Garden Prep: Your March To-Do List

MAR 04

Winter is waning, spring is finally upon us. As the sun shines a little bit longer each day, we gardeners are anxious to get back into our gardens. Before getting started arm yourself with a checklist for each month during spring. In March, begin by getting your gear ready. Take a few minutes to make sure all of your gardening tools are in good condition and ready to use. Sand wooden tool handles, sharpen clippers, clean garden gloves, and dust off your work boots.

Now, as you head outside, take note of your home's siding, walkways, and outdoor furniture. Green algae, dirt, and mold/mildew can be scrubbed away with a mild solution of bleach and warm water. Check fences, trellises, arbors, garden lights, etc to see if any repairs need to be made. Pots, containers, birdbaths and garden statuary can now be cleaned.

Next, take a look at your trees and large shrubs. Prune any winter damage and cracked branches. Damaged branches left to hang may continue to tear the bark and cause more damage. While in the cutting mode, go ahead and cut back ornamental grasses to 4-6 inches before new growth appears. Liriope can be cut back, or mowed to 1 to 2 inches. Your lawn can be fertilized, if not previously done in the fall, and mowed once it is about 3 inches tall. In an effort to be proactive, now is a great time to apply pre-emergent weed control on your lawn. (Do not use on your newly seeded lawn.)  Roses can be fertilized.

In the garden, prepare support for your peonies, lilies, delphinium and other tall growing/climbing perennials. You can also begin dividing fall-blooming perennials when the new growth reaches 3 to 4 inches. You can weed, mulch and edge all of your garden beds. For spring planting, start seeds inside so they are ready to be moved outdoors by the end of April. Because you are probably itching to add some splashes of color to your home, plant pansies and other cool weather annuals. Potting up early spring containers will add the desired cheer to a garden, deck or patio. And of course, if you can get a shovel into the ground, you are ready to plant!!

For professional help with all of your spring gardening, contact your local Stadler Nursery to learn more about our free tree planting sale, along with the NEW option to have your Stadler shrubs and perennials installed for you!