Pacific Northwest

March, 2012
Regional Report

Harden Off Your Seedlings

If you have some early plants started from seed that you are ready to put out in the garden, be sure to harden them off in a cold frame, bright corner of an unheated basement or garage, or in a protected corner of the porch for a few days before setting them out. Gradually getting them used to the light and temperature differences between indoors and outdoors is the key.

Beware of Slug Activity

If it feels like spring, beware! Slugs are beginning to frolic (do slugs frolic?) and they love primroses, lettuces, and the tender new growth of those bulbs and other plants that are just starting to wake up. I use iron-based Sluggo or Worry Free granules to stop the damage from these garden pests. Neither are harmful to pets or birds.

Sow Seeds of Cool Season Veggies

Have you planted your peas yet? It's not too late! Some other vegetables can be direct-sown in the garden this month: varieties of broccoli, spinach, kale, radish, potato and onion (sets). Transplants of Swiss chard, lettuces and other salad greens can potentially be set out this month as well, but may need to be kept under some kind of cover, cold frame or cloche, depending on temperature.

Check for Crane Fly Damage

Check for crane fly damage, indicated by bare patches and thinning in the lawn. The good news is that a small amount of damage can be overcome with proper feeding and regular maintenance of your lawn.

Fertilize Your Garden

This is a good time to feed your lawn, right along with the rest of your garden. Though these warmer days may make you want to get out there and do some overseeding to fill in some thin spots in your lawn, wait for the temperature to rise a bit more.

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