If it ever stops raining around here we can start working on our gardens. We’re still dipping into the freezing temperatures at night so you’ll not want to do too much at the beginning of the month but as you head into March and at the beginning of April, we definitely need to start thinking about gardening. Here are 10 tasks for your garden in March.
#1. Clear flowerbeds.
Now is a good time to clear out any flowerbeds or gardens you’re going to use for fruits and vegetables. All of the leaves have fallen and have started to create their own mulch so now is a good time to Rototill the dirt, dig up and turn over shovelful’s of compost, manure, and dirt and get things ready to plant.
#2. Spray and prune fruit trees.
There’s still plenty of time to prune apple trees, cherry trees, plum trees, and pear trees but it’s a good idea not to wait too long because once the weather warms up the buds will start to come out and it will be even trickier to prune at this time. Now’s a good time to spray if you’re planning on spraying your trees with insecticides or other natural or organic sprays and get the trees ready for blooming.
#3. Check your irrigation.
If your lawn and property have an irrigation system it’s important to look for any broken heads are inefficient spray patterns that can waste water. If you blew out the irrigation last year, check the temperatures and adjust the timer so that you’re not watering your yard during the rainy season.
#4. Feed azaleas and rhododendrons.
Azaleas and rhododendrons grow like gangbusters in the Pacific Northwest once they get going so now is a good time to fertilize any azaleas and rhododendrons using a commercial granular fertilizer sprinkled around the base of the plants. It’s a good idea to feed these plants monthly through August for the best growth and flowering and in the fall and winter uses zero – 10 – 10 of fertilizer to help build next spring’s flower production.
#5. Repot houseplants.
March is a great time to give your indoor plants a boost by transplanting them into a larger pot with fresh soil. If your plants are root bound it can cause drainage issues, mold, and disease. Loosen the roots to encourage new growth and you might consider pruning any houseplants that have grown a little leggy over the winter.
#6. Divide perennials.
Now is a good time to consider dividing perennials before they really get going. These are tubers, dahlias, any bulbs, hostas, or plants that remain either in pots, flowerbeds, or the ground year-round.
#7. Get the veggies started.
In the Pacific Northwest, lettuce, spinach, radishes, peas, and other cool-season crops can be sown directly into the garden in March as long as the frost is gone but right now, we’re still seeing a little bit of frost so you can start those veggie sprouts indoors or in a greenhouse and then transfer them when the weather starts to warm slightly.
#8. Plant berries.
Strawberries, raspberries, Tayberries and blueberries prefer an early spring start. They can be grown in garden beds or containers and need well-drained soil. Try to choose a sunny spot that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunshine a day. Most strawberries and raspberries are available in ever-bearing or June-bearing varieties and are starting to pop up in hardware stores, garden nurseries, and co-ops all over the Pacific Northwest.
#9. Plant bare-root trees and shrubs.
When the weather is cool and moist in March it’s a good time to add trees and shrubs to your landscape. You’ll want to dig a hole slightly wider than the root ball of the plant and set the plant into the soil at the same height that was growing in its garden nursery container. Mulch it to protect it from any harsh weather and water thoroughly. Now is a good time to plant fruit trees as well.
#10. Watch the weather and plant annual flowers.
Toward the end of March, you’ll want to start planting some annual flowers such as wax begonias, zinnias, angelonia and pansies. Once the fear of frost is gone, you can start planting these annuals in containers, in the ground, and beautify your landscape.
If you’d like some help with gardening this year give us a call. Would love to come and give you a free estimate on certain landscape changes, landscape restoration, design ideas, or staging your landscape for the ultimate curb appeal.