Tips From the Pros

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Here are some tips from the NC Cooperative Extension Center:
 Plant your small fruit plants, grape vines and fruit trees before the buds break.  March is a good month to transplant trees and shrubs New shrubs and ground covers can be planted the entire month of March. Be sure to follow your planting plan. Plant seeds of the following perennials: columbine, hollyhock, coreopsis, daisy and phlox. Sweet William can also be planted this month. New rose bushes can be planted this month. Plants of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower should be set out in the garden in mid-March. The following vegetables can be planted this month: beets, carrots, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, Swiss chard, turnips, potatoes,cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Start any annual flowers or warm-season vegetables inside your home that are not commercially available in early March.

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In order to ensure that your lawn is ready for the warm weather to roll in, you need to make sure you’ve pruned, weeded, and cleaned out your garden appropriately.

You may have seen some sprigs coming up at this point. Now is the time to clean out winter debris from your garden. Dead branches or fallen leaves, twigs or branches that may have fallen during winter weather will stifle the growth of plants trying to thrive.

Pruning is a little more tricky.The plant and its needs will determine the type of pruning to be done. Many shrubs are going to benefit from heading and thinning, as it will give room for air circulation and light. The general rule is to not remove more than 1/3 of the plant. Again, it depends on the tree or bush. As always, you can contact us to do it for you.

weeding and pruning

Some of our days are getting really nice and warm! No doubt that it’s got you thinking spring and being outdoors. As you prepare for spring and begin to think about your mulching needs, there are few things to keep in mind.
Prepare the area:

Pull weeds or cut them close to the ground, if you are mulching for weed control. While not strictly necessary, it will help the mulch, and anything under it, to lay flat, and it will slow down the weed growth. Remember, mulch prevents weed growth by excluding light.
Enrich the soil and dig the beds, if you plan to do so.
Lay down anything you want under the mulch, such as landscaping fabric or plastic.
Add a generous thickness of mulch. The depth of mulch is really important if you want to retain moisture and prevent weed growth. Aim for at least two to four inches (5-10cm) of depth.

Better yet, if you don't want to deal with the hassle of mulching (and it can make for a tiring day), give us a call! We have a Mulch Special of 10% off (when we spread it) until the end of March!

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Hopefully, you brought in your tender plants for the winter. Continue protecting container plants from cold temperatures, and don’t forget to water them! We are getting some warm days but that can be misleading. It is best to wait to purchase new plants for your outdoor areas, too. Spring is still a month away. You can, however, still shop for seeds!
Inspect your patio furniture and see what maintenance needs to be done. You can also start shopping for new cushions, as most stores are bringing out their outdoor items now. While you’re at it, Check for winter damage. Snow and rain may have created issues such as drainage problems or rotted wood that will need addressing at the start of the growing season.
Of course, when winter comes, you can hole up indoors like everyone else. Or you can add an elegant fire pit to your patio and enjoy the outdoors year-round. If you're opting for the latter, the question is really a matter of maintenance—which fire pit best serves your needs? Here's a rundown of three types of outdoor fire pits to help you decide: