Gardening by the Sea – April 2016

by Ceil Loucka


Happy Spring! Isn’t it nice to see some color outside!

It is time to feed your flowering bushes. The best food to use is phosphate. It can be found at Southold Agway as well as garden centers to the west. Phosphate promotes blooming, and after blooming, new buds for next spring. If you want to prune your flowering bushes, do not do it now!! Wait until right after they bloom and before they set new buds. If new buds are cut off, there will be no blooms next spring. Do not over-fertilize – you can burn roots and also cause too much growth. If we get a dry summer, this extra growth will require extra watering.

When lawns are fertilized, be stingy!! If too much fertilizer is applied, it can run off into storm drains and from there into wetlands and marshes, which are already overloaded with too much nitrogen.

If you have a landscaper, you need to pass this info on to him/her. They like to be heavy-handed so the grass grows more and has to be mowed more often, translating to higher costs to you. Many of them did not get plant education.

You can start annual seeds now inside for transplanting outdoors in May.

Until next month, happy gardening!


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