March Gardening Checklist
Clean up from Winter
- Clean up any garden beds left to winter over. Cut back browned-out ornamental grasses and foliage of perennial flowers that you didn’t remove in fall. Some of it may even rake off. Compost the dead foliage.
- As soon as you see new growth on roses, remove their winter protection. Prune and fertilize as needed.
- Divide summer- and fall-blooming perennials as soon as you can work the soil.
Tend to the Garden & Landscape
- When the soil temperature reaches 40 degrees F, fertilize trees and shrubs before new growth begins.
- Pull any weeds that survived or sprouted over winter (yes, some even grow then!) They’ll also come out easier in the soft, damp soil than in summer. Wait until warmer weather to add new mulch, though.
- For established shrubs and perennial gardens, a fully blooming forsythia is your cue to apply Preen Garden Weed Preventer. Preen is most effective when in place right before most weed seeds begin germinating for the season.
- Apply Preen Mulch Plus around trees, shrubs and established plants to prevent weeds for up to six months. The mulch also has the added benefit of helping the soil retain moisture and stay cool when temperatures heat up.
- Don’t prune spring flowering shrubs now. Wait until about a month after they bloom. Pruning now may remove this year’s flowers.
- Don’t remove the foliage on early-blooming bulbs until it turns yellow or brown and falls flat, called ripening. The foliage replenishes the bulb with nutrients needed for next year’s blooms.
Plan a New Garden
- Attend a flower and garden show in your community. There, you will learn about new plants, garden design and solutions to landscape problems.
- Test leftover garden seed for germination. Place 10 seeds between moist paper toweling, or cover with a thin layer of soil. Keep seeds warm and moist. If fewer than six seeds germinate, buy fresh seed.
- In the South, seeds for warm-season flowers and vegetables can be started indoors in early March. For colder climates, wait until mid- to late-March or early April. Check the seed packet for precise instructions. Don’t transplant warm-season plants outdoors until all threat of frost has passed. Click here to contact your county extension agent for recommendations for your region.
- Use a hoe, ice-chopper or edging tool to cut sharp edges around all the garden beds. Once the ground thaws, it’s soft and easier to slice than later in spring when it dries out and firms.
- Plant new bare-rooted trees and shrubs.
- Plant cool-season annuals, such as pansies, snapdragons, nemesia, and osteospermum.
- When new plants are 2 to 3 inches tall, apply Preen Garden Weed Preventer to prevent weeds all season long. In vegetable gardens, apply Organic Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer.
Start the Veggies
- Throughout the South, the Eastern Seaboard and the lower Midwest, plant cool-season vegetables, including lettuces, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and spinach. Potatoes also can be planted this month. In the upper Midwest and north, wait until late March or early April to plant these crops.
- Apply Organic Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer around established plants that are 3 inches tall. Always read and follow label directions.