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Gardening Tasks For March

Begin pruning and fertilizing roses and fruit trees. Be careful not to use a fertilizer too high in nitrogen, it is best to use 5-10-10 or similar ratios. Not all rose bushes perform better with annual pruning, but most of your more prolific flowers such as Hybrid Tea do. If you would like lots of flowers and don’t mind if they are smaller, cut back your rose only about one-third shorter than the original height. If you prefer huge blooms on long stems, or need to get rid of al ot of old and disease infested wood, cut back severely to within one foot of the ground.

Spray fruit trees and any pest insects with horticultural dormant oil when temperatures exceed 40 degrees and before they leaf out. Dormant oil is effective in controlling scales, mites, aphids, webworms, leafhoppers, and tent caterpillars. Some important point to remember when spraying dormant oil are:

Apply only when you know the pest is present, dormant oil is not a preventative product; avoid spraying in extremely hot temperatures, best to apply when between 40 and 80 degrees; spray when plant is dormant if you can as this will lessen the harm to beneficial insects; be careful when spraying Arborvitae, Beech, Maples, Junipers, and Blue Spruce, these plants are sensitive and Blue Spruce will even lose their color.