March can be a busy month in the garden. Here are some of the things to get done this month.
Just like hsitory. You my hear people complain about this “odd” winter we are having in the Southwest – but they haven’t been here long enough. Cold, windy, dry at first, and then late rains. This all happens every 50 years or so. Last time was 1968, and we had our last frost in Tucson in April that year.
Remember that “Last Frost Date” is a fifty percent chance only, meaning we coud have frost after “Last Frost.” See more about last frost – here.
March Gardening Tasks
- Control weeds before they go to seed.
- Fertilize over-seeded Bermudagrass lawns.
- Add a layer of mulch around winter vegetables to help keep the soil cool and prolong their growing season.
- Clean up herb beds. Make cuttings if desired.
- Clean up chrysanthemums that you bought last autumn. Make any desired cuttings for fall color.
- Divide perennial bulbs after they are done flowering (but not the rhizomes of iris).
If you do get wildflowers growing in your yard. Go ahead and give them some extra water from the hose to help prolong the bloom. Cover image is one of my favorite spring deser wildflowers – the desert blue bells. But I’m very fond of the one below too. Recognize it? Answer at the end of the post.
These March Tasks Depend on Elevation
Low Desert (Yuma, Phoenix) – do these now.
Middle Desert (Tucson, Las Vegas) – do these after mid-March.
High Desert (Sierra Vista, Elko) – wait until April.
- Prune frost damaged plants.
- Plant spring vegetables in the garden.
- Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials.
- Prune oleanders.
- Change irrigation controller to “Spring” settings.
- Prune ornamental grasses to 6 – 8 inches tall (crew cut!).
- Fertilize grapes and roses with a general fertilizer.
- Plant out tomato plants. Be ready to protect in case of late frost.
Name that purple wildflower
Answer: it’s chia! Salvia columbariae
Need More Monthly Tips?
May I recommend my (out of print) book? The Month By Month Guide offers tips for your landscape (yes even lawns and roses) in every month of the year. I have a few copies left and am offering them to you – my loyal readers. Price is what you would pay on Amazon – only when you buy from me you get a signed copy!
From the review:
“A great reference book is key to successful gardening in the region where you live. Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico Month-by-Month Gardening takes the guesswork out of gardening for anyone residing in the Southwest. With this book, you’ll know what to do each month to enjoy a thriving garden all year, from January to December. Chronologically organized, this guide is full of critical gardening when-to and how-to advice, along with illustrated step-by-step instructions.
The book’s author is Jacqueline Soule, a Tucson-based gardening expert. She knows this arid region inside and out, and she’s written several articles and books packed with her gardening advice. Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico Month-by-Month Gardening showcases Soule’s expertise in one easy-to-read guide.”
Profits from the sale of this book go to the Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute.
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