This Month in the Garden: March

This month we can spend hours gazing out the window for signs of spring, daydreaming about all that lush, delicious goodness that we will coax from the dirt. But there’s plenty of work to do outdoors even before the weather warms up.

Vintage gardener original

For the lawn:

  • Fertilize.  Plants need nutrients now during their growth spurt.
  • Aerate.  Dethatch if old roots and stems at crown level exceed one-half inch.
  • Rake and overseed bare spots with seed mix such as perennial ryes and turf-type fescues.
  • Dig out or spot treat weeds.
  • Install new lawns

In the garden:

  • Dig garden beds deeply.  Add fertilizer and compost.
  • Prune and feed roses.
  • Divide perennials that bloom after mid-June.
  • Transplant brassica-family seedlings outdoors.
  • Start tomatoes, peppers and eggplants under lights.
  • Sow beets, chard, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach and turnips outdoors.
  • Share extra plants with neighbors or a school.
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3 thoughts on “This Month in the Garden: March

  1. :”This Month in the Garden” is a great monthly topic I’ll look forward to reading to help me keep up with the flow of the seasons…:) One of the questions I have for March… is it time for pruning my fruit trees? They’ve begun to bud and I’ve noticed a few Tent Caterpillar’s old tents…:( do I need to remove that branch where the tents are or just remove that tent? And are there live Caterpillar in the old tents? Enjoying the new blog…:) Great job! Tia

    • Hi, Tia —

      Thanks for visiting, and we’re so glad you like the blog!

      To answer your questions (and I’m assuming you’re in San Juan County):
      Fruit trees are generally pruned while dormant. Here’s a really good overview on pruning from WSU Extension: http://extension.wsu.edu/maritimefruit/Pages/PruningBasics.aspx

      For tent caterpillars, you need only prune out the tents, not necessarily the whole branch if there is no other damage. You can also strip the tent away by hand without cutting the branch, or try spraying with B.t. once they’ve hatched. Here’s another paper from WSU, this time on tent caterpillars: http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/inse003/inse003.htm

      (I don’t know if there would still be any live ones in the old tent, but better safe than sorry!)

      The above article mentions removing the little egg cases now. These are easy to spot while the trees are still bare, and they remove easily by hand. (A task I admit to finding deeply satisfying!)

      Dolly.

      • Thanks Dolly! Great reference sites, I’ll enjoy reading them…:) And I’m glad I don’t need to cut out any of the branches. Thank you again for the great information, I’ll get busy removing the old tents and I’ll be checking for any new caterpillars…Yes, I’m in the San Juan County, on Shaw. Guess I should have mentioned that…sorry…:)
        Happy Easter!
        Tia

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