March can get a bit tricky for gardeners. A lot depends on the weather and the rest depends on the area of the country in which you live. Gardening really begins in March. If you get a head start on your garden now, you’ll be rewarded with a full, healthy garden the rest of the gardening season. The following are general gardening tips for gardening in March and what to plant in March:
1. March is garden cleanup month. Even if you live in warmer gardening zones, March is an excellent time to get in your garden and clear away leaves and old foliage from the previous year. Cut away any dead wood on deciduous trees and shrubs and prune brown branches from evergreens. (Don’t prune evergreens for shape, however.)
2. March is a good time to fertilize. (If you live in colder gardening zones and the ground is still covered with snow and ice, or it’s still too frozen to dig, you may need to wait until the ground begins to thaw to fertilize. Don’t fertilize until the ground has thawed.) Fertilize bulb plants that were planted in the fall with fertilizer slightly high in nitrogen (promotes growth). Fertilize evergreens and deciduous trees and shrubs. Fertilize (with iron and trace minerals) wisteria, roses and other plants that tend to get yellow in mid-summer.
3. Get your lawn mower ready by cleaning and sharpening the blades. If there’s no snow on the ground, rake and aerate bluegrass and tall fescue lawns. This will get the lawn ready for pre-emergent.
4. If you’ve had problems with crabgrass or weeds in your lawn, March is the best month to spray pre-emergent. (In warmer gardening zones, the last half of February will work as well.) This is really the only thing that will help with crabgrass short of cutting it out. You must do this early enough that the crabgrass (and other weeds) don’t have a chance to germinate.
5. Deep water trees, shrubs, and roses as needed.
6. March is a good time to plant the following: Pansies, snapdragons and calendulas, container and balled and burlapped trees and shrubs, bare-root roses, plant seeds of peas, onions, carrots, lettuce, spinach, beets, Swiss chard and radishes, plant seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, plant potatoes, bare-root asparagus and rhubarb, bare-root grapes, raspberries, strawberries and fruit trees, perennial seeds, and in warmer zones, perennial plants.
7. Divide and transplant perennials in moderate to warmer gardening zones.
It’s been a long, hard winter for most states this year. But now is the time to look forward and begin preparing for a wonderful spring, summer and fall! Just follow the above garden planning calendar for March and you’ll be rewarded later!
Kelli Dolecek is the author of several gardening books, including the Month-To-Month Gardening series for states. Her books are simple, practical, how-to tips and information about when and what to do in your garden.
Source: Kelli Dolecek