March is an exciting time in the garden as we watch the plants, flowers, shrubs and trees come to life and burst with color! Remember that the weather, on average, can be at or below freezing up until the middle of April, so there are still some items that can be taken care of in March to get ready for spring. Keep an eye out for forsythia blooms as this is a great indication of when you should apply pre-emergent weed prevention.
Vegetable and Flower Garden
It is time to start your tomato and annual seeds indoors. However, you can sow beet, cauliflower, mustard, radish, and turnip seeds directly into the soil. Strawberry plants will soon be available and can be planted this month. Tidy up your grapes, blackberries and raspberries. Fertilizing your winter annuals and if you need some more color, come and check out the cool-season annuals at the nursery. Fertilize spring bulbs after they emerge with a water-soluble fertilizer. March is also a good month to divide perennials and ornamental grasses and fertilize any newly planted roses.
Shrubs and Trees
This is the ideal time to plant shrubs and trees. Prune evergreen shrubs like boxwoods and hollies. Fertilize trees and shrubs once they leaf out. Don’t prune River Birch or Maples in March as the sap is flowing and if you make a cut, the sap will just keep pouring out of the branch and drain energy from the tree. Keep an eye on your fruit trees as they will need a fungicide spray when the blooms appear. Fig trees should be pruned prior to mid March.
Fescue seed and sod can be planted now. Seed will need a few days above 50 degrees F to get started. Remember that you can’t use a pre-emergent herbicide for six weeks after planting seed. Apply pre-emergent weed control if you haven’t already done so. You should wait until April to fertilize, as your lawn needs to be at least 50 percent green for it to be as effective. If your lawn needs lime (a soil test will tell you), apply 40lbs per 1000 square feet at the beginning of the month.
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