We certainly are flying through this year! Feels like just yesterday that I was writing about February’s garden tasks, and here we are talking about March’s. What the what?! March is a bit of a funny month for gardeners. As spring pushes forward, winter fights back. One day we will get warmth and blue skies; the next day brings a raging windstorm. It is probably the last easy-going month for a bit, so enjoy it? We’ll be busy bees in no time.
Alright, let’s get down to it.
1. Garden Tasks
Basically a reiteration of last month’s tasks, garden prep in March is clearing out any debris, soil testing, soil amending, and pulling any weeds. Once finished cleaning up, add a layer of mulch over your bare soil.
If a new garden bed/border is in the works, remember to remove the grass layer and set it aside for future compost. Or, if you are incorporating it into the planting area, make sure you chop it up really well. Really well. Buried grass will regrow.
While outside, take the time to care for your trees, shrubs and perennials. Prune overgrown shrubs and damaged/dead tree branches. You should also add support for taller perennials and peonies.
2. Pest Control
Now that it is starting to warm up, all the dormant buggers will start popping up. Finding and dealing with the eggs and larvae now will mean there is (hopefully) less annoyance to deal with during the spring and summer.
Be sure to keep an eye out for slugs! Those slippery little nuisances will devour any new spring shoots that crop up.Beeris great for natural slug control. And, since sharing is caring, a little beer for the slugs and a little for you. Win win!
If you are planning on starting your garden with seeds, March is when the preparation begins. While it is still a bit cold outside for direct sowing, seeds of heat-loving crops can be started in greenhouses/indoors. Be sure to read your seed packages for proper timing. (Unsure about the differences between starting with seeds and starting with transplants, we’ve written a little something to help you decide.)
Some things, like new trees and summer flowering bulbs, can be planted this month. However, the mild weather can be misleading and can get many eager gardeners doing things that would be better left until later in the season. Planting annuals is best done when the soil has dried out and warmed up. Some supermarkets and big box stores like to sell bedding plants, vegetables, and herbs early in the season. Don’t get tempted. More than likely, these plants will end up struggling in the cold, wet soil. There is a high chance these plants won’t survive. Wait until April when these plants are properly hardened off and the nights are warmer.