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NC State Extension

Timely Tips for Spring in the Piedmont (Central NC)

General

Sign that says "Spring"

image by Nick Youngston cybsa3

  • Clean up any lingering leaves and dead plant material and refresh mulch in planting beds.
  • Sharpen and sanitize garden pruning tools
  • If you plan to spray, begin a growing-season spray-program for fruit trees, shrubs, and roses.
Mowing the lawn

image by Evan Long

Lawns

  • Apply a broadleaf weed killer to lawns in March on warm days according to label instructions.
  • Apply pre-emergence crabgrass products in March; do not seed or overseed when using them.
  • Fertilizer: Make last fertilizer application for Tall Fescue lawns before March 15. Lightly fertilize bermudagrass or zoysiagrass in April.
  • Mow tallfescue at 4 inches, bermudagrass at 2, and zoysiagrass at 1 to 2.
  • During April if you find more than 8 – 10 white grubs per square foot of turf consider using controls to manage the Japanese beetle population and prevent mole issues in the coming month.
  • Plant warm-season grasses in May (bermudagrass, zoysiagrass).
forsythia

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Ornamentals

Kitchen Garden

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Edibles

  • Prepare vegetable beds by incorporating soil amendments, lime and fertilizer in March according to the results of your soil test.
  • Plant cool-season vegetable seeds and transplants in March, including broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, leeks, lettuces, garlic, peas, potatoes, onions, and radishes.
  • After the last frost date in mid-April, plant warm-season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant.
  • Rotate vegetable locations annually to prevent soil-borne pathogens.
  • Lightly fertilize vegetables about 6 weeks after planting.
  • Scout for cutworms around vegetables.
  • Prevent blossom-end rot with consistent watering. Calcium sprays may also help. A soil test will reveal any nutrient deficiencies.

Useful References

  • Extension Gardener Handbook – Textbook used in the Extension Master Gardener Training Program (free online and available as a hardback and ebook.)
  • Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox
    • Select a plant that will thrive in your location and provide the functions you want (attract songbirds, provide food, select the flower color and bloom time and much more)
    • Identify a Plant using the information that you have.
    • Browse the garden gallery of a wide variety of landscapes and plants.
  • Your local County Extension Center