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The Flying Butterfly, Issue #001 -- Hello and Welcome!
March 08, 2012

Welcome to the Flying Butterfly!

My newsletter is designed to detail gardening basics for beginners and others who enjoy insight with keeping a healthy garden that attracts butterflies. So Grow For It!

It's March and we are catching the gardening bug. We're all hoping for no more snow, just 70 degrees and above from here on out. Well, it's not quite perfect weather yet but there is plenty to be done.
Let's get started....

March and April are the months to focus on using preemergent herbicides. In March when temperatures begin to fluctuate, get outside and apply preemergent's.

  • All those little seeds in the ground are waiting to germinate and preemergent's kill them just as they sprout.

  • If a seed is dormant, preemergents will not have any effect on them.

  • Snow will have no effect on this process.

  • Helps on weeds that sprout by seed such as Chickweed, Ground Ivy and Common Mallow.

When April comes around tidy up the garden. After the garden is cleaned apply preemergent again. Wait about two weeks before planting any flowers and plants. More information at the: Preemergent Herbicide Page.

This is a big month for pruning most bushes and shrubs. This is done to encourage newer, stronger growth. For the Butterfly Bush, this process should be done the first few years when the bush is young. After this there is not the need to prune yearly.

  • Prune the last 3 weeks of March up until, and no later than April 10th.

  • Wait until buds begin to swell on bushes, then cut bush back
    8 - 10" from the ground.

  • Boxwoods, Burning Bush, Junipers and Hollies are amongst other shrubs that should be pruned in this manner.

As bushes grow it becomes only necessary to prune back the branches so they don't over crowd other growth. More information about Butterfly Bushes at the: Butterfly Bushes Page.

With winter coming to an end, some of us have early bloomers that are starting to grow in our gardens. If there any more frosts to come, cover flowers to protect them and prevent any burning of flower tips. Keep in mind...

  • Never use plastic! This will also burn the plant.

  • Use old newspapers, brown paper rolls or bags, weed control fabric, etc.

March is a month when gardeners also begin to transplant outside anything they were growing inside during winter months. Use the same process above so these newly planted flowers don't get killed by end-of-winter frosts.

When I first started gardening something strange that I didn't understand when spring came around... I looked at my previous years plantings and many of them were pushed up out from the ground and dead. If you are new to gardening, this is definitely something that will help you save money in the long run. This is called 'Mulch Heave'. More information at the: Garden Mulch Page.

Visit also, the Inorganic Mulch Page. This will help describe in more detail how Newspapers, along with other options, can be used to kill weeds.

Happy Butterfly Gardening!

Elizabeth @ Easy Butterfly Garden

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