In many parts of the United States March is the month that borders spring and winter. Some days the temperatures are warm and you can almost smell things growing, while others are cold and snowy. This can leave the novice gardener wondering if they should wait for April to turn its head to do anything in their garden or if they can get a start on it now.
March is the time to start working on your indoor garden. While some may recommend getting your soil tested this time of year, more organic gardeners will generally skip it. In fact, in many parts of the country your garden’s soil may be constantly deluged by water this time of year; try to avoid walking on this wet soil.
If you haven’t started you spring plants inside yet then you are behind the eight ball. Get those seeds in trays and get them sprouting. If you started any seeds in January and February they may be ready to go into the soil in as little as three weeks; once you’ve had the last snow of the year you can get them in the ground. Even if your area is still experience light frosts you plants can withstand them if covered by a mini hoop house or grow tent.
Before you are so busy planting, weeding and watering you need to think about any fruit trees you may have. March is the time to get these trees pruned; if you dust your trees for diseases this is the perfect time to get that done too. Depending on the part of the country that you live in it might be a good idea to keep sheets of plastic on hand because the warm days can bring on fruit tree blossoms early; these blossoms may need protection from frost. A painter’s plastic cloth works great for dwarf trees; you can just throw the plastic over the tree and secure the bottoms to the trunk with duct tape.
In tropical climates this is also the time to start transplanting your citrus trees back outside. Gardens closer to the equator are a little farther ahead of the country and should start thinking about planting tuberous plants like onion bulbs in March. Plants that grow below ground can get a head start on the season even if there are still light frosts going on.
April comes quicker than most people expect once March has set in. Be sure that all of your gardening equipment is working properly before April rolls around and you need it. Supplies are something else to start thinking about now; especially if you have to buy things like compost. While you won’t get it any cheaper you may be able to spread out your purchases. Most importantly, get in the gardening state of mind because you are going to be out planting before you know it!