March

Alsip Home & Nursery Gardening Calendar for March

  • March is a good time to prune trees and shrubs while they are dormant. Without leaves; it is easy to see the framework of the plant. Complete pruning before buds break. Wounds from pruning heal faster during this time. Shrubs that bloom in the spring like lilacs, spirea and forsythias should not be pruned. Pruning would remove flower buds. Prune right after they finish flowering.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses to about 3 to 5 inches.  Do this before the new growth starts. Remove any dead leaves or debris from the crown of the plant.
  • Use a dormant oil spray (Bonide All Seasons spray oil in our L&G Dept) to control euonymus scale on euonymus. Be sure temperatures will be above freezing for 24 hours after spraying.
  • Remove all the twigs, rocks and trash that have collected over the winter. Rake out all the dead grass and rake matted areas to allow air flow and sun to reach the crowns of the grass.  Do not apply crabgrass preventer in March, it is too early.  Waiting until mid-April is better.  Crabgrass will not germinate until the soil temperature reaches 55 degrees (or when the forsythias bloom).
  • Select seeds for a few vegetables such as cabbage, onion, broccoli, and cauliflower to start indoors.  Flower seeds like alyssum, celosia, coleus, dahlia, phlox, and salvia can also be started indoors now.
  • Prepare the soil for planting as soon as it can be worked.  Dig or till at least 8 inches deep, adding a 2 inch layer of compost and mix it in.  This will improve soil structure and help to break down our heavy clay.  Never work the soil when wet, it will dry into hard clods and make it harder to work later.  Soil that will crumble in your hand is workable.
  • Apply a pre-emergent to flower beds to prevent the germination of annual weeds.  This should be done after the beds are cleaned and raked.

< Back to Gardening Calendar