March 24, 2007
Well, what a difference a week can make in this area. One week we have bare ground and we are thinking about planting peas. The next week, we are dealing with 12 inches of wet concrete snow. The hope is that the snow will melt quickly. The sun at this time of the year is very strong and the snow appears to be melting quickly.
Late March is the correct time to be starting many of your vegetable seedlings indoors. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplant only need 8 to 10 weeks from planting seed until they are big enough to be put out into the garden. If you figure Memorial Day weekend as our traditional planting time, then starting now puts you right on schedule. Squash and cucumbers need only about 4 weeks to get to size for planting outdoors. Wait a few more weeks before starting these plants. Now is also a good time to be starting many of your annual flowers indoors. Again, seed planted now should only need 8 to 10 weeks to give you plants big enough to be planted outside.
The wet snow we had last weekend may have caused some of your shrubs and trees to get damaged from the weight of the snow. Take some time this weekend to go out and check on your plants. If you have cracked branches on trees, you can seal the cracks with grafting wax. This will seal the wound and give the branch a chance to heal. If the branches on plants are torn or badly damaged you may have to cut off the damaged sections. If branches are bent to the ground, you may find that gently removing the snow from on top of and around the branch will allow the branch to naturally spring back up over time. Warm weather will help to allow the branch to return to its normal shape. If the branch does not return to a normal position after a week or so of warm weather, then you can gently lift the branch back up and either tie it to a main branch of the plant or hold the branch up using a stake for support. It is important to cushion the branch with burlap or some other material that will prevent the support from damaging the bark on the branch.
Late March is also the time when many houseplants begin to start a new period of growth. Now would be a good time to re-pot any pot bound houseplants. Just remember that you only want to go 2 inches larger than the existing pot when you re-pot. If your plants don’t need to be re-potted than now would be a good time to start a regular fertilizing program for your houseplants. If you don’t feed them, they won’t grow!
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.