Phone: 410-250-0125 – Address: 200 125th St. – Ocean City, MD
by: Julie Golightly, CPH
- It is too late in the season to reseed your lawn. However, you can repair small bare spots if you are diligent about watering the young grass until well established
- It is not a good idea to fertilize cool season turf in the spring unless your turf is weak and thin or if you did not fertilize in the fall. Fertilizing in the spring encourages rapid and tender growth that is more susceptible to insect and disease attacks. Keeping the soil at a pH between 6.0 – 7.0 is important for healthy lawns
- Broadleaf weeds will begin to appear this month. For extensive weed populations apply an herbicide labeled for broadleaf weeds. Spot treatments of liquid herbicide are more effective and less environmentally harmful than dry broadcast herbicides
- Plan on treating your lawn right this year. Sharpen lawn mower blades and service your mower. Keep mowing height at 3-4 inches and if watering, do so deeply and less frequently. You want to build strong, deep roots. These practices will reduce weeds, reduce the need for extra fertilizers and will build a healthy stand of roots and turf. This will greatly reduce the amount of fertilizers and herbicides needed
- If your spring flowering shrubs are growing too large you can prune them after they bloom. Also, fertilize after blooming if needed
- Non-flowering trees and shrubs can be pruned to remove dead, broken, or diseased branches. Prune out any winter burn damage from evergreens. It is not necessary to paint pruning wounds…dressings can impede the natural healing process
- If your roses are prone to black spot, begin spraying with a fungicide when leaves are fully expanded. Knock out Roses are black spot disease resistant and ever blooming
- Plan on proper planting and transplanting methods. Avoid working with wet soil and planting in compacted or poor soil. Purchase plants with healthy root systems and avoid planting too deep. Stake any newly planted trees only if winds and soft, saturated soils leave them tilting
- Many insects can be observed now including mites, lace bugs, leafhoppers, scale, Eastern tent caterpillars, leaf miners, aphids, gypsy moths, sawflies, and cankerworms. Not all insects pose threat to ornamentals and do not require treatment where other insect infestations may require treatment of a horticultural oil or systemic insecticide. Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service Office for tips to control insects and disease. They are an excellent resource!
Diseases such as powdery mildew, blight, anthracnose and galls can also exist now. Again, contact you local Cooperative Extension Service for the best advice
Herbaceous Ornamental Plants
- Begin planting summer annuals. Purchase those with a healthy root system and gently break up the roots of root bound plants and transplants. Summer bulbs can also be planted now
- Continue to divide and transplant perennials. Nurseries now a plentiful selection of perennials in stock
- Starter fertilizers can be applied to spring flowers. The fertilizer label will have three numbers. The middle number (phosphorus) should be the highest in order to build a healthy root system
- Leave the foliage of spring bulbs alone until the top green growth dies back. The green foliage produces food for the bulb to store
- As water temperatures warm up, algae will rapidly begin to grow. Make sure dead leaves and debris are cleaned out of pond to prevent excess algae growth. Consider treatments of beneficial bacterial to reduce algae growth
- Plant aquatic plants to cover 60% of the pond’s surface to also reduce algae growth
- Do not feed fish until water temperature is at least 50. Their metabolism shuts down in cooler temperatures and food will not digest resulting in illness or death
- Divide aquatic plants if necessary and replant
Soil, Mulch, and Compost
- Do not aerate, dig, or disturb soil when wet. This leads to greater compaction and doing so can result in long term damage of soil structure.
- If you have not mulched your garden, apply mulch now to protect plant crowns and shallow root systems from severe cold weather injury. Apply mulch at 2-3 inches and keep away from direct contact with shrub and tree trunks. Do not build mulch volcanoes around trees!
- Avoid the use of excess fertilizers. Most plants get adequate nutrition from healthy soil rich with organic matter
- Mix or turn compost piles to speed decomposition. If your pile is overly wet, incorporate straw, leaves, or shredded newspaper. Compost piles should be at least one cubic yard to heat up properly
Vegetable and Herb Gardening
Begin setting out transplants of warm season crops and prepare to cover if frost is expected. Plant after frost-free date
Pinch off flower blooms off of transplants so more energy can be directed to root development
- Keep an eye on pests, insects, and diseases. Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service for proper control methods
OCBC was happy to once again host a luncheon for the park workers who worked so hard getting our Northside Park ready for Winterfest. This year we celebrated the attendance was an all time high.
We had homemade soup, sandwiches, salads, chips, soft drinks, desserts and a great time. See pictures
Ocean City Beautification Committee was pleased to have a display at the Mayor and City Council 19th Open House at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center.
It was fun looking through old scrapbooks with pictures of pass activities. We had a banner given to us by the Arbor Day Foundation for 25 year of service. We had a poster showing some of our projects.
The water feature the workers are building at the entrance of the convention is being paid for from our Reflections of Life project.
2014 Decorating City Hall
Ocean City Beautification Committee recently added a lovely new pergola at City Hall.