March days are “when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold, when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens
Spring arrives 3/20/2015. Will we be removing the protective winter cover by then?
March Melts into April. Each day lengthens and the temperature will increase with typically only 10% of the days below freezing. Day light saving time March 8, 2015.
Winter Weather Effects: The long lasting snow cover acted as a blanket protecting our perennials. Freezing and thawing is beneficial as it breaks up compacted soil. The extensive cold temperatures eradicated some harmful insects.
Alert: The Southern Pine Beetle has appeared on the North Shore in our area. This beetle infests and kills pine trees in 2-4 months as it tunnels through. Inspect your pine trees for popcorn shaped clumps of resin. Arborists can recommend solutions.
Insecticide Bans: Several municipalities in the Mid Atlantic region are contemplating the banning of all pesticides [largely supported by organic product manufacturers] Our local horticulturists stress this is an overreaction. Similar bans in Canada and Europe are already being rescinded. Think vaccination debate (see above).
Trees: This is the month to transplant trees and shrubs and to plant hedges. Check fall planted stock and firm up soil from possible upheavals.
Pruning: Stool (cut down to ground) grasses, Buddleia, Salix. Prune roses before leafing. Prune remaining fruit trees. Thin bramble berry bushes
Bulbs: After the snowdrops and aconites bloom, divide and replant for next year. Fertilize bulbs as they emerge. Purchase pots of forced bulbs to cheer up the house.
Plant Early Crops: Midmonth plant peas and sweet peas, radishes, lettuce.
Fountains, Ponds and Planters: Hopefully we can clean out and start the fountains this month? Planters should be cleared of winter debris. A few forced branches, forsythia? cherry? make a lovely display in outdoor pots.
Supports and Ties: Don’t let new growth get ahead and old growth falter, check supports and ties throughout your garden.
Weeds: At last something green, but is it a weed? Get them early before they take over.
International Year of Soil: March is agricultural soil month. Check your soil for growing crops, not the same as for flowers, shrubs etc. Read planting information.