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March Gardening Tips

Vegetable & Herb Gardening Tips

Build new beds; fill with Sky’s Raised Bed Mix, add organic fertilizer and lime.  (Sky carries Tartar galvanized tanks and ready-to-assemble cedar-and-rebar beds, or you can build from scratch.)

Cultivate existing vegetable garden beds once the soil can be worked; add organic fertilizer, lime, and compost. 

Plant perennial and bulb vegetables ASAP:  asparagus crowns, bareroot strawberries, rhubarb and horseradish, artichokes, onion sets, and garlic and shallot bulbs. 

Set out cool season vegetable starter plants: arugula, Asian greens, broccoli, cabbage, kale, lettuce, peas, spinach, Swiss chard.  All hardy herbs can be planted:  mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sorrel, thyme, etc.

Start seeds outside for: arugula, cilantro, fennel, peas, radishes, spinach, sweet cicely, Swiss chard, turnips.  Most other vegetable seeds require a little warmer soil to germinate well outdoors.  You can start many other vegetables indoors for transplanting later if you have a light setup or a sunny window.  See our Seed Chart for what can be planted outdoors and in. 

Install row covers, Hooplas, or cloches to keep early crops warmer and speed their germination and growth.

Mid Month

Plant seed potatoes and Walla Walla starts.

Berry & Fruit Gardening Tips: 

Best selection of berries and fruit trees available now.

Plant your orchard now if you haven’t already.  Orchard Mason Bees will pollinate your plants as the weather warms.   Fertilize berries if needed with organic berry or rhododendron food.

If pests or diseases were a problem last year, consult a Sky Nursery associate about sprays that can be used before fruit tree flower buds open fully. 

Prune stone fruits after they bloom (apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches & plums). 

plum branches in bloom

Rose Gardening Tips: 

Excellent selection of roses at Sky if you want to add to your rose garden.

Prune roses and remove mulch from crowns. 

Feed with organic fertilizer when the rosebush starts leafing out.

Ornamental Gardening Tips: 

Fertilize rhododendrons, perennials and trees. 

Plant early blooming perennials such as candytuft, rock cress, and bleeding heart. 

Shop for trees and shrubs for spring interest in your beds and large containers: flowering cherries & star magnolias, forsythia & lilacs, rhododendrons, Japanese maples & more. 

Start indoors to transplant out later:  begonia & elephant ear tubers; seeds for annual flowers.

Best selection of summer-blooming bulbs:  dahlias, glads, lilies, and more.

Lawn Care Tips:

Now is an excellent time to evaluate any drainage issues your yard might have.   

With warming weather, your lawn will repay some TLC with lush new growth. 

If moss is a problem, apply moss killer, wait 2 weeks, and rake out the dead moss.  If you did not feed your lawn last month, fertilize now with a good organic lawn food such as Dr. Earth and add lime.  Spot treat or remove any overwintered weeds.  If bare patches need to be reseeded, wait until April.  (Sod can be installed already; if you need over 480 square feet we can arrange delivery direct to your home Monday through Friday.)

If you see birds pecking holes in your lawn, thank them for eating cranefly grubs!  Well-fed lawns can outgrow minor cranefly infestations, but if you find more than 20 grubs in a square foot of lawn, consult a Sky associate for the appropriate method of reducing your population before they do too much damage.  You can dig up a square foot of lawn to check, or pour warm water with a dash of dish soap on a few areas and see how many grubs rise to the surface.

See our lawn care sheet for year-round tips and for help with specific problems; but our experience is that regular organic feeding, yearly liming, and proper watering will enable most lawns to outgrow many problems.

Pond and Water Gardening Tips:

Your pond may be waking up, but don’t be fooled into jumping the gun.  Fish may be more active, but it is probably still too early to feed them.  Pond water temperatures should be above 50°F before you begin feeding your fish, and even then you should start slowly, with frequent small feedings of a low-protein food.  A good trick is to watch your fish.  When they start nibbling aggressively at your pond’s natural algae coat, it’s a good time to start feeding a spring/fall food.

March is a great time to divide and re-pot lilies and other pond plants.  Sky has a good selection of pots, soil, and fertilizer to help do the job.

If you haven’t been cleaning the debris out of your pond, do it now BEFORE the algae bomb explodes.  Skim out major debris, check the pads on skimmers and filters (flush or replace as necessary) and bring filters back online if you shut them down for the winters.  PLEASE RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO EMPTY AND SCRUB YOUR POND.  A healthy pond, unlike a swimming pool, should have a slimy coating on its sides and bottom.