Wednesday, March 6, 2013
March is one of the busiest times for gardeners in Western Washington. Besides the leftover chores of pruning and winter cleanups now is the time to divide many perennials. Many perennials like to be divided on a regular basis such as most Irises, Asters, and Daylilies. Notice a decline in flowering and plant vigor and it is time. The rule of thumb is to divide summer and fall bloomers now and spring performers in the Fall. Phlox, Heleniums, Rudbeckias, Hostas and Campanulas can be rejuvenated now and propagated ; easy to do when the young shoots are visible. Early bloomers like Bleeding Hearts, Columbine, and Primroses should wait until Fall. Having said that most real gardeners are more independent and rely on past experience and intuition to guide their efforts.In any case the time you put into the garden now is well rewarded by the ease of gliding into spring and summer. Also this month is great time to fertilize the newly emerging plants; my favorite brand is Hendrikus Organics coming in several formulas and easy to apply. Do not forget to put out pet safe iron phosphate such as Sluggo around Hostas, Ligularias and most everything else. My best advice to all you itchy gardeners is to persevere and Spring will arrive shortly.