Upper South

March, 2004
Regional Report

Start Tuberous Begonias Indoors

Plant purchased or stored tuberous begonias in order to have them growing by the time frosts end. Set them concave-side-up in pots filled with moistened potting mix. Just barely cover with potting mix. Keep the soil moist but not wet, and place in a dark location where the temperatures are 70 degrees F. When growth begins, bring into bright but not direct sun. Set outside when all frost danger is past.

Reseed Bare Spots on Lawns

Fertilize lawns, either following manufacturer's recommendations on the package or using 3 to 4 pounds of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet. Prepare and reseed bare spots on lawn. Repair any damaged areas, such as ruts or areas that have washed out. Reseed until early April. For best results, use a grass seed mixture that is formulated for your sun or shade conditions. If grubs or weeds are a problem, apply control now.

Transplant Trees and Shrubs

Trees or shrubs that are in the wrong place can be moved when the ground is workable and before new growth starts. Dig as large of a root ball as possible. Plant at the same depth as it was previously growing. Build up a low ring of soil around the plant that will catch and hold water. Keep the plant well watered throughout the growing season. Delay mulching until the soil warms up.

Tend to the Asparagus Bed

Hand weed the asparagus bed. If plants were not fertilized in the fall, apply now using 2-1/2 pounds of a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, per 100 square feet. After harvest is complete, replenish the mulch with a 3- to 4-inch layer of aged manure, compost, or shredded bark. In the fall, pull back the mulch and fertilize again at the same rate.

Prepare Power Tools

Test and tune-up gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment, including mowers, tillers, weed trimmers, leaf blowers, and chain saws. If maintenance wasn't done last fall, sharpen blades now, change the oil, and install or clean fuel and air filters. Purchase extra line for trimmers and other parts that are necessary. Take an inventory of safety equipment, including ear and eye protectors. Purchase fresh gasoline.

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