March in the south is likely the busiest time of year for the gardener. It is also the most fun for many. You get to plant those flowers, herbs and veggies you’ve been thinking about for months. There are so many choices to make with design and planting.
Your curb appeal may depend in large part on those choices and their implementation. So what’s on your gardening to do list? Be sure to include the following:
March Gardening Tasks
It’s time to plant berry shrubs, apple, peach and other fruit trees. If you’re planting fig bushes, this is a good month to get them into the ground.
In those areas that continue to have cold nights and a chance of snow (yes, in the Southeast) start seeds inside. Start seeds of warm season crops to plant out when temperatures and soil warm, such as melons, tomatoes and peppers.
Get the garden ready for planting if you’ve not already done so. Take a soil test and add amendments as recommended. Till and remove weeds, working in well-finished compost or manure along with other additions to enrich the soil.
Make rows, hills and furrows. Till the soil 12 inches (30.4 cm.) deep for in-ground gardens and work in compost about six inches (15 cm.) deep. Use a string or a piece of lumber to keep the rows straight. Allow 12 inches (30.4 cm.) or more between the rows.
Add a raised bed to use for additional planting.
Other Southeast Garden Chores for March
Divide and prune winter blooming shrubs after flowering. Some spring-flowering shrubs can be divided before flowers or leaves appear. These include winter honeysuckle, Japanese kerria, and forsythia. Cut shrubs down to about 4 inches (10 cm.) before division and digging clumps.
Clean up and prune camellias. Prune spring blooming shrubs after flowering so as not to remove the flowers.
Plant a second planting of any cool season crops you’re growing such as turnips, carrots and leafy greens.
Apply pre-emergent herbicide to lawns for weed control.
Keep up with these tasks so you can enjoy your March garden in the south. Get involved and expect an interesting and fruitful garden this year.
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Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.