• March is Busy Time for Southern California Gardeners
    Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at
  • Warm weather is within sight for gardeners, meaning plenty of planting opportunities in March, says Agromin, a Camarillo-based manufacturer of premium soil products and one of the state's largest green materials recycling companies.

    Planting From Seed: Nothing can be more gratifying for a gardener than to watch vegetables and flowers grow from seed. Many plants grow healthier and stronger from seed by avoiding the trauma of transplanting. Local nurseries carry an assortment of seed packs. Follow the directions carefully for the best results.

    Warm Season Flowers And Vegetables: Cool season gardens should have grown beautifully this year because of our mild winter. March signals a changeover from cool season to warm season flowers and vegetables. Plant spring flowers such as marigolds, petunias, freesias, gladiolus, daffodils and grape hyacinths. March is the perfect time to plant beans, summer and winter squash, corn, eggplant, onion, peppers, turnips and some spring tomatoes.

    Potato Planting: A fun garden project for kids is to plant potatoes. Start by filling your planting area with about four inches of compost. Water well. Place small whole potatoes or pieces of potato with at least one or two "eyes (the best variety are available at garden centers) six to eight inches deep in rows. Cover with four inches of compost. Water regularly but don't soak. Potatoes grow between the planted pieces and the surface of the soil. As stems grow, continue to add soil half way up the stem. Harvest the potatoes three weeks after the plants have finished flowering.

    Water Management: Water rationing may be a fact of life by July. Start to conserve water now by only watering when your soil is thoroughly dry. Deep water to force roots downward where soil typically is moister. Place several inches of mulch around your plants, shrubs and trees to hold in moisture and lengthen the time between waterings.

    Lawn Maintenance: keep cool season grass (bluegrass, ryegrasses, fescues) blades at about two inches high. Increase to three inches in summer. As the weather warms, mow regularly to keep weeds in check and to promote thicker lawns. Warm season grass (Bermuda, St. Augustine and zoysia) should be cut at a steady two-inch level throughout spring and summer.

    For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.

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