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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 twenty pounds per thousand square feet (if not done in February).
- Spray all growing plants with Garrett Juice or aerated compost tea.
- Drench the roots of newly planted plants with Garrett Juice. It makes an excellent root stimulator.
- Finish major pruning if necessary. No flush cuts or pruning paint.
- Spring-flowering shrubs and vines only after they finish blooming: azaleas, camellias, Carolina jessamine, flowering quince, forsythia, Lady Banksia rose, spirea, weigela, wisteria, etc.
- 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. Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of irrigation water or one ounce of Garrett Juice.
- Turf during drought conditions.
- INSECTS: Loopers and caterpillars: Spray Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) biological worm spray. Add one ounce of liquid molasses per gallon of spray. Release trichogramma wasps. Apply beneficial nematodes to the soil for control of thrips on roses and many other pests.
- Pillbugs, 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.
- Aphids: use a blast of water and a release of ladybugs. Add two ounces molasses per gallon for better results.
- 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 (3%) mixed 50/50 with water or added to Garrett Juice is even better for bacterial diseases. Insecticidal soaps and some of the clove and cinnamon products are also effective.
- Sycamore bacterial leaf scorch: Cornmeal juice or hydrogen peroxide as leaves emerge and apply the entire Sick Tree Treatment.
- Fruit trees: Spray Garrett Juice plus garlic tea at pink bud stage and again after flowers have fallen from the trees. Spray Garrett Juice only every two weeks. See the Organic Fruit and Pecan Tree Program for more details.
- Turn the compost pile and keep it moist.
- Use completed compost for bed preparation - use partially completed compost or shredded native as top-dressing mulch.
- Mulch all bare soil but do not pile mulch on the stems and trunks 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.