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Although March may contain fickle weather for planting, the month makes for the perfect time to prep and plan for the growing season ahead. Photo by Dee Nash


3 Build or grow a fence or windbreak: For people living out on the prairie in the western part of the state, consider building a fence to block some of the wind. If you don’t want to fence your view, plant some trees as a windbreak. You won’t regret it. Most people plant evergreens or tall ornamental grasses. Oklahoma State University (OSU) has an excellent article online on windbreaks. Just search key- words to quickly find it.


3 Plant a shade tree or foundation shrubs: Fall may be the best time to plant shrubs and trees, but spring is still fine if you remember to water them. Trees and shrubs need an inch of water per week during the growing season. Also, mulch around trees in spring to reduce moisture loss and keep roots cool during summer. But don’t pile up mulch at the base of the tree like a volcano. It’s not good for the tree.


3 Build raised beds: Many people still till vegetable gardens, partly because Bermuda grass is such a determined invader. Instead of tilling this year, consider building raised beds or berm soil. Raised beds heat up faster in spring and provide better drainage. This is great for the clay soils predominant in much of Oklahoma. Raised beds are easy to construct, and there are kits that make construction even easier. Use pre-made corners, or even buy large containers like Smart Pot’s Big Bag Bed to grow smaller, more portable vegetable gardens.


3 Prune: In early March, you can prune fruit trees and roses if you haven’t already. The month of February is even better depending upon how warm spring is in any given year. Most fruit trees should be pruned while dormant. Check with the OSU Extension service for details on pruning fruit tree varieties. As for roses, prune them as early as possible. If they’ve already broken dormancy, go ahead and give them a light pruning anyway.


Again, stop your itchy fingers from planting warm-season flowers. There will be more freezes in the forecast because Oklahoma’s average last freeze date is approximately April 20—or later depending where you live. Instead, let’s start preparing our gardens now so we can enjoy all they offer during the growing season. Happy growing!


MARCH 2015 31


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