March Gardening Tasks
Posted March 06, 2019
March for many places will begin it’s height in gardening tasks. Spring vegetable gardens go in, perennials and trees are planted, bulbs are blooming and we get the itch to dig in!
Now is the time to really get up to speed with soil preparations, concentrating on getting the ground weed free, and in good condition. Lightly fork in organic material over the surface such as compost. Don’t work soil if it is to wet, or you could compact your soil. Use a good vegetable fertilizer for new crops to be planted to get them off to a good start. Some good choices are Vegetable Garden Mix, All Purpose, Bio Live, or Starter Mix.
Seeds to be sown are: beets, broad beans, summer cabbage, pac choy, sprouting broccoli, lettuce, kohlrabi, onions, parsnips, radish, shallots, spinach, kale and turnips. Weather permitting of course. Soil temperatures for planting these cool season crops should be around 45 degrees for best seed germination.
Fruit trees should be sprayed before buds open with a horticulre oil to lessen an outbreak of pests.
Fertilize fruit trees and brambles (blackberry, raspberry, etc.) with a phosphate fertilizer to promote vigorous root and flowering development. Calphos or rock phosphate are good choices. Top dress with compost.
Pruning of fruit trees should be completed.
Plant potato tubers, transplants of leeks, spring cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, bulbing onions, kale, rhubarb, horseradish, peas and other cool season crops.
Start a pest-control regime as aphids usually begin to appear in March. Hand-pick when there is minimal amounts, or treat with insecticidal soap. When treating aphids, treat every 10 days and alternate with neem insecticide and insecticidal soap to reduce pest resistance.
Plant tomato starts indoors, in mini-greenhouses or in the window sill. When growing starts in the window sill, be sure to move plants away from the window at night, as temperatures drop considerably and can become drafty.
Roses should be finished pruning this month and begin fertilizing and mulch or top dress with compost. Watch for pest and disease.
It’s still to early for tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, but sometimes we just can’t resist the urge on those warm sunny days to get in a few tomato plants. Use water wall protectors to keep these plants from freezing, if you must plant! We gardeners just can’t help ourselves! Watch the weather and when temperatures are expected to dip lower than 30 degrees, lay a cloth or newspaper over the opening at night and be sure to remove during the day. This gives those tender crops more protection.