“To dig and delve in nice clean dirt Can do a mortal little hurt.”
John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922) American Writer
Before any planting, the soil must be dry, not wet! Working with the soil when wet drastically alters the structure of the soil particles by compacting them. This does not allow for movement of oxygen, microbes, and composting arthropods/insects which are necessary for plants to flourish. If your green thumb is itching here are a list of plants that can go in the ground this month:
👍Bare Root Roses, Trees and Shrubs need to be placed in a bucket for a few hours or overnight so the roots are fully hydrated. Plan on digging the hole ahead of time! After planting, water well and mulch.
👍 Direct sow these seeds – Larkspur, cosmos and bachelor buttons
👍 LATER this month go ahead and sow peas and sweet peas. Have sturdy row covers or containers to quickly cover the plants to protect the seedlings from unexpected deep freezes.
If you’re not ready to plant, this is a good time to have the lawn core aerated by the end of the month. The holes need to be 2-3 inches deep and 2-4 inches apart. It is fine to leave the cores (plugs) on the lawn as they will breakdown during the subsequent rain/snow storms in April and May.
This is an excellent time before your lawn starts growing and before lawn mower repair businesses get busy, to have the mower blades sharpened, change oil, air filter & spark plugs. Clean and adjust electric mowers, check cords for any wear or loose connections. Adjust cutting height to 3” to keep moisture in and shade out the weeds.
Watch for any wind damage or heavy snowfall which can break tree limbs and shrub branches. Make sure the affected limbs/branches are pruned promptly for the safety and health of the plant.