March Gardening Checklist

March is here and that means that spring is just around the corner. For those of us itching to get back into the garden, our time has come. Now is the time to begin turning that gardening plan into reality!

March gardening means a lot of prep work before the early spring growth begins. Start your garden journal in March. Record the layout of your garden design and include pictures. Make a note of successful plants and those to avoid as well as bloom times. Record when you started seeds and transplanted plants. If you go to a flower and garden show bring your journal and make a note of the plants that you’d like to work with.

All of these notes will help you to improve your garden year after year.

It’s a great time to start seeds indoors so you’ll be ready to plant after the danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature rises. Cool-season crops like lettuce, peas, spinach, and radishes can be planted now, though they may benefit from protection like a cold frame. The rest of your vegetable gardening may need to wait until April or May. Check your local nursery’s weekly newsletter to see what kinds of new seedlings are available so you can get them as early as possible.

Now is also a good time to plant summer blooming bulbs. These can be put in the ground as soon as the last frost is over once your garden bed is turned and prepped.

If you have flower boxes, cool-season annuals such as pansies, petunias, snapdragons, daisies, and more will help bring color to your garden early. 

For larger plants, if you have trees and shrubs that you’ve wrapped with burlap, now is a good time to remove it. 

Fruit trees can benefit from being sprayed in March against insects and disease, and ornamental grasses should be cut back to make room for new growth. 

Finally, to bring some color into the house, you can take cuttings of spring-flowering shrubs and force them into bloom to get a taste of what’s to come in the next few months and hold you over until the warm weather takes hold and you can spend more time out in the garden.