Rivercities Garden Club

Meeting 2/1/04


Program - Spring Cleaning in your Garden - Ann La Vere

Soil - now is a good time to get samples and get your soil tested.   An alternative for testing is to use a simple pH tester and a hydration tester both of which cost about $5.00 at Walmart or Harbor Freight.   PH is very important as the acid content of the soil affects calcium metabolism.  At a high pH calcium can be locked up and become unavailable to the plants.  Blue berries need acidity.  Most plants require a pH between 5.7 & 7.  A moisture meter can provide rapid evaluation of ground water. 

Plan your new beds.  Beds need to be raised in this area of Louisiana.  Clean up the old beds.

Summer bulbs - now is a good time to separate and transplant them.

Tree Planting - now is the latest time to plant bare root trees  (The roots are not set in soil.  The roots are in just a bag) as opposed to paying $45 in a couple months after they had been potted.  Fertilize your trees - do it the first part of this month.  A new tree just needs a little.  The older trees do need the treatment.    Drill down to about 6 inches then place the fertilizer around the tree using the tree line as a gauge.  Most roots are 18 inches down.

Pruning - now is the time to prune trees and to shape and remove deadwood from shrubs.

Spring flowering shrubs should be pruned after they bloom.  Hydrangeas bloom on old wood.  Prune roses by the 15th of this month and within 18 inches of the ground.  Old garden roses can be pruned or not but less severely 3 feet if so.

Vegetables - lettuce, mustard, carrots, beets, kale, Irish potato, rape.  Be aware that vegetables such as kale has vitamin K which reverses the effect of blood thinners.

Day lilies February 14 liquid fertilizer 20-20-20.

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