Tofino Gardening in March
by Trina Mattson, Tofino
Oy vey, who ordered winter with a side of spring? I don't think I ever remember a winter this cold for so long, and we got off lucky, No Rain!!!! (yet). Alas keep faith, Spring has finally sprung, and the crocus and daffodils in bloom prove it. But watch out, remember last year's March northwestern wind, it happened 2 years in a row, both very cold and very damaging.
March's gardening chores include pruning any damaged trees and shrubs, finish pruning your group b and c clematis as well as fertilizing them if you haven't done so. Prune any summer blooming shrubs that bloom on new growth. Spread lime on your lawns, lilacs and other lime loving plants. And here's a new one even for me, but apparently it's just fine to put lime on your rhodos as well, I know for years, I've been saying no! don't do it!! But I have it on good authority that here on the coast, not only is it good for them and helps, but they actually thrive, now I am sure it's not a whole box or bag, but a nice handful for each large Rhodo is not out of the question. Which means you can just broadcast it over the whole garden. Woohooo shortcut. Gardening is a never ending learning hobby, and I'm so happy people are willing to share information with each other. Anyway if you do lime, wait about three weeks to fertilize whether it's your lawn or garden, as the lime with neutralize your fertilizer.
Deadhead your bulbs that have bloomed and let the foliage wither naturally. Start sowing seeds indoors for this year's crops, early potatoes, peas, radishes, and other cool weather loving plants, start them and they get a chance to grow and you to harvest before summer heat makes them bolt. Both tomato and pepper seeds can be started indoors.
As Ribes (flowering currants) bloom, the hummingbirds will show up, if they haven't already, and the variety of hummingbird feeders available are mind boggling, from the basic to artistic hand blown glass with beautiful colours, and styles. As forsythias bloom, prune roses, but keep in mind not all roses require pruning, so if you know the variety, check out whether or not it should be pruned first.
Check your water temperature in your pond before you start to feed your fish, and watch for mortalities.
Many more green options available this year, new organic fertilizers, eco friendly products, and money saving tips are available to gardeners this year, all you need to do is ask .
Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.
Trina Mattson from the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino shares her tips for gardening in Tofino in March 2009.