The Gardener’s To-Do List for March

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Can you believe it? The month of March is here already. With it comes a lot to do in the garden. Here are some suggestions organized by region.

No matter where you live, take a soil sample and send it to your nearest County Extension Service office for testing. If amendments are required, now’s the time to add them.


The weather is still unpredictable, so you’ll have to take your weather forecasts into account. But, generally speaking, you should proceed with the following:

Shrubs that bloom on new wood should be pruned.
Clean debris from your flower beds.
Spray your fruit trees with dormant oil.
Cut ornamental grasses nearly to the ground to make room for new growth.
Protective winter structures can be removed from evergreen shrubs.
Check your garden mulch. If you applied a heavy layer in fall to protect perennials and bulbs, it might be time to remove some of it to allow for new growth. Check your weather forecasts to see if severe cold is coming before doing this.


It might feel like spring, but it might not be totally sprung. Keep an eye on the weatherman.
Prune your roses and shrubs that produce on new wood.
Commence planting trees, shrubs, perennials and fruits if danger of frost is past and the soil is workable.
Add compost to your garden.
Plant perennial vegetables such as asparagus and rhubarb.
Freshen your flower beds with pansies and snapdragons.


If you haven’t gotten around to it yet, get with it. You’re late doing those tasks that gardeners in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions are just beginning. See above.

Lower South

It’s time to break out the antihistamine. Pollen clouds are wafting across the landscape.
Prune your roses and shrubs that flower on new wood. Better now than never.
Plant those trees and shrubs, perennials and summer-blooming bulbs.
Direct-sow vegetable seeds in your gardens and raised beds.
Plant those vegetable and herb sets.
Add compost to your garden.
Start pest and weed control measures.
Clean off your power tools and test to see if they work. Better get them to the repair shop now before the lines form and the waits grow longer.


The weather is unpredictable. Cold weather is very  possible.
Follow the suggestions for the Northeast.

Pacific Northwest

Your busy season has begun.
Plant summer-blooming bulbs, perennials and perennial vegetables.
Add compost to your garden beds.
Prune and fertilize your roses.
Plant shrubs and trees.
Begin a pest control regimen in your orchard.


“When it’s springtime in Alaska, it’s 40 below.” – Johnny Horton. Nuff said.

West Coast

In the northern reaches, fertilize trees, shrubs and roses.
Plant summer-blooming bulbs, perennial and root vegetables.
Add compost to your garden.
Prune roses and shrubs that bloom on fresh wood.

In the southern zones, follow the suggestions for the northern areas, AND…
Start best pest control practices.
Divide perennials and replant them.


Plant summer-flowering bulbs.
Plant outdoors root vegetables and those leafy plants that tolerate some cool temperatures
Cold-sensitive vegetables can be started indoors.
Add compost to your garden beds.
Remove old mulch.


Just keep doing what you’ve been doing all year long.
Fertilize shrubs and trees.
Control weeds.

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