March is the time to fertilize your plants. Soils in Montgomery County are generally low in nitrogen and need the addition of a slow-release organic fertilizer. Amending the soil with compost will add fertility as well as much-needed organic matter. Local soil is woefully low in organic matter, containing only about 1 to 5 percent is needed. Compost will lower the need to supply supplemental irrigation. With irrigation restrictions, the addition of compost could make the difference in a plant’s survival. In addition to adding compost to the flower beds, top-dress the lawn. Adding just one-fourth to one-half inch of compost on the lawn twice yearly will achieve measurable results.
Earthworms love compost. When compost is added to the garden and flower beds, earthworms tunnel upward to reach the organic matter. In doing so, they open vertical tunnels that allow air and water to penetrate the soil. If compacted soil is a problem, spread a little compost and let the earthworms do all the work.