Maybe you just finished all of your winter chores and now you are just sitting around with heightened anticipation waiting for spring. But gardening is a perpetual hobby, lifestyle, or obsession. So, you may be asking yourself ” what’s new to do” for March? In a word, plenty.
It’s time to drag out the fertilizer and make your rounds. Be sure to hit all the trees and shrubs, especially camellias and other broad-leaf evergreens. Rose bushes need some food right now as well. Every living plant in your yard will need some food to start the season off right. Knowing the root system extends out as far as the widest point above the ground is a good rule of thumb. Here at the nursery, we use Osmocote. It’s a good time-release general-purpose fertilizer.
It’s time to sow some of those seeds directly into the ground. All of your root veggies, carrots, beets, etc should be direct sown in March as well as lettuces. You must wait a little longer to sow your tender plants. Seeds will benefit from the cold (but not frozen) ground as they need that period of lower temperatures to germinate properly as the warm weather becomes more regular. However, if you started your seeds indoors, you definitely do not want to put those in the ground. You will have to wait a few more weeks. Frost would kill a tender tiny plant that hasn’t been hardened off for cooler temperatures. We have broccoli, collards, cabbage, and spinach plants ready to plant and onion sets and shallots.
Potatoes should go into the ground about now. When the weather warms up, they will be ready to break the ground and produce some new baby spuds. If you are using onion sets instead of seeds, you can get those into the ground as well.
Hopefully, you have had your soil turned. But, if not, maybe you should do that first and foremost. Add any conditioners or compost prior to tilling so the nutrients can be worked through the soil and evenly distributed, so it will be able to produce the best plants possible. Also, you may want to add mulch where needed right now. Be sure to clean up any leftover leaves that may be lying around. Add them to your compost pile. Clean up leftover stalks and old growth from your perennials and add new perennials in March.
Start some of your vegetables indoors now such as tomatoes and peppers. You may move them outdoors in partial sun on warm days. Hopefully, you have already started your leafy veggies such as broccoli, spinach, collards, swiss chard, and kale. We will have all of these for sale in March. They can take the colder temps. If you started them inside for yourself, they should be ok to transplant outside by mid-March, if not a little sooner. Any of the cool-weather veggies and hardy perennial herbs should be ready to go into the ground this month.
Things will really start to get busy in the garden as spring approaches. Wildlife, pollinators, and gardeners alike will all be spending time outside in the garden. Enjoy the company.
As the temperatures rise and you begin to get your hands dirty for another growing season, be mindful of the creatures that share your garden space. Everything has a reason to be there. If you have allergies to bees and use sprays to kill them, try natural ways to control their population. Or, you could use plants around your garden that naturally repel flying insects. If you plant a perimeter around your garden, you will also help to keep out some of the regular garden pests that may be destructive.
Broad-spectrum insecticides not only kill pests but also kill beneficial insects too, including but not limited to butterflies, bumble bees, and hummingbird moths as well. Some insecticides can even poison larvae in the hive along with the honey that is produced. As humans, we should try harder to protect ourselves from the micro-poisoning that we create.
Well, now that I swerved left and got completely off-topic, get ready for some great gardening ahead !!!!