Almost there, dear Spring. There’s so much to do outside in March to prepare for April’s arrival.
Every nice day beckons, but the garden can look desolate. If weather permits, get out there and pull the garden together before the real work begins.
Start seeds for tender plants – (mid-March in my area). Place under grow lights for at least 14 hours each day and keep well watered.
Herbs – basil, borage, caraway, chervil, cilantro, clary sage, culantro, dill, epazote, perilla, rue, sesame, summer savory, stevia, Thai basil
Vegetables – cardoon, eggplant, okra, peppers, tomatillos, tomatoes, and more salad greens
Cutting Flowers – ageratum, amaranthus, artemisia, bachelor’s buttons, bee balm, bee’s friend, bells of Ireland, blue lace flower, calendula, celosia, china aster, corn cockle, cosmos, false queen anne’s lace, gomphrena, hyacinth bean, Iceland poppy, kiss me over the garden gate, marigolds, Mexican sunflower, nasturtiums, nicotiana, nigella, pin-cushion flower, ptilotis, salpligosis, statice, strawflower, zinnias
Chit (pre-start) seed potatoes by laying whole potatoes in an open weave seed flat or egg cartons. Leave air space between each potato.
Start canna, dahlias, gloxinia, arum lilies, achimenes, and tuberous begonias in pots.
Force spring flowering branches, if you’re lucky enough to have access to forsythia, cherry, dogwood, magnolia, quince, redbud, serviceberry, apple, pear, mock orange, hawthorn, witch hazel, lilac, beautybush, spirea, pussy willow, or wisteria.
IN THE HERB, VEGETABLE, AND FLOWER GARDENS
Cut back any remaining dead plants. Rake the soil lightly and remove any perennial weeds.
Apply compost, fertilizer, lime, wood ash, and mulch at the end of the month. Turn over cover crop, if soil is workable.
Edge flower borders. Remove winter mulch from roses and prune.
Take hardwood cuttings from boxwood, buddleia, dogwood, euonymous, forsythia, hydrangea, roses, spiraea, weigelia, yew.
Repair or install fencing. Check water lines.
IN THE ORCHARD
Cut autumn-fruiting raspberries to ground level. Trellis and tie up blackberry and raspberry canes. Remove perennial weeds and apply mulch.
Plant new fruit trees and berries at the end of the month.
Spray dormant oil on fruit trees before the buds swell.
IN THE KITCHEN
Try to stay away from the supermarket berries. They’re tempting, but nothing like the real thing. Indulge yourself by making some lemon, Meyer lemon, blood orange, or lime curd and make a promise to freeze more blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries this summer.
Replace pantry pest traps.