The Monthly Gardner – March

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March and April are the ideal times to get your garden planted. This includes most summer annuals and perennials, warm-season and cool-season lawns, some cool-season and warm-season vegetables, and almost all permanent garden plants, such as trees, shrubs, ground covers and vines. But I would hold off planting tropicals for a couple of months until the weather warms up. So get in gear and get your garden in shape!

And since there is so much that needs to be done, here is list of things you should consider:

Purchase & Plant:

  • Drought-resistant plants
  • Trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers
  • Flowerbeds with warm-season flowers
  • Perennials
  • Tigridias, gladioli, tuberous begonias
  • Cuttings: herbaceous and softwood
  • Citrus, avocado and macadamia trees
  • Fuchsias from cuttings
  • Lawns
  • Summer vegetables plus green beans, potatoes, artichokes, tomatoes, culinary hers and edible flowers

Trim, Prune, Mow, Divide:

  • Prune begonias, cannas, ginger, ivy, pyracantha and Sprenger fern
  • Dethatch warm-season lawns
  • Deadhead annual and perennial flowers
  • Tie into knots the floppy leaves of bulbs until they turn brown
  • Prune camellias, tropical hibiscus and epidendrum
  • Pinch fuchsias to make them bushy
  • Propagate bamboo
  • Mow all grass lawns

Fertilize

  • Citrus trees, avocado trees and macadamia trees
  • Fuchsias
  • Ornamental trees, bushes, lawns and ground covers
  • Container-grown flowers with liquid fertilizer
  • Cool season flowers if growth slows
  • Roses
  • All lawns
  • Treat blue hydrangeas with aluminum sulfate.

Water (when there isn’t sufficient rain)

  • All garden plants according to their needs
  • Fuchsias
  • Roses
  • Spring-flowering bulbs
  • Don’t let azaleas dry out

Control of Pests, Diseases & Weeds

  • Control slugs and snails
  • Check roses for pests and diseases
  • Control cutworms
  • Pull weeds
  • Spray cycads for scale
  • Control giant whitefly

Do Something Special

  • Plant herbs in a window box or garden

If you want to know more about what to do in the garden in March, check out Pat Welsh’s “Southern California Gardening – A Month-by-Month Guide, from which the majority of this information was excerpted, or Google, “Southern California Gardening March.”

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