March Gardening Checklist

by Anthonyfamilyinfo@gmail.com

In March, yards and gardens seem to leap out of winter dormancy in central Texas. With warmer days and cool nights, seeds are germinating, plants wake up and growth begins. Even the roadsides and fields come alive, with bluebonnets and wildflowers.

What To Prune In March All at once there are so many spring gardening chores to do. It can be overwhelming. Focus on a few primary things early in the month – finish pruning including evergreen shrubs. See my February checklist for specific plant pruning guidance. Be sure to wait to prune spring flowering shrubs and vines like spirea, quince, Carolina jasmine, crossvine and honeysuckle until right after flowering. Wisteria blooms on new growth and can be pruned in winter, prior to spring blooming.

Crapemyrtles need very little pruning if any at all. See my blog post HERE on pruning crapemyrtles.

Next, weed flower beds and then apply compost around shrubs and perennials to improve drainage and increase beneficial microbes. Last step – lay on a 3 to 4 inch covering of mulch to prevent weeds and moderate soil temperature.

What To Plant In March In Texas

So many things to plant in March – trees, shrubs, groundcovers, turfgrass, perennials, annuals
and vegetables. Garden centers are bursting with shrubs, trees and perennials. The earlier in the spring they are planted, the better. The truth is, they are best planted in the fall, in Texas but selection is smaller then and spring fever is real. So, if you’re planting this month, first amend soil with a finished compost and plant. Then monitor all woody and herbaceous ornamentals carefully to ensure the soil stays moist, notoverly wet, for 6 to 12 months.

What Flowers To Plant In March

Annuals – Check your last average frost to make planting decisions. Some of the annuals that
can be planted in central Texas in containers or flowerbeds are alyssum, bluebonnets,
calendula, delphinium, dianthus, foxglove, geranium, Gerber daisy, marigolds, pansies, petunias, snapdragons, stock and verbena.

Annual flowers, to keep them growing and blooming, should be fertilized every two to three weeks with nitrogen. Use a water-soluble fertilizer at half strength.

Some seeds to start indoors are celosia, cosmos, gomphrena, marigold, sunflowers and zinnia.

Herbs that can be planted this month include borage, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, lavender, lemongrass, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme.

Prepare your vegetable garden in March. Build beds, test soil and amend it with compost. Purchase growbags, containers, planting or bed mix, potting soil, fertilizer, compost and seeds. Have frost cloth or blankets onhand to protect tender transplants during a spring cold snap.

What Vegetable To Plant In March In Central Texas

Small transplants of tomatoes in 6 packs can be potted up individually into 4 inch pots. Set them outdoors on warm days and bring inside at night. IF the transplant grows well, they can be potted up again into a quart or 6 inch pot. This is a method to grow larger transplants with more substantial roots for planting out after there is no danger of frost. 

Vegetable *transplants and seeds. Transplants or seeds can be planted for some vegetables, like lettuce. The optimal planting times in March for central Texas are:

 

 

 

  • Week 1 – arugula, *asparagus, beets, *broccoli, *bok choi, carrots, *cauliflower, *Chinese cabbage, *kale, lettuce, mustard, peas, potatoes, turnips, radish, spinach, Swiss chard
  • Week 2 – Beans bush/pole: snaps/lima, beets, *broccoli, mustard, radish, *tomatoes, Swiss chard
  • Week 3 – beans bush/pole: snap/lima, corn, cucumber, *eggplant, mustard, *pepper, pumpkin, radish, squash, Swiss chard, *tomatoes
  • Week 4 – beans bush/pole: snap/lima, corn, cucumbers, *eggplant, malabar, mustard, *pepper, pumpkin, squash summer/winter, *tomatoes, *Swiss chard

Adjust planting times for your USDA zone or better yet check with your local Extension office. It
is a great resource for gardening information.

Fertilize onions, potatoes and cole crops. For home fruit production, find resources for growing HERE.

 

March Lawn Care Tips

Inspite of what you may hear about fertilizing lawns in March in Central Texas, turf experts say to wait until April to fertilize. Why? The soil temperature will be warmer, the grass actively growing and able to take up fertilizer better. Also, rather than guess which fertilizer your turf needs, have a soil test done in March. This allows you to then follow fertilizer recommendations specifically for your lawn.

In March, mow lawns to remove winter damage, keep the weeds down and shred leaves. A
broadleaf weed spray can be used to manage chickweed and clover. In preparation for summer
watering, do a test run of your irrigation system to ensure it is operating properly.

Indoor and Tropical Plants

Indoor plants and tender plants that have been overwintered indoors can be taken outside on
warm days to wash off and clean foliage. Water plant well to flush. Refresh potting mix and
repot if needed.

 

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