Priscilla’s To-Do List in the Garden for March

  • Rake off beds gradually while temperatures go back and forth, keeping some winter protection in place for a few more weeks
  • Rake off lawns and step carefully to avoid leaving footprints in overly moist soil
  • Prune out any damaged branches on shrubs or small trees from winter ice and snow
  • Continue dormant pruning of fruit trees and any deciduous tree or shrub
  • Sweep decks, walkways and driveways of winter sand, stick and leaf residue
  • Remove driveway markers and shrub protectors at foundations once the threat of snow is gone
  • Clean out winter greens from containers and windowboxes, but hold off on filling with spring annuals until the threat of evening frost subsides the first week of April
  • Keep garlic clips on shrubs as deer are still actively browsing woody plants until late April
  • Cut back any perennials, ferns or grasses left standing for winter interest, even if still green, as increasing sunlight levels will fade them soon
  • Cut back butterfly bush, smoke tree, caryopteris, beautyberry and similar “cutback” shrubs to encourage new growth that will bloom this season
  • Large perennial grasses with hollow centers at the base can be divided or root pruned now
  • Sow indoor seeds of cool season crops like kale, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce and parsley
  • Pea seeds can be sown outdoors now, using legume inoculant for best germination
  • Order seeds for early outdoor sowing in April such as carrots, radishes, beets, and spinach
  • Sharpen and repair garden tools (if not done previously)
  • Look for signs of spring daily!