March Newsletter: Azaleas, Herbs & Veggies

Beautiful Blooming Azaleas!

Azaleas have been putting on their show now and this is a great time to plant them! Formosa varieties can reach heights and widths 5’-8’ if left unpruned and bloom large, clusters of flowers in abundance. The most popular varieties are G.G. Gerbing (white), Lavender Formosa (bright purple-pink), Red Formosa (red wine color) and George Tabor (light pink with dark pink blotch). The mid size varieties that do well in our area are Fashion (salmon-pink), Vivid (dark pink/red), Red Ruffles (red) and Prize (red).

Fashion Azaleas

Azaleas bloom from the end of February through most of March. Fashion azaleas will bloom heavy in spring and then sporadically up until winter. Azaleas prefer relief from the hot afternoon sun so areas that receive morning sun and afternoon shade, or, shifting, dappled light are perfect. They like soil on the acidic side and have a low salt tolerance. They don’t like sandy soil so incorporate potting soil and mushroom compost in the planting hole.

Camellia Japonica ‘Kramers Supreme’

Camellias are STILL blooming from winter! If you have a shady or dappled light area and need a larger growing, cold hardy blooming shrub Japonica Camellia is the perfect plant. Flowers are large and showy and range from red to different shades of pinks.

Fresh, Healthy Vegetables & Herbs from YOUR Garden!

For vegetable gardeners, green beans, lima beans, corn, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, southern peas, peppers, squash and tomatoes can all be planted outside around the second week in March. For our northern areas, always be on alert for a late season bit of frost that may require you to cover your young plants. Container vegetable gardens can be grown almost anytime.

The best vegetable and herb growing container is without a doubt the EarthBox that comes with its own fertilizer and dolomite. The container has wheels that make it easy to move and not only grows vegetables and herbs but can be used for flowers as well. If you already have an Earth Box from the fall planting season, simply dump the old soil and wash container well. Get one bag of potting soil and one EarthBox replant kit and you’re set to go another healthy, fruitful season!

Herbs are one of the easiest plants to grow and fill the air with their spicy fragrance.
Fresh chives, rosemary, fennel, oregano, marjoram, mints, parsley, sage, tarragon, and thyme will not only taste better in your recipes, but, are a lot less expensive to grow than the dried store-bought herbs. Mix them in the landscape, in your vegetable garden or plant them in pots. And don’t rule out creeping Rosemary for a beautiful, fragrant, evergreen, cold hardy ground cover!