There's time this month to do the prep work before the planting and growing season gets going.
March may find you sighing with impatience as you watch yet another snowfall cover your barren container boxes, but it's one of the most important months for gardeners.
There's still time to do all of your prep work, from honing tools to starting seeds, as you imagine the shapes, tastes and colors of your next garden. Spring begins with the vernal equinox on March 20.
If you didn't do so in the fall, it's time to give your lawn mower and other tools some tough love.
Get ahead of the spring crowds by dropping off your lawn mower now to have the oil changed, bolts tightened and blades sharpened.
Remove soil from your tools' metal parts using sandpaper or a hose.
- Sand rough edges on wooden tool handles, then coat them with linseed oil.
- Sharpen your tools. A file will sharpen tools of all sizes, from shovels and hoes to trowels and clippers. A Carborundum wheel will work on smaller tools. Pruning shears can be sharpened with a whetstone. After sharpening, use a rag to apply a thin, penetrating oil to metal tool parts; follow with a heavier oil on tools that have moving parts.
The green, green grass of home doesn't get that way by accident, and March is a perfect time to assess your lawn's health.
- Pluck a 4- to 5-inch square from your yard to see what's going on down there. If your area has crane flies, count the larvae. Fewer than 35 per square foot means less work for you: Your lawn should be able to withstand that number.
- If you're not sure what to look for, take your lawn sample to an expert at your garden store and ask for a diagnosis; then just press your sample back into its "bed."
- Lime, treat moss and, finally, reseed as needed. (Overseeding can be done after midmonth.)
- Fertilize your lawn now or start a new lawn using seeds or sod.
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