Spring Gardening: Your March To-Do List

Photo by Aaron Burden

Well, it wasn’t easy putting this list together for spring gardening while watching a snowstorm cover the fields this past week. We’re coming off a weekend that almost felt like Spring, though. And while it might still be a bit wintery in some areas of the country, it’s time to get out in that garden and prepare for planting.

Different regions, different jobs

In milder regions that don’t get a lot of snow (or have already experienced spring’s warming trend), there’s work to be done now to enjoy early-blooming plants and see a return on the previous year’s hard work. Here is a to-do list of things you can do now to get your garden in shape for spring gardening and, yes, a few of these items might have been mentioned in articles here earlier this year. We’re thorough like that…

To-do list

  1. Plant early-blooming annuals in mild climate regions. Now is the time to get plants such as pansies, violas, snapdragons, nemesia, and alyssum in the ground to enjoy a burst of early spring color.
  2. If you grow your plants in a greenhouse, be sure there’s good ventilation this time of year when the weather fluctuates drastically throughout the day. On mild days, open the windows in your greenhouse, but be sure to close them before nightfall.
  3. Plant potatoes as soon as you see the grass beginning to green up.
  4. Plant grapes as soon as the ground is workable in the North. If you live in the South, grapes should be planted in the fall so they have time to get well established before the heat of summer sets in.
  5. Remove protective mulches. When you see your perennials peek their heads above ground, remove any protective mulch you placed over them at the end of last year’s growing season. Be careful not to remove it too soon, though, as hard freezes can still happen in March.
  6. Transplant roses, shrubs, and ornamental trees. Now is the time to move these plants before their leaf buds open.
  7. Apply a slow-release fertilizer to shrubs and perennials.
  8. Plant parsley in your herb garden now.
  9. Get ready for yard work. Clean your lawnmower and replace the spark plugs and air filter. Sharpen the blades and make sure everything is in working order.
  10. When peonies are about three inches high, fertilize them with a low nitrogen fertilizer.
  11. Plant new perennials that bloom at different times of the season. Make sure they have dense foliage that looks great by itself once the flowers die off.
  12. Harvest horseradish while dormant and just starting to show green if you’ve planted it in your garden. Wear gloves to avoid skin irritation.
  13. Clean garden décor. Check fountains and other garden décor for damage and clean them out.
  14. Check your compost pile, if you have one. Begin turning it every two weeks and make sure it stays moist but not wet.
  15. Start a garden diary. Set up an outside thermometer and rain gauge and document when plants begin to bloom.

Waiting for the weather warming up

These are just a few of the things you can do in March to get your garden ready. As the weather warms more, you can spend more time in your garden tending to the plants and enjoying their beauty.