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Calendar: March 1, 2011

Take time to focus on your houseplants before outdoor activities consume most of your gardening energy. Wash accumulated dust from the surfaces and undersides of leaves. Resume fertilizing if you haven't yet done so. Return low-light plants to their spring and summer locations, out of intense sunlight. Transfer plants that have outgrown their old containers to new ones that are only an inch or two larger in diameter. For plant health, be sure pots have drain holes or built-in water reservoirs.

The best time to have shade trees and fruit trees pruned is late in their dormant period, before buds start to open. If you have oaks that need pruning, be sure the job is completed by the end of the month. Pruning or wounding them during April, May of June leaves them vulnerable to developing oak wilt, a fungal disease that can kill red oaks and pin oaks within weeks and is usually fatal to white oaks and bur oaks within a few years.

Have you checked out the new UMN Extension website? Don't miss the latest news, University of Minnesota Extension's most recent statewide news releases, Ag News Wire columns, features and multimedia offerings. Find answers to your questions on the Garden page, and Ask a Master Gardener online. Bookmark these pages so they are handy for the growing season!

Yard and Garden News Editor: Karl Foord
Technical Editor: Bridget Barton

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