Gardeners of Washington state— start your engines. It is March and time to begin a seemingly endless list of chores to get ready for the growing season. Beware, it’s too early to plant since we might get a freeze, but some long season plants can be started indoors and there are plenty of outside chores to keep you busy.
When to Start Washington State Garden Tasks
Gardening tasks for Washington occur year-round depending upon where you reside. The gardening to-do list starts in February with trimming back roses and doesn’t end until around October in most regions. Any time your soil is workable, you can start adding in compost and necessary amendments, but it’s the garden in March that demands the most attention.
Washington state has an incredibly varied climate. If you live on the west side of the state, temperatures may be extremely cold in the northern section or super mild towards the ocean and Sound. Over in the eastern side, northern regions are even colder, but the southern part may barely see any snow. Even the start of the gardening season is different, with temps warming up much quicker in the west. All that being said, the biggest cities have different dates for the last possible frost. In Seattle that date is March 17th, while in Spokane it is May 10th, but other cities and towns may have quite different dates.
Begin the Gardening To-Do List
In the dead of winter, it can lift your mood to start a list of gardening chores. It’s time to peruse garden catalogs and begin ordering plant material so it is ready for spring planting. Go through any lifted bulbs and make sure they are healthy. Make a list of tasks for the year so you stay up to date with needed projects.
In winter, you can also organize your gardening storage, sharpen and oil tools, and rake up leaves and needles. To get started on the garden in March, it is helpful to have such items out of the way so you have time for scheduled tasks. If you are new to the area, remember, Washington state garden tasks in March are much different than in other regions. Consult with your local extension office for specific instructions for your zone.
A List of Gardening Tasks for Washington in March
Ready, set, go! Here is a suggested March gardening list:
- Prune deciduous trees and non-blooming shrubs
- Apply pre-emergent herbicides
- Remove old growth from emerging perennials
- Apply dormant spray to fruit trees once buds are observed
- Cut back ornamental grasses
- Plant potatoes at the end of the month
- Prune summer blooming clematis
- Bring out overwintering plants
- Spray lime sulfur on peaches and nectarines
- Start a campaign of slug control
- Fertilize berries like blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry
- Transplant or direct seed cool season crops
Even though it is not technically spring yet, there are plenty of things to get going!