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What to do in the Garden in March

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What to do in the Garden in March

Hello, March! This month and April are transitional months for gardeners in most places. Cool season gardeners are still in the midst of winter weather, while warmer climates are seeing the first buds and blooms of the season. Because of this wide range, use this checklist as a resource and then refer to your local county extension office for recommended garden chores for your area. 

March Garden Chores & Activities

  1. Clean up the garden. Yes, we know we mentioned this last month, but sometimes time gets away from us, doesn’t it? It’s really no fun to dive into spring gardening with a garden that’s a mess — your future self will thank you for removing and disposing of dead/damaged/diseased plants, picking up pet/kid debris, and tidying up tools, containers, and bagged goods.
  2. Plan your spring-planted bulbs. Bulbs planted in mid-to-late spring after all danger of frost has passed will bloom in late summer. We’re talking dahlias, cannas, gladiolus, elephant ears, caladiums, lilies, ranunculus, and more! Get those bulbs ordered and get them planted at the right time in your area (northern gardens plant in January-March, central gardens plant in March-May, and southern gardens plant in April-June).
  3. Start or sow seeds. This is where you need to closely check your particular area’s recommendations. While some gardeners are ready to sow their seedlings or directly sow seeds into the ground, others can still be starting them inside. If you’re still starting seeds, remember to check the info on the seed packet for info on determining when to get those seeds planted.
  4. Prune roses. The optimal time to prune roses is typically around Valentine’s Day in February, but if you were too busy eating chocolate and watching rom coms, there’s still time this month! But pinky swear you’ll do it sooner as opposed to later in the month before your bushes start to leaf out and bloom.
  5. Prune ornamental grasses. Some gardeners prune their ornamental grasses back in December, but we’re big proponents of waiting until later in the season when you’re seeing some new green blades emerging from the base. This way, you get to enjoy the winter form of the ornamental grasses instead of looking at pruned stumps for two months.
  6. Turn the compost. If you have a compost pile, remember to give it a good turn this month. While it may not be as actively decomposing during the cooler months, it’s still doing its thing. Help it out by completing a thorough turnover.
  7. Complete any needed garden repairs or maintenance. Take a walk around your property and make some notes about what needs fixing, repairing, replacing, or trashing. Inspect your fences, sheds, greenhouse, irrigation system, tools, edging, and anything else that is on your radar. Then prioritize the most important tasks to complete before spring gardening is in full swing, making notes for a timeline to complete the remaining tasks.
  8. Continue planning. If you’re planning any new garden beds, structures, or the like, get that planning in now. There’s a full season ahead to start implementing those plans and designs when you give yourself enough time to consider all the details and gather your supplies.

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  • Jenny Peterson