Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in March. (Mountain * Checklist)

Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in March. (Mountain * Checklist)

Article excerpt

PLANTING

* BARE-ROOT ROSES. Remove packaging material and soak the rose in a bucket of water for as long as 24 hours. Dig a hole 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide. Plant the roots so the graft or bud union is 2 inches below the ground level. Mix a shovelful of compost into the backfill, refill the hole, then water. Mound soil over the canes to protect them from freezing. Later in the season, gradually remove the soil so that the canes are uncovered completely by the last frost date in your area.

* COOL-SEASON VEGETABLES. If you didn't prepare planting beds last fall, dig several inches of compost or well-rotted manure into the soil as soon as it is workable. Then sow seeds of beets, carrots, endive, kohlrabi, lettuce, onions, parsnips, peas, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnips.

* LILY BULBS. Asiatic hybrid lilies are hardy in cold-winter climates and are more tolerant of alkaline soil than other hybrid lilies. For a large selection of flower colors, try Van Bourgondien (800/622-9997 or www.dutchbulbs.com). Plant lilies in loose soil generously amended with compost, in a location that gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

* STRAWBERRIES. Cold-hardy varieties include everbearing 'Fort Laramie' and 'Ogallala', and June-bearing 'Guardian' and 'Honeoye'. Choose a site in full sun and amend the soil with all-purpose fertilizer and 4 inches of compost or well-rotted manure. Plant strawberries 1 foot apart in rows or in a block. Spread several inches of mulch (hay, pine needles, or straw) around plants. Keep the soil evenly moist. Cut off the first crop of flowers to encourage stronger roots, then allow fruit to develop thereafter.

* WILDFLOWERS. Scatter seeds of wildflowers directly into the garden where you want them to grow. Among the flowers that germinate best in cold, moist soil are annual coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), California desert bluebells (Phacelia campanularia), lemon mint (Monarda citriodora), mountain phlox (Linantbus grandiflorus), Tahoka daisy (Aster tanacetifolius), and Texas bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis). …

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