Timely Tips - March

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1. Start thinking about putting down your Pre-Emergent Crabgrass Control.  Our soil is slowly starting to warm! The soil temperature is now in the high 30's or low 40's, and it needs to be 60 degrees or more for 10 days- two weeks before the crabgrass will germinate. Pre-emergent products prevent more than just crabgrass, which is why you may want to apply it now, and a second application in mid to late May for extended protection thoughout the summer.  Remember, if you use a pre-emergent, you can not sow grass seed until fall.  If you need to sow grass seed, do it now!  Then apply the pre-emergent after the new seed has been mowed two or three times.
 
2.  Apply Dormant Oil or Horticultural Oil treatments to your woody ornamentals now and again in 30 days.  A dormant oil treatment reduces insect and disease problems later in the year.  Insect eggs and disease spores over-winter on stems, branches, and ground, and the oil will cover and suffocate them. Reducing these spores and eggs will reduce the number of insects and diseases that can harm your plants during the season.  Using our dormant spray which is a natural mineral oil is safe for the environment and will reduce the need for more spraying later in the year.
 
3.  Sow grass seed over your whole yard or just the bare spots.  Seeding now allows you to take advantage of the warm days and cool nights to get the seed into the top layer of soil. Even if there is a hard freeze or snow the seed will be fine!  Now that the soil has some moisture, the seed will absorb this moisture and soften its coating.  When the soil warms to about 50 degrees it will germinate!
 
4.  Start your summer vegetables from seed indoors.  You want to count back at least 4 weeks from when you will be planting them outside.  Germinating seed doesn't require light but you need to have a warm spot for the soil temperature to stay at least 70 degrees.  A radiator or the top of the refrigerator usually works!  After the seed germinates is when you need to get them into the light, and cool them down at night.  To keep your plants short and stocky, try to provide at least 24 hours of light per day.

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