As winter weather breaks and spring peeks around the corner, there are many things to do now in your landscape. March is a key time to start re-evaluating water needs in the garden as well as plenty of planting.
If your irrigation systems have been turned off for the winter, now is a good time to turn them back on and test them. If you run drip irrigation, you’ll want to flush the system and check for leaks. Replace any broken heads, nozzles or tubing. If rainfall isn’t accumulating, then you may need to start watering your landscape once per week depending on weather.
If you have dormant or deciduous hedges or shrubs that need to be reduced in size, prune them back to shape and remove excess or dead growth before plants leaf out. Prune away and frost-damaged growth left over from winter. Ornamental grasses that have yet to put on new growth can be cut back to the crown now, before new leaves emerge.
Have daffodils, paperwhites or other bulbs that have finished blooming? Don’t cut back the foliage yet. Allow the foliage to persist as long as it’s green and healthy. Once the foliage begins to yellow and droop, then you can remove it. Removing healthy foliage too early will weaken your bulbs and can reduce next year’s blooms.
Clean up old dropped foliage and blooms from the base of your shrubs. This old leaf litter can house fungal spores or pests that can potentially spread back to your plants.
Be sure to pull up winter and cool season weeds before they flower and go to seed! Once these weeds drop new seed, you can be sure they’ll be back to haunt your garden again in late-summer and fall!
March is also prime-time for planting many colorful spring annuals after the last frost date has passed.
March Featured Plants
Juniperus x pfitzeriana ‘Sea Green’
Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’
Tulbaghia violacea ‘Silver Lace’
Punica granatum ‘Wonderful’
Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’
Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Pink Lady’