Garden calendar March
Spring usually arrives by mid-March and the frequent sunny days provide the opportunity for an increasing range of gardening tasks. March is the month when many of the beautiful spring flowering perennials and shrubs begin to bloom. With spring just around the corner, it is time to get serious and get the garden ready.
- Bulbs like canna lilies, spider lilies etc. are can be planted in this month and they are ideal to start blooming this month. Crocus can also be planted during March. These are the best plants to plant in March. The bulbs of these plants are planted during March. They bloom late but should be planted as early as Spring.
- Seeds of spring flowering annuals like Daisy, Dianthus, Phlox, Verbena, Geranium, Ageratum, Cockscomb, Nasturtium, Portulaca, Saliva etc. can be purchased and planted in seed bed early this month. The soil should be prepared first. Proper raised seed beds should be made to facilitate proper drainage.
- Transplanting of plants like Delonix, Terminalia, Peltophorum, Ficus infectoria, Washingtonia etc. can be done in this month.
- An optimum dose of organic or inorganic fertilizers like vericompost, dried FYM, urea, NPK, DAP can be given to the deciduous and evergreen shrubs and trees both established and new growth ones which were not fertilized for last two months. If granular fertilizer is used, through watering should be given to the plants.
- House plants like Dracaena, money plant, fern, Philodendron etc. will react to longer daysand brighter light at this time by putting out new growth. The end of this month is a good time to pinch them back to generate new growth and to thicken them.
- It is the flowering time of many plants like Peltophorum, Pongamia, Lagerstroemia, Couroupita guianensis, Kigelia pinnata, Bauhinea etc. so proper nutrition and watering should be taken care of.
- Weeding is an important task that needs to be accomplished before the weeds have a chance to flower and go to seed.
- Repair damaged areas of the lawn. Dethatch, rake or aerate the lawn for healthy growth of the grasses. Dolomite lime can be applied to sweeten the soil if needed. Most lawns will need a spring feeding but if thatching or liming needs to be done, do those jobs first.If moss is a problem, a combination fertilizer and moss killer can be applied, to do both jobs in one easy application. Over-seeding can be done as the last step, after the lawn has been fertilized.
- The planting of new trees, climbers, shrubberies and hedges not done in February should be completed. Time for sowing seeds for new hedges.
- March is the best suited month for the propogation of cuttings of Acalyphas, Duranta, Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Petrea, Arundo donax veriscolor and Eranthemum etc.
Major Insect Pest of the month:
- Spray of Malathion or Endosulphan @ 1ml per 1 litre of water
- Cutting away the infected plant parts and burning in a distant place to restrict its spread
- Larvae of some insects damage the plant parts near the ground causing them to break and fall down and also eat other parts of plants such as leaves and flowers.
- They can be controlled by a mixture of Carbonyl 10% dust plus BHC 10% dust in equal parts.
- Ragor application in soil helps controls them.
- Test your soil for pH to see if any amendments are necessary. A general rule of thumb is to add 4 lbs. of lime per 100 sq. ft. of garden for every pH point below 5, or 1 lb. of gypsum per 100 sq. ft. for every pH point above 7.5. Sawdust, composted oak leaves, wood chips, peat moss, cottonseed meal, and leaf mold lower the pH while ashes of hardwoods, bone meal, crushed marble, and crushed oyster shells raise the pH.
- March is a good time to note areas of poor drainage. If there are pools of water in your yard that do not drain. Fill in the low spot or scoop out a channel for the water to drain away.