I must apologize for the east side of the Square. Mother Nature has her own ideas about weather and work days (Tuesdays). We’ve been slow replacing the frozen, dead plants in the pots and planting areas, but we’ve begun. The yellow daffodils in the park are blooming. This is the first year for them. We will have a full bed next year. Spring flowers, bluebonnets, iris, and larkspur are sprouting. They will be blooming soon. They are lovely, but instruct your family, especially children, not to put any part of the flower in their mouth. Larkspur could be fatal and iris could cause digestive upset.
March is considered the busiest month in the spring. Some of the things that need to be done are:
• Set out onions, beans, cucumber, squash, sweet corn, and tomatoes.
• Fertilize rose bushes, trees, and shrubs. Keep roses well watered if it doesn’t rain, and the trees and shrubs need to be watered regularly.
• Prune peach and plum trees and begin a spray program with a fruit tree insecticide and fungicide at the pink bud stage. Let’s hope the trees don’t bloom too early; it’s still 8 weeks until Easter.
• Install soaker hoses or drip irrigation before covering with mulch. Place a cover of newspaper (about 4-5 sheets thick) around the plants before covering with mulch. This will help prevent weeds and help in water conservation.
• About mid-month, seed cantaloupes, peas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and watermelon.
• For the flower beds, transplant ageratum, balsam, coleus, impatiens, marigold, celosia, portulaca, salvia and zinnias. Start seeds of cosmos, zinnias and sunflowers. Water new transplants and seeds. Place a good compost and cottonseed meal in planting holes and trenches. Keep plants and seeds damp.
March is the month for hummingbirds to show up. Clean out the feeders and hang them in their favorite location. Purple Martins will be sending their scouts to look for a home. If the houses haven’t been cleaned this year, they will need all debris from this past year removed. Sparrows like to use the houses. The martins do not like to share space with any other bird, and they will not move into a house that has been used by the sparrows.
We had another new helper last week. Jeanette Fishbeck gave some of her time. Hooray for Jeanette!