Home & Garden

Keep pace with fast-growing plants

A red and white cosmos flower
A red and white cosmos flower Bigstock

Is your garden growing before your eyes? As the weather warms, plant growth – and garden work – really speed up. In particular, keep an eye on weeds; don’t let them get any bigger. Cut them down while they’re small.

▪  Early April is your last chance to plant such cool-weather bedding annuals as pansies, violas and primroses.

▪  Start thinking about summer bouquets. Flowers that can be planted from seed directly into the garden now include alyssum, aster, celosia, cosmos, four o’clocks, marigold, morning glory, periwinkle, portulaca, salvia, sunflower, verbena and zinnia.

▪  In the vegetable garden, plant seeds for beets, carrots, celery, chard, endive, fennel, jicama, mustard, radish, spinach and turnips.

▪  Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings. Plant seed potatoes.

▪  Fertilize shrubs and trees once during spring with a slow-release fertilizer.

▪  Feed citrus with a low dose of a balanced fertilizer during bloom to help set fruit. A balanced fertilizer contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium (the macro-nutrients plants need most); their percentage is noted on the fertilizer packaging, such as 8-8-8 or 12-12-12.

▪  Apply chelated iron to azaleas and camellias if leaves are yellowing between the veins.