New England

March, 2008
Regional Report

Remove Strawberry Mulch

Check strawberry plants twice a week for signs of new growth. As soon as you see sprouts, remove the hay or straw mulch and spread it in the rows to help control weeds. A topdressing of an inch or two of compost will give plants a boost.

Rotate Crops in Veggie Garden

In planning your veggie garden layout, avoid planting members of the same plant family in the same spot they were growing last year or even the year before. Members of the same family -- tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant, for example -- are susceptible to the same diseases and insect infestations.

Sow Early Crops

The first crops that can be sown in the ground once the soil has dried out enough are beets, carrots, lettuce, parsley, peas, radishes, spinach, and Swiss chard. Plan to make successive sowings to prolong the harvest.

Move Shrubs and Small Trees

Moving a woody plant before it begins new spring growth causes less stress on the plant, so try to do this type of transplanting as soon as the soil is workable. The larger the plant, the more the timing matters.

Control Lawn Weeds With Corn Gluten

Before annual crabgrass and other lawn weeds germinate this spring, spread corn gluten pre-emergent herbicide/fertilizer with a lawn spreader. The corn gluten suppresses seed germination and also provides nutrients to the grass. Use the blooming time of forsythia to signal that it's time to spread the crabgrass control.

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