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March Organic Maintenance
- Trees, shrubs and other permanent plants.
- Begin warm season crops such as black-eyed peas, okra, peppers, squash, tomatoes, etc. Plant a mixture of varieties and include some open-pollinated choices after last killing freeze date.
- Summer herbs: basil, lavender, lemongrass, lemon verbena, mint, oregano, sage, salad burnet, thyme, etc.
- Continue to plant cool-season annuals such as petunias and snapdragons. Begin planting warm-season types.
- Transplant as needed.
- All planting areas with a natural organic fertilizer at approximately 20 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. (if not done in February).
- Spray Garrett Juice Plus and drench plant roots with Garrett Juice Plus and Bio S.I.
- Drench the roots of newly planted plants with Garrett Juice. It makes an excellent root stimulator and stimulates flower production.
- Finish major pruning if necessary. No flush cuts or pruning paint.
- Cut back spring-flowering shrubs and vines only after they finish blooming: azaleas, camellias, Carolina jessamine, flowering quince, forsythia, Lady Banksia rose, spirea, weigela, wisteria, etc.
- Prune fruit trees just before bud break.
- Remove suckers from bases of deciduous shrubs and other plants.
- Annuals and all dry soil areas as needed.
- Potted plants as necessary.
- Turf during drought conditions.
- For container plants add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of irrigation water or 1 ounce of Garrett Juice.
- The best control is healthy plants.
- INSECTS: Loopers and caterpillars: Spray Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) biological worm spray. Add one ounce of liquid molasses per gallon of spray. Release trichogramma wasps for pill bugs, snails, slugs: Spray garlic-pepper tea and dust around plants with a mix of hot pepper, natural diatomaceous earth and cedar flakes. Spray plant oil products for serious infestations. Apply spinosad products and deposit bois d’ arc apples in problems areas.
- Aphids: use a blast of water and a release of ladybugs. Add 2 ounces molasses per gallon for better results. Apply beneficial nematodes for the control of thrips
- DISEASES: Black spot, powdery mildew, and bacterial leaf spot: Spray Garrett Juice plus a cup of skim milk per gallon of spray or spray cornmeal juice. Hydrogen peroxide gives excellent control of bacterial diseases. BioWash is effective for most diseases.
- For fruit trees spray Garrett Juice plus garlic tea at pink bud and again after flowers have fallen from the trees. Spray Garrett Juice only every two weeks. Spray BioWash at first sign of disease or use as a preventative. See the Organic Fruit and Pecan Tree Program for more details on my website at DirtDoctor.com.
- Turn the compost pile and keep it moist.
- Use completed compost for bed preparation – use partially completed compost or shredded native tree trimmings as top-dressing mulch.
- Mulch all bare soil but do not pile mulch on the root flares or stems of plants.
- Feed and water the birds!
*Planting recommendations based on North Texas climate, which is zone 8. Check with your local nurseries and extension service for specific varieties and timing.