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Top Garden Projects for March

'Spring is busting out all over' (or will be soon), the primroses are blooming, bulbs are bursting into bloom, the lawn is starting to grow, and it's beginning to get alittle warmer. So it's time to get your spring gardening underway. Caring for the lawn, preparing the soil and planting vegetables, pruning roses, and starting seeds head the list of things to do this month.

LAWN CARE - Dig a four or five inch square plug from the lawn, examine it and decide what needs to be done to get the lawn in tip-top shape for the months ahead. If you are unfamilar with lawn problems take the sample to your local garden center and have the Certified nurseryperson or Master gardener diagnose the lawn plug for you. When your finished, simply reset the plug back in the lawn.

Most lawns will need a spring feeding. If moss is a problem, a combination fertilizer and moss killer can be applied, to do both jobs in one easy application. If thatching or liming needs to be done, do those jobs first. Reseeding (over-seeding) can be done as the last step, after the lawn has been fertilized.  See Also: Lawn

VEGETABLES - first take time to prepare the vegetable garden soil for planting. The addition of well-rotted manure, processed manure, peat moss or compost are good additives for building compost humus in the soil. Perennial vegetables like Asparagus, Rhubarb, Horseradish and artichokes can be planted right now. Garden peas and sweet peas can also be planted now. Spinach, Chard, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussell Sprouts and other hardy vegetables can be seeded or set-out later in the month. March is a good time to plant fruit trees and berries too.  See Also: Organic Gardening  Wide Row Vegetable Gardening  Companion Planting  Seed Planting Chart Planting Peas and Sweet Peas

STARTING SEEDS - time to start tomatoes, lettuce, petunias, marigolds and many other flowers and vegetables from seed. Start the seeds indoors, in the home, a greenhouse, or in a sun window or on a sun porch. By starting seeds indoors in March you will get a thirty to sixty day jump on the gardening season, because you will have young starter plants to set-out when the weather warms later this spring. Seeds can be started in pots, trays, egg cartons or even in cottage cheese cartons.  See Also: Starting Seeds Indoors   Growing Flowers and Vegetables from Seeds

PRUNE ROSES - All types of roses can be pruned this month. See my article  "How to prune roses" in the archive section of the web site, for more specific details on how to prune the various types of roses. Remember severe pruning results in nice long stemmed flowers and more attractive rose bushes.

PLANTING AND TRANSPLANTING - right now is one of the most convenient times for planting new fruit trees, roses, berries, and other deciduous plants. Nurseries and garden centers have their finest and most complete selection of new plants at this time, so you get the pick-of-the-crop. As for transplanting, it should be done as soon as possible, because many plants are already beginning to start their spring growth.  See also: Transplanting

WEEDING - probably one of the most over-looked and dreaded tasks is weeding. But, it is one that really needs to be accomplished before the weeds have a chance to flower and go to seed and really become a nuisance. Remember once the weeds go to seed you can be fighting that weed seed for up to seven years or more. And, it is not unusual for some types of weeds to produce up to ten thousand or more seeds per plant. Most weeds can simply be pulled or cultivated out of the garden. Others, some of the more persistent like horsetails, morning glories or quackgrass you may need to use a herbicide to effectively eliminate them. The Certified Nurseryperson or Master Gardener at your local garden outlet can advise you of the best method for controlling these pesty weeds, because recommendations will be different for the various sections of the garden.

WATERING - Check the plants under the eaves of the house and under tall evergreens to see that they have sufficient moisture. Even with as much rain as we have had over the past several weeks, plants situated in these areas can be bone-dry and in desperate need of water.

PERENNIAL ROCKERY PLANTS - March is the month when many of the beautiful spring flowering perennials begin to flower. Aubrietia, Candytuft, Rock Cress, Bergenia and many others are not only nice rockery plants but are nice plants to use in perennial borders, landscape plantings or as perennial ground covers.

Yes, March is the month go get your spring and summer gardening off to a good start, by accomplishing a few of these projects.

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