Timely Tips for Spring in the Piedmont (Central NC)
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- 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.
- 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).
- Hand-pull winter annual weeds such as henbit, Carolina geranium, speedwell, and chick-weed from ornamental beds before they set seed
- In the beginning of March cutback ornamental grasses close to the ground, being careful not to prune any new shoots emerging.
- Divide perennials in March.
- Use lawn alternatives in areas where grass will not grow or is not needed. Mondo grass, pachysandra, ajuga, sedges and sweet woodruff.
- Prune spring-flowering plants such as azaleas, forsythia, and viburnum immediately after they bloom.
- Plant annuals after the last frost. Pinch back first flowers.
- Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around ornamental beds.
- Scout for bagworms on Leyland cypress and junipers in May.
- Move houseplants outside after the last frost date if desired.
- 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.
- 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