March Gardening Tips to Get a Jump on Spring

March Gardening Tips to Get a Jump on Spring

It’s been one long cold winter, and if you’re like me you’re totally over it!  I live in Syracuse, New York where the average temperature in February was 9 degrees…yup 9 degrees.  That said, March has arrived and I feel like I can finally think spring even though I know we still have at least month of colder temps ahead.  Since it’s getting time to think spring landscape I wanted to put my to-do list together.  Some of the things on this list will be tough the first couple of weeks of March since we’re buried in snow, but I’m hoping for a quick melt off.  So without further adieu, my March to-dos…

  • If you haven’t been paying attention to your compost pile, now is a good time to start turning it/them.  Your pile should be damp enough and with a little turn you’ll turn the heat up for faster production.
  • Take a walk around the yard with your flame gun, or organic weed killer, and get them while they’re young.  This “task” will save you a lot of time and headache later!
  • Put the final touches on this season’s planting plans.  Try something different with your plantings, attract birds & butterflies, repel pests, etc…
  • If you’re planning to include vines & climbers into your gardens now can be a good time to get your trellises up.  You’ll be way ahead of planting, and it’s one less annoying task to get done later.
  • If you’ve left your ornamental grasses for the birds this winter it’s now time to tie them up, and cut them back to a few inches above the ground to allow for new growth.
  • Winter can be especially hard on lower, weaker tree branches.  When you get those warmer early spring days this month start trimming any dead, damaged branches your shrubs, & trees suffered.
  • You can prune summer-blooming shrubs such and Rose of Sharon, Spiraea, Potentilla and Summersweet (Clethra). Wait to prune your spring-blooming shrubs (such as forsythia and lilacs) until they’ve finished blooming so you don’t cut off this year’s flowers.
  • Trim back winter-killed rose canes to one inch below blackened area and all rose canes to about a foot or two above ground level. (This does not apply to climbing roses.) Once buds begin to form cut the stems back to a strong fat bud.
  • In the vegetable garden, begin to plant potatoes, peas, lettuce, radishes, and carrots.
  • Force some spring blooming trees and shrubs like forsythia, pussy willow, quince and crab apples.
  • Towards the end of the month as temperatures begin to warm, slowly remove any protective mulch you’ve laid out. Be sure to check your “frost dates” so you don’t remove mulches too soon since hard freezes are still possible.
  • Now is the time to transplant roses, shrubs and ornamental trees before the leaf buds open.
  • Set up and Clean water features and fountains.

I’ll try to accomplish most of these tasks, however as I said I live in Syracuse, New York so many will be tough to get to.  However, longer days should help as we “spring” ahead this Sunday the 8th!  What are you doing in your gardens this month, please leave a comment, and add to our list!!

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