March Gardening Tips

If you haven’t already, then as soon as possible… here is a March “must do” list!

Annuals, Perennials and Bulbs in the Garden

  • There is often a strong temptation to start removing winter mulches from your flower beds…. WAIT!!! Pull the mulch off gradually as the plants show signs of new growth. The purpose of winter mulch is to act as a protector from sudden changes of temperature and chilling winds, so keep in mind that it is still winter. Acclimate your plants by removing the mulch over a period of days, allowing the light and air to reach the new growth slowly. It is much better to remove the mulch a little later than to remove it to early.  
  • Divide and transplant summer blooming perennials and fertilize with Dr. Earth Rose and Flower Fertilizer as soon as new growth appears.
  • Plant tender bulbs and tubers like Gladiolas, Lilies and Dahlias now. You can continue planting additional bulbs every two weeks until mid June to ensure a continuous source of bloom.
  • Fertilize any bulbs that have finished blooming with Dr Earth Fishbone Meal.  Wait to cut back until foliage is brown.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Prune fruit trees, evergreens, many deciduous trees, raspberry canes, grapevines and roses.  
  • Start watering trees and shrubs that you planted in the fall as soon as new leaves appear. Newly planted trees and shrubs need supplemental watering for a FULL YEAR to stay healthy.  
  • When night time temperatures are forecast to remain above 40 degrees F. for 2-3 days, spray your fruit trees, roses, and other ornamental trees and shrubs with Bonide All Season’s Oil to kill overwintering insects, eggs and fungus. The best time is a dull, still day when the temperature is just above 40 degrees and BEFORE buds swell.
  • You can still safely transplant shrubs as long as the flower buds haven’t swelled or broken open.
  • Fertilize shrubs and trees. Use Hollytone to feed evergreens, conifers, broad leaf evergreens, Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas.
  • Use an all-purpose fertilizer such as Fertilome Tree and Shrub Fertilizer to feed deciduous trees and shrubs. If you use a granular type fertilizer, be sure to water it in thoroughly.

Fruit and Vegetable Gardening

  • Take a little time to prepare the vegetable garden soil for planting.  Use Coast of Maine Lobster Compost as a good additive to build organic in the soil.  
  • Get cool-season crops such as Broccoli, Beets, Lettuce, Spinach, Chard, Kale, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts and Onions into the garden now. Don’t wait-soon the weather will be too hot for them. Have row covers or frost cloths handy to protect plants on chilly nights.
  • Potatoes, asparagus and horseradish can be planted in the garden about mid month.
  • Plant Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Grapes and fruit trees.
  • Its time to start Tomatoes, Lettuce, and many other vegetable seeds indoors.

House Plant Care

  • House plants will react to longer days and brighter light at this time by putting out new growth. 
  • The end of this month is a good time to pinch them back to generate new growth and to thicken them.  You can then begin fertilizing again with Bonide 10-10-10 house plant food.
  • Mist or spray your houseplants to clean away the winter’s dust, prevent insects and add a little humidity.

Odds and ends

  • Repair damaged areas of the lawn…. De-thatch, rake or aerate. 
  • Test your soil for pH to see if any amendments are necessary.
  • Apply Mag-i-cal to sweeten the soil if needed and apply Jonathan Green Crabgrass Pre-emergent if you haven’t done so already.
  • Clean out your birdhouses now before the birds begin nesting again.
  • Pull weeds now and save yourself countless hours of weeding in the summer heat.
  • Are your garden tools ready? If not, check them, fix them, sharpen them.  And don’t forget to sharpen your lawn mower blade!
  • Making a trip to our garden center to peruse new plants and garden accessories. It’s always a treat to see the first flowers of spring.