Mid-Atlantic

March, 2012
Regional Report

Check Your Garden Hose End

A broken or crimped hose end is easily overlooked, yet is a common annoyance. Check yours. Replace it if it's damaged. We complain when hoses won't screw together, won't attach to the spigot, or we can't connect a sprinkler. A crimped coupling is the culprit. Think twice and treat your hose thoughtfully. Don't throw or drop the coupling. Remove dirt and bark and debris from the coupling. Don't force it if it won't attach to another coupling or watering device.

Look for Plants in Biodegradable Pots

Pots made of rice hulls, straw, manure, wheat, cardboard, and other compostable materials are increasingly available. When choosing annuals, vegetables, and other plants for spring gardening, consider these as an the environmentally sound alternative to plastic containers.

Empty and Refill Containers with Fresh, Rich Potting Soil

It's too cold and early in the season to plant annual flowers. If you're eager to play outdoors, feel free to empty ornamental containers of depleted soil and refill with fresh, nutritious potting soil. That preparation will make it quick and easy to add annual flowers and or vegetables come May when there's no chance of frost.

Plant Peas, Sweet Peas, Potatoes

Mid-March into April is good potato and pea-planting time. Sweet peas, snap peas, and shelling peas are cool-weather crops. Prepare soil by amending with compost or well-rotted manure. Soak pea seeds for an hour or more before sowing. Follow package directions for depth and spacing.

Fertilize Spring Bulbs

Applying bulb food on the soil around daffodils and tulips now will help them make and store food for next year's blooms. Fertilizing them now won't affect this spring's flowers though. Follow directions on the bulb fertilizer package.

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