Ag picture
Trees & Shrubs
- Monitor for overwintering egg masses of tent caterpillar and gypsy moth and remove them.
- Activity of many insects will begin so monitor your susceptible plants
- Prune out storm damaged branches and make a clean cut at branch bark collar.
- Prune back brambles as soon as possible and set up a Trellis if needed
- There is still time to prune tree fruit
- Dormant Oil sprays can be applied for insect control as long as the temperature is above 40 degrees.
- Prune roses once buds begin to swell
- Plants in bloom include Forsythia, Cornelian cherry Dogwood, Star Magnolia, and Korean Rhododendron

Flowers & herbaceous perennials, biennials, annuals
- Start summer flowers mid- to late March but it will depend on flower
- Early season flowers like pansies and violas should already be started - if not start them as soon as possible
- Make sure existing beds of herbaceous perennials and biennials are labeled to minimize damage when digging this spring.
- Prune back dead foliage and stems of herbaceous perennials and biennials
- Once ground warms, mulch plants as needed
- If ordering perennials, plant them as soon as possible when they arrive
- Finalize any last minute seed/plant orders
- Outdoor flowering bulbs at this time include Narcissus, Daffodils, crocus, and snowdrops

Lawns
- Test the soil for pH and nutrients if not done the previous year
- Overseed lawns with appropriate grass seed mixtures (sun vs. shade)
- Later in the month fertilize and lime based on soil test recommendations
- Make sure lawn equipment has been serviced prior to use

Vegetable Garden
- Make sure all tools are clean for the spring season.
- Finalize last minute seed orders as soon as possible
- Test the soil for pH and nutrients if not done the previous year
- Prepare planting beds and incorporate cover crops/amendments
- Plant seeds marked for early spring planting (i.e. peas, spinach, lettuce)
- Mid-March start tomato, pepper and eggplant indoors

Indoor Plants
- Continue to monitor plants for insects or diseases.
- Use tepid water to water plants.
- Begin to fertilize and increase growth as plants show signs of increased growth
- Later in the month, warm-season bulbs (caladiums, dahlias, cannas) can be started
- Repot overgrown plants and start cuttings
- Force spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips - keep them in darkness until growth begins

If Plants Could Talk features gardening tips from local university experts, successful farmers, master gardeners, and many other plant experts. Topics include new and interesting plant varieties, safe and effective pest control, step-by-step cultural tips for landscape and garden, and visits to local farms, arboretums, and backyard gardens.

NJN  broadcasts over Channels 23 (Camden), 50 (Montclair), 52 (Trenton), 58 (New Brunswick) and all New Jersey cable systems. If you're not sure what channel your local cable company or satellite distributor designated for NJN then click here.
This Month's Feature
Plant Talk
Plant Talk
Bill Hlubik's weekly article for 5/22/2008
Ramapo Tomato
Links to get Ramapo Tomato seeds.
 How to Test Your Soil
How to Test Your Soil
View this slideshow and find out how you can have your soil tested.

 Tree Planting
Tree Planting Slideshow
A step by step presentation on how to successfully add a tree to your landscape.
 Tomato Seedlings
Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors
RCE fact sheet that shows how to get an early jump on your vegetables.