As the weather warms, garden growth – and work – really speed up. Keep an eye on weeds; don’t let them get big or go to seed. Think of them as little thieves; they’re stealing precious moisture and nutrients from the plants you want to grow. In time of drought, there’s no room (or water) for these unwanted invaders. You want that water for plants you like, not weeds you hate.
Whack those weeds while they’re small. Use a hoe to keep soil disruption to a minimum; this also keeps from bringing more weed seeds to the surface to sprout.
After weeding, spread mulch to keep weeds down and maintain that moisture.
▪ Flowers that can be planted from seed directly into the garden include alyssum, aster, celosia, cosmos, four o’clocks, marigold, morning glory, periwinkle, portulaca, salvia, sunflower, verbena and zinnia.
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▪ In the vegetable garden, it’s time to plant seeds for beets, carrots, celery, chard, endive, fennel, jicama, mustard, radish, spinach and turnips. Remember to keep soil relatively moist until seeds germinate.
▪ Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings. Plant seed potatoes.
▪ Fertilize shrubs and trees once during spring with a slow-release fertilizer. Always deeply water plants first before applying any fertilizer.
▪ Feed citrus with a low dose of a balanced fertilizer (such as 12-12-12) during bloom to help set fruit.
▪ Apply chelated iron to azaleas and camellias if leaves are yellowing between the veins.