Pacific Northwest gardening begins in earnest in March. Even if the weather isn’t fully cooperating it’s time to make a to-do list for March gardening chores. Given that the Pacific Northwest encompasses a pretty large area, consult your local extension office for particulars for your area otherwise, the following are some general regional garden tips to start in March.
First Things First
If you’re a diehard gardener who’s been itching to dig in the dirt all winter, you’ve no doubt already compiled a to-do list for March gardening chores but if not it’s time to sit down and make one.
The first thing you want to consider is your soil. Send a soil sample to your local extension office to see if it needs to be amended in any way.
Next you should tend to your garden tools. Sharpen and oil up blades where needed. Have the water turned back onto to irrigation systems once all danger of frost has passed.
To-do List for March Gardening Chores
Once you have amended the soil with a healthy dose of compost and anything else the soil test recommends, you can plant cool weather veggies like peas directly into the garden as soon as soil temps are consistently at or over 40 F (4 C).
March is the time to plant onions, leeks, and shallots outside as well. Also seeds can be sown for greens like lettuce and spinach. Asparagus and rhubarb bare root starts can be planted now too. Root veggies such as beets, carrots, and radishes can be started directly outdoors.
Start seeds for cole crops like cabbage and broccoli indoors or in a greenhouse or plant seedlings directly outside. Tender crops such as tomatoes, basil and peppers can be started inside now as well.
Additional Regional Garden Tips for Pacific Northwest Gardening
Prune back any perennials that have not already been dealt with. Prune your roses and fertilize them. Prune gooseberries and currants and fertilize with a complete fertilizer or manure. Prune clematis back.
If needed, fertilize young shrubs and trees. Also if needed fertilize azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons with an acid rich fertilizer.
Divide plants such as day lilies, hosta and mums.
Depending upon your area, plant berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.
In late March, plant summer bulbs. Scratch time release fertilizer in around existing bulbs that are beginning to come up.
Set up maggot traps to protect apple trees.
Lastly, a final regional garden tip for the Pacific Northwest is to deal with your lawn if you have one. Now is the time to feed and apply pre-emergent weed killers if you choose to use them.
Remember that accomplishing your to-do list for March gardening is setting you up for a beautiful and healthy garden throughout the growing season, so get in there and get your hands dirty!