Garden Checklist for March:
The average last freeze date in Ellis County is March 15. Often tomato and pepper plants started outdoors from seed will grow so quickly they will catch up with commercial plants in size within a few weeks. For many gardeners, this is the only way to obtain rare or heirloom varieties.
Stop by Ark Country Store for all your gardening needs! We carry a full line of organic gardening items including vegetable seeds! Our porch is stocked full of herbs, tomatoes and cole crops!
Fertilizing and Pruning
- Pruning of evergreens and summer flowering trees and shrubs should be completed in early March.
- Prune spring flowering trees and shrubs as soon as they finish blooming.
- Remove dead top growth (Bermuda grass only) by lowering mower blade one or two notches
- Apply a high nitrogen fertilizer to pecans, and again in April and May.
- Fertilize roses every 4 to 6 weeks from now until September.
- All trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers can be fed with an all nitrogen fertilizer.
- As camellia and azalea plants finish blooming, fertilize them with three pounds of azalea-camellia fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed area.
- Check mulch on azalea and camellia beds and add where needed.
Planting and Sowing
- Start hanging baskets of petunias, ferns and others for another dimension in landscape color.
- Plant hardened off tomatoes and peppers after the middle of the March, cover if a frost or late freeze is forecast.
- Direct sow seeds of warm-season vegetables such as beans, corn, squash, and melons mid to late March.
- Plant perennials in well-amended soil.
- Plant dahlia tubers in fertile, well-drained soil.
- Select and order caladium tubers as well as geranium and coleus plants for late April and early May planting. Hold off on planting caladiums until soil temperature reaches 70ºF.
- Control, as needed, diseases, and insects on roses such as black spot, powdery mildew, and thrips with an appropriate fungicide, and systemic insecticide. Use a stream of water or an insecticidal soap on aphids.
- If needed, apply a pre-emergent on lawns to prevent germination of broad-leaf and grassy weeds. A weed and feed fertilizer is not recommended because it it too early in the year to fertilize
This and that…
- Install a drip irrigation system in your vegetable garden and mulched areas of the landscape.
- Spread compost around perennials and add mulch as needed.
These tips are brought to you by the Ellis County Master Gardener Association.