What to do in March

Fertilizing

  • Fertilize shrubs.
  • Fertilize your important shade trees.
  • Fertilize asparagus beds early in March before spear growth begins.
  • Ponds should be fertilized starting this month and continuing through October.
  • Before planting your vegetables, fertilize your garden as recommended by your soil test results. Apply the recommended amount of lime if this was not done in the fall.

Planting

  • The average last spring frost date in Durham County is April 15 +/-11days.
  • Plant a tree for Arbor Day! Arbor day is always the first Friday after March 15.
  • Plant your small fruit plants, grape vines and fruit trees before the buds break.
  • March is a good month to transplant trees and shrubs.
  • New shrubs and ground covers can be planted the entire month of March. Be sure to follow your planting plan.
  • Plant seeds of the following perennials: columbine, hollyhock, coreopsis, daisy and phlox. Sweet William can also be planted this month.
  • New rose bushes can be planted this month.
  • Plants of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower should be set out in the garden in mid-March.
  • The following vegetables can be planted this month: beets, carrots, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, Swiss chard, turnips, potatoes,cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Start any annual flowers or warm-season vegetables inside your home that are not commercially available in early March.

Pruning

  • Prune fruit trees.
  • Prune spring flowering plants like breath-of-Spring (Winter Honeysuckle) and flowering quince after the flowers fade.
  • Prune roses late in March.
  • Prune shrubs like abelia, mahonia and nandina this month if needed.
  • Pick off faded flowers of pansy and daffodil. Pansies will flower longer if old flowers are removed.
  • Overgrown shrubs can be severely pruned (not needled evergreens).

Spraying

  • Spray the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: euonymus-scale, juniper-spruce spider mites and hybrid rhododendron-borer.
  • Start your rose spray program just prior to bud break.
  • Spray your apple and pear trees with streptomycin for control of fireblight while the trees are in bloom.
  • Begin fungicide spray applications for bunch grapes.

Lawn Care

  • Cool-season lawns may be fertilized with 10-10-10, but NOT with slow-release fertilizer.
  • Apply crabgrass herbicides to your lawn late this month to help control crabgrass in the turf.
  • Mow your tall fescue lawn as needed.
  • Seed fescue and bluegrass if not done in September.

Propagation

  • Continue to divide perennials like daylily, shasta daisy, gaillardia and coreopsis this month.

Specific Chores

  • Check garden supplies like fertilizer, insecticides and fungicides to see if you have adequate amounts.
  • Check all garden equipment, lawn mowers, tillers, hedge trimmers, tools, hoses and sprayers to see if they are in find working order before they are needed.
  • Be certain that old plantings of perennials like peony, hollyhock and phlox are clean of last season’s growth.
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