March Delaware Garden Guide

<<February Garden Guide

Here’s your gardening calendar for March.

For the first half of March:

  • Finish pruning shrubs and ornamental trees, except spring flowering shrubs before growth starts.  Prune spring flowering shrubs (lilac, forsythia, etc.), as soon as they finish flowering.
  • In addition, finish pruning home fruit trees.  Do not leave stubs; they usually die and become great entry ways for fungus.
  • To prevent the infection of fungal spores and bacteria into the plant as a result of fresh cuts, do not prune in damp or wet weather.
  • Plan your vegetable garden on paper.  Use space efficiently and rotate vegetables to reduce insect and disease problems.
  • Turn your compost pile or start one.
  • If soil is dry enough, begin primary soil tillage.
  • Add soil nutrients based on results of soil test.
  • To support newly transplanted trees from spring winds, use flexible ties between rigid stakes.
  • If weeds are beginning to grow in flower bulb beds, pull them by hand to prevent disturbing the bulbs and roots.
  • Spray home fruit trees (apples and pears) before buds swell with dormant oil and when temperatures are not likely to drop below 40o for twenty-four hours.
  • Spray peaches with Ferbam or Lime sulfur.  No spray is needed for cherries or plums at this time.
  • Fertilize trees, roses, shrubs and evergreens.

For the second half of March:

  • Plant cool-season crops (peas, lettuce, cabbage, onions, kale, broccoli, radishes, and turnips) if weather conditions permit.
  • Harden off young tender plants, even hardy varieties, before transplanting in the garden to reduce the chance of frost damage.  Place them outdoors in a protected spot from the cool spring winds.  Gradually reduce water and temperature to allow plants to toughen up so they will be able to tolerate their new living environment.
  • If a pre-emergence weed control is going to be used on the lawn, apply it now.  Please read and follow all label directions.
  • Leave mulch over strawberries until the plants begin to grow.  At that time, the mulch must be removed to allow leaves to develop in the light.
  • Prune hedges before new growth begins.
  • Fertilize azaleas and rhododendrons with acid-type fertilizer.

For more information on any of the above, call your local Extension Office:

Sussex County – #856-7303

Kent County – #739-5205 or #697-4000

April Garden Guide>>