It's March, and spring is almost here! We are feeling incredibly thankful for the much-needed rain, finally giving all of the thirsty Central Coast plants a drink. We are crossing our fingers that this month brings more wet weather and plenty of sunshine to help our gardens thrive. Get your landscape prepped for the new season by following our March Tips of the Month!
Plant Perennials and Cutting Flowers
Early spring is one of the best times to get perennials started in the garden such as columbine, correa, lavender, penstemon, phygelius, rosemary, salvia and yarrow. It is also time to sow flower seeds such as asters, cosmos, cleomes, lobelias, lunarias, marigolds, nicotianas, sunflowers and zinnias in flats or directly into the garden. For those eager gardeners, starting March 15th (after the last frost), you can begin to plan the vegetable gardens.
Dormant spray your fruit trees, i.e. apricot, peach, nectarine and plum for leaf curl, bugs, and other dormant diseases. If buds have started to break and blossoms and emerging DO NOT SPRAY, flowers may fall off and you will have no fruit for the year. Many trees bloomed early thanks to the unusually warm weather we received in January. Wait until leaves have opened completely before attempting to spray again.
What is aeration?
Technically speaking, aeration is the naturally occurring process of air exchange between the soil and its surrounding atmosphere. Practically speaking, aeration is the process of mechanically removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn to improve natural soil aeration.
Why is aeration important?
Foot traffic and mowing compacts soil and stresses lawns. Irrigation and raindrops further compact the soil, reducing large air spaces where roots readily grow. Compaction is greater on heavy clay souls than in sandy soils. Aeration can help relieve soil compaction, allowing your grass to grow deeper roots and make better use of water and fertilizer.
What are the benefits of aeration?
- Improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere
- Enhanced soil water uptake
- Reduced water runoff and puddling
- Improved fertilizer uptake and use
- Stronger turf grass roots
- Reduced soil compaction
- Enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance
- Improved resiliency and cushioning
- Enhanced thatch breakdown