March Gardening Activities - Region 2
Gardening Tips for March
Southwest, Desert, Interior Valleys and Southern California Gardens
States in the region:
Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas (Western), Oklahoma (Western)
and California (Desert, Interior Valleys, Southern)
Key Issues for March
- Harvest cool-season vegetables as they mature. Peas, lettuce, radish, spinach and others should be picked regularly. Quick crops, like radish, can be sown every few weeks to guarantee continued harvests.
- Prepare garden beds for spring planting. A simple at-home soil test kit will help determine what (if any) nutrients should be added for optimum plant growth. Adding some organic matter to the bed before planting helps improve soil drainage and air space as well.
- Amend your garden soil by mixing compost, manure or other organic amendments into your planting beds.
- Get growing on your veggie garden! Start seed of bush and pole beans, sweet corn, melon, squash and all root crops.
- Consider using the concept of companion planting in your beds this year. This ancient technique pairs plants that like to grow next to one another, for each plant’s benefit.
- Add some early spring flower power to your garden beds, borders or planters with primroses, violas and pansies. A visit to your local garden center should provide plenty of choices.
- Plant summer-flowering bulbs now to enjoy later. Here are a few nice ones to try:
- Calla lilies are popular cutflowers that come in a range of colors, including yellow, orange, pink, red and purple.
- Cannas are adaptable, easy-to-grow plants that feature bold, colorful foliage and showy, lily-like flowers.
- Dahlias are wonderful everblooming, warm-season bedding plants that are perfect for cutting. Flowers come in a wide range of colors, forms and sizes.
- Gladiolas offer colorful, funnel-shaped blooms along tall stems. They look best when planted in mass or in rows for cutting.
- Bring affordable seasonal color to your garden and containers: Start annuals from seed.
- Ageratum can bring a touch of rare blue to the garden.
- Marigolds are long bloomers, easy to grow and can help guard against a number of pests.
- Zinnias attract butterflies and make great additions to beds, containers and cutting gardens.
- Plant blackberries (potted or bare-root). Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil for best results.
- Fertilize trees and shrubs. “Slow-release” (or “timed-release”) products are useful, as they dissolve and spread their content as the weather and soil warms, feeding plants precisely when they need it most.
- Trim the dead canes on your roses, if you haven’t already. Just be careful when pruning roses: Only remove dead vegetation. Do not remove the buds and flowers! Don’t forget to fertilize your roses throughout the growing season for a nutritional boost of flower power.
- Sharpen your mower blades and spring into lawn care! Cool-season lawns like bluegrass and ryegrass should be mowed weekly, so make sure your mower is in top shape. (Sharp blades cut grass instead of tear it, making for a healthier lawn.) And don’t bag those clippings. Recycle them back onto your turf!
- Take inventory of the fertilizer/plant food you have on hand. Before buying any new products, be sure you understand which types of fertilizer you truly need for your specific plants and garden.
- Check the mulch in your landscape beds. If it disappeared over the winter or has decomposed, add a fresh 2- to 3-inch layer to help maintain a healthy garden.
- Consider adding some terrific and easy-to-maintain succulents and cacti to your garden and landscape this year. Be on the lookout for striking plants that show up at your nursery and garden center.
- Develop a rain-catching system to harvest spring rains and help conserve water in the garden. It can be as involved as hooking a rain barrel to roof downspouts or as simple as adding mulch to planting beds. Check and repair all garden hoses and irrigation equipment to further save water.