March Field Notes + WEED WATCH

Believe it or not, it's time to get back out in the garden! At NBN we've kicked off our stewardship season and wanted to share what we're up to while out in the garden lately..

  • See what's coming up!! Now you can see tulips, daffodils, and even native bluebells poking up to be the first bloomers of spring.

  • Check trees/shrubs for damage. Through the winter, deer and rabbits can harm your garden plants by rubbing antlers, nibbling branches, or girdling young trees. If you'd put up protection last fall then you should be good, but others aren't quite so lucky. We planted these Dwarf Bush Honeysuckles last summer and they were flourishing- when I checked them out this past week I ufortunately saw the characteristic clean, 45 degree angle nibbles that meant the rabbits had gotten to them. Thankfully these shrubs have enough material that they should bounce back from this damage.

  • Prune trees/shrubs while you can see their structure. It's a LOT easier to prune watersprouts, rubbing/crossing branches, or dead branches off your trees and shrubs when their aren't leaves blocking your view. 
  • Cut back stems + scatter debris. Remember when we said to leave your stems up for the bees? Now go ahead and cut them back if you so desire- our thinking here is that stem-nesting bees only occupy the bottom 12-15" of the stem so as long as you don't cut all the way to the ground you and the bees should be a-okay. Remember to chop/scatter the stem debris around your garden beds. It's free mulch!

  • Break up sticks. You may have had a lot of sticks come down over the windy winter. Gathering sticks, breaking them and scattering throughout your beds will add organic matter to your soil and tidy the place up a bit. Just make sure the pieces are small enough to lay flat on the ground- the soil contact will help jump start their decomposition.
  • Clear edges and pathways. Tidying up edges and pathways is one of the easiest ways to make it look like you spent hours in the garden. Clear excess debris and scatter to the back of the bed/to other areas for a defined look that helps add intention to your space.


Garden safety: Safety is cool! When doing these garden activities, keep these few things in mind..

  • Wear safety goggles/sunglasses when working around potential eye pokers, especially when pruning trees/shrubs.
  • Be mindful of your fingers/hands when chopping stems back- keep an eye on where your pruners are in respect to your hands to ensure you're free of any knicks/cuts. Wearing gloves can also help prevent small knicks and scrapes.
  • Watch for tripping hazards like wayward branches/slippery debris piles.

Tool Box: pruners, hedge shears, loppers, soil knife, rake, dutch hoe, hand saw, bag/bucket

Check out our Products We Love page for tool recommendations!


WEED WATCH: What weeds are out right now?

Catch these before they go to seed and multiply!

  • Winter cress

  • Lesser celandine


  • Creeping charlie

Catch these while they're really green and easy to see.

  • Turf grass
  • Onion grass

Need an extra set of hands to get your garden geared up for spring? Book Garden Together time to have an NBN horticulturist help you garden at YOUR home.

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