Northern & Central Midwest

March, 2014
Regional Report

Spray Fruit Trees With Dormant Oil

If your fruit trees or other deciduous trees had pest problems last year, plan to spray them with dormant oil. Temperatures must be above 40 degrees without a chance of rain or a drop below freezing in 24 hours. Also, wait for a calm day to avoid drift.

Plant Trees at the Right Depth

When planting trees and shrubs in spring, be sure you know how deeply to plant them. Either set the plant at the same level it was planted in the nursery or raise it slightly. Taper the soil away from the trunk to ground level, and cover with organic mulch.

Plant Cole Crops in the Garden

Hardened transplants of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, shallots, and chives can all be moved out into the garden when the temperatures stay above 50 degrees. Cool-season vegetables to start from seed at the same time include beets, carrots, radishes, chard, lettuce, spinach, and kale.

Start Warm-Weather Seeds Now

Start seeds of summer annuals and vegetables about six weeks before your last frost date. Use sterile potting mix and start them under lights or in a heated cold frame. Transplant them once before beginning to harden them off for the garden. Move them into the garden when the danger of frost has passed.

Fertilize and Repot Houseplants

Houseplants are ready to begin growth so repot those that have outgrown their pots or are potbound. Fertilize most houseplants around the beginning of April, May, and June with a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Stop feeding foliage plants after that, but continue feeding blooming plants through the summer.

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