March is here and although it's a little early to truly be in the garden, there are a few things you need to do to prep for the coming growing season.
1. If you have winter mulch covering your vegetable garden, it's time to remove it to reduce the risk of harboring overwintering disease or pests.
2. If you have mulch covering any tender perennials that are hardy to a zone warmer than us, leave them covered. It may be tempting to plant Hydrangeas or other Easter plants that you see in the grocery stores, but don't be fooled. The cutoff date for frost in CT is really Mother's Day (May 13 this year). If you plant these plants outside, there is still the potential for a late frost which will wipe out these beauties. Just keep them inside and then plant them outside in May.
3. Cut back any leftover stalks on last year's perennials and grasses.
4. Seeds of annual flowers and vegetables that require 10-12 weeks of growth before transplanting outside can be sown indoors now.
5. Cold weather vegetable seeds like spinach, peas, lettuce and broccoli can be planted as soon as the ground is workable.
6. Eliminate any hard to mow angles such as tight angles and corners by extending your planting bed just a little.
7. Pick up any yard debris such as ornamental grasses that have blown around, large sticks and downed branches.
8. Check your plants for any winter injury.
9. Have your mower serviced and have the blades sharpened. Your blades should be sharpened at least once to twice a season depending on the size of your lawn.
10. Be on the lookout for emerging bulbs such as crocus. Crocus are often the first to appear, undaunted by a late frost or snow. Crocus are a sure sign of spring!