March ‘To Do’ List 2021
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and your yard is calling you! Our ‘Top 10 Things to Do’ in the garden this month are:
1. Dormant spray fruit trees with a diluted mixture if you have not already completed three sprayings. See below for further detail.
2. Prune roses when the forsythia blooms (it’s that yellow flowering shrub you will see everywhere soon!). Brian’s ‘Pruning Roses’ video is still available on our Facebook page if you’d like to see how to do it!
3. Improve soil conditions in garden beds: add lime, manure, bark mulch and mix well. Keep lime, wood ash and manure out of the potato patch though!
4. Aerate your lawn, apply a 3/8” layer of coarse sand, then Dolopril lime (this will improve your lawn conditions greatly!). Finally, overseed with the new ‘Natural Knit’ (it’s aggressive against weeds!) perennial ryegrass once temperatures reach 10°C and higher (and nights are consistently about 8°C or higher).
5. Add to your edible garden by planting bare-root small fruits and fruit trees.
Incorporate bark mulch into the planting area to ensure you have well-drained soil, add some bone meal and water in with root booster.
6. Plant hardy summer flowering bulbs like fragrant lilies and herbaceous perennials. Amend your soil to ensure it is well-drained before planting.
7. Start cold-hardy veggies such as garlic, early potatoes, broad beans, peas, onions, Swiss chard, radishes, lettuce, brassicas, and spinach. Sweet peas can be started now too. Many of our starter plants are already available for purchase if you’d like to get a jump on your growing season!
8. Purchase and set out mason bee larvae to help with your fruit tree pollination. Don’t delay! Boxes of 10 cocoons are $19.99. If you do not have any blooming plants in your yard, consider purchasing a few blooming spring bulbs, heather or hellebores. The bees will be looking for something to eat when they emerge and you want to keep them in your yard!
9. Plant early blooming March colour: red flowering currants, fragrant white forsythia, yellow flowering Cornelian cherry, primulas, English daisies, carnations, pansies, arabis, aubrieta, and ranunculus. Be sure to add a little bark mulch to the planting hole to improve drainage, sprinkle in some bone meal, and water in with root booster.
Growing Season Dormant Spraying
If you have not yet completed your final winter dormant spraying, you can do so now only if the leaf or flower buds have not burst. If buds have appeared you need to shift gears.
To keep your fruit trees clean and free of both insects and diseases (like scab) you need to spray your trees three times over the growing season. You need to use the more dilute growing season ratios (indicated on the bottles) of lime sulphur fungicide and horticultural oil organic insecticide.
The ratios provided on the ‘Green Earth’ brand are 10 mL (2 teaspoons) of Horticultural Oil and 15 mL (1 tablespoon) of Lime Sulphur per liter of water. Do check the label to ensure you are applying the correct ratio for the tree/shrub you are treating as application rates may vary and restrictions may apply.
Timing is now everything too. The first spray must be at the blossom pinking stage (before they open). The second spray is after the blossoms have completely fallen, and the third spray is 3-5 weeks later.