Gardening in March – Things to do

Snowdrops in the snow
Snowdrops in the snow

In March, spring is approaching, and with it the gardening of the new season. However, the right time to start gardening depends on the regional climate. Whether you are an amateur gardener or a professional, you can prepare the beds for new plantings when the weather is frost-free. But first, start by cleaning up the garden. Find out what else needs to be done in the garden at this time of year in March in this guide with gardening tips.

Clean up the garden in March

Gardening in March also includes removing leaves, moss and soil residues from all paved walkways, as they attack the material and destroy it in the long run. You can use this opportunity to repair garden paths that are already damaged. You should also clear the grass in the garden of leaf debris, fruits and fallen branches. Otherwise, it may begin to rot. For the new garden year, cut back drought branches and dried-up perennials vigorously. And weed out young sprouting weeds in good time. This will give them no chance to form seeds.

Garden in March: prepare and create beds

Check nutrients and pH of the soil

For a successful gardening season, carefully prepare the soil now and thoroughly check the pH. To do this, take soil samples from a few places in the garden and use indicator paper to test them. The color scale will show you the pH level present: A pH of 6 to 7.5 is optimal for vegetables. If the soil is too acidic, it should be improved with carbonic acid lime. This allows the plants to absorb nutrients more easily.

Apply compost

Have a soil test done every three to five years to show the nutrient balance in the soil. If the soil is deficient in nitrogen, you may do well to use garden compost with a high percentage of lawn clippings and vegetable waste. Sift the mature compost and spread it. Do not use more than five to 10 liters per square meter. Use only mature compost and fully rotted material, otherwise it will make it difficult for young plants to grow.

Build news beds

If the nutrients and pH are right, you can easily create new vegetable beds for the new year, even in the form of raised beds. If possible, set the same width for all beds, the normal bed width is about 1 ot 1.20 meters (3 to 4 ft). In addition, plan a path between the planting areas, where they can walk comfortably. Make sure that you can easily access the beds from the edges. If you are creating new beds in the garden, you should take a string to help you, which you stretch beforehand in the places where you want to create the bed. Then tread the ground to the right and left of the string.

Destroy slug eggs

In the month of March, keep an increased lookout for the eggs of this garden pest, which are laid during this period. If you prepare the soil in the vegetable and ornamental gardens now, it is not uncommon to come across small white balls. To prevent the pests from developing and spreading further, you should destroy the slug eggs.

Prepare perennial beds

When the weather is finally frost-free and dry, you can start preparing your beds for new plantings. To do this, first thoroughly and deeply loosen the soil and carefully remove weeds. Roots can develop optimally in well loosened soil, because irrigation water can penetrate deep to near the roots. Do not plant seeds and plants at first, rather wait until the soil has settled somewhat.

Plant and fertilize perennials and shrub beds.

Once the soil is prepared, you can sow hardy annual flowers in your garden, such as daisies, corn poppies, cornflowers or vetches. Keep the flowers sufficiently moist after sowing. On particularly mild days, you may also plant perennials and biennial flowers already. Older perennials can be divided or transplanted very well at this time. Then apply compost or fertilizer to the planting area. If frost threatens again in March, it is best to cover the beds with foil or fleece at night.

Prune ornamental grasses

Before the grasses begin to sprout, it is better to cut back the withered inflorescences and stems of the ornamental grasses. Set the cut about a hand’s width above the ground.

Prepare trees and shrubs in March for the new garden year

Late winter is the best season for planting trees and shrubs. Impatient gardeners can put spring-blooming woody plants such as ornamental cherries or magnolias now.

Caring for fruit trees

Proper soil care plays a particularly important role in gardening in the month of March. In order for your fruit trees to bear richly developed fruit in the summer, they depend on a steady supply of nutrients and water, especially now. For newly planted plants, make sure the soil in the planting hole is enriched with compost or plant soil.

Pruning trees

When pruning in March, keep the following gardening tips in mind: Don’t simply trim the crown of the tree with hedge clippers; instead, cut back the main branches all around with loppers or a saw so that the crown is evenly reduced. If you only want to reduce the crown, leave the central shoots visible and the upper side shoots uncut. When pruning, always cut individual branches above a side shoot branching off below. Thinning is also sufficient for trees with dense growth. This involves removing branches that are too dense inside the crown, crossing each other or growing inwards. By the way, this pruning also prevents fungal diseases.

Branches left over from pruning are shredded and spread as mulch under trees and shrubs.

Thinning out shrubs

Thin out summer-flowering shrubs in early spring and repeat this process about every three years. Leave two-thirds of the shoots and cut back the oldest shoots at the base. Remove inward growing side shoots completely. Plants will not grow too dense afterwards and will bloom more abundantly.

Potted plants: Splendor of flowers in the garden in March

If the weather in the new garden year no longer cut capers, the potted plants in the garden can breathe again properly in the fresh air. In some places, the first flowers are already appearing. In March, daffodils, tulips and pansies planted in the fall already start blooming. To enjoy the colorful splendor for as long as possible, you should remove all faded stems and water the plants regularly.

Clearing flowers from the balcony

Some potted plants that have spent the winter in the cellar or garage should be cut back and freed of wilted foliage before they are put outside. Pelargoniums and fuchsias in particular will then sprout vigorously again by the end of April and then bloom particularly lushly in the summer. Cut back young shoots once again, as they are susceptible to pests and diseases. Repot long-lived balcony and potted plants every two years in fresh potted plant soil and then water them vigorously.

Planting roses in the garden in March

You can also plant roses now, provided that the ground is no longer frozen. Often in garden centers you can find roses ready for planting, which can be inserted directly into the ground with their environmentally friendly containers made of cardboard. The material then rots in the soil. Make sure the grafting point sits 5 centimeters (2 in) below the ground. Roses do not tolerate waterlogging, so water them especially carefully.

Planting a vegetable garden in March

Soil preparation is paramount to the success of your harvest in the orchard and vegetable garden. For a good start, you should also protect new plantings in the open with a cover of fleece. Cultivation plans and plant sketches for the new cultivation areas make gardening easier. Is not mandatory, but helps in the optimal use of soil and correct planting sequence.

Prepare the soil

Vegetable beds can be worked as soon as the soil has dried out somewhat and is no longer smearing. As with the perennial garden, you may prepare your vegetable beds for seeding with a hoe, cultivator and rake when the weather is frost-free and dry. This includes deep soil loosening and removing weed roots.

Sow vegetables

Some vegetables, such as carrots, chard or onions, can already be sown directly into the ground. So that the seedlings do not fall victim to late frosts, they should still be protected under fleece for some time. First outdoor sowings are also already possible: In frost-free soil you can now plant lettuce, garlic, kohlrabi and onions. Here, too, the following applies: If it gets really cold again, remember to provide sufficient protection. Fleece also generally shortens the duration of cultivation.

Aerate beds

If you have used foil or fleece to protect your plants, you should regularly provide fresh air. To prevent the air temperature from rising too much under the covering material, you can aerate your beds for one to two hours a day. This is especially applicable on sunny days.

Orchard in March: properly plant and care for it

Planting berry fruit

Before the first fruit sprouts in the new garden year, you can still plant currants and gooseberries. When buying, look for bare-root root balls. Shorten the roots a little and cut back above-ground shoots vigorously, then the plants can grow well. Leave only a few main shoots so that the fruit in the center also gets enough light.

Align branches

If young fruit trees do not bear fruit even after several years, it is often due to a too steep branch position. Therefore, tie the branches down with a rope or hang a net filled with stones on them. Only then can horizontal fruiting wood also form. The branches must remain in this position for at least one garden year so that they then remain in the horizontal position and fruit.

Important in March: Protect fruit trees from pests

In late winter, shoots and flowers are vulnerable to pests. Keep your garden plants healthy for a long time with these gardening tips.

Fend off Venturia fungus

With wind and rain, spores of the Venturia fungus reach the just-opening buds as early as March, where they quickly infect the first young leaves of the apple tree. The fungus then continues to grow on the leaves. It forms new spores that continue to spread in the coming months and continuously ensure the infection of new leaves and the fruit. To ensure that your fruit develops properly in the future and does not wilt too quickly, you should cut off the affected branches.

Attach glue bands

You can practically prevent creeping pests that migrate up the tree trunk to the young fruits. For this purpose, it is best to use so-called glue bands or glue rings, which can be purchased at garden centers. Glue rings around the fruit trees are fixed at the latest now in the month of March. In order to prevent the pests from crawling underneath the glue bands, you should fix them close to the tree trunk at a height of about one meter (40 in). In this way, you prevent egg laying, and the harvest is already secured now.

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