Seasonal Gardening Guide – Your March Checklist
Here in upstate New York, spring sometimes takes its time in coming. Yes, the date on the calendar for the first day of spring is the same every year, but the weather isn’t! Some years, we enjoy warm weather in March and we’re outside in t-shirts. Other times, the snow stays on the ground and we don’t get a warm-up until April. Either way, there are still some things you can do, or start to think about, in March. Depending on what the weather brings THIS year, see if you can check some of these spring chores off your list:
Depending on what the weather brings THIS year, see if you can check some of these spring chores off your list:
- General Garden Cleanup: Once the snow is gone, check your garden and landscape beds for debris, such as leaves that didn’t get removed in the fall, and broken branches from winter snowfall. Remove the debris so beds will be ready for spring planting and/or mulching.
- Soil Testing: If it’s been a while since you last had your soil tested, give us a call. We may be able to test your soil for you, or point you in the right direction for where you can get it done. Knowing what is in your soil, as well as what’s missing, will help you determine what you might need for soil amendments and fertilizers to improve plant growth and health. (Note: You will want to wait until the soil is thawed out and at least 50 degrees F before taking a sample.)
- Fruit Tree Pruning: Early March is typically a great time to prune fruit trees, while they are still dormant and before buds start to swell. Dead or diseased branches should be removed, as well as suckers and any branches that are rubbing against others or compromising the structure of the tree. Good pruning practice includes sterilizing your pruners before each cut.
- Perennial Care: When the snow cover is gone, inspect perennial beds. If some plants, such as grasses, did not get trimmed back in the fall, cut them back to the ground now. Also move leaves or other debris away from the base of the plants.
- Start Vegetable Seeds Indoors: If you’re planning a vegetable garden this year, it’s time to start them growing from seed inside so they’ll be ready to plant in the garden once the danger of frost has passed. Check your seed packets carefully to determine how long seeds take to germinate and how soon afterward they should be planted outside. You want your plants to be ready to go in the garden when it’s the right time, but you don’t want them to be too tiny or overgrown from starting them at the wrong time indoors.
March is also a great time to think about your overall gardening plans for the year. Our landscape maintenance division is ready to help with your lawn care needs, and our design-build team can help with landscape design and installation. Or, if you are a Do-It-Yourself gardener, be sure to stop in to our garden center for all your plant needs this spring!