Gardening: What to do now – The Journal News /

Perennials: If the perennial bed has good form and shape it will include vertical, horizontal and mound shapes interspersed to hold it together. Plants look better in groups of three or five, not singly (or plunked side by side). If the garden has limited space look for dwarf varieties. Dwarf conifers make a handsome addition to the perennial border.

Flowers: Hybridizers continue to develop fantastic colors for well-known varieties, such as zinnias, coleus and angelonia. Don’t overlook annual flowering vines. Dramatic container plantings can include both annuals and perennials.

Vegetables and fruits: Make a garden plan so that families can grow together in rotation: Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants (nightshade family); cucumbers, squash, pumpkins (gourd family); onions and garlic (onion family); beet, spinach, chard (amaranth family); carrot, parsley (carrot family); broccoli, cabbage, kale (cole family); lettuces (sunflower family); bean, pea (legume family).

Trees and shrubs: From now until the middle of April is the best time for a horticultural spray to smother overwintering insects and control scale on fruit trees, lilacs and many others. When air temperatures remain above 45 degrees for at least 24 hours, the dormant spray season begins. The spray must dry without freezing.

Lawns: Wait until the lawn is dry and firm before doing any cleanup.

Houseplants: Variegated tropical foliage plants need bright light to keep colors vibrant.

General: March shows the Worm Moon.

— Susan Henry, master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester


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