begonias or impatiens or tomatoes! I will certainly be happy to sell customers the same plant twice, but it tends to make them grumpy.

» Before you go out and start butchering your plants, please come to our pruning workshop on March 3rd at 10 am. You can seriously damage your plants by incorrectly pruning them. It is also important to have sharp tools. Would you want a surgeon to operate on you with a dull knife?

If you don’t have much outside area to work on, this is a good time to get your containers ready for the spring. You can dump the soil from small pots into your garden beds and work it in. Some pots may just need a quick rinse, and some may need a thorough scrubbing. If you had a fungal problem with the plants that were in the pot, rinse it with a mild bleach solution. If there are white lines on your pot, it is an indicator that you have been a bit overzealous with your fertilizing and salts are building up, so you need to scrub those off.

If you are up-potting a plant, be careful not to go too big! One pot size is usually enough.

If your containers are large, you don’t need to dump the entire thing out every year. If there are trees, shrubs, or perennials planted in them, you can top dress with compost. If you do seasonal planting, replace the top 6”-12” with fresh soil. If you have had problems with fungus or insects, however, you may want to start all over. Both can hide out in your soil and re-infect new plants.

When you get ready to plant your containers, I suggest you think about using the “Rule of 3s.” What this means is 3 colors, 3 textures, and 3 heights. No, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Think of it more as a guideline if you don’t know where to start. We will be having container classes if you would really like to have some help, or we can plant your containers for you.

What if you need new containers? I have a couple of suggestions for you. If you are going to leave your container outside, you must buy one that is frost/freeze proof. Most cheap pots will shatter. Your options are high-fired ceramics, double wall plastic, and foam. If you do not leave your planters outside, you can use whatever kind suits your fancy. I will add that plastic is good for those who tend to under-water, and clay is good for those who water too much.

I’ll finish up this month with a reminder to take care of our feathered friends. Keep your feeders clean and full, keep birdbaths clean and full, and protect the birdhouses.

We are getting shipments in on a daily basis right now, so stop in and see what’s new!

Meadow View
9885 Highway 11E
Lenoir City, TN 37772
865-986-7229
www.meadowviewgreenhouse.com

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East Tennessee's Mountain Views

P.O. Box 432

Vonore, TN 37885

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865.856.6463 Local

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