Deep Roots Garden Center             Newsletter                          March 2011

It's March! It's Spring!

What to do in your garden this month...

In spite of the recent cold weather, we can say that spring is definitely here. The days are getting appreciably longer and trees and plants that have been dormant during the winter are pushing out bright green leaves and shoots. There is no better time than NOW to plant, transplant or sow seeds.  There is lots to do in the garden this month so roll up your sleeves and enjoy it!

 

Pull weeds and snails: The recent rains have given the ground a good soaking which makes weeds and snails very happy! Hand pull weeds while the ground is wet and then use a pre-emergent such as Amaze to prevent weeds from germinating. Hand pick snails off your plants just before dawn. Locate their daytime hiding places ― usually strap-leafed plants like daylilies or agapanthus ― and handpick regularly. Use a snail bait such as Sluggo, which is safe in the vegetable garden and around pets or children.

  

Sow seeds before it rains:    

 

Now is an excellent time to sow spring veggie seeds  If rain is forecast sow vegetable and annual flower seeds before it arrives. Nothing excites seeds as much as rain!

 

If you want to know everything about growing spring veggies come to our free class on Saturday March 12 at 10 AM at the Garden Center.  

 

Buy tomato plants: Tomatoes grow well in the ground or in large pots. Tomatoes need heat to produce flowers and fruit, but during these early months they will develop a large root system that will make for stronger plants in the summer. At Deep Roots we have several varieties that have been adapted to our coastal climtate. This year why not try "San Francisco Fog", a variety whose name speaks for itself!  We will be bringing in different varieties of heirloom tomato plants with each shipment so check back often fo exciting varieites long held secret!

 

 Attract good bugs: To keep insect pests under control in your vegetable garden, lure in their natural enemies ― hoverflies, lacewings (photo left), ladybugs, and parasitic wasps ― by planting the nectar plants they love, such as aster, chamomile, coreopsis, cosmos, feverfew, marigold, scabiosa, and yarrow.

  

Grow fruit trees:  March is a great time to plant citrus trees.  If you have limited space plant dwarf varieties which grow well in large containers. Grow citrus trees in FULL SUN. Citrus trees thrive in sun and heat so growing them in full sun is especially important along the coast. At Deep Roots we have recently had a delivery of dwarf citrus trees including the wonderful Meyer Lemon. Prepare the ground or the container well, sprinkle some Citrus Tree Fertilizer in with the soil before you plant. Citrus trees are heavy feeders and need regular fertilizing to produce flowers and fruit. 

  

Start an herb garden: Plant chives, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme, and my all time favorite herb - Winter Savory. Arugula, chervil, cilantro, and dill can also be grown successfully from seed.   

 

 Acidify hydrangeas: To keep your blue-flowered hydrangea blue, acidify the soil now and every few weeks until bloom time. If you don't do this the hydrangeas will revert to pink. Apply aluminum sulfate, which is often packaged expressly for hydrangeas, following label directions. At Deep Roots we have Growmore's Hydrangea Blueing formula in stock now.

 

Feed plants: Almost all plants appreciate added nutrients at this time of year.  They are just about to begin a growth surge and like a runner before a marathon, they can use the extra food. Feed fruit and ornamental trees, shrubs (except camellias ― wait until after bloom), lawns, container plants, houseplants, perennials, ground-covers, and annuals that have been in the ground for six weeks or more. If rain is forecast get out into the garden and fertilize everything with a slow release granular fertilizer and let the rain soak it in. 

 

What To Plant:  Plant warm-season annual flowers and vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, petunias ) and citrus and other subtropicals. Once the soil has warmed to 60 degrees F, sow seeds for corn, cucumbers, green beans, squashes, and other heat-lovers. 60 degrees F means the soil is warm enough for you to walk on it comfortably barefoot.

 

Continue to mow your lawn: Mow fast growing lawns regularly and at the right height. It's the best thing you can do to control weeds and keep grass thick and healthy. Now, during cool weather, mow cool-season lawns such as bluegrass, ryegrasses, or fescues at 2 inches or so. During periods of hot weather set the mower at 3 inches. Mow warm-season grasses such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia at 2 inches throughout the growing season.

 

Divide Perennials: Divide most perennials once they've sent up significant foliage at least a couple inches tall. Divide them if they are getting crowded (reduced blooms, a dead spot in the middle) or you simply want more plants.

  

Deadhead:  Deadhead spent flower heads on spring-blooming bulbs to direct their energy back to their roots so they can build vigor for next year. However, if the bulbs were pre-chilled, such as tulips, don't bother. They won't, unfortunately, be returning in any case.

  

Fertilize:  Fertilize roses and perennials and keep them watered as needed, especially new plantings. Fertilize citrus and avocado trees now and continue throughout the warm months of the year.

 

Containers: Plant colorful flowers in containers to brighten up your entryway or the view from your family room. Mix in some slow release fertilizer such as any of the organic formulations by Dr. Earth with the soil before you plant. Good plants for long term bloom include nemesia, calibrachoa (Million Bells), Osteospermum (African Daisies), and geraniums.  Fertilize these regularly, too, with a half-strength fertilizer.  

 

Regularly Harvest: Keep picking your cool-season crops, such as peas, lettuces, and spinach. It will encourage more production. Continue to plant successions of these fast-growers for production over the next several weeks.  

 

Mulch: Replenish mulch where it has disappeared and add a layer to new areas so that it's 2-3 inches deep. Mulching well helps to prevent weeds from taking root and helps to conserve water in the soil so you don't have to water quite as often. Be careful to avoid mounding the mulch against the stems or trunks of your plants.  

 

Fuchsia: Pink the tips of fuchsias and other woody perennials to make them bushier. Cut back fuchsias that have become leggy as they bloom on new wood.  

 

Camelias: Prune camellias and subtropical hibiscus after they're done blooming. Feed camelias with an acid loving fertilizer to keep their leaves dark green

 

Houseplants: Move houseplants outdoors or out from protected spots once the weather warms up a little. Wash them off with a gentle shower of water. Keep them outside for the summer in a shady spot.  Too much sun will scald the leaves.

  

Control bugs: If conditions are dry, spider mites may well be starting to take hold. Control them by giving affected plants a strong daily blast with the hose, being sure to get underneath the leaves. This has the nice side effect of also reducing aphid populations. If mites persist spray with an organic oil spray such as Neem Oil.

 

Free Gardening Classes 

 

We hold free gardening classes on Saturday mornings. Classes will be given by Jon or Barbara. Our full schedule will be up on our web site on an ongoing basis but here is a tentative list of classes. (Subject to change): 

 

March 12 - Spring Veggies 101

March 26 - Tomatoes 101

April 9 - New Plants for 2011. Brand new plants for this region, not easily found elsewhere

April 30 - Native and Drought tolerant plants. Why are California Natives so scarce?

May 14 - Beneficial insects 

 

So bring your questions and your notebook! No need to sign up just come along to Deep Roots Nursery. Classes start at 10:00 AM

 

_____________________________________________________

 

 

 

Deep Roots

Garden Center &

Floral Design Studio

 

Open

9AM - 6PM daily

201-207 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Manhattan Beach,

CA 90266

 

Garden Center: 310-376-0567

www.deep-roots.net

Flower Shop: 310-379-3634

www.deeprootsflorist.com

Greenbelt Restoration Project

Local artist Jeanne Jackson (above) has volunteered to head up the Greenbelt Restoration Project. She is submitting landscape designs to the city of Manhattan Beach to improve the condition and appearance of our beloved Greenbelt. At present she is focusing on the area between 27th street and the Sepulveda Bridge. She has broken this portion of land down into segments and is addressing them one at a time. Currently she is working on Phase 3 in cooperation with the Mira Costa High School students' club "Partners for the Planet". 

 

The students will be planting Hollywood Junipers on March 5 at 10 AM on the Greenbelt just east of 27th Street. Come on by and cheer them on. We need more plants to go into the beds with the Junipers and are asking for financial donations to cover the costs of these specimens. Please do not bring plant material.

 

The design includes California Natives and other plants and trees from around the world. All plants and trees will be environmentally appropriate and many will attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

 

  

Financial donations can be made either in person or by phone, by cash, check or charge at Deep Roots Garden Center.

 

Deep Roots is providing the plants at their cost. No contribution is too small.

 

For more details on the Greenbelt Restoration Project click here http://www.deep-roots.net/GreenBeltProject.htm

St Patrick's Day

 

On March 17 we are all Irish so they tell me... If you are not up to wearing green all day decorate your home or garden with a beautiful puprle Oxalis (often also know as shamrock). This pretty plant is non-invasive and grows well in part sun with a long bloom time. Oxalis also comes in green, brown and yellow. 

 

Spring Forward...!

It's almost Daylight Savings Time! We move the clocks forward one hour early Sunday morning March 13.

 

Happy (long) days are here again!

Deep Roots

Floral Design Studio

Our award winning Floral Design Studio is situated at the southern end of our parking lot on the corner of 2nd Street and Sepulveda.

 

Look no further for all your Prom boutonniers and corsages; Easter, Mother's Day or Grad bouquets and arrangements!

 

Our unique, custom, one of a kind floral arrangements are created to your specifications by our talented team of designers.

 

To see examples of our designs go to our website http://www.deep-roots.net/FlowerShop.htm  and click on the link to the floral design galleries.

 

Each photo links to an individually themed galley of arrangements. New  photos are being added just about every day.

 

You can also order flowers online through our Teleflora website www.deeprootsflorists.com  

Deep Roots Garden Center • 207 N. Sepulveda Blvd. • Manhattan Beach • CA • 90266
http://www.deep-roots.net
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