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March 2022
Issue 160
Hello Great Gardeners,

It looks like after this Friday, temperatures will be leveling out. Plan on getting into your garden. Cole crops (i.e., Lettuce, Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc.), fruit trees, small fruits, trees, shrubs, and perennials can all be planted.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, hit reply. I would love to hear from you. Have a great-gardening day.

From PennState Extenstion

The spring temperatures felt across the region this week are nudging the fruit trees to break their dormant slumber. Bud swell has been observed on our plum and peach trees in Biglerville, PA. The 2022 season is upon us, and disease management should kick into gear.

Growers are encouraged to apply dormant copper sprays on apples and pears for controlling fire blight and apple scab, and possibly other fungal diseases, such as apple blotch and bitter rot. Since peach leaf curl can only be managed when leaves are off the trees, applications should be made prior to bud swell. Depending on your region, check your peach and nectarine trees for bud swell prior to any peach leaf curl spray right now. If bud swell has occurred, the window for peach leaf curl control has passed since the spores in the buds are no longer vulnerable to fungicides since they are protected due to the bud swell.

While growers are finishing their winter pruning, it is very important to remove any mummified fruit hanging in the trees. This is especially critical for brown rot in stone fruit trees. Mummified fruit left hanging in the trees will become spore factories during the season and cause infection on blossoms and fruit. Fungicides can be overwhelmed with such high inoculum pressure. Consequently, sanitation is important for fruit rot prevention. In addition, be sure to remove any dead wood from your trees since this can also be a reservoir for brown rot spores.
Blooming In Store
Viola 'Celestial Blue Moon'

Celestial Blue Moon has abundant fragrant, creamy white flowers lightly washed in sky blue.
Height: 5-6 Inches
Width: 8-10 Inches
Forsythia 'Magical Gold'

Extra-large, rich golden yellow flowers completely shroud the bare stems in early spring. Becomes the focal point of the landscape when in full bloom and blends well with other plants when the rich green foliage emerges after the flowers.

Height: 5 Feet
Width: 4 Feet
Lenten Rose, Frostkiss
 'Penny's Pink'

A beautiful selection with fantastic foliage that heralds spring with hot pink-veined leaves held on purple petioles. Purple buds open to pink and chartreuse flowers that deepen as they mature. Summer foliage has bright emerald green veining. Exceptionally long blooming. Naturalizes beautifully in woodland gardens. 

Height: 18-24 Inches
Width: 18-24 Inches
Seeding Grass
Grass seed can be planted during the growing season, but the best time to plant in Central Ohio is in mid-late August thru September or Mid-March thru Mid-April.
  • Before Seeding: Soil Test - To save time and energy, take soil samples from different parts of your yard to your local extension office. For a small fee, they will test your soil to see if there are any nutrient deficiencies. The soil test will also tell you the pH is of your soil. Grass seed grows best with loamy soil and a pH of 6.5 - 7.0.
  • Amend Your Soil - Using the results from your soil test, amend your soil to create a loam texture. All amendments should be worked about 6-8 inches into the ground. Unless you are using fresh manure or some other amendment that needs time to decompose, you can begin seeding as soon as the amendments are mixed into the soil.
  • Level Areas - All hills should be leveled and low spots filled before seeding.
  • Determine How Much Seed You Need - The seed needed varies with the variety being used. Generally, when seeding a new lawn, you will need 3-4 pounds per 1,000 square feet or 2 pounds for seeding over established lawns. Knowing the area being worked is essential when determining how much seed you need.
After your soil has been amended, the seed picked, and the amount needed determined, it is time to plant.
  • Repairing Bare Spots: Establish the cause of the bare or sparse area. Is traffic, shade, underlying debris, or other factors creating the problem? If so, correct these conditions before seeding.
  • Loosen the soil to a depth of 2 inches.
  • Spread seed. After spreading, lightly press the seed into the soil.
  • Apply starter fertilizer.
  • Mulch with grass clippings or straw.
  • Water lightly and frequently using a fine spray. Do not allow the seedbed to dry.
  • Water and mow regularly when the seedlings reach 3 inches in height.
  • Reseeding An Existing Lawn: Mow the lawn as short as possible without scalping.
  • Hand or mechanically rake the lawn to remove thatch and debris. The more soil exposed without stripping away the turf, the better. The seed must reach and contact the soil for success.
  • Spread seed. After spreading, lightly rake the turf to allow more seed to fall into the grooves.
  • Apply starter fertilizer.
  • Water lightly and frequently using a fine spray. Avoid letting the seedbed dry out.
  • Water and mow regularly when the seedlings reach 3 inches in height.
  • Establishing A New Lawn: Work the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Rake to level.
  • Spread your seed. After spreading, use the back of a rake to lightly cover about 50% of the seed with soil.
  • Apply starter fertilizer.
  • Mulch with clean straw or peat; when using straw, about one bale per 1,000 square feet.
  • Lightly roll the seedbed to press the seed and mulch to the soil.
  • Water lightly and frequently (3 to 4 times per day) using a fine spray. Keep the seedbed moist - do not allow it to dry out.
  • Cut the lawn when it reaches 3 inches. Gradually reduce watering to a regular schedule.
  • Apply a complete fertilizer six weeks after seedling emergence. Herbicides can be applied after three cuttings.
Spotted Lantern Fly
The Spotted Lantern Fly is an invasive species that has been making its way across the Eastern United States. Last year in Ohio, three counties were found to have infestations.

Above is a video from the OSU BYGL talking about the ins and outs of the Spotted Lantern Fly.
Growing Degree Days
Growing Degree Days (GDD) are used to predict plant and animal development rates, such as when a flower will bloom, an insect will emerge from dormancy, or a crop will reach maturity.

Growing degree days can help predict insect activity, and local monitoring can help time insecticide applications for best results.
On 3/30, we are at 112 days on the GDD.

In the next week or two, these plants will be starting to bloom or in full bloom.
  • Forsythia
  • Sargent Cherry
  • Japanese Pieris
  • Flowering Quince
  • Magnolia
Growing Asparagus
France’s King Louis XIV dubbed asparagus the “king of vegetables” (or the “food of kings” depending on who tells the story) and was the first to have them cultivated in greenhouses so he could enjoy it throughout the year.

You, too, can have a great harvest by following some simple planting and harvesting tips.

Asparagus is best planted as one-year-old crowns.

In our area, mid-April to late May is the appropriate time to install asparagus beds once the soil is at least 50 degrees or more. Growth will stall when planted earlier, and the crowns are more susceptible to rotting if exposed to the cold, wet soils of spring.
A well-draining bed is a must for growing healthy asparagus.

Dig a 6-Inch furrow and add a layer of starter fertilizer to the bottom of the trough. We recommend using Bumper Crop Starter Fertilizer.

Lay the asparagus crowns in the furrow and backfill to the original soil level.

Do not harvest during the planting year, but cut in following seasons when the width of the emerging stalks is larger than a pencil diameter.

Harvest in the morning when air temperatures are cooler. Harvest when spears are 7 to 9 inches tall, selecting firm and crisp ones with compact tips and tight scales.

The length of the harvest season will vary from year-to-year depending on air temperature; stop the harvest when the diameter of 3/4 of the spears becomes small (less than 3/8 inch).

When harvest season has finished, snap all the spears off level with the ground.
Apply a high Nitrogen fertilizer.

New spears will emerge, fern out, and provide a large canopy to cover the space between the rows. Weed growth will be shaded out once a dense fern canopy has formed.

Inspect the ferns throughout the season for insect feeding and fern dieback. Asparagus beetles chew on the fern, causing the stem to turn brown and reducing the yield the following year. Spray the ferns with an approved insecticide if beetles are seen. We recommend Captain Jacks's Dead Bug Brew or Diatomaceous Earth which are labeled for Organic Growing.

Do not cut down the fern growth at the end of the growing season. Leave the dead fern growth intact over the winter. This gives your asparagus an added layer of protection.

Remove the old fern growth by cutting or mowing as low as possible during the first week of April in central Ohio.
Wilson's Garden Center
10923 Lambs Ln.
Newark, Ohio. 43055

740-763-2874 (Fax)


March 14th - May 1st:
Monday - Sunday:
8 am - 6 pm

Closed Easter
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