March brings with it the glorious days of spring – the first official day of spring is March 20th. We are springing forward, days are getting longer, and plants will start peeking their way up through the soil. While we enjoy a few late winter blooms, like Hellebore and Pansies, it is time to start prepping your garden for the growing season. Below are some tips and tricks to help you get ready.
Add these tasks to your March gardening “To-Do List”:
Prune and Spray Your Trees
Early March is the time to prune peach, plum, cherry, and apricot trees. If you didn’t prune your apple trees or other deciduous trees in February, prune them now as well. Apply Dormant Oil, also known as Horticultural Oil, to ornamentals, fruit trees, shrub and shade trees to help control insects such as aphids, scale, and mites that will be coming back in the spring.
Ideally, you will spray when temps are above 40 degrees with no precipitation for 48 hours after application. You can also spray Copper Fungicide this time of year, either 24 hours prior to the Dormant Oil application, or you can even mix them together and spray both products at the same time, just be sure to mix the proper ratio for each product separately before combining them in a sprayer.
Prepare Your Garden Soil & Beds
As the snow melts away, it’s time to remove the winter layer of mulch from around perennials and roses. Rake out debris from your flower and shrub beds. If you are planning on moving your perennials, do it now before they start to bud.
Once the soil has dried out enough, nutrient-rich compost can be added to flower beds. Don’t work the soil if it’s too wet because it causes compaction (cement-like texture in the soil).
Apply fertilizer to your shrubs and perennials. Some garden beds may also need an application of iron in March. If you do not plan on starting anything from seed, it’s a great time to put down some Pre-Emergent to help prevent weed seed from germinating. You can apply a granular formula or a liquid formula, depending on what is best for your circumstances.
You may also like to read: 5 Things to do While Waiting for Spring
Clean up Flowers
Now is the time to prune your rose bushes, look for bud swell as your signal to prune. It is also a great time to start pruning back the perennials leaves, stems and seed heads that were left over winter. Summer flowering shrubs like potentilla and many spireas can be pruned at the end of March or early April.
Another useful resource: Growing from Seed
Sharpen Garden Tools & Equipment
Before you need them, make sure your garden tools are still working and in good shape. Service your power equipment and sharpen your lawnmower blades. Now is also a good time to organize your tool sheds and storage areas so that come gardening time you won’t waste any time finding what you need.
Getting back out in the garden has numerous benefits for our mental and physical health. Take care of these gardening items in March and springtime will be here before you know it. If you’re a newbie ready to start a garden, the team here at Glover Nursery are eager to help. Consider joining our Facebook community for a wealth of shared knowledge and be inspired by your fellow gardeners.
You might also be interested: Planning Your Garden