March is one of the most important months for the correct evolution of our garden. The weather in winter (low temperatures, frost, winds, low sun-lights, etc.) have caused enough trouble for the plants of the garden. Thus, a maintenance program at this era includes several work and care, in the interest of being able to recover immediately from the hardships of winter, but also to prepare sufficient and successful as to face the increased needs of the Spring.
Even though we believe that every garden has special needs, in that we will try to group the work and the care and to present as far as possible a precise and representative maintenance program for March.
The reduction of rainfalls, the rise of temperature, the increase of the duration of the day, help to dry the ground. So it is the right time to dig-countersink our garden. With this opportunity it is good to incorporate organic substance (or digested manure) in the process of improving the fertility of the soil. In case we face drainage problems we add river sand or perlite board or zeolite with an extended and detailed carving we will ventilate the ground and in the same way we will control the weeds of the garden, which we should remove in order to get rid of them for a long time.
Since the end of February, we have been gradually fertilizing our plants. During this season it is recommended complete fertilizers types that contain nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (11-15-15, 15-15-15, 12-12-17) or equivalent organic fertilizers. Important, for the full coverage of the necessary digestion of the plants, is the existence of trace elements in the composition of fertilizer. We also recommend the incorporation of fertilizer on the soil, care that will occur at the same time the carving.
Main and critical work that takes place during this month. We remove the dead and broken branches from our plants. We also cut inside branches (so as to create good ventilation and lighting in the crown of the plant) and reduce the length of the branches that are higher than the normal size (so as to give a proper and balanced shape). Many flowering bushes, but also vines (bougainvillea, honeysuckle, jasmine, etc.) that will bloom in summer, are pruned in a basic way during this period, before the new vegetation begins… Before the start of the new vegetation, the vegetable fences are formed. They do not prune the plants that are blooming in this period, such as the almond trees, the common plums, the forsythia, the chaenomeles.
The autumn bulbs are also blooming (hyacinths, anemones, crocus, freesia flowers), while the narcissus and the tulips will bloom later. After the end of flowering bulbs should be cut the old flowering shoots up to their base.
After pruning it is necessary to spray with a copper formulation, in order to cover the the incisions and not be a gateway of pathogenic organisms in our plants. All forms of copper (Bordeaux mixture, Oxychloride, Hydroxide, etc.) are biological formulations and offer protection from many fungal attacks. Another biological formulation that offers protection from insect attacks and wintering forms of insects is the Paraffinic mineral oil. With the use of the above products we prevent future attacks from insects (aphids, scale insects-scabies, thrips, chalky etc.) and mildew (downy mildew, leaf spot etc.).
The work which takes place this period is important because it prepares the turf for the new demanding period. The ventilation, which is done with special tools (carburetors) decompresses the ground and increases the porous with result to circulate the water (with the dissolved nutrient ingredients) and the oxygen to the root system. In the shady points or in areas with a bad drainage that withhold waters the air reduces the problem of the existence of mosses (demossing). In turfs that have been diluted (due to illness or other problem) is an appropriate season for the undersowing (seed on an existing turf). This ensures the improvement of the density and the good color image of the turf for the new period. The fight against weeds (by weeding, mechanical means or spraying with selective herbicide) and lubrication (with full chemical or biological fertilizer) are basic tasks that must be carried out during March.
ΔIt is not certain that during the period of March a watering will be demanded. However, it is a chance to carry out full control of the irrigation system, to detect the faults (broken launchers, cut pipes, clogged drippers) and to undertake restoration work.
All the above work is considered as basic and necessary and will help our garden to be beautiful, healthy and lush, rich in colors and aromas throughout the next period.