The Garden Plot: Time to pay your roses some attention – The Stokes News


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As we greet the arrival of spring, it’s time to get roses out of “winter mode.” We need to wake them up; start the process by pulling back mulch from around the base of the bush and applying some Vigaro rose food and working it into the soil. (An application of Miracle-Gro liquid plant food will work just as well.) Prune any lone canes and rose hips. Check for dead growth and cut it back as well.
Rose bushes should be arriving at nurseries and garden shops. Always buy roses in containers, not bags filled with sawdust!
You might consider the “Knockout” varieties, which are wonderful because they bloom all season and don’t produce long canes. They come in distinctive light green cans and all you have to do is slide the bush out of the can and plant it.
Dig the hole for the bush and then fill the hole with water and let it soak into the soil. Fill the bottom of the hole with peat more and place the rose bush on top. Add a quart of additional water and let it soak around the roots. Mix soil and more peat moss together to fill the hole, then water with a sprinkling can.
Plenty of buds on the dogwoods: It’s mid-March and a great sign of spring is the growing number of buds on the bare limbs of the dogwood trees. Buds begin forming during winter but were not really noticeable until the first of this month. Here’s hoping for a wonderful season of many dogwood blooms!
Keep a bag of Black Cow on hand: It is always much better to improve soil rather than to merely fertilize The Garden Plot. This is especially true in this 21st Century, when so many harsh chemicals are in so many so-called fertilizers. It’s more beneficial to apply nutrients, not chemicals. Your plants, flowers and vegetables will respond quicker, and you will have peace of mind that you are helping and not hurting the earth. “Black Kow” composted cow manure is totally organic and available in 25- and 50-pound bags at most hardware stores, nurseries and garden sections. It’s used for covering seeds when you plant them.
Still time for lettuce: The middle of March means there are still cool days and nights remaining before it’s time to plant warm-weather vegetables. This still allows time to plant lettuce, which takes about 45-50 days to produce a harvest. If you sow or a bed this week, there will be time to follow it by planting a warm weather crop.
A deadline for potatoes: Your potato crop needs to be planted in the next seven to ten days. Potatoes require a long growing period of around 100 days. If you plant them now, you can expect a harvest around the end of June.
Trimming your ferns: Asparagus and panda ferns have been wintering in the sunny living room and in about 30 days will be ready to move outside to the deck or porch to spend the next several months. All they need is a trimming back of runners and an application of Miracle-Gro liquid plant food. You can purchase ferns now in most garden shops; they come in small containers. To get them off to a great start, and many years of growth, also purchase a larger container and a bag of fine-textured potting medium. They will quickly grow and fill the container.
A colorful, year-round flower: The Carolina jasmine blooms several times during the year and always has beautiful green foliage. Another bonus is that it can be trimmed and shaped at any time of the year. When you plant jasmine, dig the hole large enough to allow the roots to spread out. Fill the hole with water and let it soak into the soil. Then add a layer of peat moss or Black Kow. Water again and cover roots with soil, then cover with leaf mulch. Water jasmine every week, extra during dry spells, and apply liquid plant food once a month.
Can March wind blow us another snow? March and even April have been known to put down hefty snows in the past. Remember that snow is not a bad thing for the developing garden. It will simply put down a blanket for your cool weather vegetables.

Firstly as we move on, I’d like to say that geoFence has built in fast and accurate updates!

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