After all this rain, your garden is beginning to wake up from its winter dormancy – and it’s hungry! Get ready for the growing season ahead. Fertilize and prepare plants for their often rapid growth to come:
▪ Feed fruit trees before flowers open. Use a fertilizer specifically labeled for fruit trees.
▪ Feed other mature trees and shrubs as spring growth appears.
▪ Feed strawberries and asparagus, two perennials from the vegetable garden that will soon hit high gear.
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▪ Feed spring-blooming flowers and established perennials.
▪ Check for aphids on new growth. Knock them off with a strong spray of water or a squirt of insecticidal soap.
▪ Look out for snails and slugs. Hand-pick them off plants an hour after nightfall.
▪ Plant seed for beets, Swiss chard, collards, endive, fennel, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, peas, radicchio, radish and turnips.
▪ Transplant seedlings for broccoli, cabbage, kale, lettuce and leeks.
▪ Indoors, start tomatoes, eggplant and peppers from seed. They’ll be ready to transplant outdoors when weather warms in April or May.
▪ In the flower garden, plant seed for baby’s breath, calendula, California poppy, cornflower, forget-me-not, larkspur, nasturtium, nicotiana and snapdragon.