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This month will finally bring the first day of spring on Friday, March 20th!
Are you ready to start putting the plans you made over winter into action? March is a great time to get back into the full swing of things in the garden.In March, the ground is much more workable than it has been for months, but the rain is still falling -- making it a great time to plant shrubs and trees. Be careful to still protect anything frost-tender when temperatures dip below freezing.
Cut back grasses and perennials to a few inches so fresh new growth can hide old foliage.
Divide dense-growing perennials such as bee balm, chrysanthemums, persicaria, and phlomis as needed.
Fertilize shrubs with EB Stone Organic Tree and Shrub and blueberries, azaleas, and rhododendrons with acidic EB Stone Rhododendron Food.
Prune shrubs affected by winter damage to desired shape and smaller size. They'll all be pushing new growth soon, which will cover pruning cuts.
Consider weeding and mulching garden beds before too many spring weeds have emerged. (Alternatively, if you applied heavy mulch for winter, it may be time to lighten the coverage a bit.) Be sure to keep compost away from the base and crown of all plants.
There is still time to prune fruit trees, read our article about it here. You might also want to consider treating them with dormant spray to give them the best chance at good health in the coming growing season.
If you like to direct sow flowers, now is a great time to spread seeds. You can sow seeds of: baby blue eyes, california bluebells, forget-me-nots, larkspur, love-in-a-mist, Bishop’s flower, farewell-to-spring, scarlet flax, fried eggs, alyssum, Virginia stock, lupine, sweet pea, bird’s eyes, mountain phlox, corn cookie, breadseed poppy, California poppy, ladybird poppy, red maids, bachelor button, feverfew, and tick seed. (This list is provided by Oregon Tilth’s Maritime Northwest Garden Guide, which we highly recommend to learn about year-round gardening. We have it available for sale.)
March is the perfect time to get your Mason Bee houses up and ready for the flying season. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at our article about keeping Mason Bees.
Plant berry crops, such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, elderberries, and currants.
You might want to think about setting up cold frames (if they aren’t up already!) to get a head-start on the growing season. Cold frames are also a great place to harden off transplants you either purchased or started as seeds indoors.
Hardy annuals can be sown now. This includes many greens, peas, corn, some varieties of lettuce, radishes, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and fava beans.
Don’t let the warming March air tempt you into planting your warm season crops! Tomatoes and other heat-loving edibles, such as eggplant and peppers, shouldn’t be planted out until much later, but you can go ahead and get them started early indoors.
Most of all… bask in the sun and enjoy the return of spring!