Time to tend gardens, lawns and attend Spring Fling

March should bring more of the same roller coaster type of weather with beautiful warm days mixed with gloomy cool rainy days. Be sure to take advantage of those beautiful days to clean up any remaining leaves or sweetgum balls from your yard, clean out beds and enjoy the many flowering plants that will be blooming as well as the to-do list of activities below. On the gloomy days take advantage of the many garden talks available to learn more about urban horticulture. Two great websites to use to find out about what gardening events are happening around town are memphisareamastergardeners.org and memphishorticulture.org.

Whatever the weather, be sure to plan on attending Spring Fling put on by the Memphis Area Master Gardeners on March 23-24. Speakers, vendors, demonstrations and plants grown locally by the Master Gardeners will be featured. On Friday, speakers include Dr. Chris Cooper, the host of “The Family Plot” TV show aired on WKNO. He will be joined by guests that have appeared on his show, Jason Reeves and Joellen Dimond. Saturday speakers feature Chris Olsen, a nationally known home and garden guru, landscape designer, author and TV personality presenting “Drab to Fab,” as well as nationally known speakers Carol Reese and Dale Skaggs.

w-bex-2018-03-08-big-red-barnBe sure to bring the kids along on Saturday to experience kid’s corner, where they are guaranteed to have fun. It all happens at the Farmer’s Market Big Red Barn at the Agricenter, 777 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 23-24, and admission is free.

Perhaps you are envious of your neighbor’s daffodils that are now blooming. Find out how to grow them and see examples of the many varieties that grow here when the Mid-South Daffodil Society and Dixon Gallery & Gardens host their eighth annual Daffodil Show. You can enter your blooms for judging. Even daffodils whose names are not known are welcome in the “Just for Fun” section. Entries of daffodils and photographs of daffodils will be received noon-4 p.m. March 23 and 8-9:30 a.m. March 24. Admission is free.

March to-do list

  • Plant: Roses. Plant/move/divide perennials. Cool weather vegetables. Summer and fall blooming bulbs (except caladiums).
  • Lawn care: Apply pre-emergent weed control when forsythia is in bloom. Apply post-emergent weed control as needed. Fertilize cool season grasses (fescue lawns) and overseed any thin spots. Fertilize warm season lawns (bermuda and zoysia) when you notice the grass along the edges of your drive or sidewalk beginning to green.
  • Fertilize: All of your garden beds except spring flowering shrubs, which are fertilized after they bloom.
  • Prune: There is still time to prune trees and woody ornamentals before they begin to leaf out. Prune spring flowering shrubs after blooming.
  • Mulch: Apply 2 inches of mulch in beds.
  • Bulbs: Remove dead flowers from flowering bulbs but leave the leaves until they begin to turn yellow in order to feed the bulbs for next year.
  • Other: Hang hummingbird feeders. Begin spraying roses for blackspot. Check for lace bug on azaleas and pyracantha and spray if necessary.

By TOM RIEMAN of Keep Bartlett Beautiful, special to the Express.