March Gardening Tips

— Written By Allen Caldwell and last updated by
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Plants in Flower
• Saucer Magnolia, Bradford Pear, Flowering Cherry, Forsythia, Star Magnolia, Breath-of-Spring (Winter Honeysuckle), Spirea, Flowering Quince, Carolina Jessamine, Periwinkle, Thrift, Violets, Crocus, Daffodil, Hyacinths and Tulips

• Fertilize shrubs.
• Fertilize your important shade trees.
• Fertilize asparagus beds early in March before spear growth begins.
• Ponds should be fertilized starting this month and continuing through October.
• Before planting your vegetables, fertilize your garden as recommended by your soil test results. Apply the recommended amount of lime if this was not done in the fall.
• Lime peonies, clematis and boxwoods.

• Plant a tree for Arbor Day! Arbor day is always the first Friday after March 15.
• Plant your small fruit plants, grape vines and fruit trees before the buds break.
• March is a good month to transplant trees and shrubs.
• New shrubs and ground covers can be planted the entire month of March. Be sure to follow your planting plan.
• Plant seeds of the following perennials: columbine, hollyhock, coreopsis, daisy and phlox. Sweet William can also be planted this month.
• New rose bushes can be planted this month.
• Plants of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower should be set out in the garden in mid-March.
• The following vegetables can be planted this month: beets, carrots, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, Swiss chard, turnips, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
• Start any annual flowers or warm-season vegetables inside your home that are not commercially available in early March.

• Prune fruit trees.
• Prune spring flowering plants like breath-of-Spring (Winter Honeysuckle) and flowering quince after the flowers fade.
• Prune roses late in March.
• Prune shrubs like abelia, mahonia and nandina this month if needed.
• Pick off faded flowers of pansy and daffodil. Pansies will flower longer if old flowers are removed.
• Overgrown shrubs can be severely pruned (not needled evergreens).
• To control English Ivy, cut it back now.
• Trim liriope to 4-6 inches. Dispose of trimmings.

• Spray the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: euonymus-scale, juniper-spruce spider mites and hybrid rhododendron-borer.
• Start your rose spray program just prior to bud break.
• Spray your apple and pear trees with streptomycin for control of fire blight while the trees are in bloom.

Lawn Care
• Cool-season lawns may be fertilized with 10-10-10, but NOT with slow-release fertilizer.
• Apply crabgrass herbicides to your lawn late this month to help control crabgrass in the turf.
• Mow your tall fescue lawn as needed.
• Seed fescue and bluegrass if not done in September.

• Continue to divide perennials like daylily, shasta daisy, gaillardia and coreopsis this month.
• Divide or repot overgrown houseplants.

Specific Chores
• Check garden supplies like fertilizer, insecticides and fungicides to see if you have adequate amounts.
• Check all garden equipment, lawn mowers, tillers, hedge trimmers, tools, hoses and sprayers to see if they are in find working order before they are needed.
• Be certain that old plantings of perennials like peony, hollyhock and phlox are clean of last season’s growth.
• Pinch off dead flowers from tulips/daffodils. Wait until foliage turns yellow and dies to remove it.