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The Neighborhood Gardener – March 2013

This month in The Neighborhood Gardener:

shamrocksThe Shamrock — Shamrocks are a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day and their soft green color often heralds spring. The shamrock plants found in nurseries and stores around this time of year are most likely oxalis. In many parts of the country, it’s enjoyed as a houseplant. In Florida’s zones 8 or 9, it can be found outdoors as a perennial—and is often considered a weed.

Easter in the Garden – Easter is a great time to showcase your garden and encourage kids to explore the outdoors. You can create a springtime Easter theme in your garden by placing baskets and containers throughout your landscape. Freshen up your flower beds with colorful spring flowers, like Easter lilies and daisies.

flowerPlant of the Month: Zinnia — Zinnias are annuals with beautiful flowers that come in vivid colors. They come in many forms, from dwarf forms that grow no taller than six inches to tall zinnias growing up to three feet tall. Zinnias need full sun and well-drained soil. Once established, they’re drought-tolerant, but will thrive with regular watering. Most zinnias are susceptible to powdery mildew, although newer cultivars have been bred for resistance.

March in Your Garden – The end of the dormant season is a good time to prune many trees and shrubs. Mulch conserves moisture during dry weather and minimizes weeds in landscape beds. Organic mulches add nutrients to the soil. You can also use recycled oak leaves as mulch. If you don’t like the look of them, you can top dress the leaves with a layer of your favorite mulch.

dollarweedFriend or Foe? Foe: Dollarweed — Dollarweed, or pennywort, isn’t necessarily a foe, but it’s definitely a nuisance. It’s a broadleaf weed that appears in wet areas in the landscape. Dollarweed is low to the ground, with one round leaf per stalk. The round leaves can grow up to the size of a silver dollar—hence the plant’s name. To prevent dollarweed, adjust your irrigation or improve drainage in the area.

Read the full March issue.

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